While most talk at the NFL Scouting Combine falls into the non-story category, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy dropped some rather important pieces of information to Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
As of now, the team plans to keep second-year offensive lineman David Bakhtiari at left tackle while shifting Bryan Bulaga back over to the right.
also in 1 on 1, McCarthy said Bakhtiar will stay at LT, and when it was suggested that Bulaga could back to RT and Sherrod could work 1 side— Pete Dougherty (@PeteDougherty) February 21, 2014
or both, McCarthy said, "We haven’t had a final decision on that, but that’s logical thinking."— Pete Dougherty (@PeteDougherty) February 21, 2014
While McCarthy left himself some wiggle room, this is the strongest indication that the team is committed to Bakhtiari at left tackle for the long term. Questions about the Packers' offensive line plans arose recently when Bryan Bulaga, briefly the starting blindside protector, suggested that the team remained uncertain on his position. Perhaps that's still the case, but McCarthy has removed all doubt that left tackle is Bakhtiari's position to lose heading into 2014.
McCarthy also suggested that second-year cornerback Micah Hyde could play some safety next year.
Also in 1 on 1, McCarthy made stronger comment about Micah Hyde possibly moving to safety. Said Hyde "definitely is a three-down player" ..— Pete Dougherty (@PeteDougherty) February 21, 2014
and "definitely has the ability to be an impact player." Suggests Hyde could play safety in some personnel, groups slot corner in others— Pete Dougherty (@PeteDougherty) February 21, 2014
Those looking for Hyde to transition full time to safety will probably be disappointed, but this approach makes more sense. Hyde played some safety while at Iowa and struggled to defend the vertical passing game. However, he's a reliable tackler and plays the run well, suggesting that playing safety in running situations might be a better solution. Hyde could switch between the safety and slot corner depending on the down and situation, allowing Green Bay to get one of its better defensive backs on the field more often.
The combine workouts begin in earnest tomorrow. Keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company for the latest Packers news and developments.