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Adam Pankey working on providing Packers with more versatile OL depth

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Adam Pankey working on providing Packers with more versatile OL depth

-- The offensive line for the Green Bay Packers is well-stocked in the versatility department, so it should be no surprise that another dark horse is making rounds at almost every line position.

The Packers have reportedly been trying undrafted second-year lineman Adam Pankey at both tackle spots as well as interior guard in OTAs and minicamp. With right tackle Bryan Bulaga's status up in the air, they could certainly relish the possibility of adding another depth piece.

Pankey, who has just a single special teams snap worth of experience under his belt, was signed from the practice squad to the active roster after the Packers' first regular-season game in 2017.

He spent the rest of the season on the roster, but wasn't included in the 46-man gameday roster 10 times and the four times he did, he didn't see any time on the field. A large factor in that was being the third-string left and right tackle on the depth chart.

This offseason, Packers offensive line coach James Campen has created an emphasis on experience and making Pankey more of a well-versed player in multiple positions. Not only would he provide that depth at tackle, but should disaster strike the interior guard position, Pankey would be called upon.

"I think I've even worked more on flipping sides a little bit," Pankey told Michael Cohen of PackersNews.com. "I got a lot of reps at right tackle here early on, now finishing up at left a little bit, getting my feet back right over there. I think I Made some strides on the right side throughout the season. Just playbook-wise I'm a lot more comfortable, cadence-wise, understanding all the quarterbacks' different cadences and rhythmic stuff. I feel confident after these OTAs for sure."

When the Packers closed out OTAs, Pankey was the right tackle in the first team offense. Ahead of both Jason Spriggs and Kyle Murphy, who are still rehabbing from their own injuries as well.

Spriggs is still recovering from a knee injury of his own -- much like Bulaga -- and Kyle Murphy has yet to be fully cleared to participate. The hope is that Murphy will be ready by training camp.

The three tackles in rehab are motivating factors in why the Packers signed former Dallas Cowboys lineman Byron Bell last month and tendered Pankey in March.

If the Packers ever needed to, they can kick Justin McCray -- the presumed starter at right guard -- out to right tackle where he played periodically in 2017 and plug in either Lucas Patrick or the No. 138 overall pick from April's draft, Cole Madison.

This isn't uncharted territory for Campen. Last season, starting left guard Lane Taylor needed to be shifted a notch to his left in David Bakhtiari's position for a Thursday night game against the Chicago Bears; a 35-14 victory.

On top of that, Patrick filled in for Taylor at left guard and McCray took over at right tackle for Bulaga, who was also injured.

The Packers are no strangers to a makeshift offensive line -- and neither is quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who currently gets to bask in the joy of not knowing who two of the five starters he'll be dropping back to pass behind will be come September.

If one thing is for certain, it's that those two players are certainly on the roster. It's the depth behind them that's important -- depth that Pankey hopes he can be part of with an abundance of experience gained this offseason to his merit.

"Which [position] would I pick? I would tell them both. I've spent so much time -- I feel more natural at guard, so it's a little bit easier with the sets, they're shorter sets. So it's not as big of a transition as flipping right tackle to left tackle. As far as comfortability, I've been working tackle, so I'm pretty much feeling about equal everywhere."

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV and a contributor/analyst for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (6) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

The TKstinator's picture

That one special teams snap is worth a thousand words.
Cohesion is probably more important on the offensive line than anywhere else.
Versatility is important, sure, but not the type of versatility Don Barclay provided.

Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

I am that girl! My first job out of High School was at St Paul and over the next 5 years I Iearned so very much. We had players coming in for hamstring tears all the time. Packer injuries alone kept our doors open for years. Seeing the hospital torn down tears a small piece of my heart out. The Daughters of Charity and the doctors and staff of St Paul Hospital will always be with me as will the Packer ACL's we served.

The TKstinator's picture

My hat is off to you boys.
Extremely well done!

Spock's picture

Another hat doffed. I've tried to inject some levity with the 'bot from hell' situation but you both did it better. Kudos.

MarkinMadison's picture

I get the versatility thing but I really kind of hate it. Jack of all trades master of none. I want one guy to look at that RT spot and yell, "Mine!!!" That guy is not on this roster.

Bearmeat's picture

I feel really good about the OL throughout. There is a nice combination of veterans and young guys. Excellent starter talent at 3/5 positions, and depending on Bulaga's health, 4/5. And the depth is good. You never want to see injuries of course, but OL is a place where I think the team has enough depth to handle a couple dings. Unlike, say, OLB or WR.

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