Reader Katie asked what we thought of this move: moving first round pick Brian Bulaga from left tackle to left guard. Mike McCarthy is apparently trying this and has indicated that the competition for the LG spot is open. Interesting. As Bob McGinn speculates, this means that McCarthy is either not satisfied with Colledge’s play over the last few years or that he just thinks Bulaga has THAT much upside. (Or, of course most likely, both.)
I have written before about my concerns with McCarthy shuffling the O-Line and how this has can be disruptive to team chemistry and disruptive to the overall development of our O-Linemen. I generally believe that players are drafted to play certain positions because they played those positions well in college. Messing with that too much is usually not a good idea.
However, there are exceptions. When one guy just isn’t that good, it is the job of the coach (and the GM) to figure out how to get a better player in there. And when a guy is talented enough to make a position change at the NFL level, it might be worth at least investigating because if it works out, fundamentally, the coach is doing his job of putting the best players on the field. So in this particular case with Colledge and Bulaga, I’m all for trying Bulaga out at LG mostly because Daryn Colledge is not that good. Colledge isn’t terrible and he’s had some good games. But overall, he’s just not that good and replacing him might yield better overall productivity from our LG position. I’ve said this before about Colledge: he strikes me as one of those guys who doesn’t have that nasty streak you want your O-Linemen to have. (The tattoos are a farce, my guess is that they are of the stick-on variety…) Colledge just seems too comfortable with his station in life as an NFL player – earning a nice paycheck, having a nice life – he appears to me to lack that edge. So again, because Bulaga by most accounts appears to be extra talented and the coach believes that he would be talented enough to be able to make a position switch at the NFL level, I’m all for trying it out at least. One very important part of any experiment like this, however, is that the coaches monitor the situation carefully and that they not be afraid to abandon the whole thing if it’s not working. It’s not good to have starting positions up for grabs right up to Week One. Try this for a few weeks to see how it works out and go from there.
What do you all think about this proposed move?