The Case for Marshall Newhouse

marshall newhouse "Marshall Newhouse; right tackle" has a ring to it, wouldn't you say? Even if it doesn't, we might have to get used to it, because that's what he plays now.

Yep, perhaps a bit lost in the shuffle of this off-season's big offensive line overhaul was Newhouse's move from left to right. No longer will he compete for playing time on the left side. From now on, he's a right side kind of guy. And don't be shocked by this, but I hope he wins the job.

You read that right: I hope Marshall Newhouse is the Packers' starting right tackle at the beginning of this season.

True, Mr. Newhouse and I have not always gotten along, but I'm willing to put that behind me if he'll do a couple things to benefit the team.

First, he has to focus on being an above-average run blocker. I'm not asking for the world, here. I'm not hoping for a road grader or even the equivalent of a Chevy S-10 with a snow plow on the front. I just want above-average. And considering that he's considered quick for his size (a considerable 6'4" and 320 pounds, mind you) and was thought to be strong in that area coming out of college, above-average should be attainable.

Second, he has to hold off Don Barclay and Derek Sherrod just long enough to make it to the regular season. This is where the qualifying portion of my request comes in. I don't think Marshall Newhouse is the answer long-term at any offensive line position, much less left tackle. But what I don't want for the Packers is uncertainty right out of the gate for next season. If Newhouse can grab hold of the right tackle job early in training camp and settle in as we hit the regular season, it will give the rest of the line time to come together, hopefully allowing any possible uncertainty later in the year to sort itself out with limited damage to the rest of the offensive line.

These shouldn't be unreasonable requests, wouldn't you say? I'm not the biggest Newhouse fan, but I'll be rooting for him to be "the man" at right tackle in training camp.

Of course, should Derek Sherrod make a miraculous recovery (not holding my breath) or Don Barclay prove to be the second coming of Mark Tauscher, these requests will be rendered null and void. I'd rather have a long term answer than a short term fix, and while I may be rooting for Newhouse now, I'd jump ship tomorrow for something better.

Jon Meerdink