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Little Clarity Shed on Center Position from Mike McCarthy

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Little Clarity Shed on Center Position from Mike McCarthy

With the NFL Owners Meetings underway this week in Orlando, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy took some time to talk to reporters.

When former Packers center Evan Dietrich Smith signed with Tampa Bay this off season, the Packers were left thin at the position.

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Fan friendly comments only: on Comments (79) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Evan's picture

Sitton? Really?

Maybe if Tretter, Lang, Barclay, Gerhart and a player-yet-to-be-drafted all fall victim to separate misfortunes and are unable to play, maybe then Sitton would get a shot at center.

But that will never happen. One misfortune, that's possible. Three misfortunes, there's an outside chance. But five misfortunes? I'd like to see that!

Evan's picture

Man, I was hoping at least Hank Scorpio would get it.

Stroh's picture

Just lip service... They don't know for sure who the starting Center will be, but in all likelihood its either Barclay or Tretter. I think there is little chance either Sitton or Lang are move from OG unless both Tretter and Barclay fall on their faces.

It wouldn't make a lot of sense to move Sitton, especially since he was basically All Pro last year.

Stroh's picture

Just lip service... They don't know for sure who the starting Center will be, but in all likelihood its either Barclay or Tretter. I think there is little chance either Sitton or Lang are move from OG unless both Tretter and Barclay fall on their faces.

It wouldn't make a lot of sense to move Sitton, especially since he was basically All Pro last year.

RC Packer Fan's picture

It wouldn't make a lot of sense to move Sitton. But Lang is a possibility IMO. If Barclay can't play C, I think he could be a very good G. Which would allow Lang to move to C.
I do see that as a possibility. I think they are really hoping Tretter will be the guy though.

PackerBacker's picture

Agree completely. I think that if Tretter shows any ability to be a starter they throw him in at C and take their lumps initially. I think with the Guards they have, they can compensate for Tretter's learning curve.

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

They better get Tretter or Barclay ready please do not mess with Lang or Sitton.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

You beat me to it.

Jordan's picture

Lang isn't as good as you think he is. I watched a "condensed" version of Packers game last night off of NFL REWIND and Lang got blown off the ball at right guard on a regular basis. He was getting driven in to the backfield like a highschooler.

Maybe Tretter goes to right guard and Lang goes to center.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Or Barclay goes to RG and Lang to Center.

Stroh's picture

Both Sitton and Lang are rated in the top 10-15 NFL starting OG's. But we should believe you know better? Sorry don't think so... We all watched the games too, we can tell who's good or not. Packers have the best starting OG's in the NFL. That includes Lang at RG. Beside if Lang was getting driven off the LOS, why would you put him at Center where he would be head up on the NT and even more likely to get driven right into Rodgers lap?

PackerBacker's picture

I think the G's are good too, but the best in the NFL? I think they'd have a hard time keeping up with SF's guards. Just saying, they're good, but not the best.

Stroh's picture

Iupati is great, but the other OG for SF isn't very good. Just going by PFF (just a guide) the Packers OG IIRC had the combined highest rating. Sitton is about as good as Iupati and Lang rated higher than SF other starting OG.

Its all subjective of course, but the Packers starting OG are definitely among the best set of starting OG's in the NFL.

PackerBacker's picture

Fair enough. Not going to argue with you too hard on this one. ;)

Evan's picture

Yeah, I don't think it's as far-fetched as you think. There is PFF, as Stroh said. And then Bleacher Report came out with their list of the top guards in the NFL in 2013 - Sitton was #1 and Lang was like #13 (Neither 49er G was in the top 20).

Of course it's all subjective, but I think we can safely say the Packers guards are among the best duos in the league.

Jordan's picture

Lang was ranked 15th by PFF. My math says that's middle of the road. I agree with that....... Lang is a middle of the road right guard.

Tretter will probably be the center, but I wouldn't rule out Tretter being the right guard and Lang being the center.

TJ Lang isn't an untouchable ALL-PRO embedded at right guard. We'll have to wait and see what happens with Tretter.

