Last year’s starting right tackle, Don Barclay, could still be a starter even with the return of Bryan Bulaga. That is, if you believe Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy.
We typically choose not to.
“Don Barclay to me is a starting football player. He has earned the opportunity to compete for a starting position. We have to make sure we have as much competition as we possibly can. Don could play all five positions on the offensive line,” McCarthy said.
So, where exactly is he competing for a starting spot? Well, McCarthy seems to be suggesting he’s competing at all five positions, but we know that’s not the case.
David Bakhtiari is locked in at left tackle and the same goes for Josh Sitton at left guard. The Packers tried Barclay at center last offseason and the results were not terribly promising. So that looks like a spot where J.C. Tretter and Corey Linsley will battle it out.
Barclay’s best shot to get back into the starting lineup is clearly on the right side. T.J. Lang held down the right guard spot last year, but we’ve never heard anyone sing his praises or proclaim how awesome he is. He’s a guy you can throw out there and that’s about it. Then there’s Bulaga, who’s coming off a torn ACL. We know the Packers would like him to claim the right tackle job. After all, they did spend a first-round pick on him not too long ago.
Bulaga is going to have to knock off some rust and probably shake off some uncertainty. We’re sure the Packers will give him more than enough chances to do that.
Barclay makes things interesting by outplaying Bulaga or Lang. Then we’ll see if the Packers actually give the job to the guy playing the best or if they just pay lip service to “competition.”
If the inside linebacker position is any indication, it’s the latter. At least when it comes to highly-drafted veterans.