The first seven weeks of the season, the Packers were called for 10 holding penalties — a manageable number.
But in the last three weeks, they’ve been flagged for 12 holding penalties, including seven by offensive linemen either playing for the first time this season or playing at a different position. Fill-in left guard Evan Dietrich-Smith leads the way during this stretch with three holding penalties. T.J. Lang, who moved from left guard to right tackle after Bryan Bulaga’s season-ending hip injury, has two. So does Don Barclay, who played a little more than half of one game at right tackle after Lang went down last Sunday because of an ankle injury.
The holding calls shouldn’t be dismissed when considering the reasons the Packers offense has struggled at times this season. That angle didn’t make it into today’s story about the offensive issues facing the Packers (which can be read here: http://pck.rs/XEaXYS), but it’s worth considering.
“The thing we’ve got to do a better job of, and it’s really glaring, are the offensive holding,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “The last two games are off the charts.”
McCarthy suggested his players better be especially careful during tonight’s game against the Detroit Lions because of the officiating crew, led by referee Tony Corrente, is known for calling a lot of offensive holding penalties.
“The officials have tendencies, too, and this crew here, Corrente’s crew, is a big holding crew,” McCarthy said. “We’ve just got to stay out of the bad down and distances.”