GREEN BAY – Last week, Packers offensive line coach Adam Stenavich told reporters he felt Billy Turner's best position was right tackle, even last year when he played the whole season at right guard.
Now that Turner has had some time to settle into his new spot, getting over a knee injury that slowed him last month, he's proving Stenavich right.
For all the troubles the Packers had protecting QB Aaron Rodgers from Tampa Bay's pass rush in Sunday's loss, Turner played a solid game against 2019 NFL sack leader Shaquil Barrett as well as against other Buccaneers assignments. He did allow a sack of backup QB Tim Boyle on the offense's last offensive snap to Jason Pierre-Paul, but otherwise he held his own.
Here's a sampling:
Play No. 1: First-and-10 from the Tampa Bay 35, first quarter, 12:10 left
Result: 12-yard completion to WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
A premier OLB, Barrett (58) led the league in sacks a year ago with 19½, and he came into this game with three so far in 2020. But he didn't register a single defensive statistic of any kind in Sunday's game, and this play is a good example of what he dealt with in Turner all afternoon. Turner uses a quick first step with his right foot to get into his pass set, and then he engages with Barrett. It's close to a holding call the way he grabs Barrett's right shoulder pad, but there's no flag and the pass to MVS moves the chains.
Play No. 2: Second-and-10 from the Tampa Bay 41, first quarter, 5:16 left
Result: 15-yard completion to Valdes-Scantling
Turner isn't quite as quick to get out on the edge on Barrett this time, but he recovers nicely to steer him around the pocket, and then smartly takes his hand off the shoulder pad to avoid a possible holding penalty. When S Antoine Winfield Jr. (31) dives way too far inside on his blitz attempt and falls down, Rodgers has a clear lane to step up and out to find MVS. Barrett spins away to begin chasing Rodgers, but Turner has done his job.
Play No. 3: Third-and-4 from the Tampa Bay 7, first quarter, 1:31 left
Result: 6-yard scramble by Rodgers
This time Turner's assignment is the inside rusher, Anthony Nelson (98). He stands him up, keeps his leverage, and when Rodgers sees all the space to run to his right, Nelson is too late to get in his way or trip him up. The original touchdown call was overturned on replay, but the scramble made it first-and-goal and the Packers scored on the next play.
Play No. 4: First-and-10 from the Green Bay 22, second quarter, 13:07 left
Result: Incomplete pass
As the game wears on and the offense starts to struggle, Turner is still holding up fine. Here blocks Pierre-Paul (90) for four full seconds before Pierre-Paul finally slips away. Unfortunately, Rodgers can't find anyone open during that time.
Play No. 5: Second-and-10 from the Green Bay 45, third quarter, 6:27 left
Result: 2-yard run by RB Jamaal Williams
Here's an effective run block from Turner, as he gets Pierre-Paul on the ground, creating a nice cutback lane for Williams. With TE Jace Sternberger (87) and WR Equanimeous St. Brown (19) out front, this run has a chance to break out. But as was the problem all game long, the speed of LB Devin White (45) is the difference-maker, and he darts through to hold Williams to a short gain.