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AG20 Roster Thoughts: Guards

 
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AlexGreen#20


Joined: 13 Jun 2012
Posts: 6495
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:11 pm    Post subject: AG20 Roster Thoughts: Guards Reply with quote

Josh Sitton



Josh Sitton is an elite pass blocker. Heís a guy who grabs a hold of a defender, sinks his hips and the battle is over. His anchor is arguably the best in the league and once he has a hold of a defender, he rarely gives up anything. In the 35 games played the last two seasons, Sitton has only allowed 4 sacks and 24 pressures, thatís elite production.

As a run defender, Sitton leaves a bit to be desired. Heís good but heís not fantastic, heís a guy who gives good effort, and he does well working with his hands, but there just arenít the drive skills there for Sitton to be a stud. Unless a guard can routinely win the point of attack, itís difficult for a lot of old school minds to declare him elite, and Sitton isnít a guy who routinely wins the point. He did well working with David Bakhtiari last season, far better than he ever did with Marhall Newhouse. Neither he nor Bakhtiari are guys who blow a defender off the ball, but both are good at flanking their defender and playing to the second level.

On inside runs, the Packers did very well last year. They averaged 4.58 yards per carry, which was the second best rank in the entire league. With Evan Dietrich-Smith on his way out and JC Tretter on his way in, thereís going to be some transitional work needed, but thereís reason to be optimistic. Tretter is a significantly more gifted physical specimen than EDS was, and while EDS was a more aggressive blocker and a more developed Center, thereís reason to be optimistic that by the end of the year Tretter will be playing at a higher level. By all accounts, the relationship on and off the field between Tretter, Sitton, and Lang is excellent.

+++++++++++++++++

TJ Lang



Itís always great to see a player significantly improve and TJ Lang did that in 2013. In 2012 he allowed 5.5 sacks and 21.5 pressures, in 2013 he had cut those numbers to 1 sack and 17.5 pressures. So long as he wasnít playing Center, he was a very strong player. His game is different than Sittonís. Lang is a guy who played almost exclusively through his initial hand punch in 2012, and his hand punch is outstanding, but in 2013 he came in as a more polished player. He displayed a significantly improved anchor and showed as a smarter player in his third year starting.

Lang is a better run blocker than Sitton. Sittonís a more polished guy with better secondary traits, but Lang has far more ability to drive a defender off the ball. One would hope that Lang picks up more of Sittonís secondary traits, and at 26 itís possible, though Iím not sure how likely it is. When Lang was working with Barclay and they werenít worried about playing to the second level, they destroyed people. Against the Steelers in short yardage, the two of them repeatedly blew up a damn good player in Cameron Hayward.

Thereís been a long standing feeling that Sitton is an absolute monster and Lang is just sort of a guy. That isnít true and is downright insulting to a damn fine player in Lang. He isnít quite as good as Sitton, but the idea that there is a massive gap separating the two isnít accurate in any way. An offensive line is a unit, and the same issues with Tretter will exist for Lang. Lang has worked with Bulaga in the past, and I greatly look forward to seeing Bulaga work with the new and improved Lang. This line has the potential to be fantastic.

+++++++++++++++

Jordan McCray



My money is on Jordan McCray to make the practice squad as the interior sub. With Corey Linsley recently drafted, thereís less need for a guy who can play both Center and Guard, this frees up the Packers to take the best player without the need for the versatility to come into question. All three of the second class guards on the roster are better players than the forgettable Garth Gerhart. The best player among the three is Lane Taylor, but he is no longer eligible after being on the active roster for ten games in 2013 (as it was explained to me). That leaves a fight open between Andrew Tiller and Jordan McCray.

Tiller was drafted in the sixth round of the 2012 draft by the Saints and spent the year on IR in a move intended to preserve roster space. He was cut the next year and ended up on San Diegoís practice squad. When injury problems forced the Chargers to release Tiller, the Packers released their own practice squad guard (Bryan Collins) to acquire him, so the Packers were intrigued by the skillset.

McCray is a UDFA rookie that the Packers signed after the draft. The playersí skillsets are just about identical. Both are pure guards, both show very intriguing drive skills and neither offers anything more than that. This is a mold of player that is cheap and plentiful, but useful to have around. Neither are likely to be signed onto anybodyís active roster, so ultimately the younger guy gets the nod. At the moment, I think Tiller is likely a better player by a bit, but McCray is three years younger.

