The right side of the Green Bay Packers offensive line was a tale of two seasons. RG Josh Sitton had his second consecutive great season, and was honored for it by the NFL Alumni Association. Meanwhile, rookie RT Bryan Bulaga was installed mid-season as the starter after RT Mark Tauscher was lost for the year. The right tackle position was clearly the weak link on the offensive line.
After spending the entire training camp and preseason on the left side at either tackle or guard, Bulaga was moved abruptly to the right side after Tauscher's injury. They could have gone with their true backup right tackle, T.J. Lang, but the move of Bulaga ahead of Lang confirmed that they think he's their next best lineman. While he's still expected to play well, maybe the combination of unfamiliar position and rookie NFL season can account for his inconsistency. He's a promising young player who will only get better in the future.
But in the recent past, it's been a brutal stretch for Bulaga. He was inconsistent during the regular season, and ended it with a brutal game against the Bears. He had played better during the playoffs, but it was a rough Super Bowl. LB LaMarr Woodley recorded 3 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 QB hits. And the sack was even Bulaga's fault, as a play near the goal line was blown up by the Steelers. But during most of the first half, and the start of the 3rd quarter, Woodley was having his way with Bulaga. He was consistently blowing up the pocket, and was only slowed down late in the third quarter when they occasionally sent TE Tom Crabtree in motion to get a chip block on Woodley at the line of scrimmage.
What should be done for Bulaga next season? Give him a full offseason to get ready to play right tackle? I don't see any reason why LT Chad Clifton should be let go after he had a Pro Bowl season, and shut down LB James Harrison in the Super Bowl. He could go back to the left side as a backup, and then draft a new right tackle at the end of the first round?