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Packers Yet to Decide on Future at Offensive Tackle

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Packers Yet to Decide on Future at Offensive Tackle

In comments shared from Packers head coach Mike McCarthy's season-ending press conference:

With David Bakhtiari having a promising rookie season at left tackle, there's sure to be no shortage of debate on where to place players heading into the 2014 season.

The plan was to put Bryan Bulaga at left tackle before the season began, but that was before Bakhtiari emerged as a competent player.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (39) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

steven's picture

Leave dbak. Hes our future lt

Bert's picture

If Bak gets stronger he'll be a standout at LT. I kinda hope we draft or bring in a FA LT/RT though. I just don't feel comfortable counting on Bulaga and/or Sherrod to come back from injury.

Pack Fan in ATL's picture

Wat's wrong with Bulaga coming back at RT?

Bert's picture

Nothing wrong with Bulaga coning back at RT. He just has to stay on the field and I'm not convinced he can until he does.

I bleed Green More's picture

I agree just keeping him on the field a year would be a win.

RC Packer Fan's picture

The way I look at it, he starts and we have a pretty decent replacement in Barclay if needed.

Barclay is not a starting T, IMO. But he can play it. He would make for a good backup T.

Also I think Sherrod will battle Bahktiari for LT.

Stroh's picture

Bahktiari did a commendable job at LT this season. Lets not get ahead of ourselves on naming him the LT of the present OR future. There is a reason he was a 4th rd pick! He is decent and like I said did a commendable job, but he certainly has some limitations and most scouts pre-draft thought his best position would be OG not OT. I like him as a backup OT, but would rather see a competition for the LT Job between Bulaga, Sherrod and Bahktiari. Winner takes LT, 2nd place is RT and loser is relegated to backup swing OT.

In a competition right now I would guess Bulaga, but personally think he's best suited at RT. Sherrod has the ideal dimentions and measurable to be a LT but his injury complicates things for him a little. Make no mistake tho, both Bulaga and Sherrod have more talent that Bahktiari. If any competition is close, the 1st rd picks will be given the jobs ahead of the 4th rd pick.

Bahktiari did well but he didn't make the job his, hence McCarthy's comments. I hope Sherrod comes back strong and takes the LT job and makes it his!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Agree. Bakhtiari played well for a 4th Round rookie, and if he gets stronger MIGHT be the answer. But his actual play in 2013 was not tremendously better than Newhouse's. He was a below average starter. If Sherrod blossoms, great, but remember that Bulaga's contract ends after 2014, and GB has a club option for Sherrod at the average of 3rd to 25th highest paid tackles. That equates to $4.9 for left tackles based on 2013 salary cap figures, and $6.2 for all tackles. That means GB will be paying big dollars for the 2 guards under contract, will be overpaying for a FA at center (or rolling the dice on a draft pick and/or Tretter), and paying big bucks for the 2 starting tackles in 2015. That would be a very expensive o-line.

Keep Bulaga at RT, and let Bakh and Sherrod battle for LOT. If a OT or C that GB likes falls into the 2nd to 4th round, GB should strongly consider him, despite other pressing needs at S, ILB, maybe NT/DE depending on what TT does with current FAs, and TE/WR.

Stroh's picture

Don't you want a quality OL protecting the franchise?

RC Packer Fan's picture

For the most part I agree with you. But don't worry about where Bakhtiari was picked. Every year there are 2nd,3rd,4th round picks that end up being better then 1st round picks. Also some of the reports I had seen, said that if Bakhtiari went back to school and entered the draft as a Senior he would have been a 1st-2nd round pick.

A year in the weight room will help Bakhtiari out immensely. While I agree that Sherrod and Bulaga might have more talent, or might have more of the prototypical size, I like what Bakhtiari did this year.

For next year. I think the best move is to move Bulaga back to RT. I would like to see a competition at LT between Sherrod and Bakhtiari. The loser is the top backup.

And honestly, Barclay is a pretty good backup to have. He could be the backup G, RT.

Stroh's picture

I like what he did this year too. But lets not ignore the fact he wasn't much better than Newhouse. I just don't think his ceiling is all that high at OT.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I disagree, from what I saw of him, he was worlds better then Newhouse. Maybe not statistically, but from actually watching him, I thought he was a lot better.

I just think the offseason program will do him wonders and most players take their biggest step from year 1 to 2. Also he is very young. I see some good upside for him.

I do think there will be a competition between him and Sherrod for LT, but right now I think Bakhtiari will be the LT.

Phatgzus's picture

He faced All-Pro or Pro-Bowl caliber talent in 14 of 16 games and gave up sacks in all of 5 or 6 including at least 1 in his first 3 or 4 games.

