Posted by Josh Katzowitz
IRVING, Texas – Though he was a 2010 first-round draft pick, Packers fans probably didn’t expect to see T Bryan Bulaga have to play such an immediate role in the Green Bay offense.
But when RT Mark Tauscher’s shoulder forced him to the sidelines in October (and eventually to the Injured Reserve list), Bulaga was pressed into action – and a new role.
A left tackle for his career, Bulaga suddenly had to shift into the starting role on the other side of the offensive line. Without much preparation, he was thrown into his new assignment, and after a rough start, he’s finally gotten more comfortable in his new position.
“Just going to the right side was tough, because I had never played there,” Bulaga said. “That made it a little hard. But as the games went on, I got more comfortable over there, and I feel like I was playing pretty good football toward the end.”
He’s right, and he’s played a supporting role in Aaron Rodgers’ ascent to the top of the NFL quarterback universe while helping him win his first postseason games. But it wasn’t easy for Bulaga either.
“It was a little bit of a transition for him,” Packers OL coach James Campen said. “It was his stance going from left to right and that type of thing. Every game he’s seen a different look, a different pressure and a different situation, but he very rarely makes the same mistake twice. That’s a tribute to him, especially for a young guy. He’s a 21-year-old player that’s certainly dropped that rookie tag at this point. He’s gotten better and better.”
For that, Bulaga partially can thank LT Chad Clifton, the 11-year veteran whose eventual replacement likely will be Bulaga.
“He’s been tremendous,” Bulaga said. “You can look to him for anything. He’s been an absolute big help so far.”
But Campen really saw the improvement in Bulaga during the NFC championship game. Already, the Packers had faced the Bears twice, and that third time, Campen saw how much better Bulaga was playing.
“It’s because of his attention to detail,” Campen said. “Bryan Bulaga just doesn’t want to be good, he wants to touch greatness at some point in his career. He’s certainly on the right track with that.”
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