You hear the news about Bryan Bulaga and it just makes you sick, doesn’t it? Every year, training camp is a 30 day exercise in holding your breath and hoping that your favorite team can come out of it relatively intact. But it seems the Packers never do.
So it’s back to the drawing board with the Packers’ offensive line. The silver lining is that the injury happened before any preseason games have been played, giving the reconfigured line a lot of time to get comfortable. But what will the Pack end up doing?
The most likely scenario is Marshall Newhouse going back to the spot he has tenuously held down the past two seasons. His mediocrity forced the Pack into moving Bulaga over; now he gets a shot at redemption–at showing the coaches that he can handle one of the most important positions in the NFL. If your job description calls for protecting the blind side of guys like Rodgers, Manning, Brees or Brady, you’re at the top of the ‘valuable’ food chain.
But you can expect the Packers to take a long look at rookie David Bakhtiari. The fourth round pick was #2 on the depth chart at left tackle and from all accounts is off to a very impressive start–after one week in camp he had already put himself in the conversation for the up-for-grabs right tackle spot. If the team settles on the experience that Newhouse brings on the left side, Bakhtiari is sure to be heavily in the mix on the right side, competing with the unsung Don Barclay.
Big picture, it’s a huge, huge loss for the Pack. Say what you want about teams losing receivers (Maclin) and tight ends (Pitta) to season-ending injuries. When you lose your starting left tackle, it’s a huge loss that reverberates through the depth chart and the coaches’ offensive game plan.
Friday night will give us our first peek at what the team is thinking at left tackle; though you can bet both Newhouse and Bakhtiari will get time there. Rodgers is unlikely to play more than a series or two anyway.
The other eyebrow raising news coming out of Titletown is word that the team is working out quarterback Vince Young. Now I know Mike McCarthy likes to build QBs more than just about anything in this world, but it’s hard to believe the team would bring him in to compete at that position. Maybe they think he can play the part of RGIII or Colin Kaepernick in practice, to give the defense a feel for what they’ll be up against. That’s assuming Vince has dropped 15-20 or 60 pounds and is in close to football shape. Obviously neither Graham Harrell nor BJ Coleman inspires a ton of confidence should the franchise go down, but Young is two years removed from the league and is not close to being ready to serve as an understudy on this or any team.