Pack88's picture

I agree with most of your comments aboutBakthiari but about what scouts say let us not forget the consensus opinion on Chad Clifton was he was a left guard in the NFL because he would not be able to handle speed rushers in the NFL- we saw how wrong that was because in the undewear olympics Clifton was .1 second slower than optimal for a LT but they don't measure the whole game and could not account for Cliftons stone hands and how he just stopped pass rushers once he grabbed them. I believe Bak was downgraded because he came out as a junior and lacked a little core strength. He also wore down as the season went on. His wt declined about 10 lbs so I am hoping a full offseason in an NFL wt room will help. I also agree he has the potential but Pot is could be we want will be and we will have to see but don't forget 69 has the skill set and ability to succeed we just have to see if the functional strength to become a solid left tackle develops

Stroh's picture

I don't know where you read anything about Clifton being an OG. I NEVER saw anything saying that. He always projected to LT. He was at a time that valued run blocking more than pass blocking. Every scout I ever saw talk about Clifton said he was an outstanding pass blocker, but wasn't much of a run blocker. That was the reason for him falling into the 2nd and why Sherrod fell to the bottom of the 1st. IMO they are very similar players if Sherrod develops as he should. I can live w/ another 10-12 yr career by a clone of Clifton.

I judge OT by how the pass block. Speed isn't as important as foot quickness. I also don't care when a player comes out if they've played in a major conference. I like Bahktiari but I'm just not sure he will ever be a quality LT. Maybe he will, but Sherrod IMO will be the better pass blocker as a LT, which is all I'm concerned about. Run blocking is a distant 2nd at LT.

Bert's picture

I agree in that I think both Bulaga and Sherrod would be ideal at LT/RT. Their health is a big IF though for both of them.

Zub's picture

Salary cap comes into play here, Bulaga is due a new contract, Bahktari has 3 years left on a rookie contract. Question is, Is Bulaga skill set 4 times better than Bahktari? Bahktari will make a million a year and Bulaga new contract will most likely be in the 6 to 8 million rang. Its not necessarily who is better, the business side of football will be a factor here.

Bert's picture

Good point. With Bulaga's injury history it's hard to see TT spending big $$. I can't blame him either. We already have enough money tied up in guys either coming off injury or have a history of injury.

cLowNEY42's picture

Fact of the matter is.... Bakhtiari's the only one of the 3 who we've actually seen play LT.

I hate the idea of taking all these guys and bouncing them around, trying them here and there, flipping them back and forth for an entire offseason.

Bulaga's played RT... and played it well.
Bakhtiari's played LT... and played it well.

Stop f'n w/ guys and let them perfect their craft. All last offseason Sitton and Lang were vocal about how difficult switching sides was... and they're inside guys... gotta be even more difficult for edge players.

Leave Bakhtiari @ LT.
Leave Bulaga @ RT.
Let Sherrod show that he can even play in the league.
Move Barclay inside... imo he's a guard, anyhow.

Bakhtiari, Sitton, EDS, Lang, Bulaga would be the best OL this team has had in years.

If EDS signs somewhere else...

Bakhtiari, Sitton, Lang/Tretter, Barclay/Lang, Bulaga would still be solid.

TommyG's picture

Very well put! I think a lot of our woes were solved by not playing the "muscial chairs" game at OL this year. As you stated, if they have shown that they are good at that position then leave them there.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I agree with you Cow.

You got it right. We have seen Bakhtiari play LT and he played well overall. We have seen Bulaga play RT and he played well. Sherrod is still a mystery. Barclay makes a good G/RT backup. I like the idea of having Barclay coming in if needed. He has experience and we know we can win with him playing.

I really hope we resign EDS. He has been a very good C. If we lose him, I think it will be between Tretter and Lang. With Barclay maybe becoming our RG.

I agree to that I hope they are done with the musical chairs. But I think that last year switching Lang and Sitton around helped each other. I thought both had their best seasons.

My thought right now for starters should be Bakhtiari/Sherrod, Sitton, EDS, Lang, Bulaga.

Phatgzus's picture

And both Sitton and Lang had great years, Sitton has even given MM props on the move; it requires adjustments but it's not quantum mechanics.

cLowNEY42's picture

good point.

but in this instance you'd be dealing with 2 pretty young guys... Bakh and Bulaga.

jeremy's picture

I think there has to be quite a difference in moving guys with experience vs young guys. Sitton and Lang are both veterans now. Bulaga has only started 33 games an Bahk has started 17.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I think they let Sherrod try to beat out Bakhtiari on the left side with Bulaga on the right side. They may or may not give lip service to a competition between Bulaga and Barclay. I don't think such a competition would be close. Barclay might have a chance to win a job inside, especially if EDS signs elsewhere.

