19

July

Fact Czech: Packers Tackle Marshall Newhouse will Never be any Good

Packers tackle Marshall Newhouse can be good on the right side of the offensive line.

Packers tackle Marshall Newhouse can be good on the right side of the offensive line.

Marshall Newhouse should be benched whenever the Packers play the New York Giants. He shouldn’t even be active.

In three games against the Giants since 2011 — including a playoff loss — Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 11 times and the Packers have managed only 230 total rushing yards when you subtract Rodgers’ scrambles.

Obviously, Newhouse isn’t the only Packers offensive lineman responsible for all that ineptitude, but he’s probably not going to be showing the game film from those contests to his grandkids one day.

Pro Football Focus (PFF) gave Newhouse a cumulative grade of -16.9 for all three Giants games. Both regular season games against the Giants were Newhouse’s worst of the season in 2011 and 2012 according to PFF.

No doubt those abominations against the Giants stick in the minds of Packers fans, as well they should. As my old high school history teacher used to say when lecturing about bloody military battles, “It weren’t purdy.”

I’m sure Mike McCarthy weighed Newhouse’s performance in games against New York — a team with good pass rushers and a disruptive defensive front seven — into his decision to move Bryan Bulaga to left tackle. But just because Newhouse lost his left tackle gig, it doesn’t mean he’s a lost cause.

I think the odds are decent that he’ll end up being a good right tackle in Green Bay. Unfortunately, many Packers fans seem to think there is no hope left for Newhouse. Perhaps they’ll end up being right, but I wouldn’t close the book on him yet.

Let’s crack open the PFF numbers again. I like PFF, but sometimes I hesitate to cite them because people either think PFF’s work is gospel, or complete nonsense, and it distracts from the topic at hand. In Newhouse’s case, I think the PFF numbers give some context to Newhouse’s overall career and helps us not just remember the glaringly bad games, like the three against the Giants.

Newhouse made a drastic improvement from 2011 to 2012. His overall rating jumped 28 points, from -32 in 2011 to -4.3 last season. Newhouse finished with a 5.3 pass-block rating last season, a 21-point improvement from -16.5 in 2011.

He had a 10.8 pass-block rating through 11 games last season . Then he had a three-week slump and evened out again down the stretch. Newhouse was responsible for eight sacks and 37 pressures in 779 passing plays — not great numbers, but not all that bad, either, and a huge improvement from the previous season.

I’ve always liked Newhouse’s footwork and mobility. If he can ever figure out how to handle strength/speed combo pass rushers who dip and get under him on bull rushes, he’ll be fine (you could say the same thing about most offensive tackles in the NFL).

The run blocking numbers for Newhouse aren’t pretty no matter which way to look at them. I’m not even going to get into them. Just know they’re bad. If you want to argue that Newhouse is a lost cause as a run blocker, I won’t fight you too much.

But let’s say Newhouse gets a little more consistent as a pass blocker and improves somewhat as a run blocker. Would that make him a good fit at right tackle for the Packers?

I think so. I don’t see pro bowls in Newhouse’s future, but I don’t see a ticket out of the league like some Packers fans seem to think.

No matter how many running backs Ted Thompson drafts or how often McCarthy talks about running the ball, the Packers success will come through the passing game. If Newhouse can morph into an Earl Dotson or Chad Clifton-lite type of player on the right side, he’ll be fine.

And I think there is a legit chance of that happening.

The statement that “Newhouse will never be any good” does not pass the Fact Czech test.

Fact Czech is a regular feature leading into Packers training camp where ALLGBP.com writer Adam Czech examines Packers narratives and talking points that have developed in the offseason. 

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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23 Responses to “Fact Czech: Packers Tackle Marshall Newhouse will Never be any Good”

  1. Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

    Sherrod has more raw tools. I’d bet he’ll be on I.R. again this year. Newhouse will get one more shot at becoming consistent.

    Unless he can’t beat out his other competition in training camp.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Stroh says:

      Sherrod might start on PUP if he can’t practice in training camp. I think that’s unlikely tho. He’ll be practicing in training camp IMO and make the roster. I can’t see Thompson giving up on him w/o ever seeing him again. Even if Newhouse isn’t the starter, he’d be a quality backup swing OT, he’s not going anywhere this year either IMO.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

      • Lars1 says:

        Sherrod is Justin Harrell 2. You’re right about TT’s stubbornness re: first round picks (shoot, Hawk’s still on the team) but I think that leg will never heal enough for Sherrod to challenge for a starting spot. he wasn’t that good in the fist place.

        Newhouse is in his walk year and the Packers drafted two tackles this year and also have Barclay. That should tell you everything you need to know about him. He’s a temporary swing tackle forced into a starting role because Sherrod is an injury bust.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

        • Stroh says:

          Sherrods leg will heal. Wouldn’t surprise me if he gained a starting job at some point this season. His injury was the same as Mike Flanagans and Flanagan went on to be a Pro Bowl Center. Sherrod was rated the #25 player by CBS. He is a natural pass blocker. Like Newhouse he isn’t a road grader OT type, but he was/is a terrific pass blocker.

