GREEN BAY – While the identity of the Green Bay Packers’ next starting left tackle remains uncertain, coach Mike McCarthy has decided who it won’t be: Right tackle Bryan Bulaga.
McCarthy said after the NFL Draft wrapped up Saturday that Bulaga will stay put at right tackle, and that Marshall Newhouse, who started 12 games at the position because of now-released veteran Chad Clifton’s injuries, and Derek Sherrod, the team’s 2011 first-round draft pick who suffered a frightening, season-ending broken leg at Kansas City on Dec. 18, are the leading candidates to replace Clifton.
Asked if Bulaga might move to left tackle, McCarthy made it clear that he would not.
“I don't see any reason to go down that road,” McCarthy said of Bulaga, the team’s 2010 first-round pick. “I think Bryan is on the verge of being a Pro Bowler at right tackle. I look for him to have that type of season. He looks great. He was here throughout the winter; I don't think he's even left Green Bay for a long period of time. He looks great.”
While he was up-and-down during last season, Newhouse impressed McCarthy and the coaching staff with the way he filled in for Clifton. Sherrod, meanwhile, is expected back for training camp.
“We're excited about Marshall contributing. He contributed last year,” McCarthy said. “Derek (Sherrod) is fighting through his medical situation. He's improving. So you'll have competition there. I really like what I see in Marshall and really like what I've seen from our football team the last two weeks. I think we're further ahead than we've been in prior years.”
The only tackle the Packers added in the draft was seventh-round pick Andrew Datko, whose promising Florida State career was sidetracked by chronic shoulder problems.
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