The Green Bay Packers seem pretty happy with the interior of their offensive line. They’re not so happy with the tackle position and the main reason for that uneasy feeling is left tackle Marshall Newhouse.
Newhouse is the only Packers offensive lineman to play all the team’s snaps in 2012. He improved during his second season as a starter, but the results were far from top notch. According to the Journal Sentinel, Newhouse gave up 42.5 pressures, including 11 sacks and 13.5 bad runs in 2012.
So when he was asked about improving the offensive line, coach Mike McCarthy put the focus squarely on Newhouse. The Packers will consider moving Bryan Bulaga to left tackle — the position he played in college — and staying with second-year man Don Barclay at right tackle.
When he returns from injury, McCarthy said former first-round pick Derek Sherrod will also be in the mix for a starting spot. If all four tackles are healthy — Bulaga is still recovering from a hip injury — it sounds like Newhouse is a backup.
Here’s the telling comment.
“He still needs to improve and take another jump,” McCarthy said. “He needs to improve as much next year as he did from ’11 to ’12.”
It’s not unrealistic to expect a player to show marked improvement from his rookie year to his second year. Nor is it unrealistic to expect a player to improve from his first year as a starter to his second.
To expect the same kind of jump in the third year… not realistic.
That’s not to say it hasn’t happened, but the writing is on the wall. Either get a hell of a lot better, Marshall, or you’re getting benched.