Not Surprisingly, Bulaga Back to RT

The Packers will not mess with the productive left-side tandem of David Bakhtiari and Josh Sitton.

It wasn't exactly breaking news, but Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he has informed Bryan Bulaga that he'll be returning to right tackle.

Bulaga was the focal point of the Packers' sweeping offensive line makeover last season. By moving to left tackle from right tackle, where he had been starting since being the team's first-round pick in 2010, he would be charged with protecting Aaron Rodgers' blind side.

Bulaga had a strong first week of training camp last summer but sustained a torn ACL during the Family Night Scrimmage.

"I felt pretty comfortable at the time I got hurt. I felt pretty good about where I was at," Bulaga said at the end of the season.

Without Bulaga, the Packers turned to rookie fourth-round pick David Bakhtiari rather than veteran Marshall Newhouse, and Bakhtiari played beyond anyone's expectations.

So, Bakhtiari will remain at left tackle and Bulaga will move back to the right side.

"If I had to (move back to right tackle), I don't think so," Bulaga said when asked if adjusting again would be difficult. "I didn't even get a full year at left tackle, more like two months, so I feel like that's part of, I think that's part of my game that I like, I feel like I can go back and forth."

Given Bakhtiari's play and potential and Bulaga's experience, the decision most likely was a relative no-brainer for McCarthy.

"Obviously, that's where he has most of his experience. That's one factor," McCarthy said. "Two, we obviously spent the whole offseason training Bryan for the left side, but we got a full season with the combination of David and (left guard) Josh (Sitton). I like that relationship. I like the productivity that came out of those two guys.

"I think David being a rookie (last year), he'll be a year better, he'll continue to grow. … He's a young man with a lot of growth in front of him. You want to play your best five guys on the offensive line. We're just putting a little more stock in the relationships between the guard and the tackle or the guards and the center and trying to keep that going. So we're going to start out with David on the left side."

Meanwhile, Derek Sherrod will start the offseason workouts as the backup left tackle. Sherrod, the team's first-round pick in 2011, missed the end of 2011, all of 2012 and a good chunk of 2013 with a broken leg. He practiced for about half the season and played a half-dozen snaps in the blowout loss at Detroit.

"I think Derek Sherrod is a little more natural on the left side, as we found here at the end of this season working him both right and left," McCarthy said. "[So] we're going to start him on the left side, too."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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