Packers’ Offensive Line Training Camp Battle Looks To Be Won

Yosh Nijman, Zach Tom, Josh Myers, Packers
Packers Coverage, NFL Analysis Network

One of the more surprising positional battles to emerge during training camp for the Green Bay Packers was along the offensive line. A three-man competition was being held for two positions; center and right tackle.

The incumbent at center was Josh Myers, a second-round pick out of Ohio State in the 2021 NFL Draft. His starting job could have gone to the versatile Zach Tom, who was penciled in as the starter at right tackle at the beginning of camp. The player pushing for a starter spot was Yosh Nijman, who is capable of playing both tackle spots.

Myers certainly didn’t help his case this past weekend against the New England Patriots. In the Packers’ second preseason game of the year, Myers had a tough situation in which he thought a penalty was committed by the defense, so he snapped the ball. Jordan Love wasn’t ready for the snap as there wasn’t a penalty and the Patriots recovered the ball.

“Basically, we were using a dummy cadence and one of their d-linemen flinched,” said head coach Matt LaFleur after the game. “He just didn’t go into the neutral zone. When that happens, we teach the centers to snap the ball if they cross into the neutral zone. It didn’t appear that their d-lineman went into the neutral zone and Jordan wasn’t ready for the ball.”

That mishap could have been enough for the Packers to go in a different direction at center. Tom is talented enough to handle responsibility at any of the five spots along the offensive line with Nijman being a capable player at right tackle.

But, it sounds as if Myers will be retaining his starting spot, for the time being. Tom will be taking over at right tackle with Jon Runyan Jr. next to him. At left tackle it will be David Bakhtiari and left guard is where Elgton Jenkins resides.

”I think he’s done a nice job,” said LaFleur on Sunday.” It seemed like yesterday, I thought all-in-all, especially when you talk about our pass protection, it was about as clean as you could get. I don’t even know if they had any hits or pressures on the quarterback. It’s not like everything was quick game or keepers either. We had some play-action passes. We had some longer developing concepts, and I thought, for the most part, the pocket was really clean.

”Obviously, he had the one miscue with Jordan on the fumbled snap that we can’t have happen, but I thought Josh has been picking up his play each and every week.”

Myers is being given a chance to solidify his standing with the team as the Week 1 starter. LaFleur noted earlier this offseason that consistency was key for Myers to keep his spot and the coaching staff must have seen enough to set their starting group in stone ahead of the third preseason game.

The depth in the trenches is one of the strengths of the Packers heading into the regular season. If Myers falters, there are certainly contingency plans in place to shake things up and get the unit on track.