Mike McCarthy’s press conferences are usually about as exciting as watching paint dry, but the coach did say something interesting yesterday. When asked about the extension signed by T.J. Lang, he lauded the offensive lineman’s versatility and then mentioned that he was a candidate to replace Scott Wells before Jeff Saturday signed. I found this interesting because I wrote about that very possibility back in March.
In fact, after watching a lot of video, I concluded that center might actually be Lang’s best position in the NFL. While he has a chance to be a very good left guard, I’m not sure he has the physical skills needed to play at a Pro Bowl level. His arms are a little short and he can be slow to adjust to counter moves due to average lateral agility. Those deficiencies aren’t quite as problematic a few feet to his right.
Ideally, the Packers would probably prefer to leave Lang at guard and replace Saturday next season with another player already on the roster. But if none of the youngsters emerge and Thompson and the coaches aren’t comfortable going with veteran Evan Dietrich-Smith, don’t be surprised if Lang is asked to move to center. There’s little doubt Mr. Versatility could handle such a move. In fact, he might just thrive.