Secondly, we can agree that something should be done about the situation at RT. Whether it's leaving an end or running back available for secondary blocking, a shift in focus in practice, promoting Breno Giacomini, or looking elsewhere, I will leave that decision to the professionals. I personally think that Barbre is capable of handling the position by himself; remember, once upon a time, Adewale Ogunleye was a premier pass-rusher. He's an older dog who still knows his young tricks, and he took advantage of the new starter. Barbre needs a confidence boost more than anything, in my opinion, and the next two games are excellent opportunities to deliver that medicine.
Everyone loves the former Badger walk-on-turned-starter, who went from 7th round pick to Pro Bowl (replacement) in just a few years. I loved how he did interviews with Fox 6's "Packer Blitz" pre- and post-game show. He was relaxed, personable, likable, and pretty good at his job, too. When he was released, a lot of people were sad about it, myself included.
But there's a problem with simply bringing him back now. Mark Tauscher tore his ACL on December 7th, 2007. As if that date wasn't infamous by itself, combine it with this nugget: ACL tears take anywhere between 6 and 8 months to fully recover (Exhibit A: Donovan McNabb, 2006-7). However, that doesn't mean that Tauscher's rehab resulted in full recovery by August 7th, 2009. At 32 years old and over 300 pounds, that target date gets pushed back to closer to 12-14 months.
Couple that with the fact that Tauscher didn't get the chance to attend anyone's offseason training programs? Out of 32 teams, the team that had the most interest was...Green Bay. If every single team in the league passes on a high-quality player because of health/age concerns, there must be a good reason. And it's not like he's suffering from Adam Jones Syndrome; Tauscher was the team's Walter
Peyton Payton Man of the Year and Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2008 (after suffering the knee injury).
Face it, guys. Mark Tauscher was a wonderful player, an even better person, and a major asset to the team. But he's not ready to play yet, and he likely won't play in 2009. After a year away from the game, will he have any gas left for a return in 2010? I'm skeptical, but anything is possible.
Besides, Jared Allen lines up on the left side, so it's not like we're completely screwed at RT. The Allen Barbre Bandwagon...seats available now!