As I have been doing for the past few press conferences by Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, I am sharing highlights of his comments along with some of my own thoughts. As always, enjoy the read and feel free to agree, disagree, cheer or jeer.
Credit for this recap goes to the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Mike Vandermause for his great coverage of McCarthy’s comments today via Twitter.
On the offensive line situation heading into 2014: Bryan Bulaga moving back to right tackle. MM likes Bakhtiari at LT. Derek Sherrod will be swing tackle, start out on left side
The return of Bryan Bulaga from his ACL injury last year means more shuffling on the outside. I have always thought putting Bulaga back at right tackle made the most sense, after watching David Bakhtiari hold his own at left tackle during his rookie season. Bakh has plenty of room to improve and certainly needs to as he matures, but I have no qualms about his being the starting left tackle heading into this season.
As far as the departure of Evan Dietrich-Smith, the Packers will enter their fourth consecutive season with a new center. The popular theories on who the current front runners have been second-year man J.C. Tretter and current guard T.J. Lang. Lang stepped in at center last season in emergency relief and quickly made a case for himself to remain at guard. Lang wasn’t horrible, but he’s been effective at guard and the Packers don’t need to tinker with a good thing there.
Simpy handing the keys to Tretter is risky for a guy who hasn’t played a single down yet. McCarthy will need to closely evaluate what he has in Tretter throughout the offseason program. Pre season game action will tell the biggest tale, as that is obviously the closest look to an actual game that they will have to go on. Still, Green Bay would be wise to exhaust all remaining avenues to add some talent to the competition at center. They have the draft in early May, undrafted free agency, and the current free agency period at their disposal. There will also be roster cuts this summer and we never know who might be on the move.