Packers Haven't Decided Bulaga's Position

Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday, Mike McCarthy said the team will figure out who lines up where on the offensive line after the scheme evaluation is complete. That and more quick-hitters from his meetings with the press.

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Green Bay Packers have not determined how their offensive line will line up for the 2014 season.

The centerpiece of last year's line makeover was switching Bryan Bulaga from right tackle to left tackle in hopes of providing better blind-side protection for Aaron Rodgers. Bulaga, however, sustained a season-ending knee injury during the Family Night Scrimmage.

In his place, rookie David Bakhtiari played well at left tackle. The Packers could stick with Bakhtiari at left tackle, with Bulaga (the 2010 first-round pick), Derek Sherrod (the 2011 first-round pick) and Don Barclay (the 2013 starter) battling at right tackle.

Among the other possibilities would be having all four of those tackles rotate at left and right throughout the offseason and into training camp before settling on a starting five.

That, of course, is dependent on Bulaga coming back healthy. Combined with a hip injury sustained in 2012, he has missed the last season-and-a-half.

"Bryan Bulaga is in Florida currently and his rehab everything is on schedule," coach Mike McCarthy said. "The communication with him, he's on time and he's hit his targets. As I've told Bryan when he left in the exit interview, I'll be in touch with him to let him know what our plan is whether it's the left side or the right side, and that decision will really be made once we get a little bit further into the cutups. With our coaching staff changes, we're probably about five days behind from where we'd like to be right now of scheme evaluation -- I'm talking about the offensive staff -- so once we get through the protections, really, we'll make the final determinations on right or left. At that time, I'll communicate with Bryan."

McCarthy had no injury updates on tight end Jermichael Finley, defensive tackle Johnny Jolly and running back Johnathan Franklin. All three had their seasons end with neck injuries. McCarthy said Franklin's injury wasn't serious and hoped he'd be ready for the season.

"Johnathan really did some very good things" McCarthy said. "One game that stands out is his performance against Cincinnati. We tried to get him involved on special teams; some of the things he had not done in college. That was an adjustment for him. He was a great fit for us. It was unfortunate when he did get hurt, but hopefully he'll be ready to go next year. He fits into our program. He's a great teammate, hard-worker. He definitely has impact-play ability. We probably need to do a better job of getting him involved on Sundays."

Some other highlights from McCarthy:

-- McCarthy said a report that he was going to go with smaller defensive linemen was not true. "I've never been part of a conversation that you want your d-linemen to be smaller. That's not accurate. ... As far as what we're going to do bringing defensive linemen into our program – if anything, you always want to get bigger, stronger and faster and things like that. We're definitely not going to be smaller."

-- The Packers churned through four starting quarterbacks last season. Rodgers and Scott Tolzien are under contract, and McCarthy hoped the team would be able to retain Matt Flynn. McCarthy would like to add a fourth but roster constraints and offseason practice limitations make that a challenge. "It's such a fine line to straddle now because it's so hard to get four guys ready," he said.

-- McCarthy stopped short of saying he will move Micah Hyde from cornerback to safety, but it's certainly a possibility. "He's definitely someone that I think has earned the opportunity to compete to be on the field all three downs," McCarthy said.

-- On the NFL's decision to have a full season of Thursday night games: "I don't know the specifics of it. I know there's obviously a new TV contract out there and I know there's an emphasis on Thursday games. We've played in our share of them pretty much every other year. Thanksgiving, I prefer to play the Thanksgiving Thursday game. I think it's a great game to be a part of it. It serves a little bit as a mini-bye week late in the year right before we run into December. I think the Thursday games are good for our game, good for football."


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