Don’t worry about Packers’ Bulaga : Packers Insider

Don’t worry about Packers’ Bulaga

January 7, 2011 by  
Filed under News

By Michael Hunt, Journal Sentinel

~Green Bay — At midweek, a handful of reporters approached Green Bay right tackle Bryan Bulaga at his locker.

It did not take long before the topic of his four penalties against the Chicago Bears in the regular-season finale was raised.

“I’m past that. We’re moving on,” Bulaga said. “We’re moving on.”

By and by, a few more media types joined the conversation. Again, the penalties were mentioned.

“I’m done talking about the whole penalty deal,” he said. “I’m done with the penalty deal.”

From penalties, to sacks allowed, there have been too many leaks coming past Bulaga's side since he was forced to fill Mark Tauscher's shoes.

Finally, Larry McCarren – former all-pro center, current TV guy, radio color analyst and all-around Green Bay institution – joined the interview session. If Bulaga were going to speak publicly about his four flags against the Bears, it would be with McCarren.

And Bulaga sort of came close before throwing his final block.

“What I’ve been saying with these guys is that I’m done . . . with that fiasco,” Bulaga said. “It’s just not acceptable.”

It was right about then that you figured this rookie is going to be OK in his first NFL playoff game.

Of course, holding his ground against the motley crew in front of his locker will be nothing like withstanding the pressure that the Eagles defense brings to bear, especially in that nuthouse they call the Linc at playoff time. The sound and the fury coming through Bulaga’s ear holes will be nothing like he’s experienced before.

But at least Bulaga was adhering to his coach’s dictum to remain consistent this week, to treat everything as if it were just another game, even if an NFL playoff game for a rookie will most assuredly not be just like another game.

Bulaga was smiling and had a look of confidence about him. He almost acts the part of a veteran, even if he does look every bit the 21-year-old he is from the neck up.

“I don’t want to say I’m just like a veteran,” he said. “It’s different. The intensity is kicked up. But I’m not going to be shocked when the tempo picks up. I’m expecting it. As young guys, that’s what we’re hearing this week, that intensity and the tempo will now pick up.”

It’s not like Bulaga hasn’t experienced pressure already this season. He played a little in Week 2 against Buffalo and then took over at right tackle for the final 12 games. He only replaced Mark Tauscher, the popular homeboy who had held the position practically forever before being placed on injured reserve.

Beyond that, Bulaga had been accustomed to playing the left side, Ricky Stanzi’s blind side, at Iowa. All he had to do to compete at a much higher level was basically reverse everything he had known about being an offensive tackle. Try that while learning on the job.

And of all the new pieces the plug-and-play Packers have thrown into the lineup because of all the injuries, Bulaga has been the only rookie starter since linebacker Frank Zombo got hurt. By all accounts Bulaga has played like a first-round pick is expected to play, especially considering all the pass blocking required of him. Outside of the penalties last week, he performed to standard against the Bears.

“He’s done a good job,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “He’s been impressive for someone who is a natural left tackle. He’s going to be our left tackle for years to come. He’s done a good job adjusting his footwork to the position.”

Of all the things he must concern himself with against the Eagles, “I don’t worry about Bryan,” Rodgers said. “It shows the type of people we have here.”

In fact, no one should worry about the rookie in his first playoff game.

“I’m fired up,” Bulaga said. “Not many people in general get to be in the playoffs their whole career, and I’m going to do it in my first year. It’s exciting.”

Full story HERE

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