When asked point blank if Sitton's release makes the Packers a better team, Mike McCarthy dodged the question. Instead he made the above statement. Sitton's release probably doesn't make them a better team for Week 1 at Jacksonville, but he thinks this will be better overall for the team. How this makes "all aspects of (the) program" better is open to speculation.McCarthy: This is about growth for our football program. Every decision we make is in the best interest in improving all aspects of program.— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 5, 2016
McCarthy on new starter Lane Taylor: "He’s earned this opportunity. He’s done a very good job particularly in the run blocking" 1/2— Packers Barroom (@PackersBarroom) September 5, 2016
Lane Taylor, their new starting left guard, was so bad during their last preseason game against Kansas City that I thought he would be the player being released on Saturday, not Sitton. But this decision isn't just about one preseason game. They've been watching Sitton for the past eight years and Taylor for the past four years. All of that experience went into their decision. McCarthy seems to be saying that Taylor is just as good as a run blocker and he'll be a good pass blocker with more game experience. He might be right, he might be wrong.McCarthy 2/2: "The pass protection and some of the things – how we do it and what we do – is something he just needs some game experience"— Packers Barroom (@PackersBarroom) September 5, 2016
McCarthy digressed a little bit and talked about premium vs. non-premium positions. He called the quarterback the most important position on the team, and while he didn't specifically say his guards were playing a non-premium position, that's the implication. Playing a lesser, but still good, player at guard won't change the outcome of any game. I think the switch from Sitton to Taylor is going to lead to at least a couple more sacks this season. At the most, three or four. Of course, it only takes one sack to cause a significant injury to Aaron Rodgers but that appears to be an acceptable risk in their book, and guards are a lot less likely to make bad plays that lead to sacks than tackles. They felt this is a risk worth taking because of all the benefits it provides (salary cap room for extensions, avoiding the risk of Sitton's decline due to weight loss and/or bad back, sometimes Sitton could be a pain in the ass).The only really notable thing McCarthy said on Sitton, without really saying it, is that the guard position isn't as important as others.— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) September 5, 2016
I don't like this move, but I'm usually on the wrong side of hanging onto to veterans for too long. The release of Josh Sitton feels all kinds of wrong, but it's more likely that this was the right decision when we're looking back on it in a few years.