Thursday, August 14, 2014

Brian Bulaga Looking to Come Back Strong in 2014

Bryan Bulaga at Work,
Amy Andersen Photo
NFL lineman are expected to do an awful lot these days.  The left tackle position is the toughest and calls for someone who can protect the quarterback and fight off the most dangerous pass rusher--today's defensive end.  Bryan Bulaga is a Barrington, Illinois, native who played for Marian Central in Woodstock and then went on to the University of Iowa.  Bulaga was a promising young star in the Packers' roster and it looked like he was destined to become an important long-term "body guard" for superstar Aaron Rodgers. Unfortunately, all the movement required of huge men like Bulaga in today's offensive schemes can take a toll on players.  Big men today need to do many things that big men normally do not do!  When they move around so much, collisions of all kinds from multiple sides at all kinds of angles are likely to occur.  How often do we see a great lineman get twisted up from behind as he is falling down and when 300 plus pounds pulls a knee in an unnatural direction--anything can happen. 

Bulaga Recovers from Injuries

In 2012 Bulaga suffered a season-ending hip injury that kept him out of the last seven games.  Hard to imagine how difficult it was for Bulaga when he tore his ACL in the 2013 preseason and lost the entire year.  Bulaga has spent his time recovering from the injuries with expert help and facilities.  He's lost some weight and looks primed for a good season at right tackle this year. 

Bulaga of course was not the only injured Packer in 2013.  But his healthy return will certainly help the Packers this year. Unfortunately for the Packers, Don Barclay, their offensive lineman  who fills in at either guard position and right tackle tore his ACL this summer and will miss the entire 2014 season. 

Sporting Chance Press's Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who Have Won Three or More Championships is Patrick McCaskey's new book.  The book examines the football lives of the greatest coaches in NFL history: Halas, Chamberlin, Lambeau, Brown, Ewbank, Lombardi, Noll, Walsh, Gibbs, and Belichick.