Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Don Barclay Is One Of The Packers Five Best (Healthy) Lineman

If T.J. Lang is ready to return next Sunday against the Bears, he might not be returning to play right tackle.
The article quotes Mike McCarthy who praised Lang's versatility. Reading between the lines, it means Lang could return to play either left guard or right tackle. Recent times have been tough for LT Marshall Newhouse, but I don't think he's in danger of losing his job to Lang.

RT Don Barclay. Right now, Barclay is one of their top five lineman, which indirectly means he should be starting. He's not good in pass protection, but the combination of Barclay and RG Josh Sitton on the strong side has been a boost to the running game. If he can't improve as a pass blocker, then I'm not sure if he'll fit into their long-term plans, but he's the best alternative they have at the moment.

LG Evan Dietrich-Smith. His game against the Lions was actually one of his better starts, though he was blown up on a bull rush by DT Nick Fairley, which led to a sack. But in previous weeks, he's struggled in pass protection and with penalties. They still need him as a backup, but Barclay's moved ahead of him in my mind.

That would leave the door open for moving Lang back to guard, and it should make the entire offensive line a better unit. It's not an ideal situation for the future, and they'll still have problems trying to protect QB Aaron Rodgers, but they need their best five lineman on the field next week to face the Bears' defensive line.

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