Category Archives: Pro Football Focus

12

February

Don Barclay 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

 

Packers Offensive Lineman Don Barclay

Packers Offensive Lineman Don Barclay

1) Introduction: The Packers started the 2012 season with only seven offensive linemen on the roster, showing a tremendous amount of faith in unheralded Evan Dietrich-Smith and Don Barclay. As we now know, both of those players became starters a year later; one could say out of necessity, but with little doubt they earned their spots. Barclay had competition for his spot and won out with blue collar work ethic and a never-say die determination.

2) Profile:

Don Barclay

  • Age: 24
  • Born: 4/18/1989 in Newport News, VA
  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 305
  • College: West Virginia
  • Rookie Year: 2012
  • NFL Experience: 2 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:   Having ended the 2012 season with 4 starts at right tackle and Bryan Bulaga being moved to left tackle, Barclay would be challenged by Marshall Newhouse and David Bakhtiari for the starting right tackle job.When Bulaga went down and Sherrod proved still not ready to play, Bakhtiari became the starting left tackle and Barclay was left to compete with Marshall Newhouse for the right tackle job.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Barclay’s season lowlight was in the playoff game against the 49ers.  He was on his heels early and often, allowing a good amount of pressure on Aaron Rodgers. Barclay’s cleanest game was against the Cowboys. Barclay pitched a shutout in that game – no sacks, no QB hits and no QB pressures.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: In terms of pass protection, Barclay was the most ineffective of the Packers starters. In 15 games, according to ProFootballFocus, Barclay surrendered 9 sacks, 6 GB Hits and 27 QB Hurries. Barclay’s tenacity as a run blocker was a big asset to the Packers’ new found running game with Eddie Lacy.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: As stated previously, Barclay had a tough time in the playoffs against the 49ers. Ahmad Brooks was able to get consistent pressure on Rodgers and Barclay was ”
credited” with giving up 1.5 sacks and five quarterback hurries.

Season Report Card:

(B-) Level of expectations met during the season

(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(C-) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  C

12

February

Marshall Newhouse 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

 

Packers Offensive Lineman Marshall Newhouse

Packers Offensive Lineman Marshall Newhouse

1) Introduction: Marshall Newhouse started 31 games for the Packers from 2011-2012, 28 at left tackle. Based on the number of sacks/hits/hurries he allowed, that’s less a compliment to Newhouse and more an indictment of the sorry state of the Packers tackle position, with a big help from the Packers’ recurring injury issues.

2) Profile:

Marshall Newhouse

  • Age: 25
  • Born: 9/29/1988 in Dallas, TX.
  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 319
  • College: Texas Christian
  • Rookie Year: 2013
  • NFL Experience: 4 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: Marshall Newhouse entered the 2013 season expected to compete for the starting right tackle spot with Don Barclay.  Newhouse would be looking to regain his mojo and some of the promise he flashed early in his career.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Lowlights? Any game he played a significant number of snaps. In 2.5 games as a starter against the Eagles, Giants and Vikings, Newhouse was credited with a combined 16 QB hits/hurries/sacks. Highlights? Being inactive in 7 games.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Played a total of 261 snaps with two starts when Barclay was injured. Was mysteriously insert at guard for a few plays against the Lions and was then quickly benched.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Played 11 snaps after Baktiari suffered a concussion in the 4th quarter. Did nothing of substance, but also did nothing that really hurt the Packers in that short stint.

 

Season Report Card:

(F) Level of expectations met during the season

(D-) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(C) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  D-

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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11

February

David Bakhtiari 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Packers OT David Bakhtiari

Packers OT David Bakhtiari

1) Introduction: David Bakhtiari was considered an “add depth” pick taken in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. He was my 17th rated tackle (right after the Bears’ Jordan Mills) mainly because I felt he should have stayed in school one more year and put on some upper body strength. With Derek Sherrod’s return a question mark, Bakhtiari would be looked to serve as back up to starters Bryan Bulaga and Don Barclay.

