There’s been some question whether Chad Clifton would return to the starting lineup at left tackle or if Marshall Newhouse will remain in that position when Clifton is finally healthy and ready, which could be this week.
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy has said he wants Clifton to play this week and there’s a good chance he will, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be the starter going into the playoffs.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has the most to lose or gain by a change at left tackle, seems to prefer Newhouse remain the starter.
“That’s not my decision on who is going to ultimately play there,” Rodgers said. “Can’t say enough about the job Marshall has done. Starting the season out, I didn’t look at Marshall the way I look at him now. I look at him now as a guy who really has a strong, legitimate chance to be the left tackle of the future. I think he has the personality makeup to do that, the athletic ability to do that, the feet and the smarts to be a very, very solid left tackle for us.
“Chad has been a guy who’s been so consistent for us through the years. Getting him back would mean either depth or a guy that can be plugged in right away and play. Mike has mentioned he’d like to see Chad play some plays this week in order to know if he can go with him in the playoffs.
“That being said, whoever is in there at left tackle, there will be a lot of confidence. Again, I thought Marshall played his butt off on Sunday against the Bears and I’m not surprised. It’s not a performance that surprised me when he goes out there and plays the way he does.”
Newhouse has had his ups and downs this season, but he’s improved as the season has progressed. Perhaps more importantly, inserting Clifton back into the lineup could cause the offensive line to lose some degree of continuity. That’s not really something you want going into the playoffs.
We’ve suggested before, Clifton’s career could essentially be over. At the time, we ran a poll, which came out virtually even — 52% for Clifton, 48% for Newhouse.
It will be interesting to see what the Packers do, but has your opinion changed?
Cliffy should just ride the magical train into retirement and not risk further injury. I think Newhouse should remain the starter throughout the playoffs. Besides, if Cliffy is your #3 Tackle–that’s a pretty amazing insurance policy!
There’s two issues to clear up.
The Ref’s for the Bears-Packers game. To me seemed very relaxed on holding calls on both sides; If that’s the way it’s normally called then that’s not a problem. If they are going to call holding more stringently with a playoff crew… then we’ve got problems because Newhouse was really pushing the envelope when he was 1 on 1 with Peppers.
Issue #2. I think someone should call Peppers and ask him if he mailed that game in last week.
Barring those two issues, then Newhouse should stay where he was.
Newhouse struggled with Peppers in the first Quarter of that game.
But even if he did get on track, i have a hard time forgetting how easily Tamba Hali got to Rodgers. 3 sacks on that game. I don’t have numbers for knockdowns, hurries…. but he was a constant presence keeping Rodgers off of the mark.
Hali, Peppers, as well as Pierre-Paul and Jared Allen are 4 of the best pass rushers in the league. They cause havoc for any veteran LT. So Newhouse (still literally a rookie) having trouble blocking them is no slight on his abilities.
AR’s endorsement…”I think he has the personality makeup to do that, the athletic ability to do that, the feet and the smarts to be a very, very solid left tackle for us”…speaks volumes to TT being able to find a quality LT in the 5th round.
Re Clifton, I’ll leave it to coaches Campen/Philben/MM to decide if he should start or backup. It is imperative he play Sunday to see whether the team can depend on him in the playoffs no matter which role they project for him.
“still literally a rookie”
Er…no. 5th round 2010. He isn’t a rookie in either the literal nor figurative sense. He’s a second-year guy who has now started the majority of the season.
And yes, those ends/backers are good. Most anyone would have trouble. The problem is that in a couple of those cases Newhouse got flat-out abused.
Er, yes. He hadn’t played an offensive down last year. So he’s figuratively finishing his “rookie” year as a tackle.
Hali got 2 of his sacks when Rodgers tried scrambling out of the pocket. It was the coverage more than the pass rush that caused problems in KC.
Newhouse, however, did get owned by JPP. That was UGLY. I know JPP is currently on steroids (see Shawn Merriman circa 2006), but no pro should get beat like that.
Newhouse struggles to move his feet on speed rushers. Peppers was a step-slow either due to injury or indifference.
So, my opinion has changed a little. If Clifton is healthy enough to look within 80% of his former self, then I would start him.
Newhouse might be better in run-blocking, but the Packers haven’t ran the ball effectively enough for that to change my mind.
Rodgers is playing up the brotha. Newhouse sucks. Geezus weve all watched the tape.
I cant stand Clifton anymore either, but id rather have his old ass start then Newhouse.
iltarion hit it….Newhouse gets punked, all the time against speed, doesnt have quick enough feet, but hey, he beat out Sherrod for the 1st backup spot…What does that tell you about Sherrod?..If Clifton can go, i think you dont mess around, and you go with the guy who’s got you there before…End of story.