Billy Turner Impresses Early on at RT & will be Tested Sunday

Although there were concerns, Billy Turner has impressed early on at right tackle, but he will be put to the test on Sunday against Tampa Bay. 

While the wide receiver position garnered much of the attention this offseason, if you've read my past work, then you know that my biggest concern was instead at right tackle. In fact, I even wrote an article as recently as August discussing why bringing back Jared Veldheer was a must.
 
With Bryan Bulaga in Los Angeles, the Green Bay Packers would be relying on either Rick Wagner, who has battled injuries over his career, not to mention that he was coming off a down 2019 season. Or Billy Turner, who at the guard position last season struggled when he found himself in space or with speed rushers. 
 
So, naturally, I'm sure you can understand my skepticism, and perhaps you felt similarly. 
 
However, throughout training camp, Turner impressed at the right tackle position. While Wagner was sidelined with an injury, Packer Report's Andy Herman mentioned that Turner "had almost no issues in Rick Wagner's absence." Meanwhile, Mike Spofford of Packers.com noted that Turner held his own "just fine" against Za'Darius Smith in one-on-one pass-rush drills. Spofford would go one to say that he had similar success against Rashan Gary as well. 
 
Although a late injury in camp would cause Turner to miss the Packers' first two games, because of his performance over the summer, Matt LaFleur named him the starting right tackle against New Orleans even though Wagner held up quite well during those first two games. 
 
Admittedly, it took Turner a few offensive possessions to get reacclimated to full speed NFL action, but he has been excellent at the right tackle position since then. In 75 pass-blocking snaps, Turner is yet to allow a single sack or quarterback hit, and he hasn't been called for a penalty yet either. 
 
Another metric used to look at an offensive linemen's success as a pass-blocker is ESPN's pass-block win rate tool. This measures that rate at which an offensive lineman can hold his block for at least 2.5 seconds. And while between Turner's injuries and the bye week, he no longer meets the minimum snap requirement to qualify, prior to Week 5 he did, and he was the top-rated right tackle with a win rate of 98 percent. 

Now granted, with all that said, this has been a relatively small sample size from Turner, and he still has to prove that he can continue to play at a high level for the remainder of the season. However, I've been very impressed with his play the last two weeks, and so far, I am happily eating crow on this one. 

 
As we look ahead to the Green Bay Packers' matchup this Sunday with Tampa Bay, this will easily be Turner's - and the entire offensive line's - toughest test yet. Turner will likely be up against Shaquil Barrett, who led the NFL in sacks in 2019 with 19.5, and he currently has two sacks along with 27 pressures. 
 
Sunday will prove to be a good litmus test for Billy Turner, who has been fairly dominant at the right tackle position through his first two starts. And I, for one, have to say that I am pleasantly surprised. 

---------------------

Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

NFL Categories: 
6 points

Comments (26)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
MarkinMadison's picture

October 16, 2020 at 12:19 pm

Good observations on Turner. A little outside most folks' reading list probably, but this is an interesting article on Bell being picked up by KC, and, more importantly for Packers' fans this off-season, the interchangeability of running backs.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/running-backs-are-as-replaceable-as...

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
HankScorpio's picture

October 17, 2020 at 06:28 am

Run game production is least influenced by the person actually carrying the ball, IMO. It's clear to me that Aaron Jones is more talented than Jamal Williams. But neither will succeed without open run lanes and neither will fail with open run lanes. Jones will find openings that Williams cannot but that's a marginal thing. Jones will also do a little bit more with the openings he gets. Again, that's a marginal thing.

That makes it really hard on the cap choices a team makes. Jones is clearly a star player. But does paying him star money increase the production enough to justify the cap hit? Very tough question to answer. Way above my pay grade as a fan watching through a TV screen. But it is clear that historic NFL cap doctrine has leaned toward de-valuing the position, although that may be a swinging a bit lately.

