Lane Taylor named starting left guard

The veteran fended off his rookie challenger and will start next week in the season opener. 

After a training camp and preseason of seeing which contender would be the starter at left guard when the Packers open the 2019 season in Chicago on September 5th, Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur went with the incumbent, but made clear that the competition would be ongoing into the season. 

LaFleur, via WTMJ-AM radio:

I just think it’s a comfort factor. You’ve got an experienced player. I think Elgton is a guy that’s got a lot to learn but I think there’s a lot to like about Elgton. I think he’s got a bright future. 

It's going to be a competition throughout the season, but right now Lane Taylor is the starter.

Taylor had what can only be considered a down year in 2018 and there was some speculation that the Packers might move on from the veteran guard if Jenkins won the job.

Personally, I'm happy they stuck with Taylor. I think he's due for a bounce back year and he has shown he can kick out to tackle if necessary. Throw in a promising rookie in Jenkins and suddenly the offensive line looks like it might actually have a bit of depth.

It's been awhile since you could say that with confidence about the Packers. 

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Comments (11)

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sam1's picture

August 30, 2019 at 08:37 am

At this particular point in time finally a good decision by LaFluer!

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carlos's picture

August 30, 2019 at 10:31 am

I agree. Decent OL not easy to hind.

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Hawg Hanner's picture

August 30, 2019 at 01:02 pm

Then all decisions made prior in your view were bad?

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murf7777's picture

August 30, 2019 at 09:20 am

JL, I hope your wrong and prefer to take the optimist route on where he may progress. May be propaganda but the people in the know realized it would take some time as he learns the OLB position. The good thing is they have time with the two smiths and fackerell.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

August 30, 2019 at 09:36 am

But why a guy with poor college numbers and no set position having to be taught to play OLB... at the #12 pick? You'd have to believe he's going to turn into Khalil Mack and has anyone seen anything to make you believe that? #12 pick should be a starter, not a question mark. Gute thought he was making a bold move, but he made a bold move later trading up for Savage. One bold move should be enough in the 1st round. Play the percentages with at least one of the two first rounders and take a consensus solid player like Wilkins. Even Haskins when you've got nothing behind Rodgers. Not Gary, especially after you signed the two Smiths.

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Lphill's picture

August 30, 2019 at 10:30 am

So the whole country was wrong when Gary was the number 1 prospect coming out of High School and a projected 1 st round pick which he was?

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Since'61's picture

August 30, 2019 at 10:46 am

First Khalil Mack was the #5 pick in his draft not #12.
Second, I didn’t know there was a league rule that states the #12 pick will be a starting player immediately.

In this era of the NFL there are fewer and fewer 3 down starting defensive players. Players and packages rotate in and out based on down, distance, score, time remaining, and response to opposing offensive packages.

This is a matchup league both at the player and player package levels. In that sense Gary will be worked into one of the rotational packages during the course of the season. After the 4 Packer DBs everyone else on the defense will probably be a rotational player. So in that sense you can consider Gary a starter.

Let’S see where Gary is after 2-3 seasons. Remember he came out as a junior like Clark and we’re expecting Clark to be our best DL this season. Clark had 2 tackles during his first preseason. Very few NFL players, in fact none, have made it to the HOF in their first preseason. Give him a chance to play, preseason doesn’t count as playing.

Gary has the physical tools to succeed, it’s up to coaching to utilize the tools and put the player into a position to succeed. Time and patience for now. Thanks, Since ‘61

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JohnnyLogan's picture

August 30, 2019 at 11:29 am

Sorry '61 but that "league rule" comment is a bit of a strawman argument. No, there's no league rule. His being a #12 pick vs. #5 of Mack falls in that same category, if not disingenuous. The point is anyone taken that high shouldn't be a great risk. And please don't respond they're all a risk. We know, but some less than others. He was universally considered one of the biggest bust possibilities at the top of the board. As to your other points, yes, rotational players are starters, but I don't think he'll be a rotational player based on his performance so far. He can't rush the passer, Keke is better inside, and he certainly can't play OLB. We'll see very soon if I'm right. Finally, that old 2-3 year argument again. That precludes ever being able to make a judgment. So why didn't we wait on Josh Jones or Randal, who is now starting safety, or any of a myriad of others who were dumped early? My only concern is that Gary seems to be playing out in the preseason just as his critics predicted based on four years of college. It's not encouraging, but I'll try to wait the requisite 2-3 years.

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Since'61's picture

August 30, 2019 at 12:22 pm

I’m willing to give a player a chance. I don’t bring any biases or preconceived unsubstantiated assumptions to whether or not a player will succeed or not.

Preseason performances don’t mean anything. We’ve had preseason MVPs before like the LB Crawford a few years back or Hundley or Tolkien. Where are they now? We’ve also had 1st round busts like Nick Perry and Datone Jones.

Speaking for myself I have no idea what the coaches were expecting Gary to do in his preseason performances or what his assignments were on each play. You want to judge him on meaningless preseason games rhat’s fine. I’ll withhold my judgement until I see his performance in games and plays that count. You will probably be right but that’s not what I’m about. The dialogue matters to me more than being right or wrong or judging people. Thanks, Since ‘61

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ShooterMcGee's picture

August 30, 2019 at 02:48 pm

You make a good point that the #12 pick should be a starter and not some kind of project. It seems to me that "learning a new position" is just an excuse by the coaching staff. His athleticism is off the charts and I sure do hope he can translate that into on the field production. Lets give him time, however, we really need an infusion of talent right now due to all the wasted draft picks of the previous few years.

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nostradanus's picture

August 30, 2019 at 09:36 am

I’m sure Jenkins will get plenty of playing time this year so I look at him as more of like a sixth man Starter
Dude can play he’s going to be a fixture in Green Bay for many years on the offense of line. that is all....

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