TJ Lang 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

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Packers offensive lineman TJ Lang
Packers OG TJ Lang

1) Introduction: Entering his fifth year with the Packers and third straight as a starter, TJ Lang has proven himself to be the dependable, gritty, tough son-of-a-gun every offensive line needs. He was rewarded with a four year contract extension last season and has not given the Packers any reason to regret that move.

2) Profile:

TJ Lang

  • Age: 26
  • Born: 9/20/1987 in Royal Oak, MI
  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 318
  • College: Eastern Michigan
  • Rookie Year: 2009
  • NFL Experience: 5 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  TJ Lang came into 2013 needing to quickly acclimate to the right guard position, previously manned by Josh Sitton. With either inexperienced Don Barclay or shaky Marshall Newhouse as the starting right tackle, Lang would be expected to be the glue to keep the right side of the line together. Lang would also need to be ready, if called upon, to act as an emergency offensive tackle or even center should game day injuries require it.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: While he earned a season-best 4.8 grade from Pro Football Focus for his game 2 performance against the Redskins, perhaps his most impressive day was the following week against Cincinnati. Lang completely shut down the very tough Geno Atkins, leaving him with a string of goose eggs. No tackles, no sacks, no QB hurries… zippo. On the downside, after performing well against the Lions front four in their first meeting, Lang struggled mightily (as did the entire Packers OL) in the rematch on Thanksgiving day.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: The move to the right side seemed to agree with Lang, who showed some improvement in his game in all areas, according to ProFootballFocus. The most notable change was cutting down his sacks allowed, from nine in 2012 to three last season.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Lang was mostly solid against the 49ers, allowing only 2 QB hurries and for the most part, playing well against the very tough 49ers front.

Season Report Card:

(B) Level of expectations met during the season

(B+) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(B+) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  B+

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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  • ThomasMagnumPI

    Soooo, Lang at Center in 2014 if EDS walks?

    Bulaga, Sitton, Lang, Barclay, Bakhtiari doesn’t read like a bad O-Line on paper anyhow, with Tretter and Sherrod being the swing guys and a possible 8th man sticking through camp.

    Thoughts?

    • Stroh

      Lang’s more just the emergency Center. I don’t think the Packers have any intention of moving him to Center full time. It would weaken 2 positions, center and RG. If EDS isn’t back, Tretter will be the starting Center. Ivy League, smart and w/ Sitton and Lang he would have plenty of help w/ the OL calls.

      • Dobber

        The argument would be that if Lang and Sitton can carry what people are calling an average to slightly above average OC in EDS, they could carry a guy like Tretter who has some athletic ability and a year to build some strength and bulk while he learns on the job.

        • Katsuya

          I think a lot of fans are not giving EDS the credit he is due. After he took over as the starting C for Saturday, our interior run blocking improved big time. Even Wells was never as good as EDS is now at run blocking. I am not convinced they could just plug in a young unproven guy like Tretter and expect him to perform better than EDS. If our Tackles could improve on their run blocking, we could have a dangerous unit I’m the run game. I think it would be for the best next season keep our OL the same except plug in Bulaga at LT.

          • Katsuya

            I mean RT.

          • Dobber

            I don’t know that people are being especially hard on EDS. He’s clearly at least an average OC, and maybe better than average. The fact that line play improved when he took over might be as much an indictment of Saturday as it is a tribute to EDS.

            I think that people are realistic that he could–given Packer needs and pending free agents–very easily be priced out of the Packer budget, and people are recognizing that there are options on the roster that could mitigate that loss.

      • ThomasMagnumPI

        I disagree that Barclay at RG would weaken the position for sure. It’s difficult to say, but I think that this lineup would at least put all five of the current best players on the field.

        • JimR_in_DC

          I think Barclay will be a drop off at RG compared to Lang. I also want to see what Sherrod can do before anointing Bakhtiari as a starter.

          • ThomasMagnumPI

            It kind of goes without saying that GB would want to evaluate every player in training camp, especially former first-round picks.

            So what’s the solution at C if EDS is not on the 2014 roster, given the players that GB currently has?

            • Stroh

              Again, I would say Tretter. He’s smart, and has the physical tools. Even tho we haven’t seen him on the field, the coaches have. And personally I think he was drafted to become the Center this year anyway, except the injury derailed that a little. But w/ 2 strong and vereran OG next to him, he would be in a situation he could succeed in.

              • JimR_in_DC

                Agreed.

        • Dobber

          I think this is the best argument to leave Lang at OG and plug in either EDS or other OC candidate. The only reason to slide Lang to OC would be if they came up with a whiz-bang prodigy to play OG who couldn’t also play OC

  • GBPDAN

    With Lang and Sitton holding down the guard posts, GB is in great shape at this position. If Bulaga can stay healthy for a full year and if Bak can add some strength in the weight room this off season, Arod will be protected and Lacey will rush for 1500 yards. Can’t wait to see how Sherrard and Tretter look in training camp. e

  • Big T

    Lacey behind a strong O-line would rush for 2000 yards… We have an average O-line at best and Lacey still shines. Lacey is a beast. Newhouses azz must be sore from running backs plowing into it all the time. Newhouse has more miles going backward than he does going forward. And he finds himself laying on his back looking up at the sky wondering why in the hell would any professional team pay me this kinda money. Every night he includes MM and TT in his prayers… Thank you God for MM and TT letting me play for a professional team, even thouh my talent level is at the junior high level.

  • Nopainnogain

    Seems a pretty big discrepancy to give Lang a B+ and EDS a C when they are basically the same caliber player. Seems like nobody realizes the importance of the Center position and think it’s just a plug-n-play position. I would’ve thought 2012 dispelled that notion with the disastrous performance of a former pro-bowler (Saturday). or maybe ‘Lang’ just sounds better

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Or maybe Lang is a much better player. And he is.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Or maybe Lang is a much better player. And he is.

      • Wagszilla

        I think Lang is so-so but he is way, way better than EDS.