The Green Bay Packers seemed intent on handing the starting right tackle gig to Marshall Newhouse when camp opened. They were working the guy who started there at the end of last season — Don Barclay — at just about every position except right tackle.
The season-ending injury to Bryan Bulaga appears to have changed that and Barclay took advantage on Friday.
“I thought Barclay was clearly one of the top performers of the game for us,” said Packers coach Mike McCarthy on Saturday. “When we went through the grading, we didn’t grade out very well as a football team. We graded out poorly as an offense. I thought Don Barclay’s performance was clearly one of the better spots in (Friday’s) game.”
When Bulaga went down, the Packers shifted rookie David Bakhtiari to left tackle. Prior to that, Bakhtiari had been pushing Newhouse and Barclay had been working at center and guard.
While Newhouse started at right tackle in the preseason opener, he was his usual underwhelming self. He ended up giving up a sack to John Abraham in the second quarter that resulted in a Graham Harrell fumble.
Barclay, on the other hand, had a pretty clean game.
Will that be enough to vault him back to the No. 1 unit? That remains to be seen, but every indication is the Packers are moving in that direction.