Anyone in attendance at Packers training camp last summer remembers the sight of offensive lineman T.J. Lang, tepid and rusty from having missed an entire offseason due to wrist surgery, getting beat up on in one-on-ones and generally making a poor showing of it on the field.
What a difference a year makes.
Sure, he missed another offseason, this time due to the NFL lockout, but his time has clearly been spent well. A healthy Lang took the field on Monday night, the first night the team was in pads and actually hitting each other, and absolutely handled all comers. In the one-on-one's between the offensive line and the linebackers, Lang won all four of his contests. In team scrimmage periods, he was quick out of his stance and as tenacious in his run blocking as he was expert in his technique in pass protection.
Much has been made of the Packers giving their first round pick Derek Sherrod a look at left guard to start camp, but there really is no comparison between the two. While the rookie was inconsistent at best on Monday night (which is totally expected) Lang looked strong and in control.
Obviously, there's a danger in extrapolating too much information from a single practice, let alone the initial one with hitting and thumping/tackling. But to this bloggers meager eyes, its not even a question.
T.J. Lang should be the starter at left guard when the Packers open against the New Orleans Saints.
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