28

May

The Battle to be the Packers’ 6th Man on the Offensive Line

Don Barclay

Will Don Barclay be the Packers sixth offensive lineman?

There has been a lot of news worth following on the Packers offensive line this offseason. Another storyline up front that should develop further once training camp heats up is who will “win” the sixth-man slot on the offensive line.

I put “win” in parentheses because, technically, if you’re the sixth man on the line, it means you failed to land a starting spot. In other words, you lost the battle you were actually trying to win.

Nobody goes into camp hoping to “win” a spot on the bench, but when it comes to the offensive line, the sixth man typically ends up getting at least a few starts and playing some type of meaningful role during the season. If you don’t start on the line, being the sixth-man is the spot you want to secure.

The leading candidates to be the Packers sixth man appear to be Marshall Newhouse, Don Barclay, Derek Sherrod and rookie David Bakhtiari.

Derek Sherrod
In an ideal world, I think the Packers would like to see Sherrod storm into camp fully recovered from his broken leg and show everyone why Ted Thompson spent a first-round draft pick on him. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like Sherrod is on track to do that.

Ideally, the sixth-man on the line needs to be able to play multiple positions. Sherrod was drafted as a left tackle, but did compete at guard during training camp of his rookie season. Strength and nastiness appeared to be Sherrod’s weaknesses before he was injured.

Can he hold up inside against the big and physical interior lineman if asked to play guard? Is Sherrod physical enough to provide the run-blocking needed at right tackle, or anywhere else on the line?

Marshall Newhouse
Take everything I wrote about Sherrod about nastiness and apply it to Newhouse.

Newhouse has showed signs of being a decent pass-blocker, but the Packers are looking for more of a complete package. They need more consistency in pass blocking and more results in run blocking.

One possible scenario with Newhouse if he doesn’t win the starting right tackle job is this: The Packers would have two “sixth men” up front, Newhouse at tackle and a more physical run blocker-type player at guard.

13

May

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Last week I used this space to discuss dead wrestlers, concussions and the suicide of Junior Seau. It was some heavy and serious stuff, so serious that I didn’t have the will to keep the post going and talk about Packers news.

To make up for it, this edition of Surviving Sunday will be nothing but Packers.

Enjoy.

Rookie Camp
All eight Packers draft picks signed contracts and are participating in this weekend’s rookie camp. From a fan’s perspective, rookie camps and mini camps are a nice reminder that football season is getting closer, but that’s about it. It’s impossible for us outsiders to glean too much from offseason camps. The quotes from coaches are the same every year. Everybody looks great. Everybody is in amazing shape. Everybody looks real focused. Everybody just wants to help the team win. Yawn……

Alex Green and Ryan Grant
Alex Green wants to return by training camp according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. If he’s putting in the effort and work necessary to make it happen, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Green make it back for camp. It sounds like Adrian Peterson has a legit shot at playing in week one after ripping up his knee at the end of last season. Obviously, no two knee injuries are the same, but if Peterson can return that quickly, I like Green’s chances of being ready to go by August.

Meanwhile, Ryan Grant remains unsigned and at least two prominent Packers bloggers have a feeling he’ll be back with the Packers. I’m in wait and see mode with Grant. No bold predictions from me. Talent-wise, I think Ted Thompson is fine with Green, James Starks and Brandon Saine. But he’s probably uncertain if Green and Starks can play a full 16 games.

Vikings Get Stadium
 The Vikings are staying in Minnesota, which is good news for the Packers for multiple reasons. 1) Keeping the Vikings in the NFC North means a guaranteed 60 wins for the Packers over the next 30 years; 2) We can point and laugh at people like this for the next 30 years; and 3) the stadium deal gave us this amazing .gif.

Finishing Notes