+ REPLY
-1 points
1
2
Coldworld's picture

October 16, 2020 at 12:23 pm

Wagner didn’t hold up quite well, he held up really well. If Turner proves to be better we have a result. As it is, we have the best back up tackle that we have had in forever.

+ REPLY
7 points
7
0
jannes bjornson's picture

October 16, 2020 at 07:56 pm

He will be playing some power TE with some of these schemes to stay in tune and put a hurt on the edge people.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Coldworld's picture

October 16, 2020 at 08:35 pm

Reminds me of Mark Tauscher’s TD that wasn’t

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Packer_Fan's picture

October 16, 2020 at 12:29 pm

I hope Turner plays well. And I hope that Lafleur creates a game plan and calls plays that minimizes the rush. Looking forward to seeing what happens.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
jannes bjornson's picture

October 16, 2020 at 07:58 pm

Run right at them and put them on their heels with a power game.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
PatrickGB's picture

October 17, 2020 at 03:17 pm

Imagine Lewis at TE and Wagner as TE eligible and Dillon at RB in a power run game at the goal line?

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 16, 2020 at 12:43 pm

This prompted me to look at the current Packers Depth Chart and Deguara is still backup TE2.

Weird.

+ REPLY
0 points
3
3
CoachDino's picture

October 16, 2020 at 12:57 pm

PFF has Billy Turner ranked 68th out of 72 OT with min snap qualification.
Bak is 1st
Wagner is 16th

IMO Turner has been helped immensely by the quick release and lack of the defense being able to key on the Pass, not to mention level of competition. Still 68th out of 72 is worrisome.

I'm not down on Turner, my observation as a fan was he's been fine. What scares me is when the Packers are down late and have to pass as well as elite edge rushers. BB really spoiled us. I do agree with the move though and unfortunately BB has been hurt.

+ REPLY
1 points
3
2
jannes bjornson's picture

October 16, 2020 at 08:01 pm

Bulaga whiffed a number of times in pass pro and got Rodgers on IR with the shoulder separation. Do not miss Bulaga nor his salary.

+ REPLY
0 points
2
2
HighPlainsDrifter's picture

October 17, 2020 at 05:13 am

I thought it was decided a long time ago that, putting it kindly, PFF is not the best metric to go by. It is not necessary to argue again the flaws in PFF's methodology. Their grades are interesting for discussion purposes, but I prefer to rely on the coaches preferences.

Additionally, I would give more weight to CoachDino's observation as a knowledgeable commenter.

+ REPLY
6 points
7
1
CoachDino's picture

October 18, 2020 at 04:46 am

Like much of the quantitative data we see it is only one tool of many we should use in evaluation.

I'm a fan of PFF but they will be the first to admit that it has flaws and like any quantitative endeavor it is a never ending process of continuous improvement in your methodology. Then you just have evolution in the game, strategy adjustments, etc that always need to be looked at when evaluating how accurate both the measurement and the correlation to an assumed performance metric.

I agree with your coaches preference as being the most accurate evaluation as he has so much more information, knowledge of the comprehensive impact as well as the football pedigree and staff.

When you see a large degree of difference in grades, to me that's only a indicator there might be an issue. To your point the coach can then do with it what he deems appropriate.

I do get a kick out of using a one time occurence "major shoulder injury" as some sort of fact that should make some sort of point in order to strengthen ones stance. That fact IMO does close to zero in conveying BB performance while with the Packers and the difference in result having BB or BT playing RT against the Elite pass rushers.

ps Thanks for the Kind words HPD.... " WHO ARE YOU",Classic line and one no one gets anymore when I say it..... one of my favorite movies back in the day and will still stop on it when on,

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Razer's picture

October 16, 2020 at 02:00 pm

Sorry but I have seen Turner beat or assisted by a RB all too often. As others have mentioned, when we are reduced to passing the ball, he will be a liability. Sunday will be his acid test. I hope he proves me wrong.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
Minniman's picture

October 16, 2020 at 02:57 pm

I totally agree with you Razer about holding off on the accolades and anointing oil till a larger sample size of games is seen.

