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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23

December

Marshall Newhouse: Q & A With Adam Czech

Newhouse

Has Newhouse played his last game as a Packer?

Obviously it was disappointing to see the Green Bay Packers drop a home game in December and one that could have helped their confidence heading into next week’s showdown with the Chicago Bears.  The frustrations were high during the game (see my Twitter timeline) among many fans and were directed at coaches, the Packers front office and players.

One player who always seems to draw the ire of Packers fans is offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse.  The burning question with Newhouse is how and why is he still on the team?

Being a somewhat new Dad, I find myself up at odd hours of the night with these questions and thoughts swirling in my head.  So who better to help me tackle this question than another new(er) Dad than our own Adam Czech?  I caught up with Adam for a quick Q & A and to get his thoughts on Newhouse.

JP:  Newhouse has extensive experience with this offense and was a big part of the offensive line during the 15-1 season in 2011.  This year, Newhouse was beaten out by David Bakhtiari at left tackle and Don Barclay at right tackle.  In the few snaps Newhouse has seen, why has he been so ineffective?

AC:  He probably figures it’s not Aaron Rodgers back there, so why bother blocking anybody? Perhaps Newhouse is actually trying to speed up Rodgers’ return. If he whiffs on enough blocks and every single backup QB the Packers sign gets injured, Dr. McKenzie will have no choice but to activate Rodgers and the Packers will march to the Super Bowl.

JP:  When Mike McCarthy needs an extra body on the line, why is he still calling on Newhouse who can’t seemingly move anyone or hold a block?  Does Newhouse have photos of McCarthy in a speedo during his summer vacation or what?!

AC:  Remember Milton from the movie “Office Space?” He was the guy in the basement who loved his stapler. Everyone also forgot that he was still with the company. That’s Newhouse. McCarthy probably forgets that Newhouse is still on the team until he accidentally wanders on the field, screws something up, then tries to trot off without anybody noticing. McCarthy makes a mental note to cut Newhouse after every game, but then a bunch of other players get injured or something else goofy happens to the Packers and McCarthy just forgets.

30

November

Cory’s Corner: Who’s to blame for Packers’ mess?

B.J. Raji has amassed only 13 total tackles and no sacks.

B.J. Raji has amassed only 13 total tackles and no sacks.

The main theme that trickled out of the Packers’ locker room on Thanksgiving was embarrassment.

The Packers didn’t just take a loss, they endured the worst loss in the Mike McCarthy era.

And with four games left, Green Bay must win out or stay home for the playoffs for the first time since the Packers missed the playoffs in 2008 with a miserable 6-10 record.

But how did they get here?

It’s too simple to say that the left collarbone of Aaron Rodgers is the genesis of all that ails the Packers. That isn’t responsible for the 95 defensive missed tackles or the 20 special teams missed tackles.

It also isn’t responsible for B.J. Raji looking like he is on cruise control when the Packers could use his girth and power to shut down the running game. Coincidentally, the Packers are 27th in the NFL by allowing 126 rushing yards a game.

It’s also not the collarbone’s fault that Marshall Newhouse and Co. have suddenly forgotten how to block. The Packers have allowed 32 sacks, which is surprising seeing as how successful Eddie Lacy has been behind a patchwork offensive line.

So where does the blame lie for a stunning 5-6-1 season that could easily end up in the history books as a dumpster fire?

First and foremost it has to lie with the coach. McCarthy has leaned on Rodgers so much that he may have taken him for granted. McCarthy never had to worry about trick or gadget plays because the impeccable precision and undeniable arm strength of Rodgers overcame a lot of the offense’s weaknesses. Let’s also not forget that McCarthy is a quarterback guru and it’s not exactly a feather in his cap to have four quarterbacks start for an NFL team that isn’t even finished with the season.

McCarthy obviously cannot do more than put players in position to succeed. But it’s the players’ job to take it from there. The biggest example of players not doing all they can is Raji. The 27-year-old defensive lineman becomes a free agent in March and has been offered a shocking $8 million a year offer by Green Bay — and what’s even more shocking is that Raji hasn’t accepted it yet. McCarthy can continue to put Raji in positions and places to make plays but if Rajij continues to take plays off and play soft, then the Packers should take that offer off the table immediately. Raji only has 13 total tackles and no sacks for a guy that plays a lot more than 30-year-old Johnny Jolly. Yet Jolly has 16 total tackles and one sack.