2) Profile:

David Bakhtiari

  • Age: 22
  • Born: 9/30/1991 in San Mateo, CA.
  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 300
  • College: Colorado
  • Rookie Year: 2013
  • NFL Experience: 1 year

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: Be the game day backup for both tackle positions while hitting the weight room hard.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: His highlight had to be in preseason when Aaron Rodgers was asked about the rookie protecting his blind side. Rodgers responded that he hadn’t even give that a thought, meaning Bakhtiari was doing just fine. His lowlight was during the Thanksgiving day massacre, where he was victimized for three of the six sacks the Packers gave up that day.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: After way too many sacks in 2012, the Packers had taken steps to protect Rodgers’ blind side by moving Bulaga and Sitton to the left side. That plan went up in smoke when Bulaga went down for the season. The Packers could have moved Marshall Newhouse or Don Barclay from where they were battling for the right tackle spot. Instead, they didn’t hesitate to slot Bakhtiari in at the all-important left tackle spot. Bakhtiari was adequate as a run blocker, and downright solid as a pass protector with two exceptions – the Lions and 49ers. Bakhtiari gave up 10 sacks in 2013, including playoffs.. Eight of them came against two of the best defensive lines in the league – the Lions and the 49ers. Over the other 13 games, Bakhtiari gave up only 2 sacks. While Bakhtiari had his rookie moments, that was pretty darn good for a rookie fourth round draft choice.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Bakhtiari gave up two sacks and was uncharacteristically called for two penalties against the 49ers.

Season Report Card:

(B+) Level of expectations met during the season

(B) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(C-) Contributions to team during the playoffs

11

February

TJ Lang 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

 

Packers offensive lineman TJ Lang

Packers OG TJ Lang

1) Introduction: Entering his fifth year with the Packers and third straight as a starter, TJ Lang has proven himself to be the dependable, gritty, tough son-of-a-gun every offensive line needs. He was rewarded with a four year contract extension last season and has not given the Packers any reason to regret that move.

2) Profile:

TJ Lang

  • Age: 26
  • Born: 9/20/1987 in Royal Oak, MI
  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 318
  • College: Eastern Michigan
  • Rookie Year: 2009
  • NFL Experience: 5 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  TJ Lang came into 2013 needing to quickly acclimate to the right guard position, previously manned by Josh Sitton. With either inexperienced Don Barclay or shaky Marshall Newhouse as the starting right tackle, Lang would be expected to be the glue to keep the right side of the line together. Lang would also need to be ready, if called upon, to act as an emergency offensive tackle or even center should game day injuries require it.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: While he earned a season-best 4.8 grade from Pro Football Focus for his game 2 performance against the Redskins, perhaps his most impressive day was the following week against Cincinnati. Lang completely shut down the very tough Geno Atkins, leaving him with a string of goose eggs. No tackles, no sacks, no QB hurries… zippo. On the downside, after performing well against the Lions front four in their first meeting, Lang struggled mightily (as did the entire Packers OL) in the rematch on Thanksgiving day.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: The move to the right side seemed to agree with Lang, who showed some improvement in his game in all areas, according to ProFootballFocus. The most notable change was cutting down his sacks allowed, from nine in 2012 to three last season.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Lang was mostly solid against the 49ers, allowing only 2 QB hurries and for the most part, playing well against the very tough 49ers front.

Season Report Card:

(B) Level of expectations met during the season

(B+) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(B+) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  B+

10

February

Josh Sitton 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Packers OL Josh Sitton

Packers OL Josh Sitton

1) Introduction: The elder statesman on the Packers’ offensive line with 6 seasons under his belt, Sitton has established himself as one of the top guards in the league. Sitton was asked to move from his customary right guard spot to the left side, and despite some initial reluctance and a slow start, validated the coaches’ decision as a good one.

2) Profile:

Josh Sitton

  • Age: 27
  • Born: 6/16/1986 in Jacksonville, FL
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 318
  • College: Central Florida
  • Rookie Year: 2008
  • NFL Experience: 6 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Sitton was expected to solidify the Packers’ left side after an expected acclimation period, especially in pass blocking. Sitton’s other goal for the year was to show some improvement in his drive blocking, the result of purposely adding 12 pounds in the offseason.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Sitton got off to a slow start and struggled in game one versus the 49ers. Sitton uncharacteristically was called for three penalties and allowed three quarterback hurries in that game, according to ProFootballFocus. You could see he was a little slow to react in pass protection, probably a result of still having to think about things like proper hand and foot placement. While he had higher rated games against some bad defenses like Dallas and Washington, Sitton’s season highlight would come in the playoffs. He acquitted himself nicely against the same team he had been so shaky against. The difference in Sitton’s play from game 1 to game 17 was as big as his belly.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Sitton recovered nicely from that shaky start, got his bearings and looked more comfortable week to week. Over the second half of the season, Sitton was  a rock. He made few mistakes and didn’t miss an offensive snap the entire season.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: As stated previously, Sitton came up big when it mattered most. He had the difficult task of lining up against Justin Smith much of the game (and occasionally Aldon Smith) yet graded out highly in both run and pass blocking.  Sitton gained some measure of personal redemption against the 49ers, even if the team could not.

