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