Cory's Corner: Don't Take Billy Turner For Granted

The do-everything veteran has earned every morsel of praise that he's getting. 

It is so easy to take offensive linemen for granted. We just expect them to do their job each and every time. 

But what if they go above and beyond?

Billy Turner has been the personification of flexibility over the years and he’s done a remarkable job doing it. 

This is Turner’s eighth season and the only position he hasn’t played on the offensive line is center. He started out at right tackle in Miami in 2014, moved to right guard the next year and in 2016 he literally played every guard and tackle position. In 2019, his first year in Green Bay, he played 99 percent of his snaps at right guard. Last year, he split time between right tackle, left tackle and right guard. 

This year, he has played every snap at right tackle and he’s having arguably the best season of his career.

“Billy Turner needs to get consideration for the Pro Bowl,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said on the Pat McAfee Show a couple weeks ago. “I know we’re only six games in, but he’s played outstanding. He really has. He’s a master of his craft. Nobody works harder at his craft than Billy. I’m really proud of him.”

Turner, 30, is an unusual veteran. Most veterans want things a certain way, but Turner is a wily veteran with the attitude of a spring chicken. He is willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win. 

And remember, Turner has also played alongside a pair of starting rookies this year and that transition has been seamless. With All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari nursing a torn ACL, the offensive line needed someone to take charge on the offensive line and be the leader. 

Turner has been that guy. 

“I think, when needed, he provides a calming voice in that room and a veteran experienced voice that those guys lean on,” said Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur. 

The reason why the Packers have won seven in a row and are arguably the best team in football is because of that offensive line. The Packers have leaned on a running game that hasn’t really hit the home run ball yet, but has been the centerpiece of an offense that has been able to win in a multitude of ways. 

That may sound sacreligious, especially with Rodgers slinging passes. However, Rodgers clearly only cares about one thing this season. His stats have nosedived this year as he is on pace to throw for 11 less touchdowns than his magical season of 2020 when he threw for 48. 

The Packers are winning now. Has it been ugly and weird at times? Sure. But the calming presence of Turner has been remarkable and you cannot tell the Packers story without mentioning the sacrifices he has made in the past and the leadership and excellent play he continues to provide for a team that desperately needs it. 

Will Turner ever get the credit he deserves? I doubt it. But Rodgers was right. Turner has only given up 14 pressures this season — which is less than the Lions’ prized seventh overall pick in Penei Sewell. 

So stop taking Turner for granted. Unselfish and solid offensive linemen don’t grow on trees. 

 

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

Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

6 points

Comments (22)

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

November 02, 2021 at 06:21 am

I love all the players on this team !!!!! Nobody excluded (not even King although I don't understand how we can have re-signed him) !!!!
But the real test of fire, for our line, will be to be able to protect AR when we face the lines of Tampa and now also of the Rams.
I fear that the acquisition of Von Miller will shift the balance a lot in favor of this team (with the acquisition of an excellent Q)
PS the victory with the Cardinals cost me to stay awake for 48 hours straight, but I'm still enjoying .....
PS2 when the referees put their eyes on the behavior of the D of Tampa coincidentally comes the defeat .....
Greetings from Italy
GPG

6 points
6
0
Fabio's picture

November 02, 2021 at 06:25 am

I still think that, if the referees had done their duty, Tampa Bay would have lost not only against us, but also against the Saints and they would not have made it through the first round of the Play Offs.

4 points
4
0
absalomabarak's picture

November 02, 2021 at 07:04 am

It’s never too late for a new beginning in your life.

-5 points
1
6
absalomabarak's picture

November 02, 2021 at 07:08 am

Thanking you from the core of my heart. I truly appreciate you. https://www.dudleyrubbishremovals.com/

-6 points
0
6
RCPackerFan's picture

November 02, 2021 at 07:11 am

Turner was a great signing by Gutey. First coming to GB he was bouncing between OG and OT. Last year he was settled into RT really well until Bakhtiari got hurt. His versatility, definitely helped the team. But now this year he has solidified the RT spot. He has been the 1 piece all year that there has been 0 questions about on the OL.

