Let’s break from tradition and treat the Working Class Hero Award a bit more like the other two at the midseason point. As you may remember, this award is normally just handed out with honorable mentions instead of naming nominees and letting you the reader decide. At the midseason point though there are too many players that would be lost in the cracks, and it’s a good point to shine a light on all these players and let you all duke it out for who is most critical to the Packers week in and week out.
Let’s meet the nominees….
RG Josh Sitton – When an offensive lineman is good at his job he does not often give much for bloggers and the media to write about. Sitton is that sort of guy. I’m guessing you have heard plenty about Marshall Newhouse. Bryan Bulaga struggled under the bright lights of Monday Night Football earlier this year. T.J. Lang has been up and down. Jeff Saturday has not lived up to his promise. Josh Sittion has just gone out and kicked ass…which is what most Packer fans expect him to do. He also pushed an old school blocking sled in a cell phone commercial which is cool (by the way, since he didn’t get a line in the commercial he’s the working class hero of that too).
DE Ryan Pickett – Pickett has had a great year so far. He has been essential to shutting down one of the premiere running games in league in Houston, and has helped the Packers keep many other teams one dimensional. He is far and away the best run stuffer and two gapper the Packers have which often means lots of fighting in the trenches and not much glory.
TE Tom Crabtree – Crabtree has caught some highlights so far this year, but that doesn’t change who he is for the team. More often than not he gets the dirtiest job of the skill players. He blocks. He tackles on special teams. That’s mostly his game and he’s still the best at it among those special teams players. Oh, he also just enough of a threat to catch a 72 yard pass when the defense forgets about him.
P Tim Masthay – Punters don’t get much love, but the Ginger Wolverine has been a big part of the Packers success so far. Masthay leads the league in pinning teams back inside the 20 yard line. His punting skills have helped the Packers win in ugly games and defensive games such as against the Bears and Jaguars.
RT Bryan Bualga – People have been down on Bulaga after his awful game in Seattle. The thing is since then he has had some very strong performances and downright owned Chris Long. He hasn’t had a bad season and the Packers are going to miss him down the stretch.
DE C.J. Wilson – Wilson has quietly put together an impressive year. He has been stout against the run and even supplied some interior pass rush. He’s becoming a solid part of the defensive line rotation.
FB John Kuhn – Kuhn’s absence has been felt by the Packers more than many have expected. Without Kuhn the Packers have been unable convert third and short. He also is a valuable check down receiver and threat in the redzone. Hopefully his return can mean an improvement in the running game…especially in short yardage situations.