Packers Offensive Line Creating a Two-Headed Monster in Eddie Lacy

Eddie Lacy Dual threat for the Packers

Mike McCarthy has said it, and I firmly believe it – this is the best offensive line of McCarthy’s tenure with the Packers.

With the return from injury of a bigger and stronger Bryan Bulaga and with David Baktiari now having a season under his belt (which has also grown a few sizes this offseason), the Packers are sporting the most solid offensive tackle combo since Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher in their primes.

With TJ Lang and Josh Sitton already being recognized as the one of the best guard tandems in the NFL, the only real question mark was at the center position. While it’s an admittedly small sample size, after what I’ve seen of JC Tretter, there is no reason to worry.

I tracked Tretter on every snap of the last two preseason games and came away with two main observations.

1) He doesn’t for a minute look like a guy playing the position for the first time. The Ivy League smarts are evident on the field and he has been 100% ball secure. Not a single bad snap or miscue.

2) This guy is a FOOTBALL PLAYER. He’s got some nasty in him and he’s a finisher. When he gets the upper hand in a one-on-one battle, he’s not satisfied to just execute his block. He has a NEED to continue with his block until the whistle blows. If he gets you off balance, you’re going to the ground. He did that several times against 6’6″ 313 lb Kendall Langford. Tretter appears much stronger than I realized.

So, assuming this line can stay _______ (I don’t believe in jinxes but I’m willing to play along here so I won’t say it) let’s get to the real point of this article.

What I observed during Rodger’s two drives against the Rams, was almost no need for Eddie Lacy or James Starks to pass protect. Against an aggressive and fast Rams defensive line (ask Derek Sherrod and Aaron Adams about that), the Packers’ starting offensive line had everything under control.

During the Packers’ first drive, Rodgers dropped back to pass seven times. He ran once and threw six passes. On five of those plays, Lacy went straight to an open spot in the soft underbelly of the Rams zone. Rodgers dumped off to him twice for a total of 22 yards gained.

During the Packers’ second drive, Rodgers dropped back to pass eight times. On five of those plays, Starks looked for a dump off pass and was targeted twice. On one play (the first play of the drive), the Rams brought six rushers and that was the only time pass blocking help from a running back was needed – simply a matter of numbers. Starks correctly identified the unaccounted for blitzing linebacker and met him head on.

Compare how I described Lacy’s backfield release actions to Starks’. When Lacy releases from the backfield, he does it quickly and has a plan. He heads right for wherever the open space is. Starks. on the other hand, kind of jogs past the line of scrimmage and just turns around and jumps in place a few times.  But that’s a whole other article.

The real point here is that if what we’ve seen from the offensive line is real and continues, Eddie Lacy will go from a top-level running back to all-around two-headed monster. Last season, Lacy caught 35 passes in 15 games with an average gain of 7.3 yds. One third of those catches produced a first down.

In previous seasons, when Rodgers was one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL, the Packers running backs’ main responsibility on pass plays was helping out the shaky offensive line. Picture Aaron Rodgers with good protection and a consistent safety valve option when he needs one.  And it doesn’t hurt at all that the  safety valve is Eddie Lacy, who can run a bit after the catch.

Good luck getting off the field, defenses…

 

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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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  • Jeff

    Crosses fingers that they stay healthy because the back ups did not look so good when they were in :)

  • SchenySchen

    Sherrod was shaky this week but good last week. Give him more reps, as he will get in the next two preseason games and watch him settle down. Of course good health is preferred but Sherrod has the talent and has the athleticism. He just needs reps. 10-1 Superbowl
    odds. I just might find an extra $100 to plunk down…..GoPack!

  • SchenySchen

    ps. I’ve got a full pitcher of Kool-Aid and its delicious….

  • Big T

    Sherrod is going to get someone hurt other than himself this time. It is time to stick a fork in him, he is done!!! Give him more reps you say? To that I say, which qb’s career do you want to end abruptly?

    • schenyschen

      Typical.

      • Big T

        Really Schen, he moves like a pregnant Yak…

        • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

          ROFL. I thumbed that down because you are being a jerk as usual Big T.. but A PREGNANT YAK?? lol…

        • Schenyschen

          That’s too bad, because regular yaks are quick like a cat. Pregnant yaks, not so much.

    • aaronqb

      Aaron Rodgers was awful in his first training camp and preseason. Maybe we should have stuck a fork in him, eh?

      Patience needed here. I would also be in favor of looking to add a backup tackle for one of the backup OLBs or WRs that we will have to cut because of depth.

    • djbuttplay

      What’s your education level?

  • GBPDAN

    The starting Oline is impressive. They were in for one series for the Titans game and mowed the way for Starks on the way to a TD. They had 2 series against the Rams, Rodgers was clean and 2 more TD (one was negated by penalty). This year is going to be fun to watch

    • Oppy

      I could be mistaken, but I think on the first offensive series, the Packers made positive yardage on every single play of the drive, and when you consider they started out on a very long field and never really had a huge gain on a single play… That’s pretty damn impressive. I’ll have to check to make sure on this.

      • Oppy

        Yup, 12 play, 86 yard drive, every single play netted positive yardage. Really impressive.

  • Chad Lundberg

    Aaron Rodgers isn’t gonna be sacked 50 times? It’s a whole new world for us Packers fans.

    • djbuttplay

      He still will take sacks. This is OK as Packer fans. Fewer INTs and he tends to cover himself on the obvious ones.

      • Chad Lundberg

        He’s also had extremely poor protection for six years. I don’t ever see Manning, Brees or Brady having to run like him.

        • Charlie

          At least for Manning, it’s because of the quick release.

  • Jason J

    Defenses will get off the field…after the Pack scores.

  • Bob Wysocki

    THE RAMS ARE IN NEED OF RUNNING BACKS AND THE PACKERS HAVE AN ABUNDANCE. TRADE A BACK (OTHER THAN LACEY OR STARKS) AND SHERROD TO RAMS FOR ROBINSON ( RAMS SECOND STRINGER WHO PUT BOYD ON HIS BACKSIDE)

    • holmesmmd

      The Rams would never take that trade and the Packers would never be foolish enough to offer it. Greg Robinson is a giant beast of an offensive lineman. Why would they give up one of their future O-line starters for Harris or Rajon Neal…. who’s hurt at the moment. It’s fun to dream and I would love to see Robinson in the Green & Gold but it will never happen:/

      • Bob Wysocki

        YOU NEVER KNOW UNLESS YOU PERSUE TRADE. AS OF NOW ROBINSON IS SECOND STRING AND THE RAMS NEED A RUNNING BACK

        Sent from Windows Mail