Packers had the 3rd easiest schedule in NFL in 2013, so things should only get more challenging for the O-line in 2014. I'm just glad they have Tretter....he sounds promising.

Birney the baker's picture

You can book this. Tretter will be our starting center. He has the size and more importantly the smarts to play the position. Lacy could get 1700 yards plus this year with this o-line depending on how much MM uses him. All big and all can run block. This will be Rodgers' least productive year stat wise since he became starter but it will make them the most balanced offensively since Ahman Green was our pro bowl running back. One giant efficient offensive machine hitting on all cylinders. This of course all depends on who our trainer is this year. We need a healthy year. Will God cut us some slack this season?

Jordan's picture

I have no doubt Tretter will do well at center (and will probably be the center). All I'm saying is.........Tretter may very well be better than TJ Lang at guard. I have a good feeling about Tretter. I'm just not willing to write Tretter off as the third or fourth best guard on the Packers. He may very well be the second best guard. Time will tell.

Birney the baker's picture

Agree 100% with you Jordan. I think Tretter and Bak are going to turn out to be one of Ted's top 15 draft picks of all time.

PackerBacker's picture

But why would you move Lang to Center and then put Tretter in as G? That moves two players. If they are your #2 and #3 interior lineman, why not just leave Lang at G?

Jordan's picture

Based on all the shuffling in the last few years at OL, it wouldn't really be anything new. Who knows what the O-line will look like by week 10. Could be some 2014 draft pick starting on the O-line for all we know. As I said, I think tretter will be the center. I'm just not ready to rule out Lang being the center and tretter being the RG. I think TT drafted tretter to replace EDS. I think it was his plan all along. But you never know for sure how things will shake out. It's all speculation.

HankScorpio's picture

"Lang was ranked 15th by PFF. My math says that's middle of the road"

Are they ranking OGs or RGs and LGs? If it's the former, Lang slides into the top 25%. If it's the latter, he is the very definition of "middle of the road" by their ranking system.

Jordan's picture

15th ranking is for all guards. My math factors in the Packers extremely weak schedule. ;)

Idiot Fan's picture

It's hard to go by SOS though. For example, the Lions' record was terrible, but that dline is nasty and very difficult for a guard to deal with.

Jordan's picture

SOS isn't perfect by any means, but it at least gives you some kind of general reference. 3rd easiest regular season schedule can't be ignored.

Ironically, the lions were only a half game out of first place when Lang had his worst game on thanksgiving and lions had a winning record. So the lions were still playing for something in that game.

It does make you wonder what Lang (and the rest of the o-line) would have done had we faced Seattle in Seattle for NFC championship game. We'll never know.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Jorden, I'd like to comment on that. There was a reason Seattle played Lights Out on SF. They would not have played that well against GB, I don't think. IMO, SF was the much better team. All the stars line up for Seattle. They caught SF at Home & it was SF's 3rd road game in a row. Any one who bets Pro Football would tell you that's a Killer. Now, if by chance, Seattle would have played like that against us, No we would not have beat them. I firmly believe SF was the Best team in the Playoffs, & yes we got them at Home. If we had beat them, my $$$ would have been on GB in Seattle. I believe we would have beat Carolina easily. We would have had a lot going for us had we made it to Seattle. You can call it the 2 R's. Revenge & Rogers. I don't see that combo losing that game. But as you say, "We'll never know" Maybe this year. LVT

4thand1's picture

I can see Barclay at center. Just keep him awary from the OT position. He's to slow out there. Let him clog up the middle. He has an attitude which I like.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I think his perfect position would be G.

Stroh's picture

Well if Barclay wants to get a starting job, it's going to be at Center. He isn't going to beat out Lang or Sitton. Personally, I don't think Barclay is starting caliber OL at any position. Hope he gets moved inside and is the backup OG/C. He certainly shouldn't be a starting OT and honestly I don't think he's an OT period. If he wants a job in the NFL much longer he better work on playing both OG/C so he has a chance to stick. He's otherwise a fringe NFL player at best.

