Green Bay Packers: A Scout's Perspective on the Changing of the Offensive Line
Like I normally do each Friday, I had an opportunity to talk with Chris Landry on the Steve Duemig show. When it comes to scouting talent in both the NFL and college football, Landry is one of the best in the business. Chris shared his thoughts about the offensive line changes that the Green Bay Packers are making in 2013:
Well, Bulaga doesn't have great feet for a left tackle, but he's got good feet and he's a great technician. I think he's the best left tackle that they have. So, moving him there makes sense. I like Sitton at left guard. And Lang at right guard with an open competition so to speak at right tackle. I think it makes them better. There's no doubt in my mind it does.
The biggest reason the Packers made the move had to be with No. 12 in mind. That would be quarterback Aaron Rodgers. For the last two seasons, left tackle Marshall Newhouse has given up 24.5 sacks. In 2011 and 2012, Rodgers was sacked 87 times.
Still, even with those issues the last two seasons, Rodgers threw 84 touchdown passes versus just 14 interceptions for 8,938 yards. He had a quarterback rating of 122.5 in 2011 and 108.0 in 2012. He was also the NFL MVP in 2011. Imagine what he could do with solid pass protection.
Landry talked about how important it is to protect Rodgers:
"It kind of solidifies things. And certainly, you've got to protect the best quarterback I think in the league."
Running the football should also be better for the Packers, according to Landry:
It also helps them in the running game with the two running backs, Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin. I'm not so sure that Franklin won't be as much of a factor, because he can help in the passing game, as well. I think this makes them a lot better offensively. If they can just stay healthy and get better play defensively, they are going to be real good.
Bottom line, Landry thinks Mike McCarthy and company made the right move by putting Bryan Bulaga and Josh Sitton on the left side of the offensive line:
I like the moves on the offensive line. I think it improves them at a couple of positions. If they had an elite-footed left tackle, then maybe you could probably (play him). Here's what it does. It gives you some flexibility because Bulaga can play left or right tackle, but I do think he's their best left tackle.
The big question, says Landry, will be at right tackle:
How it ends up at right tackle will be the real key as I look at it. I think this makes them better along left to right, and except for the right tackle position, I think it's pretty much solidified. I think they will be fine at right tackle, eventually. I think they've got a couple of guys they want to take a look at, and we'll see how that plays out there.
Time will tell how the offensive line changes pan out for the Packers in 2013, but you can count Chris Landry as one who believes it was the correct move for the team to make moving forward.
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