Packers 2014 Roster Preview: Returning Guards and Centers

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

APC breaks down the interior offensive linemen who return to the Packers in 2014.

To prepare for training camp, we will be breaking down every player on the Green Bay Packers' 90-man roster in more detail, looking at contract terms and 2013 statistics, before we make our prediction for which players will make the 53-man roster at the end of training camp.

We continue our roster breakdown with a look at the Packer's returning guards and centers.

#71 Josh Sitton

6-3, 318 lbs
How acquired: fourth-round pick, 2008

2014 Contract Terms (signed through 2016)

Base salary: $4.5 million
Roster bonus: $400,000
Workout bonus: $300,000
Total compensation: $5.2 million
Cap number: $6.4 million

2013 Statistics

16 games played, 16 starts
Blocking (PFF): 1 sack allowed, 0 QB hits allowed, 8 hurries allowed, 6 penalties

From Week 2 on, Josh Sitton played as well or better than every other offensive lineman in the NFL last season. His only hiccup was a mysteriously poor showing in San Francisco that accounted for half of all his penalties and over a third of his hurries allowed for the entire year. In every other game, Sitton's performance was beyond reproach. Appropriately, he was named to the second-team All-Pro list.

#70 T.J. Lang

6-4, 318 lbs
How acquired: fourth-round pick, 2009

2014 Contract Terms (signed through 2016)

Base salary: $3.5 million
Roster bonus: $300,000
Workout bonus: $200,000
Total compensation: $4 million
Cap number: $5.1 million

2013 Statistics

16 games played, 16 starts
Blocking (PFF): 3 sacks allowed, 5 QB hits allowed, 18 hurries allowed, 5 penalties

While not the caliber of blocker of his teammate and best friend Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang is a quality lineman in his own right. Overall, he provides ample push in the ground game while also anchoring well in pass protection. While the Packers hope he's only needed at guard, Lang is capable of playing all five positions along the line in a pinch.

#73 J.C. Tretter

6-4, 307 lbs
How acquired: fourth-round pick, 2013

2014 Contract Terms (signed through 2016)

Base salary: $405,000
Total compensation: $405,000
Cap number: $598,977

2013 Statistics

(Began season on P.U.P. before rejoining the team as a non-activated reserve)

While the expectation is that J.C. Tretter will open the season as the Packers' starting center, he's yet to take a snap in an NFL game. Any game. Including preseason. An ankle injury suffered during his very first practice effectively ended his 2013. While Tretter worked his way onto the 53 after a stint on P.U.P. -- a fact that should have tipped off the team's plans to let Evan Dietrich-Smith walk in free agency -- he was left inactive for those few games in which he was on the 53. Now he's the man at center, a simultaneously promising and scary proposition.

#65 Lane Taylor

6-3, 324 lbs
How acquired: undrafted free agent signee, 2013

2014 Contract Terms (signed through 2015)

Base salary: $495,000
Total compensation: $495,000
Cap number: $497,333

2013 Statistics

10 games played

As an undrafted rookie, Lane Taylor earned a roster spot by acquitting himself well to both guard positions during the preseason. The Packers favor versatility, and at this stage that's Taylor's most obvious strength. He played very little in 2013, so it's difficult to discern what kind of player he is.

#68 Andrew Tiller

6-4, 334 lbs
How acquired: free agent signee, 2013; assigned to practice squad

2014 Contract Terms (signed through 2015)

Base salary: $420,000
Total compensation: $420,000
Cap number: $420,000

2013 Statistics

(Spent 2013 on the practice squads of multiple teams)

Andrew Tiller was a late-season addition to the Packers' practice squad. Before that, he spent time with the Chargers, also as a practice squad member. If there's reason for intrigue with Tiller, it's his massive frame. At 6-4, 334 lbs., he's the prototypical mauling right guard.

#72 Garth Gerhart

6-1, 310 lbs
How acquired: free agent signee, 2013; assigned to practice squad

2014 Contract Terms (signed through 2015)

Base salary: $420,000
Total compensation: $420,000
Cap number: $420,000

2013 Statistics

(Spent all of 2013 on the practice squad)

Garth Gerhart is a throwback to the more pure zone-blocking scheme the Packers utilized before 2013. That system was conducive to small but quick interior offensive linemen such as former centers Scott Wells and Evan Dietrich-Smith. With Green Bay moving towards a hybrid of power- and zone-blocking, undersized blockers like Gerhart don't really have a place.

Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as a contributor at various publications. His work has previously appeared on Hook’em Headlines, Beats Per Minute, and Lombardi Ave.
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