PackerBacker's picture

I think he's a great option as a backup at the G/C position. Has starting experience and the confidence that comes with it. He can also backup the T's if the shit really hits the storm in a game and they lose a couple guys. There is value in that.

lebowski's picture

Nice to hear that throwing darts at the center position is the plan, along with moving around established parts… again. This line has been in flux WAY too long.

COW's picture

So not a single OL position is without question marks.

What the hell does MM have against Rodgers?

4thand1's picture

He does it just to piss you off. He hates trolls.

COW's picture

In the meantime our future HOF QB is getting years taken off his career.

4thand1's picture

Seriously, are you really this fuckin stupid? You think A head coach is going to tell the whole league what his plans are. YOU really aren't very intelligent are you? Hey Ted, I'm going to lay out our plan for the season even before the draft, whadda ya think, Ted? Maybe I'll even post our game plans on line for everyone to see.

lebowski's picture

Sheesh. I've been coming to this site for a few years now, I may be wrong but these vitriolic comments and responses seem to be the norm instead of the exception these days. Every post devolves into an over-the-top attack on some 'troll'. A S is just stating his opinion, which is what everyone on here does. The fact that he doesn't agree with you makes him fuckin stupid? There's a site you should check out, Total Packers. You'll love it.

Stroh's picture

Its the fact that his post are completely moronic and basically denounce anything and everything the Packers do. If you've been here that long then you certainly know that its his MO to bash all things Packers!

PackerBacker's picture

I've been here for years and you're right. I've even joined in on the bashing once or twice. But allowing him to get under your skin so much shows weakness. Don't let it happen. Like any other troll, if we ignored him completely, he'd probably either leave or start posting comments that aren't silly.

Plus, it's started to end up calling him names even when he is only stating an opinion. He has some opinions that are worthy of discussion. Just stick to those and ignore the rest. He wants the responses. If we only give him the responses to viable arguements, he'll use those more.

COW's picture

Yep - the Pack is "hiding" the identity of their center.
Perfect plan.
Surprised every other team in the NFL doesn't do the same thing.

4thand1's picture

Andy, AS is cow42, so if you've been coming here for years you should now his antics. He's not a Packer fan and blasts the team at every turn. He's the consummate troll. Either a viqueen or thebearsstill suck fan.

Jordan's picture

4th and 1, I think what Andy is trying to say to you is......why don't you just ignore any posts that you don't like. Your responses are vulgar and unnecessary on a forum. Cow is not attacking you. He is simply giving his opinion.

Why would someone's opinion or post bother you so much that you feel the need to attack someone with profanity? It's almost as if you are trying to control the forum with some type of controlling behavior.

4thand1's picture

Not I'm not. He just doesn't have the guts to say what team he really supports. I don't have a problem with opinions, just his lame excuse to claim He's a Packer fan. A troll is a troll is a troll. Everyone is sick of him. He doesn't bother me, I'm bored and its fun calling him out. IMO he's chickenshit. Hope that wasn't to vulgar for you. I'll ignore the prick for a while.

PackerBacker's picture

When you use vulgar language and steer a conversation towards anger and not the Packers you are as much, if not more, of a troll than he is. At least his posts have something to do with the Packers. You aren't even doing that.

He might be a pessimistic, antagonistic Packers fan, but that doesn't mean he's not still a Packers fan.

lebowski's picture

Ah, I did not know Cow changed his handle. (I've been here as lebowski for a long time and screwed up my new log-in) Even so, I stick to my point that this site has changed from Packer fans exchanging opinions in good fun to a bunch of regular posters attacking anyone who has the gall to question management's / coaches' decisions. I don't like to post negative views on here, but there certainly are some things that we as fans have every right to question. Such as the constant flipping and moving around of our O-line. And I'm not just calling out you, 4thand1, it's just your response this time jumped directly to indignant anger.

HankScorpio's picture

"So not a single OL position is without question marks.

What the hell does MM have against Rodgers?"
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yeah! How dare MM put any thought in to the decision on how to best protect Rodgers with 5 NFL starters and a promising youngster!