I don't know what the future will hold for Turner. I don't know how much longer he will be here, but until he is gone he will be the RT. Finding OT's is hard. Turner has been very good. Once Bakhtiari comes back and Jenkins moves back to LG, and Myers comes back to OC, our OL will be the strongest it has been all year.

It would be nice if we could play with our best 5 this season.

8 points
8
0
absalomabarak's picture

November 02, 2021 at 07:28 am

Nice!

-5 points
0
5
Coldworld's picture

November 02, 2021 at 08:21 am

Turner is a late bloomer that we ended up “overpaying” for as a guard because Denver wanted to keep him as a T prospect. We are seeing why he was always seen as heading for T not G long term, and why Gute paid him. He’s benefitted from consistent time at RT. The timing matches the teams window on his signing. Compliments to our pro-scouting. He was the solution to Bulaga wearing down and a bridge to the future through players such as Jenkins and Nijman.

12 points
12
0
Leatherhead's picture

November 02, 2021 at 11:28 am

I think that's all true. I do think we didn't really '"overpay" because the intention all along was RT, but we've been fortunate that he's been able to help us with his versatility Apparently, he's got a good attitude, too, and that's important during a long, grueling season.

Gutekunst signed four FAs that year, and they've all been solid hits. He also was able to squeeze the last drops out of Wagner. These guys like Campbell and Douglas......I think that the guys in the scouting department, particularly those who are scouting players in the league, are kicking ass. We're finding these free agents that are good football players and it's making a difference.

2 points
2
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 03, 2021 at 05:41 am

"We are seeing why he was always seen as heading for T not G long term, and why Gute paid him."

Turner turned out to be worth the money, and he provided some insurance for RT. I don't buy that the Packers intended all along to move him to RT. Bulaga and Wagner were both better RTs, and I don't think Gute brought in Wagner with the intention of making Wagner the backup.

0 points
0
0
Guam's picture

November 02, 2021 at 08:31 am

There is no question Turner has been a rock solid O-lineman for the Packers and an excellent FA acquisition by Gute. I sincerely hope the salary cap crunch of next year does not claim Turner as one of its victims. Unfortunately with depth on the offensive line and Turner being over 30 and having the second largest contract along the O-line, it could happen.

3 points
3
0
LambeauPlain's picture

November 02, 2021 at 09:37 am

Matt always states he will play the best 5 on the OL. Once Myers and Bakht return what would the best line up be?

I could see Bakht, Jenks, Myers, Billy and Nijman. Newman and Runyan have played OK but have given up pressures up the middle. Yosh has been very good at T and I would rate him as the Packers 4th best lineman.

1 points
1
0
Leatherhead's picture

November 02, 2021 at 11:41 am

If everybody is healthy (haha), then it's Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Myers, Patrick, Turner.

Currently, it seems that Bakhtiari will return before Myers. I'm not hearing any positive news on Myers' return, so at that point, I'd put Jenkins at center and play Runyon at LG.

Bakhtiari is old and has an injury history, and I'm not sure how reliable he's going to be going forward. We're hoping he can help us win a Super Bowl this year, but we know Jenkins could become our starting LT, and we've got Nijman, who looked pretty good when he was needed..

Turner is 30, but doesn't carry the injury history.. He's under an affordable contract for one more year after this, and we won't get a bunch of cap relief by releasing or trading him, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that he'll be our RT next year too.

2 points
2
0
Guam's picture

November 02, 2021 at 03:09 pm

I hope you are right about Turner, but I think his contract hit is between $7-8 million next year with only part of it being unamortized signing bonus. I suspect the Packers could save around $4-5 million releasing him (TGR??). With Jenkin's ability to play tackle as well as Nijman's quality play earlier this year and Bahk's return, the Packers have a number of quality tackles.

