Last year’s starting right tackle, Don Barclay, could still be a starter even with the return of Bryan Bulaga. That is, if you believe Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy.
We typically choose not to.
“Don Barclay to me is a starting football player. He has earned the opportunity to compete for a starting position. We have to make sure we have as much competition as we possibly can. Don could play all five positions on the offensive line,” McCarthy said.
So, where exactly is he competing for a starting spot? Well, McCarthy seems to be suggesting he’s competing at all five positions, but we know that’s not the case.
David Bakhtiari is locked in at left tackle and the same goes for Josh Sitton at left guard. The Packers tried Barclay at center last offseason and the results were not terribly promising. So that looks like a spot where J.C. Tretter and Corey Linsley will battle it out.
Barclay’s best shot to get back into the starting lineup is clearly on the right side. T.J. Lang held down the right guard spot last year, but we’ve never heard anyone sing his praises or proclaim how awesome he is. He’s a guy you can throw out there and that’s about it. Then there’s Bulaga, who’s coming off a torn ACL. We know the Packers would like him to claim the right tackle job. After all, they did spend a first-round pick on him not too long ago.
Bulaga is going to have to knock off some rust and probably shake off some uncertainty. We’re sure the Packers will give him more than enough chances to do that.
Barclay makes things interesting by outplaying Bulaga or Lang. Then we’ll see if the Packers actually give the job to the guy playing the best or if they just pay lip service to “competition.”
If the inside linebacker position is any indication, it’s the latter. At least when it comes to highly-drafted veterans.
if he wants to win the RT spot, he will have to be better in pass protection than last year.
He was the worst starter on the line last year so unless Bulaga’s unable to recover from his injury or Bakhtieri has a major backslide I’m guessing he won’t be able to supplant any of the returning starters, and given last year he is probably not able to be a competent center, but I guess we’ll see.
Compared to the pic above, the one I saw from today’s OTA shows him slimmed down. Better conditioning may help his cause.
Linsley will stick, along with Barclay. McCarthy’s statement may be directed at Sherrod: “better get it together if you’re going to be the eighth man.”
Competition is ALWAYS a good thing!
If all else fails, put him at linebacker.
Our run game is much more consistent and effective with Barclay at RT than Bulaga. I’d like to keep that going. Our first round tackles have not worked out too well. Combination of injuries and lack of athleticism in run blocking. I’d rather have Barclay start and have Bulaga sub in. It’s not really a snub since Bulaga is still on the recovery road.
Bulaga is a better run blocker than Barclay, and a MUCH better pass blocker; you don’t bench him unless he’s still injured. You can’t compare the running game behind Bulaga and Barclay, Bulaga hasn’t had the good fortune to block for Eddie Lacy.
It´s the “O.T.A.´s”.
Maybe MM intention is to have all players motivated until September….
2 seasons ago we did not have lacey. When barclay took over out run game improved significantly.