It’s Official: David Bakhtiari Stays at Left Tackle, Bryan Bulaga to Right

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David Bakhtiari

David Bakhtiari

Those idiotic rumors about Bryan Bulaga possibly replacing David Bakhtiati at left tackle can be put to rest. Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy confirmed today that Bulaga will move back to the right side in 2014.

That’s really all I want to and all that should be necessary for us to say about that. However, in case you haven’t been following along, let’s go over it one more time.

Bulaga was moved from right to left tackle prior to the 2013 season. Then he tore his ACL in the preseason, which cost him the entire year. It also thrust rookie David Bakhtiari into the lineup at left tackle.

Bakhtiari played well enough in 2013 and will only improve. Still, a bunch of idiots wondered… “Derrrrrrrr, will Bryan Bulaga got his job back at left tackle?”

No. No he won’t. The way Bakhtiari played in 2013 there was never any reason he should have.

The only question is what happens on the right side? If you assume Bulaga will be the starter at right tackle and you might as well, then what happens to Don Barclay? That guy started at right tackle all of 2013 and part of 2012, which Bulaga spent a good portion of being injured as well.

The most likely scenarios are Barclay goes back to the bench or the Packers give him a shot at being the starting center. Barclay played some center in training camp last year. He was horrible at it, which will happen when you’ve never played center before in your entire football career, but it’s a possibility.

The Packers lost last year’s starting center, Evan Dietrich-Smith, in free agency. In fact, they didn’t even really make a play for him, so they clearly had a backup plan in mind. That plan is probably to let Barclay compete with J.C. Tretter, a fourth-round pick from a year ago.

One more far-flung scenario we’d like to see play out is the Packers letting Barclay compete with T.J. Lang for the right guard job. In our estimation, Barclay is the far superior run blocker.

We doubt the Packers would be so bold, though.

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.

14 Comments on "It’s Official: David Bakhtiari Stays at Left Tackle, Bryan Bulaga to Right"

  1. The O-line as a team strength; it’s kinda weird. Can’t remember feeling this good about it since ’04, the last year of Wahle and Rivera playing inside our 10-year tackle combo. Jettisoning those guards was Ted’s first major housecleaning, and it’s been a 10 year penalty. We’ve even got a power running game again.

    • GBslacker

      Wahle was prohibitively expensive.

      Rivera was at the end of the line — he signed with Dallas and had a neck injury his first year, chronic back problems in his second and last year.

      10 year penalty?
      Sometimes you go a few seasons without a player at a certain position. It could have been negatively compounded had the Packers been on the hook for their eventual bloated salaries sans the value.

  2. RW

    Sorry, but our O-Line is not a strength. Lang is below average, we have no center, Bahktari is still raw and Bulaga has played very little for 2 years. Rodgers continues to get sacked at high rates and we can’t consistently pick up 3rd or 4th and short.

    • Shawn Shawn Neuser

      The O-line should be a strength, but a couple questions need to be answered first.

      Will our center, whoever it is, be at least as good as EDS?

      Can Bulaga return and play at a high level?

      If those questions are answered positively for the Packers, then the O-line will be a strength.

      Rodgers will always take sacks because of his style. He prefers sacks over forcing it. The Packers improved in short yardage last season and should continue to improve there as long as MM and A-Rodge realize the run game can be relied on to pick it up.

  3. Chad Lundberg

    Why the “idiots” comment? I understand bashing other teams and their fans, but I really don’t get why Monty had to personally attack me for thinking Bulaga could have gone back to left tackle?

    It’s his natural position, and he proved in 2011 that he is a hell of a tackle. At the time, switching him to LT made absolute perfect sense.

    Bakhtiari is great, he’ll only get better, and has the potential to become a top 5 tackle, but he hasn’t proven that he could play as well as Bulaga did in 2011 yet. Not “yet” is all I’m saying.

    This site is great, but calling me an idiot for wanting to put who is so far, in my opinion, our best proven tackle at left is bullshit. Totally unnecessary at best.

    • GBslacker

      I don’t really see it as a personal attack, as your name wasn’t mentioned. Additionally, “idiots” is plural — so others may share sentiments about where Bulaga will play.

      While playing LT in college, Bulaga has played a majority of his pro career at RT — I’m not sure if anyone could make a convincing argument as to his natural position at this stage of his career.

      While Bakhtiari may not be a top tackle, comparing him to a pre-injured Bulaga is not realistic. A first year back from ACL sees most players a little gimpy and not quite themselves — far from a proven commodity. It would make sense to put Bulaga at the less-demanding position of RT.

  4. RW

    You’re right on the name calling….I believe we need to bring in the Buffalo Wild Wings coach to admonish Monty for this one. “Idiots” is a pretty strong word for the scenario discussed. I believe “coach” would agree it should only be used in more clear examples..for instance if someone said AJ Hawk was a stellar NFL performer you would be very much within your rights and it would be quite proper in calling him an idiot for that pronouncement. Thank you.

  5. Kato

    I like Barclay in the extra tackle capacity. In power running formations, like what the packers did early last decade in ahman greens heyday. I think the guys name was like kevin berry or something.

    • Kato

      especially since his strength is in the run game. I wonder if he has any kind of hands since he would technically be an eligible receiver?

    • Vijay

      Ah the old U-71 formation with Mr “Sleep and Eat” as old #4 called him (a.k.a. Kevin Barry), my guy from my High School Alma Mater!! I remember I used to get past Kevin Barry playing the DE spot in practice and the coach would yell…”Damn Kevin, you let Swearingen get by you?!”

      I’d like to think that me being a bench warmer senior and him a raw, slow footed Sophomore, I helped push him to be great–two years later he was Mr. Football in the state of WI. I was such a great practice dummy!

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