David Bakhtiari

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy all but came out and said the exact words: David Bakhtiari is our left tackle.

Bakhtiari stepped into the starting role for the Packers as a rookie after Bryan Bulaga suffered a knee injury in the preseason. He started all 16 games and accounted for himself very well.

Bulaga will return in 2014 and will be looking to get back in the staring lineup. That will most likely be at right tackle. McCarthy told Bob McGinn that’s a conversation he needs to have with Bulaga.

“I liked the relationship between David and [left guard] Josh [Sitton], and to me it’s more about the combination over there,” said McCarthy. “They work well together. They’re both wired mentally.

“David’s young and raw, and he’s got a lot to learn. The game comes very easily to Josh now.”

So part of the reason for Bakhtiari staying at left tackle is that he plays well with — and can learn from — Sitton. Obviously, the other part is he’s just good.

During the 2013 season, you hardly heard Bakhtiari’s name mentioned during games. When you’re a left tackle, that’s a good thing. It means you’re not getting beat.

Speaking of getting beat, McCarthy was asked about one of the Packers’ other tackles as well — free agent Marshall Newhouse.

Asked if he would be back, McCarthy gave this ringing endorsement.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said.

In other words, rejoice! The Marshall Newhouse era in Green Bay is about to be O-V-E-R!