Yes, the Green Bay Packers have been busy this offseason. Doing what? We’re not really sure.
However, they did make a splash (like the kind a pebble makes in the Pacific) late last week by signing former Buffalo Bills guard/center Duke Preston. Preston signed for two years.
This follows Ted Thompson’s other major offseason moves, which in case you’ve forgotten, are:
1. Signing a safety who couldn’t get on the field in Pittsburgh.
2. Re-signing the worst defensive back on the face of the planet, and overpaying to do so.
3. Re-signing a couple of defensive linemen who will make little to no impact in the 3-4.
So who the hell is Preston? Well, that’s a good question.
First, he’s a large man. Preston comes in at 6-5, 326 pounds.
He was also a sometime starter in Buffalo. In the 59 contests he played in, 20 were starts.
Mike McCarthy claims Preston is a strong prospect, due to his athleticism.
I love how the Packers coaching staff falls in love with guys who are “athletic”.
“If they are athletic, they have the ability to gain more strength and size and be more physical,” McCarthy told the Journal Sentinel. “I think the athletic ability up front gives us the ability to be more physical and be more multiple in our concepts we run.”
However, Buffalo didn’t see any value in Preston and, according to JS’s Tom Silverstein, there’s a reason for that.
[Preston] took over for Melvin Fowler after Fowler injured his elbow, and started the last 11 games. He did not play particularly well, struggling against the likes of Cleveland’s Shaun Rogers, the New York Jets’ Kris Jenkins and New England’s Vince Wilfork.
Although no one is saying Preston is a starter, Thompson says he’ll compete for playing time on the interior.
“We like to have versatile guys,” Thompson told the Press Gazette. “We think he gives us that on the inside but probably not on the outside.”
The offensive line is in a state of flux.
Mark Tauscher likely has played his last game for the Packers.
The fate of several players could depend on what Thompson does to fill Tauscher’s right tackle position.
Daryn Colledge, a natural tackle, could move to the outside from the guard position, creating an opening at guard. Allen Barbre could finally fulfill his potential (we here at Total Packers think that Barbre was once called “athletic” by someone in the Packers organization, as well) and become a starter at tackle or guard. Jason Spitz, who has mostly played guard, could take over for Scott Wells at center. Josh Sitton, who was drafted in the fourth round last year, could make his way into the starting lineup at guard. While most of these guys are wild cards, and you can throw second-year man Breno Giacomini and Preston into that mix, the Packers have an abundance of interior lineman and only one tackle with any proven worth – 10-year man, Chad Clifton.
I would look to the draft, possibly even the first round, for the Packers to pick up a tackle. With the way the team is burning it up on the free agent market, and the quality left available, there don’t appear to be many other options.