My concern is if it comes down to a choice between not re-signing Campbell or releasing Turner to free up the money to re-sign Campbell (for example), Turner might become vulnerable.

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 03, 2021 at 06:09 am

Packers save $3.18M with a trade or straight release. I have Turner as a cap casualty. It depends. Is AR back? It looks to me like Jenkins can play RT. Despite a lot of hype, Jenkins looks like a better LT than LG. I suspect the Packers will move Jenkins or Nijman to RT next year.

Not sure why GB wouldn't trade Turner (for a 5th?) and take the $3.18M in cap savings, or if the trade is post-June, $5.85M in cap savings if the position is covered? [I suppose one can't have too many OTs, but beggars can't be choosers, plus Bakh, Jenkins and Nijman seems to cover the position adequately.] Anyway, I don't think GB is going to be able to wait until June to get the cap relief, and probably not until March 16th, either.

1 points
1
0
Guam's picture

November 03, 2021 at 07:38 am

Thanks TGR! $3.2Min savings might be important in 2022.

0 points
0
0
LambeauPlain's picture

November 02, 2021 at 05:57 pm

I see a Turner/Nijman G/T right more effective than Patrick/Turner duo. But either is a good duo.

0 points
0
0
Packers0808's picture

November 02, 2021 at 10:59 am

Turner and Campbell two FA worth their money in gold on both sides of the ball!

6 points
6
0
porupack's picture

November 02, 2021 at 12:14 pm

<<<<<and you cannot tell the Packers story without mentioning the sacrifices he has made in the past and the leadership and excellent play he continues to provide for a team that desperately needs it. >>>>>>

Awesome article, Corey. Lots of posters whined about this signing of JAG, along with so many other signing JAGs like Campbell of recent. When will dey eber lern....that anyone can thrive if in the right situations and right passion and skill, and past stats are good indicators, but definitely not the whole picture in scouting. GB under Gute has done excellent on the FA acquisitions.

Bu.....you cannot tell the Billy Turner story without mentioning the offensive line coach, and GB philosophy and strategy to bring late round draftees and castaways to assemble Olines in the tops of the league. Over decades. OVER DECADES! woohoo. That is something. Billy Turner story is part and parcel of the Oline factory up there in GB.

3 points
3
0
PatrickGB's picture

November 02, 2021 at 12:16 pm

I was not happy with Turners play at RG when we first got him. I felt that he might have been overpaid for a guard. Then he was just ok at that position under Campy. Then Steno comes in and Jenkins is drafted. Turner gets moved to to tackle and the rest of the line gels and plays beyond solid. Also, it seems like he has been a positive influence on the emotional and preparation aspect of the team. He is another player who has exceeded expectations.

3 points
3
0
PeteK's picture

November 02, 2021 at 01:02 pm

Right now I want Grady Jarrett. He would make this D line dominating. Chiefs got Ingram for a 6th, Rams gave up a 2nd and 3rd for Miller with Broncs paying his full salary.

0 points
0
0
THESZOTMAN1's picture

November 02, 2021 at 01:39 pm

With so much attention going to LT (Blind Side), glad to see this article deal with other side. Bulaga was pretty solid, tho reading the criticisms of Brian here one might not think so. With him gone, who would've thought we'd come up with another top-notch RT?
Turner is the real deal. Think of all the teams whose OLs are Swap Shops (e.g. da Bears). IF we win a SB, it'll largely be down to these 7or 8 guys, IMHO. Now we just gotta get everybody.
GPG
The Szotman

2 points
2
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 03, 2021 at 06:14 am

Jenkins' best position might be center. Since he can play LT and probably RT at an above average level, OT is his best and highest use. Jenkins is not an all-pro or pro bowl level guard. I'm not sure Jenkins is not a better tackle than guard, for that matter. Turner is also being hyped pretty hard here. He's somewhere between an average to solid starting RT.

-1 points
0
1