It has been made official, the Green Bay Packers are planning on benching veteran center Jeff Saturday in favor of 3rd year center Evan Dietrich-Smith. This move is somewhat surprising as Saturday hasn’t had a bad year, and Smith hasn’t started a game at center in his career.
Smith proved his worth this year as he made starts at guard and tackle when needed. It’s been said that he really surprised everyone at practice and is a hard worker. He may have outworked the 38 year old Saturday down the stretch, and gained the title as the Packers future center. This move worries me just a little bit.
The center is one of the most important positions on offense. You have to have a good rapport with the quarterback. Aaron Rodgers seemed to have a great relationship with Saturday, and there weren’t many mistakes. Now you’re throwing in a new center at the most crucial part of the season and you expect immediate success? I think we’re in for some growing pains.
Another reason why the benching is surprising, is the fact that Saturday leads all centers in Pro Bowl voting. Now this could speak to the fact that the Pro Bowl voting is flawed, and the fans vote makes it worthless. Saturday had one terrible game against the New York Giants, where he just seemed a step slower than the Giants talented defensive line. Maybe head coach Mike McCarthy is planning on seeing the Giants in the playoffs. Or maybe this is just a plan for the future, because I think we all knew that Saturday probably wouldn’t be returning in 2013.
This will be a situation to keep an eye on going forward. I will be keeping an eye on the center/snap exchanges during the game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
Follow me on Twitter: NFLownerGBP