4thand1's picture

The o-line will be the least of the Packers worries. Lot of young guys and plenty of competition. Get a TE early, safety, then ILB. Then BAP.

ben's picture

Bulaga did get injured, but he doesn't have a history of injury. Lock him up LONG-TERM. He is an excellent RT who could move to LT if needed. They can probably get a better deal now than if he was coming off yet another impressive year.

EDS is UNDER RATED and should be the packer's #1 FA priority. He has ELITE physical tools. Lock him up for 2 years until tretter shakes out.

Barclay is the perfect backup. He's young, solid, and can backup every position on the OL. And considering we've locked up our franchise QB, its crucial to have a capable #2 especially at the tackle position. You know you were holding your breath everytime newhouse was trotted out, just think of the piece of mind for you, me, and Rodgers with quality OL depth. Protect the franchise!

(Everybody seems to think barclay's more of a guard than tackle, I don't see it. He is aggressive but lacks a little brute strength to play inside AS EFFECTIVELY. I think Bulaga is more of a guard than Barclay, and played well there early in his career. If either are forced inside, I'd prefer it be Bulaga, he is stronger)

The only thing I expect out of Sharrod is him not being on the team after next year. Everybody's talking about him getting back to show what he can do. Well I've already seen it. I've seen him play a lot of snaps for the pack and at no point has he impressed, and that's pre-injury.

No draft picks necessary in regards to the OL. We have plenty of other NEEDS.

ben's picture

correction: EDS has very good physical tools, not ELITE.

for the record: i was 4 drafting sharrod in the 1st, but now believe ted & i got it wrong

RC Packer Fan's picture

There was nothing wrong with Thompson drafting Sherrod. He suffered a brutal injury that cost him 2 years. Not Thompsons fault.

We have no idea how good/bad Sherrod would have been because of the injury.

I'm not going to anoint him the starter until we see him play, but he was drafted in the 1st round for a reason. An actual offseason will do wonders for Sherrod as well. He hasn't actually ever had an offseason with the team. The year he was drafted was the lockout and then he got hurt.

Albert Lingerfeld's picture

Funny, my recolletion just prior to Sherrod's injury was, he was at the time in and out of MM's dog house. Both he and Newhouse were alternating because neither could run block or pass block to save their ass.
Sherrod did nothing up to the point of injury and so how can people expect that pigs ear to turn into a silk purse.
Both he and Newhouse at total deadwood.

Evan's picture

Sherrod has never "played a lot of snaps" for the Packers. So I don't know who you were watching.

RC Packer Fan's picture

And don't forget he didn't have any offseason program to learn. The year he was drafted they had the lockout, so he started in training camp. And then the coaches had him playing both guard and tackle.
Then when he did start to finally play he got hurt.

ben's picture

I'd say I've seen him play 100 snaps, 0 impressive. Don't tell me what I've seen

Evan's picture

ha. 100 snaps =/= "a lot of snaps"

Packers average around 60 offensive snaps a game. So, you've seen just over 1.5 games of Sherrod. Yeah, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you haven't seen enough to make a judgement.

Sorry.

Bert's picture

Bulaga missed the last 7 weeks of 2012 with a hip injury and all of 2013 with a knee. I would say that he has a history of injuries and we should wait until he can prove he can stay on the field before we "lock him up long term." He's a great talent and could really solidfy the OL IF he is able to play injury free.

Sum Ding Wong's picture

we are making a big assumption that Buluga can make it through the family scrimmage again this year. I guy like that missing a year and a half of football will need another year just to get the body and strength in place. Good luck with that!

Bert's picture

Agree. I am still of the opinion that drafting a OT in the early rounds is a good idea. I'm just not counting on Bulaga or Sherrod and I think TT would be foolish to bank on either of them either. Great if either one or both make it back and play at a high level but let's not count on it or we'll be right back with Rodgers on the sidelines next year. Rodgers is the franchise. We have to go all out to protect the franchise or it doesn't matter what we do at the other positions.

Point Packer's picture

Why in the hell can't we pay for a solid left tackle to protect the franchise? Bahk's performance was commendable, but it did not lend confidence to the future. Sorry. I wasn't sold.

Bert's picture

I think TT did a good job with drafting Bulaga and Sherrod as he made protecting the franchise a high priority. The wheels fell off when both got hurt though. Now we have to either take the chance that they will make it back (Sherrod is still unproven) and perform like #1s or spend high $$ on a FA OR spend another high draft pick on an OT. We're not in a good place with the OT position and it's maybe the most improtant position on the team. I'm not totally sold on Bak either. He has to get stronger to be a high caliber OT. Barclay is a backup. We can't go into next season without upgrading OTs regardless how we do it.

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