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Article:Packers Add Size to Offensive Line

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According to Player Agent Craig Domann, The Green Bay Packers have come to terms with their first unrestricted free agent of 2009, former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Duke Preston.

Although Preston is a very large man at 6’5” and 325 lbs, Packer Head Coach Mike McCarthy denies that there has been a philosophy change with the offensive line.  "He's got a nice frame.  He's more of an athlete. We see him as an athletic frame. Once again, he’s young, too. He has a lot of football in front of him," McCarthy said of Preston.

The Packers have been struggling to get consistent performance from the zone blocking scheme that McCarthy has been trying to implement since his arrival in 2006.

Preston was drafted in the fourth round of 2005 from the University of Illinois.  He has appeared in 59 games in his career with 20 starts.  In 2008, Preston took over at center for the injured Melvin Fowler and started the last 11 games. 

Tom Silverstein noted that Preston struggled with some of the better tackles in the league such as Vince Wilfork, Kris Jenkins, and Shaun Rogers. Although it is a valid point, I wonder who didn't struggle with these guys.

According to conventional statistics, the Bills were 25th in the league in yards gained last season with 38 sacks allowed.

According to the interesting statistics at Football Outsiders, Buffalo had the 11th best offensive line for rushing in the NFL with 4.26 Adjusted Line Yards in 2008.  Unfortunately, they had a Stuff Rate of 25% and a Sack Rate of 8.1%. (Follow the link for more details.)

Not only does Preston add some much needed bulk to the Packers offensive line, he also offers some flexibility as he has the ability to play any of the interior positions. Some are saying that he can play Tackle as well.


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