Don Barclay’s Chances of Starting at Right Tackle Diminishing

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Don Barclay

Don Barclay

It seemed like Don Barclay had a legitimate shot to be the Green Bay Packers starting right tackle entering training camp. His primary competition for the job was Marshall Newhouse, who underperformed at left tackle last season, and Derek Sherrod, who’s still recovering from a leg injury he suffered late in 2011.

Barclay also played pretty well while filling in as the starter at right tackle last season when he was a rookie. Although he had some issues in pass protection, he was a road grader in the running game.

Well, the Packers have seen to it that Newhouse has a major advantage in the competition. How’s that?

They’ve got Barclay playing center part of the time, a position he hasn’t played since his freshman year of college. And then he only played it for a week. Barclay hasn’t adjusted particularly well to center, but that was to be expected.

The point is, fewer reps at right tackle mean fewer chances to impress, fewer chances to get into a groove, fewer chances to gel with the guys next to you.

So, WTF?

The Packers apparently have no other choice. They drafted guard J.C. Tretter in the fourth round with the plan to move him to center to compete with Evan Dietrich-Smith for the starting spot. Then he tore up his ankle during OTAs.

Now the backup options are¬†second-year men Garth Gerhart and Greg Van Roten and undrafted rookies Patrick Lewis and Lane Taylor. There’s a decent chance none of those guys will even make the roster (although Van Roten made it last year as an undrafted rookie), so the Packers are looking at it as a move of necessity.

Barclay probably will make the team, even if he isn’t starting at right tackle.

Best-case scenario for Barclay right now is Van Roten or someone else shows he’s legit, the coaching staff decides he can at least be the backup center, ends the experiment and let’s Barclay get after it full time at right tackle.

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.

21 Comments on "Don Barclay’s Chances of Starting at Right Tackle Diminishing"

  1. FITZCORE1252

    I really thought Donnie would win the RT job. I think Tretter snapping his ankle threw a kink in the whole plan, I refuse to believe Mikes’ plan was to have Donnie at C… Shit happens, Whachagundo…

    • TyKo Steamboat

      He’s trying at least…

      Drafted Sherrod & Bulaga in the 1st round.

      Had Sherrod not snapped his leg in K.C., he would be our starting LT & Bulaga would be one of the league’s best RT’s.

      • Cal Varnsen

        There is so much wrong with what you posted, I don’t even know where to start…Did you watch any of the games last year? Bulaga got abused consistently before he got hurt. That doesn’t happen to the best RTs in football, or even the average ones.

        Also, How do you know Sherrod would be our starting LT? Becuase he was a first round pick? He sure as hell didn’t do anything to impress the chances he was given…In that case, Jamal Reynolds should be in the Packer hall of fame next to Justin Harrell and Terrell Buckley. Doesn’t matter where you are drafted, it is how you play and Sherrod, plain and simply, cannot play. Isn’t that why the Pack keeps AJ Hawk around? Because he is durable? I can see that logic, even though I don’t agree with it – but Bulaga one of the best RTs in football? Horseshit.

        • Shawn Iltarion

          Yeah, I watched all the games, closely. Bulaga had one bad half, against Seattle. Otherwise, he played well. I concur with the thought that Bulaga COULD have developed into one of the better RTs, if he stayed there.

          • Cal Varnsen

            Tyko said WOULD be, not COULD be. Big difference…Still concur, you dipshit? Read the posts before you come to the defense of your boyfriends.

        • Phatgzus

          Actually, Carl, Sherrod was beginning to show quite a bit of promise before he snapped his leg and he only has about 1 month of professional football under his belt, its not like he’s had an opportunity to develop. As for Bulaga, he is an above average RT, he had likely the worst half of his football career vs. Seattle, the fact that McCarthy called all of 3 running plays in an entire half didn’t help; he then proceeded to play quite well in the second half.

          • Cal Varnsen

            Is that the real Russ Letlow or just an imposter? It is so hard to tell these days with all these people trying to post on obscure Packer websites as Russ Letlow… I just wish I could be sure that the real Russ Letlow, was in fact, blogging and trying to be funny. I guess we will never know – If you are the actual Russ Letlow, please change your name to the Really Real Russ Letlow so there isn’t any confusion.

        • Tyko Steamboat

          Sherrod is the light-footed tackle who’s strength is pass-blocking. He was drafted with left tackle in mind. Bulaga is a run-blocking tackle from Iowa & a natural fit on the right side. (Projected to be drafted as high as # 4 overall by Peter King when he came outta school) The guy is a monster. 20-25 teams in the NFL would kill to have him as their RT, especially considering his age.

          Sherrod hasn’t even been given a shot yet & we’re calling him a bust?

          I just believe, Bulaga will have a great season, is a natural fit as a RT & if the timeline woulda played out to today, (injury free) it would be Sherrod starting at LT…I mean, for God’s sake, if Newhouse was our LT last year then a healthy, developed Sherrod would be taking the reigns this year.

      • PF4L

        Give me a break….Sherrod looked pathetic before he broke his leg. He couldn’t beat out Newhouse, and Newhouse shouldn’t be a starter, on any NFL team. For you to “assume” Sherrod would be our starting LT is lame. Just keepin it real…….Coming into the 3rd year of a weak O-line…TT’s draft and develop philosophy for the O line, is clearly not working. Too bad he can’t veer from that philosophy to protect the league’s best QB. When the Patriots need an O lineman, they just get one. By whatever means necessary. I guess when Rodgers gets hurt, some of you may realize there is a problem.

  2. Phatgzus

    Its called cross-training, so in the event that one of your o-linen is injured the next best lineman can start regardless of the position; it also enables the linemen to understands what their cohorts see from theit respective positions, thus increasing chemistry and overall effectiveness of rhe entire line, in theory at least.

  3. Buster Bluth

    My guess is they still like Barclay a lot. If anything, they
    know he can play rt. Its Newhouse that needs the reps.
    If they are going to give Barclay some reps at c, last
    week was the time to do it.

  4. Shawn Iltarion

    It concerns me they are on a wing and a prayer with Barclay because they like him.

    He has blown multiple snaps already in camp, and you simply can’t do that. If he can’t snap, he can’t center.

  5. Shame Pat Lewis isn’t getting much of a shot. Coming straight from Aggieland, I’m telling you I really thought he’d be the perfect guy for the job. I’d have pegged him as a potential starter eventually. I don’t know if he’s not playing as well as he can or they’re not looking at him much but either way I’m disappointed…

  6. PF4L

    Look……The reality is…TT has done a terrible job putting talent up front the last 2 years since Clifton left…Yes, its that simple….No one can say that Sherrod would be starting. Mandarich was a 2nd overall 1st round pick, just because you’re a 1st round pick, doesn’t mean you can start in the NFL…….Now….We have TT playing musical chairs up front….Why?……Because he’s desperate…The Packers NEVER wanted to move Bulaga from his RT position…They said as much many times in the past. If they thought Bulaga could play LT, they would have put him there after Clifton left….DON’T you think?

  7. PF4L

    Last season…Football outsiders rated our O line as 31st in pass protection, and 25th in run blocking…..If some Packer fans deem that as sufficient, God bless you…Enjoy the Kool-Aid……………………Now imagine if Graham Harrell was our starting QB for a whole season behind that line….Frightening isn’t it?….Thank God we have Aaron Rodgers.

  8. PF4L

    BTW…Barclay wouldn’t have to play center, if TT didn’t F up letting Wells walk. Wells anchored that line. He was a warrior.

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