As we expected, the Green Bay Packers are more or less handing the starting center job to 2013 fourth-round pick J.C. Tretter.
The Packers let last year’s starting center, Evan Dietrich-Smith, walk away in free agency. He signed with Tampa after the Packers showed no interest in retaining him and we all said now what?
Although there’s going to be some form of token competition in right tackle Don Barclay (who’s going to get replaced as a starter by Bryan Bulaga) and right guard T.J. Lang, the job is clearly Tretter’s to lose. And yes, Lang’s name has been mentioned as a potential replacement for Dietrich-Smith by the coaching staff.
Had Tretter not broken his ankle the first time he put on a Packers uniform, he would have gotten an opportunity to compete with Dietrich-Smith last year. From the sound of it, coach Mike McCarthy thought he would have beaten out the veteran too.
“Good question,” McCarthy said when asked if Tretter might have been the starter last season if he had stayed healthy. “We obviously were very excited about him when we drafted him.”
Much is being made of the kid’s work ethic and he obviously has the smarts — he went to Cornell. However, it hasn’t always worked out so well when the Packers just hand a starting job over to a guy.
Nick Perry comes immediately to mind.