David Bakhtiari is Your Guy, Like it or Not

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David Bakhtiari

David Bakhtiari

We alluded to this the other day, but David Bakhtiari will be taking over for Bryan Bulaga at left tackle. Bulaga is out for the season with a torn ACL.

That’s correct. A rookie will likely be protecting Aaron Rodgers’ backside when the Green Bay Packers open against the San Francisco 49ers.

Here’s the good news: Bakhtiari was a fourth-round pick, but many “draft experts” rated him higher. He came out after his junior year and saw his slide as a motivational tool.

Bulaga was shifted from right tackle to left tackle in the offseason because Marshall Newhouse proved to be nothing more than a shitbrick in two seasons at the position. Now Newhouse is a right tackle and Bakhtiari, who word has it, was about to displace Newhouse as the starter at right tackle, is the left tackle.

Here’s the other not-so-bad thing. Bulaga, despite how much the Packers coaches praised him — no one remembers that one game where he gave up four sacks in the first half to some joke names Chris Clemons — was average at best at right tackle. Supposedly, he had made the transition to left tackle, his college position, just fine and the Packers were better off, but that’s not saying much.

You could play left tackle better than Newhouse and, well, you’ve never given up four sacks to Chris Clemons in one half before, either. Those four sacks allowed that useless dick to register a career-high 11.5 on the season… at age 31.

But I digress.

Aaron Rodgers was sacked 51 times last season, the highest total in the league. Partially, that’s because his offensive line sucks and partially, that’s because Jesus holds onto the fucking ball too long.

I mean, brass tacks.

Yes, the O-line blows, other than Josh Sitton. But yes, also, the $120 million dollar man holds onto the ball toooooooo long, sometimes.

Anyway, the point here is, if Bakhtiari is what he thinks he is and what we’ve heard he is, Rodgers will be able to sit back there and hold the ball all day. Much more so than if Bulaga were covering his backside.

If that were the case, Rodgers would get sacked seven times in a game by Jumpy Geathers at some point. But no one knows when, because Jumpy hasn’t been in the league since 1997. He could own Bryan Bulaga, though! Just by coming out of retirement!

The only problem is, now Newhouse might be covering Rodgers’ front side at right tackle. At least he’ll see the sacks coming.

If only the Packers would let Don Barclay back into that competition.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

37 Comments on "David Bakhtiari is Your Guy, Like it or Not"

  1. Tyko Steamboat

    I’m holding onto the last shred of hope that Bulaga’s knee injury is just another infamous misdiagnosis by the Packers’ training staff…

    You will all appreciate Tony Mandarich & Chad Clifton very soon…

    Ouch :-<

    • the real russ letlow

      ProFootballTalk@ProFootballTalk Retweeted by Pete Dougherty

      Second opinion is back on Packers LT Bryan Bulaga: He’ll have surgery to repair a torn ACL once the swelling goes down, per league source.

      Wes Hodkiewicz@WesHod

      That ACL surgery is sure to end the 2013 season for Bulaga. He’ll comeback in 2014 in a contract year and try again #Packers

    • Phatgzus

      BTW those notorious misdiagnosed generally err on the side of optimism and, resultantly the player is usually out longer than originally predicted (e.g. Nelson, Jennings, Sherrod, Benson, etc.), so you may not want to put all of your eggs in that particular hole-riddled basket.

  2. the real russ letlow

    I don’t know if we have a serious option at LT other than Bakhtiari. Could put Newhouse back there, but, not what you want. The kid will have every opportunity to show that he has what it takes. If not, maybe Ted looks for a F/A tackle, even if he gets heartburn over it. No QB is any good if he doesn’t have time to throw.

  3. stephen

    I remember that game at Seattle. Also, I’m wondering when Bulaga got this reputation of being a world beater all of a sudden. There is no doubt he is starter worthy, but he falls in that range where losing him is not detrimental. I don’t think he’s even in the top 10 for the right tackle position in the NFL. As part of a unit, he is a valuable asset, but he doesn’t stand out as being a dominant player.

    • Tyko Steamboat

      Child please…

      20-25 NFL teams would KILL to have Bulaga at their RT…prolly still 15 teams that would love to have him as LT

      He is tough, a great locker room guy, an A+ run-blocker, young & he is just downright mean.
      He loves being a Packer & he is our best O-Linemen.

      What is it you want? Joe Thomas? Jake Long?
      We also have him at a great value. Rookie contract.

      Bulaga is an old-school, tough player. Had 1 bad half against Seattle…& it’s not his fault that McCarthy didn’t help him by calling only 3 run plays.

      You will see…Bulaga is the 2nd most important player on our offense. Anyone can play WR or RB for us…There is a reason why LT is the 2nd highest paid position in the NFL

      • Mike R

        2nd most important player on the offense??? He’s not even the best lineman. You are forgetting about Sitton. More important than Cobb??? Lay off the crack.

        • Tyko Steamboat

          2nd most important player due to position, yes.

          & he is our best lineman. More important than Cobb too. You’ll see.

          • Phatgzus

            I agree with everything you said except for Bulaga being the Pack’s best lineman, sorry but I’d have to give that title to Sitton, who is very possibly the most underrated guard/lineman in the NFC or even the entire league. Bulaga is good and would likely be starting on almost any team, but for my money, Sitton is great.

          • Packer Bob

            I think he is our best tackle, but not necessarily the best offensive lineman. Sitton has been much more reliable when it comes to performance and injuries.

