1) Introduction: Josh Sitton isn’t only the best offensive lineman on the Packers, he’s one of the best in the entire NFL. He finished his second season as the starting left guard after playing right guard the first five years of his career. Despite playing much of the year with an extremely painful toe injury, he was anchor of a much improved offensive line in 2014. His efforts were rewarded with a trip to the Pro Bowl and being named second-team AP All Pro.
- Age: 28
- Born: 6/16/1986 in Jacksonville, FL
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 318
- College: Central Florida
- Rookie Year: 2008
- NFL Experience: 7 years
3) Expectations coming into the season: Sitton, who was in his second year at left guard, was expected to help yet another new center along the offensive line. After letting Evan Dietrich-Smith walk in free agency following the 2014 season, the Packers broke in new center, and converted tackle, second-year pro J.C. Tretter during training camp. After Tretter was put on the designated to return injured reserve list, rookie Corey Linsley was expected to hold down the fort. The key to having success with a new center was for Sitton to help with combination blocks and establishing the pocket for Aaron Rodgers. Sitton’s presence along the line definitely aided in the new center transition, and Linsley and Sitton made some devastating double-team blocks and nimble fold blocks.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: His worst performance was in the week 3 loss against the Detriot Lions when Pro Football Focus gave him a -1.8 grade. Later, Sitton tore a ligament in his big toe right at midseason. Even though he will eventually require surgery for this injury, he didn’t miss a single regular season game or any time in both playoff games. Despite this painful injury, his play never suffered, which is best exemplified by the fact he did not allow a single quarterback sack in all of 2014, including the post season against some excellent pass rushers. Also, he was only called for one holding penalty and a total of three penalties all season. In other words, he was seldom the reason for a stalled drive and his Pro Football Focus season grade of 22.7 showed that.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Sitton was a rock all season. He greatly helped with the center transition, was excellent in run blocking, and did everything he could to keep Aaron Rodgers upright this season. His blocking helped running back Eddie Lacy finish with his second consecutive 1100+ yard season.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Aaron Rodgers was severely injured for the entire playoff run. Because of his torn calf muscle, his mobility was limited, which necessitated even better pass protection and a strong running game to relieve some burden from the passing game. Sitton had a his highest Pro Football Focus grade of 5.2 against the Seahawks. Behind Sitton’s leadership, the entire offensive line played well during the playoffs despite red zone struggles against Seattle.
7) Intangibles: He’s extremely tough and was able to play through an extremely painful toe injury most of the season. He also has a nice beard and looks mean.
Season Report Card (Player Grades):
(A) Level of expectations met during the season.
(A) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(A) Contributions to team during the playoffs.
Overall Grade: A——————