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Monday, August 5, 2013
Young interest, Bulaga injury related?

By Rob Demovsky


GREEN BAY, Wis. -- On the surface, the potentially season-ending knee injury Green Bay Packers left tackle Bryan Bulaga sustained in Saturday’s scrimmage and their decision to bring in quarterback Vince Young for a workout appear to be two separate stories.

But maybe there’s a connection.

The Packers revamped their offensive line in order to better protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked a league-high 51 times last season. The key to the line changes was moving Bulaga from right tackle to left tackle and thus putting their best offensive tackle on Rodgers’ blindside.

Whatever changes the Packers make to adjust for Bulaga’s injury would impact Rodgers. Without Bulaga, it leaves Rodgers more vulnerable. Perhaps that’s why general manager Ted Thompson now feels the need to explore a veteran backup quarterback.

Since becoming a starter in 2008, Rodgers has had two primary backups: Matt Flynn from 2008-11 and Graham Harrell last season. Flynn was a rookie when he beat out fellow rookie Brian Brohm for the job. Harrell was a former practice-squad quarterback when he beat out rookie B.J. Coleman in training camp last summer.

It’s entirely possible the Packers’ interest in Young is either just curiosity about a former first-round draft pick who has a winning record (31-19 record as a starter, including 30-17 with the Tennessee Titans, who took him third overall in the 2006 draft) but hasn’t been on a regular-season roster since 2011 with the Philadelphia Eagles or it’s a sign Harrell and Coleman haven’t performed well enough through the first week of training camp.

Or perhaps there’s another reason to bring in Young. As the Green Bay Press-Gazette pointed out, Young might be able to help the Packers’ defense prepare for the read-option offense that they struggled against last season in the playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers open this season at San Francisco and play another read-option quarterback, Robert Griffin III, when the Washington Redskins come to Lambeau Field in Week 2.