          • PF4L

            You guys seem to forget, that Bulaga was unproven at left tackle…No telling how he would have played in the season, its a big adjustment….If TT and MM thought he was a good LT, don’t you think he would have replaced Clifton?….OR…..Did they think Marshall Newhouse was a better option. I love you guys….lol

          • Phatgzus

            Clifton is one of the better LTs in GB history, why replace him when their issue was at RT not LT? Herp-a-derp PF4L; you do a lot of bagging and with terrible points for someone who claims to be a Packer fan-sound more like a Vikings fan or maybe Meg Flemmings herself.

      • GBslacker

        you’re never going to make a convincing argument when you try to sound like ochocinco…

        …in fact, you’ll end up sounding like a total dick and nobody will read past your insult.

        Bulaga is good and a starting NFL tackle, which puts him in the top 64 tackles — but he’s buoyed into the top half solely by your optimism.

  4. the real russ letlow

    I would love to see Sherrod get on the field so we can see if he is any good. He was very highly praised as a college LT who would be good in the NFL…………….

  5. I’d love to see the same thing, but as other posters have said often, you reach the point where you wonder if Sherrod and Neal will ever be healthy enough, long enough, to help the team.

    As for David Bakhtiari (sp?) we can only hope for the best. He’s got a good name for an OL. My worst fear–and how can you help having it if you’re a Packers fan–is when he too will go down with injury and how serious will it be. I’m afraid I’ve gotten to be a gun-shy fan, waiting for the next shoe to fall, waiting to watch us play good teams with back-ups all over the field.

    • the real russ letlow

      gun-shy is a good way t describe how I feel about this inury nonsense. Man, this sucks!!! If you didn’t hear, Lacy didn’t practice today because of his hammy………wow, it nevers ends…

  6. TyKo Steamboat

    This hurts out run-game too.

    Bakhtiari only weighed 299 coming outta CU.
    He is the prototypical pass-blocker whereas Bulaga is a more natural run-blocker & a natural fit for RT.

    Still a huge loss

    • Phatgzus

      Average weight of an NFL tackle is 300 lbs, assuming RTs are slightly heavier (as they block the usually heavier slower strong-side DEs), Bak-T is at or above the average weight; Joe thomas and Russell Okung weigh 312 and 310 lbs., respectively, and they’re the 2 best in the business, thus Bak-T presumably only needs to gain about a baker’s dozen of donuts worth of weight to be their size. What’s really important is length, smarts, and technique, and he already appears to have the first 2 down (he’s 6’4″).

      As for run blocking, teams with right-handed QBs (almost all of them) tend to run right more because their line has the smaller, quicker-

    • Phatgzus

      Average weight of an NFL tackle is 300 lbs, assuming RTs are slightly heavier (as they block the usually heavier slower strong-side DEs), Bak-T is at or above the average weight; Joe thomas and Russell Okung weigh 312 and 310 lbs., respectively, and they’re the 2 best in the business, thus Bak-T presumably only needs to gain about a baker’s dozen of donuts worth of weight to be their size. What’s really important is length, smarts, and technique, and he already appears to have the first 2 down (he’s 6’4″).

      As for run blocking, teams with right-handed QBs (almost all of them) tend to run right more because their line has the lighter, quicker-footed LT protecting the QB’s blind side from the smaller, faster pass rushing LE, so essentially the size’s equilibrate.
      So, as you said, Bulaga’s a better run blocker and this may affect running to the left, but the Packers were likely going to run to the strong side more anyway and that side hasn’t changed.

  7. GBslacker

    This injury could be a blessing in disguise — it may force propeller-head to keep Barclay at tackle, whereby he can beat-out Newhouse. After two years, don’t see Newhouse developing — his hand-technique blows.

    Also, to keep Jesus from getting killed again, he may have to run more.

    I’d be totally OK if they cut the payroll this season and dump Kuhn, Crosby, and TWilliams. TWilliams is 30, his nerve is still fucked up, and now has a knee problem. He’ll never be that guy in Atlanta again. Might as well save some bucks, and not pay him when he goes on IR.

  8. Shawn iltarion

    Bakhtiari struggled in the run drills today.

    Might be more of a pass blocker than a run blocker.

    Barclay did get more reps back at tackle.

    Lacy got bit by the hamstring bug and with our luck won’t play Friday night.

    Mike Neal was cleared off the PUP and practiced today.

    So, we have that going for us.

    • Phatgzus

      Good news via a via Neal and Barclay, but let’s hope Lacy’s hammy doesn’t become a nagging injury, I think most remember it was bugging him months ago during the Combine and Pro Days as well and is aajor reason he fell to the end if the second round.

  9. Phatgzus

    1) Chris Clemons isn’t a nobody, he’s been a very good DE (double digit sacks 3 years straight) on a good Seattle D since he joined 3 years ago (same year as Pete the Cheat; good coaching, scheme, or PEDs? You be the judge).
    2) I’m cautiously optimistic that Bak-T is currently beating Newhouse in the jockeying for LT; it speaks volumes about their skill that he is doing so in the first weeks of his rookie training camp. Maybe I’m just straining to find the silver lining, gotta stay sane somehow.

  10. Packer Bob

    He done for the reason, so I’m moving past it. I’m excited to see what Bakhtiari can do (but also holding my breath).

  11. Kyle

    What’s the word on Derek Sherrod? One would think he would be healthy by now. He was a first round pick so he should easily be able to win the left tackle job.

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