Re RB’s helping blocking (and in that WR’s and TE’s), I’m actually happy seeing them being used, and most importantly, being effective doing it.

I observed in one of Dusty’s passing chronicles articles that Jones did a great job in one play of sealing the outside bull rush route for Minnesota’s Ngakoue en route to his assignment in the flats - where he took the check down pass and made 5 yards.

Many hands make light work- I’m loving seeing that trend out of the Packers this year

+ REPLY
6 points
6
0
PeteK's picture

October 16, 2020 at 04:13 pm

and TEs to his side.

+ REPLY
3 points
4
1
fansince1959's picture

October 16, 2020 at 02:50 pm

And Bulaga has missed 2 straight games

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

October 16, 2020 at 03:00 pm

Bulaga has already injured his shoulder, knee and back, and missed a couple of games. He's earned every penny he's gotten in this league though. Don't know what GB's long term plan is at RT, but whatever they are doing, it is working right now. Hoping to get a lead early against TB, so the defense can't key up on the passing game.

+ REPLY
5 points
6
1
PeteK's picture

October 16, 2020 at 04:17 pm

Our future RT is playing for a college team right now.

+ REPLY
0 points
3
3
PatrickGB's picture

October 17, 2020 at 03:33 pm

And maybe our future LT as well.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
TXCHEESE's picture

October 16, 2020 at 04:14 pm

I just think Turner is a stronger option than Wagner at RT. He got through the Saints game without letting Cameron Jordan get to Rodgers and Jordan is no slouch. Did they chip and help him? Yes, they did, but it wasn't like they had to give him full time help out there. Barrett for TB is a load, but as long as GB can stay somewhat balanced, Turner, with a little help from his friends, should be able to keep 12 upright.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 16, 2020 at 09:33 pm

Rick Wagner: 124 snaps, 77.5 grade.
Billy Turner: 125 snaps, 54.0 grade.

So we have two outfits with their analytics who don't appear to agree. Coaches presumably think more highly of Turner. I would suggest that running right has been a little inconsistent, yet the run game overall has been fine.

IDK. I thought it might be worse without Bulaga (116 snaps and a 67.8 PFF grade), so there's that.

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
Coldworld's picture

October 17, 2020 at 08:03 am

Don’t claim to be an expert, but from the eye test, Turner has not seemed to be that much of a step down. Perhaps this would be a good subject for some analysis?

I expected Wagner to keep starting in the basis that if something is working don’t fix it. Moreover, Wagner when healthy has been a plus tackle over his career. I can only assume that they think Turner is the RT of the future. That explains his contract. Presumably they also think he needs snaps and are willing to run with the learning curve. Again, I don’t see a drop off of the magnitude suggested, but still a surprise to me.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
mnbadger's picture

October 16, 2020 at 09:30 pm

Turner has been awful run blocking, especially short yardage and at the goal line. He's constantly being pushed into the backfield or simply run by. There are very few successful runs to the right side. GPG

+ REPLY
3 points
4
1
Coldworld's picture

October 17, 2020 at 08:07 am

Who has been good though? Looked at some film and I’m not sure it’s Turner alone or even mostly at fault. Certainly open to correction, but our middle seems to have been pushed back and, if anything, the RG. That may implicate Turner, but I think this deserves more educated scrutiny.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
flackcatcher's picture

October 17, 2020 at 10:22 am

Turner been fine. He has limits in space, but the Packers so far have stayed away from 5-7 drops on their play action. The exception is play action and a deep roll taking advantage of Rodgers arm strength. The key here is Patrick. So far he has been a pleasant surprise. Few mistakes, decent in pass pro and OK in the zone run scheme. Will run zone trap and influence to that side, but rarely run any power to that side. Not their strength. I think Wagner would be better at RT long run with Turner back at RG. But the Patrick-Turner is working well right now. Hard to see MLF making that move.

+ REPLY
-1 points
1
2

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.