The Green Bay Packers offensive line was supposed to be one of their strengths this season. In short, it has been far from it. The loss of All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari for the season after just one game has been a blow that the Packers have struggled to overcome.
Zach Tom, the team’s starting right tackle, is a lone bright spot, excelling2 in both pass and run blocking. However, Jon Runyan Jr. has not been good, Rasheed Walker, Bakhtiari’s replacement, is the one of the worst run blockers on the team, and center Josh Myers continues to be exposed by each and every defense the Packers face.
Of these players, Myers is the easiest to replace with who the Packers currently have on their team. Tom has practiced and played some preseason snaps at center. When Myers went down with a knee injury for a bit in Week Seven, Tom stepped in at center while Yosh Nijman came in to play right tackle.
Nijman has played well in the past, filling in for both Bakhtiari and Jenkins when they suffered torn ACL’s. Yet Matt LaFleur and offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich refuse to give him much playing time this year, despite the offensive line’s struggles.
Green Bay Packers Offensive Coordinator Adam Stenavich Defends Center Josh Myers
On Thursday, the Packers coordinators met with the media to answer questions ahead of their Week Eight matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. Stenavich was asked if he and head coach Matt LaFleur had given any thought to starting Tom at center and Nijman at right guard.
Stenavich quickly shut down the notion saying:
“Josh Myers is playing the best he’s played in his career. I think he’s playing very well. So I don’t think right now that’s the right move for us, because I think he’s one of our best five players.”
Stenavich’s full interview can be seen below:
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 26, 2023
To say that both Packers content creators and fans were confused and angered by Stenavich’s opinion would be an understatment.
Green Bay Packers Fans Want Adam Stenavich Fired
Packers fans’ displeasure towards defensive coordinator Joe Barry is well-known. However, Stenavich’s comments regarding Myers have put him in the same boat as Barry for many fans:
That’ll do it folks, I think I’ve seen all I need to see from Stenavich https://t.co/2D2ILXbLcM
— sam. (@sammwichh) October 26, 2023
Adam Stenavich seemed to not understand the line of questioning and then caught off guard over the suggestion of moving Zach Tom to center, then doubled down saying Josh Myers is playing very well and the best football of his career.
Most outside evaluations highly disagree.
— Ken Ingalls – Packers Cap 💰 (@KenIngalls) October 26, 2023
The run-blocking for the #Packers is truly, truly terrible.
This is a bottom 5 run defense and GB can’t block them.
Adam Stenavich has been internally praised, but this group is a nightmare in the ground game 2 years in a row and he’s the OC now.
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) October 22, 2023
I never thought it was even possible during the offseason but I believe Luke Butkus and Adam Stenavich are on hotter seats than Joe Barry. Stenavich was the previous offensive line coach now coordinator, Butkus is current… and both are failing miserable at execution.
— ⚠️ Packers ⚠️ (@PackersNetworks) October 26, 2023
As the OC, Adam Stenavich looks to be a major part of the many issues for the #Packers offense. I think it would be good for the team to hire new coordinators for the offense and defense. https://t.co/7kpflTkRXR
— 𝐍𝐄𝐄𝐋 (@iisneel) October 26, 2023
“There’s no dumb questions, just dumb people” -Adam Stenavich, a dumb person https://t.co/pmwQ0hKBnX
— tyler (@tysparkles) October 26, 2023
While fans can be emotional, is it possible that they are right about Myers and Stenavich has it wrong?
Where Do Josh Myers and Yosh Nijman Really Rank Among Green Bay Packers Offensive Linemen?
According to PFF, here are the Packers’ offensive linemen’s pass blocking grades through seven games:
- Yosh Nijman: 79.7
- Zach Tom: 74.9
- Josh Myers: 74.6
- Rashed Walker: 69.7
- Jon Runyan Jr: 63.8
- Elgton Jenkins: 61.5
- Royce Newman: 53.0
As one can see, Myers actually the Packers’ third-highest graded linemen in terms of pass blocking.
Now for the run-blocking grades:
- Zach Tom: 82.1
- Yosh Nijman: 53.9
- Elgton Jenkins: 51.6
- Jon Runyan Jr.: 50.8
- Rasheed Walker: 48.5
- Josh Myers: 47.5
- Royce Newman: 45.9
Looking at these grades, it is clear that Myers is not the only problem. Runyan is having an awful season and Jenkins is underperforming.
The problem, of course, is that the Packers’ lack quality depth on the offensive line. Everyone except for Tom is a below-average run blocker.
These problems aside, there is one thing that Stenavich implied that simply is not true: that Nijman is not one of their five best offensive lineman. That is clearly a false statement.
No one knows why Nijman has been banished to the bench, but it is coaching malpractice to not put the top five offensive linemen out there on game days, especially when they’re trying to fairly and accurately evaluate their new starting quarterback.
Jordan Love is suffering the consequences of this poor coaching decision, and the coaches evaluating him are just making it harder on themselves.