There’s a reason former Packer and current Ram Scott Wells will be paid nearly twice as much as Jeff Saturday this season – he’s a better player. But after carefully watching all of Saturday’s snaps from last Thursday’s game against the Chargers, I came away feeling pretty good about Green Bay’s new old center.
In 15 snaps, Saturday held his own against some quality defensive linemen. And truth be told, that’s really all the Packers are expecting. The player who was named a second-team All-Pro in ’09 is but a memory.
That Saturday still had the athleticism and strength to physically get the better of his opponents. This Saturday relies on 14 years worth of experience to get the job done. And for one quarter of one game, he did just that.
Can Saturday continue to get the job done for the next six months? That’s the question. Few centers have ever started in the NFL at age 37. Plus, Green Bay runs more plays on offense than most teams, so he’s going to be on the field a lot more than he was a year ago when the Colts were often three and out.
Of course, the irony of worrying about Saturday’s ability to physically hold up with the Packers is that Wells hasn’t practiced all summer with St. Louis because of a lingering knee problem. That’s one of the reasons GM Ted Thompson passed on re-signing the Pro Bowler. There were 24 million other reasons as well.