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Green Bay Packers Most Likely To Improve: No. 2 - Marshall Newhouse

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The previous editions of this series have all utilized the same format, one which generally doesn't work for offensive linemen, especially ones who are going to take on an expanded role. I can't really project stats for Marshall Newhouse, and his stats from last year aren't terribly relevant. It's important to actually watch games to figure out what stats can't tell you for every player, in every position, but it's especially important when it comes to offensive linemen.

We'll mention some stats anyway, just for some context. According to Football Outsiders, the Green Bay Packers offensive line, as a unit, was 16th in adjusted line yards and 23rd and adjusted sack rate, which measure effectiveness at run blocking and pass blocking. Left tackle, where Newhouse will have the opportunity to start from Week 1 this season, was almost certainly the most inconsistent spot on the line last season, and while Newhouse did spend some time at right tackle while Bryan Bulaga was injured, but the vast majority of his time was spent at left tackle.

Newhouse was obviously the line's weak link while watching the games, and stats back up that observation. According to Pro Football Focus's pass blocking efficiency stat, Newhouse was 69th out of the 75 offensive tackles who played the most snaps in 2011. In his 16 total games and 13 starts, he had 544 pass blocking downs on the field and gave up 54 quarterback disruptions. Thanks to Aaron Rodgers' awareness and pocket mobility, those only turned into eight sacks.

We linked this post and these quotes during OTAs, but they're worth sharing again. Mike McCarthy talked about Newhouse back in June, and what he had to say indicates that the team has a lot of faith in him.

"Marshall is at that point in his career and I think every player goes through it, where the people in the building have a lot more confidence in him than maybe the people outside. I just don't think people know much about him. He's progressed so much and you see the ability, especially the athletic ability. I think Marshall is going to be a good player for us. He made a huge jump last year and he's made another jump so far this year."

Newhouse enters training camp as the starting left tackle, and he will have the benefit of the doubt from the coaching staff unless he is significantly outperformed by Derek Sherrod. Based on Sherrod's natural talent and Newhouse's stats from last year, that's certainly not impossible, but no one is expecting him to have a poor camp and preseason.

If Newhouse wins the starting job and stays healthy, he's going to be better than last year, period. There's no chance that he's going to allow the same volume and the same rate of quarterback pressures as he did in 2011, and he'll probably be a more astute run blocker as well.

Previous posts

No. 5 - M.D. Jennings | No. 4 - Clay Matthews | No. 3 - Randall Cobb