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Cheese Curds, 1/20: Packers’ string of success at left tackle is remarkable

It’s rare to have the QB success that the Packers have over the past three decades, but it’s also rare to go from one Pro Bowl left tackle to another with minimal transition time.

Green Bay Packers v Carolina Panthers

The Green Bay Packers’ transition from #4 to #12 at quarterback remains one of the most impressive franchise shifts at that position in NFL history. 30 consecutive years of Hall of Fame quarterback play just simply isn’t something that any other franchise can match.

Something that goes under the radar, however, is that the Packers also have had a remarkable run of exceptional play at the left tackle position. Aside from a brief stretch of about a season and a half in 2011 and 2012, the Packers have had tremendous consistency blocking on the blind side dating back to 2000.

That run is almost entirely thanks to two players: David Bakhtiari and Chad Clifton. Both of these players were among the best of the best in pass protection, and although Bakhtiari has earned more league-wide honors than Clifton did, each deserves to be remembered fondly by Packers fans (not that Bakhtiari is likely going anywhere just yet). Notably, Clifton also protected both of the aforementioned quarterbacks, as his career straddled the transition period between Favre and Rodgers.

Maybe the Packers will get lucky once again and have another Pro Bowl tackle take over whenever Bakhtiari does move on, either to retirement or another team. But for now, let’s appreciate that #69 appears to be back to his normal self after a pretty long layoff from his knee injury.

5 simple ways the Packers can start climbing out of another salary cap hole | Packers Wire
Note that "restructure" is the verb used for each of these five players' contracts. Not mentioned, however, is extending Rashan Gary, which would help lower his cap number for 2023 and lock in the pass-rusher for a few more years.

As for why Bakhtiari should be back instead of getting released as a cap casualty, well, just take a look at his pass-blocking numbers from when he got back on the field:

'Prototypical left tackle' was best description of Chad Clifton |
Much like Bakhtiari, Clifton was at his best when asked to protect the quarterback. One of two bookend tackles drafted in 2000 (opposite Mark Tauscher), Clifton never really got the accolades he probably deserved during his career as he earned just two Pro Bowl selections and no All-Pro accolades.

Vikings fire defensive coordinator Ed Donatell after one season |
That makes two playoff teams that have fired their defensive coordinators this offseason (along with the Dolphins). That should only make ongoing frustration from many Packers fans about Joe Barry's retention even stronger.

How Eagles GM Howie Roseman built the best roster in the NFL | ESPN
By taking smart risks and avoiding the status quo, Howie Roseman has built the Eagles into title contenders once again, and his team's first playoff test will come against a divisional foe on Saturday.

Aaron Rodgers To Decide Future By Consulting With Coven Of Trusted Witches | The Onion
As usual, The Onion hits a home run with this one.