Season Report Card:

(A-) Level of expectations met during the season

(A) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(A) Contributions to team during the playoffs

10

February

Evan Dietrich-Smith 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Packers OL Evan Dietrich-Smith

Packers OL Evan Dietrich-Smith

1) Introduction: Dietrich-Smith is one of those guys that unexpectedly hang around for a few years (even after being cut once) and finally get their chance. When Jeff Saturday wore down last season, the Packers promoted Dietrich-Smith to starter for game 15. Smith was expected to compete with some UDFA centers and conversion project draftee JC Tretter in camp, but won the job by default when Tretter went down in July with a broken fibula. He’s received a vote of confidence from Aaron Rodgers, who badly wants to not have to work with a new center every year.

2) Profile:

Evan Dietrich-Smith

  • Age: 27
  • Born: 7/19/1986 in Salinas, CA
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 308
  • College: Idaho St.
  • Rookie Year: 2009
  • NFL Experience: 4 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Dietrich Smith was being looked upon to continue his steady, if not impressive, play manning the center of the Packers’ offensive line. Improving his run blocking and his knowledge of the offense was a priority for 2013.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: According to ProFootballFocus. Dietrich-Smith had his worst game against the Ravens, but I’m going to go with the Cincinnati game as his low light. The Packers offensive line struggled mightily against the Bengals’ front (except for TJ Lang, who completely shut out Geno Atkins). Dietrich-Smith was charged with two of the Bengal’s four sacks and had a negative grade in run blocking, as well. His season highlight would have to be how he finished out the season in the run blocking department. Over the last three games, Dietrich-Smith was more effective at winning his battles than he had been all season.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Aaron Rodgers has said he considers the center position one of the most important of the offensive 11. Certainly, when Dietrich-Smith missed parts of two games, the results (with TJ Lang at emergency center) were less than stellar (remember the Thanksgiving Day massacre?).  Dietrich-Smith brought a measure of reliability to the center position, although I wouldn’t say he played at a high level.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Dietrich-Smith did not allow a sack or a quarterback hit against the 49ers. As previously mentioned, his run blocking was better than usual against a tough 49er defensive line.

Season Report Card:

(C) Level of expectations met during the season

7

February

Josh Boyd 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Packers DE Josh Boyd

1) Introduction: Could Josh Boyd be the next Mike Daniels? I don’t think Boyd will ever be the pass-rusher that Daniels is developing into, but he could be another late-round contributor on the defensive line if he builds on a promising finish to his rookie season.

2) Profile:

Josh Boyd

  • Age: 24
  • Born: 8/3/1989 in Philadelphia, MS
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 310
  • College: Mississippi St.
  • Rookie Year: 2013
  • NFL Experience: 1 year

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: There were rumblings that Boyd might not even make the team early, so expectations were low. I would’ve been shocked to see a fifth-round pick get the axe so early. Next year is the big one for Boyd. Expectations will be higher and we’ll find out if he can play or not.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Boyd stuck around and hardly played until the final quarter of the season. Once he made it on the field, he played better than B.J. Raji. The game seemed too fast for Boyd in the preseason, and that obviously led to him rarely getting any opportunities until after Johnny Jolly went down.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Boyd looked fairly nimble for a 300-plus pound guy. Now someone needs to teach him how to use his girth to his advantage and fight more with his hands. I’m not saying that Boyd replaced what Jolly brought to the team, but he at least showed that he can be disruptive like Jolly was. Oh, and Boyd got more playing time at the end of the season than prized first-rounder Datone Jones. That says good things about Boyd’s future, and not so good things about Jones’ future.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Boyd swallowed up Frank Gore behind the line on one running play. He wasn’t quick enough to play any type of role in containing Collin Kaepernick, but against the slower-footed Gore, Boyd was able to fill space and do his job.

Season Report Card:

(C-) Level of expectations met during the season

(D) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(C) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  D+

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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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