Evan Dietrich-Smith is used to the audition process.
After working his way back into the Green Bay Packers’ good graces in 2010, the third-year offensive lineman has a golden opportunity to establish himself as a starter in the wake of right tackle Bryan Bulaga being lost for the season with a hip injury.
When the former first-round pick left during the Packers’ 31-17 win over Arizona two weeks ago, they team slid T.J. Lang over to Bulaga’s spot and threw Dietrich-Smith in at starting left guard. It’s the same formula they’ll turn to again this Sunday against Detroit.
As Press-Gazette reporter Rob Demovsky writes, if Dietrich-Smith performs well in Detroit, it may give him the inside track on the starting center job next season, when the Packers may opt not to bring back veteran Jeff Saturday.
“The lesson I learned was the second time I got cut, by Seattle, I was out on the street, and I didn’t have anything,” Dietrich-Smith said Thursday. “I didn’t have football. I didn’t know what to do. My wife was pregnant; we were about to have the kid in like two months. It was like, ‘Crap, what are you supposed to do?’ Things open up your eyes.”
You can read the rest of Demovsky’s story here: http://tinyurl.com/bvgq2ym
*After getting his fair shot at the Packers’ starting running back spot, it appears Alex Green has relinquished the top spot to James Starks, who entered the season as the incumbent before missing two months with a turf toe injury.
At least until Cedric Benson is eligible to return on Dec. 9 after being placed on injured reserve designated to return, writes Press-Gazette reporter Pete Dougherty in his Packers’ notebook (http://tinyurl.com/c9mne2r).
*This week’s “Insiders” episode takes aim at the Aaron Rodgers/60 Minutes saga while discussing the impact of Clay Matthews missing this Sunday’s game against Detroit (http://tinyurl.com/cm2y8wx).
*Press-Gazette sports editor Mike Vandermause chatted with PackersNews.com readers on Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript of his interview: http://tinyurl.com/chwa85p