4thand1's picture

LMAO! I'm not angry. Bashing everything about the Packers is not opinion. TT and the Packers have made some mistakes. So McMillan and Jennings sucked. They're gone. I like honest opinions, its the dishonest ones I'll call out. Football is getting soft and it appears the fans are too. Please don't cuss, you might hurt someone's feelings. Maybe some of you should find a ballet blog to post on.

MarkinMadison's picture

If they let EDS walk away like that my bet is that they already think they know who the center will be. We'll see when training camp starts. Personally, I'm betting on Tretter. Barclay becomes a 5 position backup.

The TKster's picture

Coachspeak.

Stroh's picture

Pretty much... Just like stating that Bulaga and Bahktiari are playing RT and LT. Everyone knows that they aren't going to move Lang or Sitton, just like everyone knows that Bulaga would be staying at RT and Bahktiari is staying at LT. Doesn't mean either is starting, just that that's the position they'll play.

Birney the baker's picture

Atta boy Strohkinoff, you keep tapping your red slippers and tell yourself that Sherrod still has a shot at starting left tackle over Bak. lol
Let me know when you get back to Kansas you moron!!

Stroh's picture

Thanks again for being my personal troll. Just means your jealous of me... My legend grows everytime you open your piehole!

ben's picture

Stroh does know a few things about football. It's just too bad his grip on football far exceeds his grip on reality.

The legend grows................

PackerBacker's picture

If he's on the squad he has as much a chance as anyone.

Birney the baker's picture

So you're saying there's a chance? lol

4thand1's picture

Of course there is Tom. He was a #1 pick. I remember a lot of draft "experts" were saying it was a good pick by GB. Also because the Packers picking at the bottom of the rounds so often you're damned for being successful. WTG TT.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I think fans are a little too enthusiastic about Bakhtiari at LT. He did a fine job for a rookie 4th round pick. Still, he was a below average starting LT, generally ranked as a LT around 25th in the league. I hope he makes a jump in his 2nd year and becomes a solid starter, and since the primary knock on him reportedly was core strength, an off season in the weight room should really help him. Sherrod was a consensus first round talent, but he never did much, first due to a position change to LG, and since then due to injury. If Sherrod can beat out Bakhtiari, so much the better, or if he can be a quality back-up, that would be helpful too. I am not a Bakhtiari hater or a Sherrod lover, just someone who wants GB to have 2 quality tackles on the field with good depth.

The TKster's picture

I would love to read that Bak "lived" in the weight room this offseason and gained 10-15 lbs and just can't wait to build on his rookie season and "get after it" this year.

Also, it would be great to hear that Sherrod is totally recovered and is shaking off the rust and is back to the form that made him a first rounder in the first place.

Stroh's picture

That's all I've been saying to... Sure Bahktiari has a chance to develop, so did Newhouse. Sherrod was rated a 1st rd pick and as a pass blocker he has experience in the SEC going against the best and he has all the traits of a very good pass blocker. Needs to work on his game some and also needs to gain some strength. But given a chance as a LT he could as easily become the player he was thought to be when we drafted him.

Birney the baker's picture

That's all you've been saying?. All you have been doing is yapping your nonstop motor mouth about how bad/below average Bak is and how great Sherrod is because of some stupid combine numbers three years ago. Go jump in a lake you moron!! Trying to now downplay your comments because you are now starting to worry that you will be WRONG!! ONCE AGAIN!! Just like you were humiliated regarding your Al Harris comments a few years ago claiming he would start and he never even made the team. lol What a moron you are Strohkinoff but it's fun to see you weasel your way out of your comments. Next comment will be you have no idea what I am talking about in regards to Al Harris. Just watch..

lebowski's picture

and thanks Tom for proving my point once again.

Birney the baker's picture

What was your point? I missed it.

lebowski's picture

That this site has devolved into responses by 'trolls' and those who feel the need to constantly call them out for even the most minor of negative opinions. Apparently every other Packer fan is fucking stupid, a moron, an ass wipe, etc. Used to love coming to Cheesehead TV. Now Aaron and Corey are barely here and the comments sections have been hijacked.

