Packers move Bryan Bulaga to LT as part of offensive line shuffle

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Green Bay is putting their best offensive linemen in the most important spots to protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers. It appears to be a good idea.

The Green Bay Packers are making moves along the offensive line to keep their biggest investment upright. Head coach Mike McCarthy spoke to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Thursday, relaying his plans to move Bryan Bulaga to left tackle and Josh Sitton to left guard for the 2013 season.

Bulaga was playing at right tackle last season before suffering a season-ending hip injury in the middle of the year, while Sitton will switch guard spots with T.J. Lang. The move, as McCarthy says, aligns his two best offensive linemen with the two most important positions up front (via the Journal Sentinel):

"I sat down with Bryan and Josh on Monday and I told them I wanted to make the move to where they're on the left side. Those two are our most accomplished and experienced players. I told them about the responsibilities and my expectations about playing the left side."

Those responsibilities and expectations start with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked 51 times last season, the second-highest total in the league. It's an alarming statistic regardless, but especially now that Rodgers has the NFL's biggest contract to date after signing that five-year, $110 million contract extension last week.

Marshall Newhouse played left tackle last season and was often overmatched in one-on-one situations, allowing 11 sacks, the highest total on the team. He will be in play for the right tackle spot, according to McCarthy, along with Don Barclay and Derek Sherrod, whose status remains unknown as he continues to recover from a fractured leg.

But back to Bulaga and Sitton. Drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Bulaga was a left tackle at Iowa but filled a pressing need, at the time, for Green Bay at right tackle. He is expected to be ready, following last season's injury, for training camp. Moving Sitton with him on the left side, as Silverstein says, should help the transition for both players because of the familiarity they have playing alongside one another. And Sitton has arguably been the Packers' most consistent and dependable guy on the offensive line over the last few seasons, where stop-gaps and replacements have been commonplace.

Green Bay needed to make changes to their plan for protecting Rodgers, and it's clear that is the endgame with these moves. Bulaga, if healthy, appears to be an upgrade over Newhouse at left tackle, though he will need to readjust to an old position. Still, if he and Sitton are the best the Packers believe they have, it makes sense to move them where they can have the greatest impact on the productivity of Rodgers and the offense.

More from SB Nation:

Justin Blackmon's career at a crossroad

Matt Millen's cousin invited to Lions' minicamp (No, really)

Video: Trick shots from the Rams longsnapper

2014 NFL mock draft: Who gets Clowney?

The Trufants: A football family

The 10 most insane features of Atlanta's proposed stadium

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.