Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Deeper Reason Why The Packers Moved Bulaga To Left Tackle

When it was first reported that Bryan Bulaga and Josh Sitton were being moved to the left side of the offensive line, it didn't sound like a bad idea but it wasn't obvious how it would improve their offense either. If Marshall Newhouse was the problem, moving him to the right side, assuming he can win the starting right tackle job, would just move him to a different spot on the field.

Neil Hornsby at Pro Football Focus thought it was high risk, low reward plan that could turn into a disaster. He thought there must be something else to it and he came up with a good theory; "to make Aaron Rodgers more effective on bootlegs to the right."

He published a table of the worst ten quarterbacks on bootlegs to the right last season. It was an interesting list of quarterbacks, which included some elite QBs like Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Joe Flacco, and RG III. It also included some of the worst ones like Mark Sanchez and Brandon Weeden. But it was odd seeing Rodgers on the list at all because he's so good at throwing on the run.

For a bootleg to the right to work, the Packers had to sell a run play to the left side. Hornsby points out that the Packers were a half yard better per run before contact to the right side, so those run fakes to the left side didn't worry any defense, even if there really was a run play called. I don't recall any specific plays from last season but the thought of Rodgers on a naked bootleg to the right fills me with dread. Maybe that won't be the case next season.

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