Birney the baker's picture

Andy, I have been looking all over for evidence of these so called "trolls" and I cannot find any. The only people here that I see that cause problems are Cow and Stroh. If these two are the "trolls" you are referring too than I have to disagree with you. I don't like that word. Assholes would be more appropriate. I'm an adult for crying out loud. I don't even know what a troll means. Just call them what they are, assholes.

Cow and Stroh purposely say things to piss people off to get them to react I agree with you. I don't think it's a coincidence that it's these two that are currently fighting with others. 4th and One with Cow and Stroh with me.

I personally think you are making this into something bigger than it is. It's just two people arguing with two other people. 4th and one and myself are respectful to everyone else except the people we are currently fighting with. Cow and Stroh are never respectful.

As for Mr. Nagler. Do you want to hear someone swear? You might want to check out Nagler after a late night Packers loss last year. He was swearing and insulting people like a drunken sailor. I thought it was hilarious.

It honestly sounds to me as though this place maybe is too stressful for you Andy. I am sure there's other places where people can all get along without disagreements or "assholes". If you find it, let me know so I can stay as far away from it as possible. That sounds like something Vic Ketchman would say. lol

Stroh's picture

Bahktiari WAS below average last year! Sure he was a rookie and did a commendable job. I've never denied that. But he's also got a long way to go to lock the job down, as you've been saying he already has done! I've been the reasonable one here. Your the one saying Bahktiari is the lock to be the starting LT in '14 and beyond. All I've said is that Sherrod has the talent and ability to EARN the job over Bahktiari. I've said it'll be a competition, you won't even allow that a competition is going to happen.

If you had any brains instead of shit in your dome, you could understand this simple concept!

Maybe Bahktiari will win the job, but its not his already as you suggest!

ben's picture

Maybe Bahktiari will win the job?

Let's keep it real, Bahktiari is the Green Bay Packer's starting left tackle.

The TKster's picture

Maybe I'm a moron, but I would think it's easier to take an "athletic, agile" lineman with good feet and have him build his power in the weight room than to take a powerful, athletically "limited" lineman and have him work on developing quickness and agility.

Flame away on that one!

PackerBacker's picture

I'm sure there are many other ways that you're a moron, but this wasn't the reason. :)

I would agree that I'd take a naturally gifted player with quickness who needs a little bulk over a player who has the strenght but can't move.

The TKster's picture

LOL

Stroh's picture

Perfect example being Gabe Carimi. He lacked the quick feet needed to play OT, which isn't Sherrod's problem. Is Carimi even in the NFL anymore? 1st rd complete washout due to lack of talent.

lebowski's picture

And I was hoping we'd draft him. Shows how much I know.

Stroh's picture

I wanted Sherrod over Carimi all along if it came down to a choice. I also wanted Muhammah Wilkerson over both, who went to NYJ 2 picks before the Packers took Sherrod.

Birney the baker's picture

lack of talent? The guy injured his knee in just his second game of his rookie season and was a late first round pick. Sound familiar Strohkinoff?

"Carimi suffered a season-ending injury to his right knee, that included the dislocation of his kneecap and which required multiple surgeries, including one in December to repair connective tissue around his patella and medial collateral ligament."

Sounds alot like Derrick Sherrod's career so far. Funny how you didn't mention injury but "lack of talent" and "footspeed". Again, moron!!

Stroh's picture

Knee injuries don't end careers or even alter them much anymore except for missing ONE year. Sherrod's injury was FAR more serious! A patella and MCL is not even considered a season ending injury, unless he tore the patellar tendon. Carimi came back and was active for the remainder of the season. He was BENCHED by Chicago for being inept!

Face it Carimi SUCKED rocks! He's on his 3rd team in 4 years. Your just proving your INGNORANCE yet AGAIN!

