Veteran linemen ready for another new center
Josh Sitton has never started consecutive seasons next to the same center and tackle combination during his six-year NFL career a
nd that won't change in 2014.
While it's still to be determined who will prevail at center, the Packers are onto their fourth different starter in four years at the position with Evan-Dietrich-Smith leaving to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason.
While it's still to be determined who will prevail at center, the Packers are onto their fourth different starter in four years at the position with E
Sitton has gained a year of comfort with left tackle David Bakhtiari, but he'll need to build a rapport with whatever 20-something candidate emerges at center whether it be second-year JC Tretter, fifth-round rookie Corey Linsley or long-shot Garth Gerhart.van-Dietrich-Smith leaving to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason.
"I think I've h
ad five centers now, so it's tough because you learn one guy and you get used to doing drills next to one guy," said Sitton, who also estimates he's played next to 12 different tackles between his time at right and left guard.
"You just gel and you know exactly where their foot's going to be and you've going to be right next to each other. Dietrich was a hell of a player, there was no doubt about it. I really enjoyed playing next to him. But that's what we do."
Dietrich-Smith came from humble beginnings as a former undrafted free agent, but was popular both in the offensive line room and quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who threw his support behind EDS' return.
Now, it's up to the offensive line to continue the progress they made last season when the rushing offense improved from 20th to seventh with Eddie Lacy's arrival and Dietrich-Smith taking over for an aging Jeff Saturday.
"There's definitely some changes," right guard T.J. Lang said. "When you play with a guy for a year or two, you start to learn his tendencies and create your own verbiage with those guys. It's something that takes time getting used to but we've done it for four straight years now so it's not like it can't be done."