As football fans prepare for Championship Sunday to watch the Patriots fight off the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium while the Rams deal with the Saints to see who punches their ticket to Atlanta. Packers fans continue to deal with the new changes in the offseason at 1265 Lombardi Ave, the latest was watching a 20-year man head to Cleveland and left with questions about the offensive line.
James Campen was with the organization for 20 years (11 years as offensive line coach). The likes of Chad Clifton, Mark Tauscher, Scott Wells were taught under Campen’s tutelage but after another inconsistent, injury plagued season with a makeshift offensive line. Changes were coming. When new head coach Matt LaFleur was hired, it was only a matter of time before Campen would move on. No doubt he will succeed in Cleveland especially with one of his own, JC Tretter playing center for the resurgent Browns.
Make no mistake, there are a lot of promising candidates out there starting with the shocking firing of Colts offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo who improved that unit from 53 sacks in 2017 to 18. Imagine what he can do to revamp the offensive line that also surrendered 53 sacks this season. Under McCarthy and Campen, they stressed zone blocking but also led to many blitzes and bull rush techniques to stop the lackadaisical offense. Before I fall into “hot take” territory, back to business.
According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, they are actually targeting 49ers assistant offensive line coach Adam Stenavich. Crazy how he has roots to Wisconsin growing up in Marshfield and staying in the Big Ten with Michigan, but he never started a NFL game and was meant for coaching. Stenavich also has offensive line coach John Benton to learn underneath where he made the 49ers offensive line improve to 12th with tackle Joe Staley and rookie Mike McGlinchey. There has to be a balance of pass and run blocking to where the offense can recreate that trust with Aaron Rodgers.
Green Bay has at least 4 players that can do the job with…
All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari (2018 All-NFL team),
left guard Lane Taylor
center Corey Linsley
right tackle Bryan Buluga.
There is rumblings around Packer nation that Buluga could possibly be on his way out, but that is for another day. It was the depth chart and right guard position that was the issue. According to Pro Football Focus, somehow they were in the top 10…yeah, how?
There is an old “fail safe” method by bringing in a top-ranked free agent. Names like Panthers guard Ryan Kalil, Falcons guard Andy Levitre, Rams guard Rodger Saffold come to mind but they made 7.8 million to nearly 8.4 million this year. Also, could be an opening for Green Bay to draft a few offensive linemen and have an all-out battle for offensive line depth to go with the following…
and 2018 fifth-rounder absentee Cole Madison (who is still a mystery).
Seriously, it should be like “Thunderdome” at training camp. But I will digress and see who will be the new offensive line coach.
Until next week, Packer fans.
Jake Turner is the host of the passionate Turning Points podcast on iTunes and co-host with Mark Eckel on the Pack a Day podcast. Follow him on twitter at @JakeTurnerSport Instagram: jaketurner61.