Write it down, Mike McCarthy said, the Green Bay Packers will have a better offensive line in 2013.
That is what the coach said from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, according to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
How the Packers will go about that has not been determined just yet. They’re in the formative stages.
According to McGinn, one possibility could be shifting former first-round draft pick Bryan Bulaga to left tackle from right tackle. That would likely create a spot at right tackle for Don Barclay. Evan Dietrich-Smith, who replaced veteran Jeff Saturday late in the season, is expected to remain where he is.
Bulaga was finished after the ninth game this past season when he suffered a small fracture in his left hip. The team needs to see how he heals up before any plans to move him are finalized.
"We're not doing anything like that right now," McCarthy said. "We've got to look at the draft and see what happens.
"I've got to make sure Bryan comes back from this injury. He's been there (the Packers' facility) every day. I'm not (worried), but you know how that goes."
Right now, McCarthy believes Bulaga could handle left tackle although it is important to note the team isn’t giving up on Marshall Newhouse, who played there this last season.
"It's hard for me because I think Bryan has really emerged," McCarthy said. "I think he's an all-pro right tackle. I thought he was having an all-pro year this year. That's the way he graded out for us. He had the bad game at Seattle but he recovered."
McCarthy said that Newhouse needs to make a jump this season. If the coach truly believes Bulaga is an elite level player on the right side, the prudent move would be to leave him there. If Bulaga can play at a consistent Pro Bowl level at right tackle, that is a plus for the club. Shifting him to the left side where he likely would not be elite wouldn’t necessarily make the line better.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune