Bryan Bulaga: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Packers Offensive Tackle Bryan Bulaga
Packers Offensive Tackle Bryan Bulaga
Bryan Bulaga

1) Introduction: In his rookie season, Bryan Bulaga was thrust into a starting role when Mark Tauscher was lost for the season. Only 21 years old, Bulaga started the last 12 games of 2010 and along with Chad Clifton was a big part of the Packers’ success in their playoff run and Super Bowl Championship.

2) Profile:

Bryan Joseph Bulaga

Position: OT
Height: 6-5
Weight: 314 lbs.
AGE: 22

Career Stats:


3) Expectations coming into the season: Expectations for Bulaga were simply for him to pick up where he had left off, avoid a sophomore slump and instead continue to show improvement in his second season.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: This seems to be a common theme among the offensive lineman, but Bulaga’s high point was game one against the Saints. (I’m going to have to go back and watch that game again, just for the OL play). Bulaga was near perfect that game, allowing only a single quarterback pressure while showing some strong blocking in the Packers 23 runs that game.  Bulaga’s low-light was the Detroit Thanksgiving game, where he gave up his only sack of the year, one of his only QB hits of the year and was called for two penalties.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: After giving up 11 sacks as a rookie, Bulaga was one sack away from a clean slate in 2011. According to ProFootballFocus,com, he also only gave up 2 QB hits all season, which is just as more impressive.  Overall, Bulaga was ranked #3 among all offensive tackles in the NFL

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Bulaga didn’t have his best game in the playoffs. Although he didn’t give up any sacks, he did allow 3 QB pressures and struggled a bit with pass protection against the Giants’ speed rushers. It also graded out as his worst game in run blocking as well.


Season Report Card:

(A) Level of expectations met during the season
(B+) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(C) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: B+


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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, 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


16 thoughts on “Bryan Bulaga: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

  1. Okay, just throwing it out there…why isn’t he on the left side? I’d feel a lot better if Newhouse was struggling on the right. They don’t want to bounce guys around? They’ve been doing that for a long time.

  2. All your OL reviews are reminding me just how poorly the line performed.That’s not an excuse for all the other more noticeable things that went wrong,but it does show how when you’re getting manhandled up front the team confidence and psyche suffers. I do believe this young line has room to grow and am looking forward to next years rematch.

  3. Bulaga is well on his way to beoming an All-Pro next year. He is a natural right tackle and should stay where he is. The upgrade at LT still needs to be implemented. It is obvious from last years performance, Clifton is not going to be a 16 game player. More like 6-8. Is Newhouse the answer? Needs to get a helluva lot better at pass protectection not to mention run blocking. Can Sherrod be that guy? Anyones Guess right now!

    However, with 4 of the 5 Olinemen solid to excellent at their positions RB and TE help should be available at LT to cover that positon.

    I’m inclined to hope that TT and MM will go for another quality Olineman early in the draft. As I said before, Peter Konz from the Badgers would give them a replacement for Wells someday and a high quality backup with extensive experience at G and some at T.

  4. I’ve read before that Bulaga is making a case to become the best right tackle in the NFL. I can’t believe he’s becoming the most successful of the four offensive linemen that were talked so much about in the 2010 NFL draft. A 23rd pick STEAL.

  5. Just one QB sack and 2 hurries the entire year! Rated 3rd best tackle in the league. Sounds like an A grade to me. Too much weight on the PO game.

    Is still not even 23 yet. I wonder after a full year at RT would BB even want to move to LT. Considering the great success at RT, I would recommend keeping him there and work at refining Newhouse/Sherrod at LT.

    1. Bulaga would do it – OLTs make more money than ROTs. I think it all depends on Sherrod and how the Packers feel about him. if they think he can be the LT of the future, Bulaga stays put. If they’s not that high on Sherrod, then why not solidify the blind side and let Newhouse/Sherrod battle it out at RT.

  6. You would think that with three very solid linemen we would have been able to run the ball better.

    1. Zone blocking scheme relies on timing. So many things were disjointed…short offseason, injuries to line, injuries to backs…

    2. Will someone PLEASE explain to me why there is such a strong conception among fans that our running game was not good? I’ve said it several times and no one has changed my mind or even been able to come close to explaining to me why they think it’s not good. There was nothing wrong with our running game in 2011 except that we didn’t go to it very often… why would we with Rodgers and the recievers having the season that they had? We didn’t even try to run in the playoff game when our passing game failed… arguably the proper course of action in that situation. When we ran we had an average- above average running game… (Grant 4.2 yds/carry and Starks 5.8)

      1. Inconsistency, to me, was the main problem with the running game. And one could easily make the argument that consistency would come with more attempts, so I think you’re on the right track…

  7. The only thing I would quibble with in the analysis would be Bulaga’s perceived difficulty against speed rushers. Avril did flat out beat him once, but any other pressures credited against Bulaga were in equal parts Rodgers refusal to step into the pocket and release the ball in 3 seconds or less. Rodger was the best player in the NFL last year, but he still has a few areas to improve: He stands too high in the pocket for too long at the top of his drop without stepping into the pocket. Holding the ball too long on occasion places a pretty big burden on his line.

    1. CSS,

      I almost wonder if Rodger’s seeming refusal to step up into the pocket has anything to do with a lack of trust in his LT this season.

      If he stays in his drop, he’s got a better chance of seeing his protection break down- he’s got more field in front of him and more in his peripheral.

      I’m not saying it’s right, or a good thing. Just wonder if that’s why he doesn’t like to step up.. With the job Wells has done at the point, and with Lang/Sitton/Bulaga for the most part doing a fine job, It makes me wonder if Rodgers just felt that he couldn’t trust Newhouse to keep the pressure off of him..?

      1. Certainly can’t dismiss that being part of the issue, Oppy, but many times he Clifton, Newhouse or Sherrod had help on that side with a TE or RB chipping or doubling down. Looks like it’s a matter of comfort more than anything for Rodgers. He can maneuver so well in space and throw on the run with deadly accuracy, so he’s comfortable there. The only downside: he’s taking away half the field when he chooses the flat and roll over a clean pocket.

        Regardless, that pocket was often clean due to the rush trying to beat the LT of the day upfield.

        1. Excellent discussion here. I think Rodgers is so confident in his ability to make a play given enough time, he’d rather look for open space and gain a few seconds than step up and have his hand forced sooner.

  8. Amazing, for some reason I thought this guy was older than he is. 22? are you serious? And he’s already that good? Exciting to think that he’s got 10-15 years left to play and improve and he’s already this good. I do have to say that I’m really impressed with him and I’m not saying that he’s not good but do you guys think his power ranking is a little inflated by Rodger’s ability to scramble? I mean, he’s not blocking Rodgers blind side so Rodgers has more time to react and such if he messes up… which Rodgers is one of the best if not THE best at extending plays. Even if this is true, still a great year and an exciting player.

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