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Ok, maybe I can jump in here? I honestly don't know who's better than who in the OL. I don't know who was a Good Pick & who was a Bad One. I've had a hard time keeping up with the OL, because of all the injuries. I'd like to think, if all of our OL guy's were healthy, we'd have a Pretty Good OL. I admit I don't know these guy's like you guy's do. What I Do know is Bulaga was drafted for LT, & it seems he hasn't played 4 minutes in 2 years? I couldn't tell you who played where, there seems to have been so many injuries & changes of position. JMO I bet Pro Football. I don't bet the GB games but I did have money on GB in the Playoff. It was a Push for me, but I still feel like I came within an eyelash of beating the Best Team in the Playoffs, & had we done it, I believe we would have beat Denver, just as Seattle did. Not too bad, just to get into the playoffs, with a lot of 2ond & 3rd string players & guy's out of position. You guy's can jump on me if you want, but I think we were closer than any of you know.

You can jump on me for this. I've read a lot of negative comments, all negative comments on Newhouse. I know he looked Bad. What the Hell happened to him. I can remember when he 1st took over at LT, & I thought he looked pretty good. Do I need a new Dog??

4thand1's picture

He looked just ok to me and never improved. He's a back up and that's all IMO. I agree the Packers are a hell of a lot closer than some critics believe. To play like they did down the stretch and not quitting tells me something. They didn't use any excuses when they could have.

Stroh's picture

I completely agree LV Tom. Packers IMO were a 12-4 team last year if Rodgers doesn't get hurt, possibly better. This team is not far off at all... They needed a playmaker or 2 on Defense to step up. Peppers is a good bet, Daniels is in a limited role, Hayward should be, Tramon played very good last 1/2 year and seems to be getting his playmaking form back, Perry could be if moved to the Right side. Lots of candidates that could make that jump.

Packers will continue to be a 11-12 win team and SB contender for the next 5 yrs, assuming Rodgers is healthy. Obviously all bets are off if he misses more than a couple games in any one season.

Nice to have you commenting again BTW.

Birney the baker's picture

LVt, you see this is Strohkinoff's version of kissing ass trying to be buddy buddy with you because you have been conversing with me lately. He can't have that. Now he resorts to Mr. Nice guy. Don't buy it. This is the game he plays. He pushes you then pulls back just enough. I know this guy for over 5 years. I came here to get away from this idiot only to find out he's here under a different name once again bullying and pissing off people left and right.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Tom B., I've said a number of times, that I respect everyone's opinion on this post. I'm 66 yr's old. I've had plenty of fights in my day. For those in WI, I'm not proud of it, but I was sentenced to a year in the Ozaukee County Jail for busting up a Restaurant & it's owner. It was suspended, & I was kicked out of Ozaukee County for a year. MY FIGHTING DAYS ARE OVER. Stroh & I exchanged some heated words 1 time. It was over AJ HAWK. I would have given him away for free to keep James Jones. I think if Stroh were Honest, he'd admit I was more right than wrong. That's beside the point. We settled that issue Respectfully. I try to like everybody. I missed ClowNey. & Arlo. They've both been Right IMO on some of what they say. So have you. I agree with you more than you might think. Maybe if I knew the Players, I'd have reason to argue with
Stroh, ClowNey & Arlo, but I don't. I know AJ HAWK, ain't No Damn Good, but that's my opinion. I thought JJ was well worth keeping. Stroh disagreed with both of those assessments, so did others, but Clowney, &
Arlo didn't. The thing is with Stroh, we had our words back & forth, & then settled it respectfully. We seldom reply to one another, but he did help me out the other day, & I am Thankful for his help. I've been nailed with some harsh reply's, but I was wrong, so I accepted them. I like talking to you. ClowNey even nailed me once, & I like talking to him also, from time to time. If I knew more about the players maybe I'd argue more, but at this stage of the game, I'd like to try & get along with you & everyone else if possible. Believe me if Someone hands me some s#@t, I
can still tell them where to put it. Hope this doesn't change our friendship. I've enjoyed our posts, even if we've disagreed. We did it in a Respectful manner.

Jordan's picture

I sure hope the Packers would have been a 12-4 team last year. They only played two teams with winning records. 2 against 49ers and 1 against Bengals. They lost all 3.

If you guys ever want to re-watch a 2013 game, check out that Bengals game. It's a real eye opener from start to finish.

Packers will be better in 2014.

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