25

November

Game Balls and Lame Calls: Packers 26, Vikings 26

Matt Flynn led a fiery comeback for the Packers. And in some ways, the tie is a win.

Matt Flynn led a fiery comeback for the Packers. And in some ways, the tie is a win.

Despite playing to a 26-26 tie, the Green Bay Packers gained ground on the division-leading Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. And as far as the NFC North title is concerned, that’s a win for the Pack.

Without quarterback Matt Flynn’s late-game heroics, it’s hard to imagine the Packers pushing the game to overtime. But Flynn, down by 16 in the fourth quarter, led his team back and tied the game at 23.

And the game was played on my 23rd birthday, so of course, yours truly had something to do with the comeback. Duh.

Some players just fit in a certain system. And there’s no way around it–Matt Flynn’s ceiling is as a backup with the Packers.

Some–myself included–overestimated Flynn’s value when he hit the free agent market after the 2011 season. Sure, he’s been traded from the Seattle Seahawks and cut by the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills since leaving Green Bay, but at this point it’s pretty clear that the Packers’ system is good for Flynn and Flynn is good for the Packers.

“We were looking for a spark,” head coach Mike McCarthy said of Flynn after the game. “We had a history with Matt. He went out there and played football.”

Sounds simple. And it is. Flynn went out there and played football. He made the throws he had to make and took what the leaky Vikings defense was giving him.

At the very least, Flynn gives the locker room a shot of confidence as they head into a season-altering game Thursday against the Detroit Lions. The last time Flynn played in Detroit was when he entered the game in relief after Aaron Rodgers left the game with a concussion. The offense sputtered, and the Packers lost that game 7-3.

Now, the Packers head into their Thanksgiving showdown with the Lions needing a win, which would put them in first place in the division. The only question is: Will they have Aaron Rodgers?

Game Balls

Eddie Lacy

Teams know they’ll be getting a heavy dose of Lacy when they play the Green Bay Packers, but it doesn’t matter. Stacking the box can only do so much against a bruising back who routinely breaks through arm tackles. Lacy finished the game with 110 yards on 24 carries and proved his worth in the passing game, totaling 48 yards on six catches. The guy is really, really good.

11

November

“Reoccurring Issues” Doom Packers Again, McCarthy vows Action

Will someone in the Packers organization get the pink slip on Monday?

Yes, the Packers are all beat up. Yes, the injury situation keeps going from bad to worse to seriously, WTF? Yes, the Packers are down to their third-string quarterback.

But not all of the issues dragging the Packers down during this ugly two-game home losing streak can be blamed on the quarterback or injuries.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy seemed to acknowledge this after Sunday’s loss to the Eagles and vowed to take action to address “reoccurring issues” plaguing the Packers on Monday.

That phrase — “reoccurring issues” — caused Twitter to light up on Sunday night. What could McCarthy possibly mean by “reoccurring issues,” and how will they be addressed on Monday?

Firings? Benchings? More angry press conferences? All of the above? None of the above?

You can CAST YOUR VOTE below…

I have a few theories:

Dom Capers gets fired
Capers’ defense helped the Packers win a Super Bowl in 2010 and…that’s about it. The defense has been the weak link on this team for much of Capers five-plus years calling the shots. The problems seem to be the same every season: Bad tackling, lack of toughness and confusion in the secondary. Has McCarthy had enough?

I don’t see the Packers making a drastic move like this during the season, but you never know. I wouldn’t be opposed to it — firing a coordinator during the season worked for the Ravens last season — but would an internal replacement like Darren Perry or Winston Moss really be an upgrade? Maybe…

M.D. Jennings cut
He was benched on Sunday and hasn’t improved much during his time in Green Bay. Jeremy Ross got the boot after several major screw ups. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jennings is next.

Marshall Newhouse cut
What’s the point of keeping Newhouse around at this point? It’s like he’s afraid of contact. The Packers could get equal or better production from a street free agent.

Tramon Williams cut
Nah, not happening. Especially if Casey Hayward is hurt again.

Tramon Williams benched
This I could see happening. But what does getting benched mean in this secondary? They’re in dime and nickel a lot. I doubt a benching would result in Tramon never seeing the field again.

18

October

What Happens If Evan Dietrich-Smith Gets Hurt?

Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith

Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith

The injury headlines mostly coming out of Green Bay right now have been dealing with Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, James Jones and of course Randall Cobb.  While all these injuries are serious to the success of the team, one injury that has slipped under the radar a little bit that could have even more disastrous ramifications is that backup interior linemen Greg Van Roten has been placed on injured reserve with a foot injury, ending his season.  The reason why this should be more concerning then most people are realizing is two fold 1) there is no official backup center at the moment (Ourlads still has Van Roten as the backup) and more importantly 2) knowing how the Packers offense, chances are good an injury to starter Evan Dietrich-Smith will result in a lot of linemen playing new positions.  While losing two outside linebackers or two wide receivers is obviously not great, young back up players have a good shot at hiding some of that loss; for instance Jamari Lattimore did a astounding job last week in his first start, Mike Neal and Nick Perry have also done a great job covering for the loss of Clay Matthews and Jarrett Boykin looked to finally get in sync with quarterback Aaron Rodgers near the end of the game. However, losing the starting center for the Packers is like losing the starting center, guard and probably tackle as the entire offensive line will be shuffled as a result.  Considering the fact that the backup center is currently unknown, below are some of the possible offensive line options.

 

Situation: Evan Dietrich-Smith is injured, the Packers offensive line will look like…

 

Option 1: Bakhtiari (LT), Sitton (LG), Barclay (C), Lang (LG), Newhouse (RT) – postion changes: 2

Under the “best man available” strategy that the Packers love to employ, they bring out their 5 best offensive linemen out but probably in the worst position.  Barclay was seriously considered for the center position during the offseason but was pretty much an abject failure with multiple botched snaps and a general uneasiness about the position according to reports.  Newhouse takes Barclay’s place at right tackle, a position he’s never played in the NFL and one where he didn’t look all that comfortable in during preseason games either.  Surprisingly, Barclay has been pretty decent in pass protection this year and is a sizable upgrade in terms of run blocking to Newhouse so overall, it’s a total loss at right tackle.  On the plus side, Newhouse does have the most experience of the backups and probably has the best rapport with Rodgers but he’s never been able to overcome his limited physical abilities to become a really dependable player.  Nevertheless, if Dietrich-Smith was injured this week, I’m guessing this is what the Packers do.

21

August

Word Of Hobbes: David Bakhtiari Redux

A pretty interesting debate came up during my last post, namely how to grade offensive linemen.  My personal opinion is that grading on the same play limits the variables that influence a offensive lineman’s performance, i.e. getting beat on a long developing play is less damning than on a short play, getting beat on 1st and 5 is different than getting beat on 3rd and 5 etc. etc.  However I can see the other side of the coin that says it’s more important to factor in who the linemen are blocking.  Obviously blocking Erik Walden doesn’t mean as much as blocking Clay Matthews.  I will say I see both sides of the argument and in an effort to analyze left tackle David Bakhtiari more, I’ve decided to run another “Word Of Muth” style article this time showing him giving up a sack in the 2nd preseason game against the St. Louis Rams.

Screen shot 2013-08-20 at 8.07.53 AM

The Packers are just outside the redzone on 3rd and 5 at the Rams 22 and are obviously are looking for the touchdown.  The Packers come out in a 311 package (3WR-1TE-1RB) with tight end Jermichael Finley lined up inline next to left tackle David Bakhtiari and running back Eddie Lacy lined up to the right of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  As we are again focusing on offensive line play, all that’s really important is that Bakhtiari is lined up against Robert Quinn and Don Barclay is lined up against Chris Long.  While Lacy ultimately chips Chris Long, Finley immediately goes out on his route and therefore is not important to the blocking scheme.

Interestingly, Bakhtiari has chosen to start with a very tall 2-point stance; compare the location of Bakhtiari’s helmet to Barclay’s (they are both listed at 6’4″) to get an idea what I’m talking about.  Obviously the taller a linemen starts, the less power from their legs they are able to generate, so either this is simply a mistake on Bakhtiari or he’s confused/worried about something and has popped his head up to see what’s going on.

Screen shot 2013-08-20 at 8.08.13 AM

With his assignment being Quinn lined up at the wide 9 technique (basically heads up from Jermichael Finley), Bakhtiari knows he has to kick out hard in order to meet Quinn before he gets enough depth to flatten out and head straight for the quarterback.  My initial impression is that Bakhtiari is expecting a full on speed rush, which in my opinion is a logical conclusion; it’s 3rd and 5, Quinn lined up at the wide 9 and has good speed to turn the corner.