McCray generates movement, but he doesnít really show much ability other than crashing into people. His technique tends to be sloppy and he spends a lot of time on the ground. That acknowledged, when UCF needed less than three yards on the ground, they ran behind Jordan McCray, and in the four games Iíve watched, they got those yards every time. Donít ask him to do too much else, but heíll win the point of attack.

In pass protection, heís a tough watch. Heís got a decent anchor, though not as good as you would like for a man his size. He does a poor job sliding his feet which caused him issues at times, especially against Kelcy Quarles of South Carolina. Iím not sure how aware he is on the field, he didnít allow anymore blitzes to get home than your average prospect, but a number of stunts ended with defenders crashing into his shoulders with McCray looking in the completely opposite direction. Itís doubtful this spot means anything anyway.
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AaronCharles wrote:
I have to say, I see no way we don't start 1-4, with our schedule.
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Pugger


Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 8639
Location: N. Fort Myers, FL
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Sherrod shows he can play and play well then we may put Barclay as a backup guard where he is more suited from what I've heard.
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dijatool


Joined: 17 Feb 2013
Posts: 363
Location: SoCal
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll check the CBA docs again on the timeline for PS inclusion on Taylor but I think you are right. Then again, over the last year I've seen players who made it that I had thought would be impossible.

Good stuff on McCray but a dumb question since you watched a bunch of his games. Which brother is better? Jordon or Justin? I remember somewhere after the draft finding folks who prefer Justin (who wound up in Tennessee).
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BartStarving


Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 1087
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AG20, these analyses are sensational! I thank thee.
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MNPackfan32


Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 8077
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I share the same opinion of Lang. A lot of people hated him during the 2012 season, and they acted like he should have been benched. I learned that during the 2012 season Lang was playing with torn ligaments and nerve damage in his elbow. But he obviously mannedup and the staff knew a 60% Lang was better than the next option in line.

I also love his attitude on the field. A real tough guy who won't take crap from anybody and he will stand up for his teammates.
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Duff Man wrote:
MNPackfan32 wrote:
Josh Sitton, Mike Daniels

Average at best
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mikemike778


Joined: 27 Feb 2011
Posts: 250
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for these AG20 - great stuff.
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in vince able


Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because I recognize both Lang and Sitton as elite, I consider this line has the potential to become legendary this year. They def. have the stars to help them prove it. Barring injuries, this may be the talk of the NFL next year. Just my opinion.
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Skypilot


Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 837
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of the problem with Lang is his development has been retarded by his versatility and the Packers' lack of depth at tackle (and last year at both tackle and center which forced Lang to move around. There was a big deference between lang and Sitton in 2012. That's not disputable. Sitton is an Allpro and lang in 2012 was JAG. He had a good season at G in '13. The actual difference between Sitton and Lang is really irrelevant.

Let's call Sitton an A- player, and Lang a B to B-. It's a passing league and Sitton is clearly the best pass protector on the OLine. He's also the leader of that group. Together they make a damn fin guard tandem and are compensated as such.

Why no Lane Taylor? Is he not on the team anymore?
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AlexGreen#20


Joined: 13 Jun 2012
Posts: 6495
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skypilot wrote:
Part of the problem with Lang is his development has been retarded by his versatility and the Packers' lack of depth at tackle (and last year at both tackle and center which forced Lang to move around. There was a big deference between lang and Sitton in 2012. That's not disputable. Sitton is an Allpro and lang in 2012 was JAG. He had a good season at G in '13. The actual difference between Sitton and Lang is really irrelevant.

Let's call Sitton an A- player, and Lang a B to B-. It's a passing league and Sitton is clearly the best pass protector on the OLine. He's also the leader of that group. Together they make a damn fin guard tandem and are compensated as such.

Why no Lane Taylor? Is he not on the team anymore?


Reading is hard

No way in hell is Lang a B- Guard. Not even remotely close. If Sitton is an A- than Lang is a B+. They allowed the same number of sacks in 2013.

At no point in Lang's career has he been a JAG. The 2/16.5 season he put up in 2011 was extremely solid. The 2012 season of 5.5/21.5 isn't great but when you look at the injury situation, that was to be expected. A guy who relies on his hands having a busted elbow is kind of a downer.
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AaronCharles wrote:
I have to say, I see no way we don't start 1-4, with our schedule.
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