          I don’t consider Bahktiari an answer at OT. More of a career backup OT and possible starting OG, and Tretter was definitely headed for OG/C. He is an interior OL in the NFL. I don’t see Bahktiari beating out Newhouse at any point unless Newhouse moves on to a starting job somewhere else.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

          • James says:

            I agree Stroh.
            Sherrod has great coached skills at LOT only. But he’s smart. Tretter is definitely smart, and is a good athelete. If they stay healthy, get them on the field as much as possible. They only need time. Offense linemen is the only positions that can improve as a unit. Not just individuals. For example…If your playing Tackle and two guys are rushing directly at you, knowing which guy to pass to the guard is critical. The guard has to know what your going to do, also.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

          • Murph says:

            What? Did I just read Sherrod will be a starter sometime this season?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

            • Stroh says:

              Wouldn’t surprise me is what I said, not that I’m saying its likely. If Sherrod is healthy in training camp and gets in good football shape, he could compete for the starting RT job. Give him training camp and 1/2 the season to knock the rust off and its possible Sherrod could unseat Newhouse during the season.

              That’s not that difficult a task is it? Like I said Sherrod has to be healthy in training camp to start the process.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Mike Sherman says:

    Newhouse is an ideal swing tackle. a good back up that can fill in in a pinch. Pretty sure thats what the Pack envisioned him as when we drafted him 5th round and drafted Sherrod 1st round the following year. The move to RT and open competition for the job only proves Ted doesn’t have lofty expectations for Newhouse. I just hope Sherrod can come back this year, build on his skills and be a starter next year. That way the only battle Newhouse will be having is with Datko to keep his back up takle job.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    • James says:

      I’ve made the same point myself, Mike. Except I don’t think he is starting material. The Packers have better athletes on the O-Line. And I think Datko is a value pick that slipped under the radar, and is a future starter. I think due to his chronic shoulder injury that question is still floating out there though.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  3. Jerry says:

    Newhouse is too much of a gentlemen when he’s in the trenches. He has to get nasty and mean! Thats a quality that Sitton and Lang have.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  4. Dobber says:

    “If he can ever figure out how to handle strength/speed combo pass rushers who dip and get under him on bull rushes, he’ll be fine (you could say the same thing about most offensive tackles in the NFL).”

    If he’s viewed as the “weak spot” in the OL, that’s where opposing DC’s are going to focus, whether he’s on the right side or the left side. Wouldn’t you?

    I haven’t been someone who thinks Newhouse must be shown the door. I do believe the Packers could do better, though. I don’t necessarily think that a move to the right side fixes things. Much like 1B in baseball, you can hide some deficiencies based on position. RT is viewed as more forgiving than LT, typically. But the gaps in Newhouse’s game might be better hidden on the left side, while someone who’s a brawler with so-so feet would be the kind of stuff you’d try to use on the right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  5. BRinMilwaukee says:

    If the weakest part of Newhouse’s game is run blocking, why are we anointing him our RT… which is mostly about run blocking?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • Stroh says:

      OT nowadays are Pass blockers first and foremost. RT/LT both must be good pass blockers. Its a passing league. While most teams still put their best pass rushers on the blind side of the QB all Defenses want pass rushers on both side. Hence the drafting of Perry opposite Matthews for the Packers. So the elite pass rushers still go vs the LT, the RT is now more about pass blocking than it is run blocking. Unless you have Adrian Peterson and a crap QB like Ponder, then the RT can more of a run blocker.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

    • Lars1 says:

      He’s a pretty bad pass blocker statistically, as well. We’re putting at RT because he was awful in protecting AR’s blind side and should do less damage there. Remember, the Packers also moved Sitton to the left side the RT/run block meme is irrelevant. Newhouse is gone after this season if he even makes the team.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  6. PatMc says:

    Stroh is speaking fact about OT’s here. The 3 thumbs down don’t give a reason, I wonder if they really believe Ponder is taking the Vikqueens to the SB?? (ever?)

    At least defend your responses you chiken $hts?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

    • Lars1 says:

      See above. Who are you anyway, Stroh’s big brother? Stroh is more than capable of defending his opinions.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • Stroh says:

        If you don’t make a case defending your position why should anyone take what you say seriously. Opinions everyone has, but you haven’t defended yours. Which is what he is saying. Feel free to defend your position.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  7. Jeff Lawver says:

    Newhouse is unquestionably the weakest link in the o line. I’m not convinced a musical chairs move with the line will improve their play that much. It’s about talent and will at the pro level.Unfortunately,I didn’t see a lot of either last year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Jeff says:

    The biggest thing with Newhouse is he doesn’t finish. He’ll block a defensive end and push him past Rodgers and then he’ll stop. Rodgers will keep the play alive and Newhouse’s man will stay with the play and get a late sack.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Stroh says:

      If that were true, it would go as a cover sack or assigned to the QB for holding the ball too long. Newhouse would have done his job and given Rodgers 3+ seconds to throw the ball and Newhouse would get a positive grade.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      • Murph says:

        Newhouse hasn’t been a good finisher. That is also a big part of the reason his run block rating hasn’t been good. He just doesn’t go to the whistle very often. Better in 2012 than 2011 but going to the whistle isn’t anywhere near an automatic for him.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Stroh says:

          I don’t disagree that Newhouse doesn’t finish his blocks like he needs to, especially in the run game. Was pointing out that if the OT pushes his guy past the QB, it gives the QB enough time that its not the OT fault on that play. Newhouse has never been considered a finisher as a run blocker, there is no denying that, but that wasn’t the premise that was posed nor that I responded to.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. steve cheez says:

    230 rushing yards from the RBs in three games? Isn’t that actually better than what we normally do?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0