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Wednesday, December 26, 2012 5:09:21 PM(UTC)
Jurrell Casey and Sen'Derrick Marks went chest-to-chest and facemask-to-facemask with Evan Dietrich-Smith Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Care to know how Dietrich-Smith fared in his first start at center for the Green Bay Packers?
Casey and Marks, the Tennessee Titans' starting defensive tackles, would know better than anyone. And they gave him a thumbs-up.
"He held his ground and didn't give up anything," said Casey, a third-round draft choice in 2011 from Southern California. "He was very physical out there. I give him his props for that. He didn't do too badly."
Marks, a second-round pick in 2009 from Auburn, had no idea Dietrich-Smith had been named Friday to start ahead of Jeff Saturday. It was sight unseen before the noon kickoff.
"I didn't even know who he was," said Marks. "When we got here I looked in the media guide and that's when I saw who he was.
"When I got out there I was kind of surprised. I didn't know he was as quick as he was. He does a lot of things well. I think he did a pretty solid job for a new guy being in there."
Casey brought up one scramble by Aaron Rodgers in which Dietrich-Smith belted him from the side with such force that Casey was knocked out of the play.
Dietrich's 13-pound weight advantage over the 295-pound Saturday was readily apparent to Casey, who made two starts against the Colts in 2011 when Saturday was in his final season as their starting center.
"It makes the double-team way more firmer," said Casey. "He made some blocks when I was locked up with the guard and he came and gave me a nice shove to get you out of the gap."
Marks, who made three starts against Saturday and the Colts, was surprised by the lineup change.
"I wouldn't have expected a move like that this late in the season, especially with them going to the playoffs," he said. "It was kind of a change, but a center doesn't do many things different. They may set a little different."
The Titans spent all week evaluating every move made by Saturday, 37.
"He looked the same," Marks said. "He didn't look like he's getting older. You know, when guys get older, they get pushed around and get knocked off. They may lose a step here, a step there.
"He may not make all his blocks on the second level like he used to, or be able to reach a nose like he used to, but he can still play the position. He showed it this year."
It's rather apparent that the Packers had to trust Dietrich-Smith would be able to handle the mental and leadership part of the job before they'd even consider the move.
On Sunday, Dietrich-Smith had no penalties, bad shotgun snaps or center exchange miscues. At the line, he was calling out the declarations without noticeable help from the veteran guards.
"Yeah, he seemed like he had a lot of confidence out there," Casey said. "He wasn't nervous. He didn't bobble around. He knew his assignment.
"Everybody was asking him who they got and he was giving out the calls telling them. He knew what he was doing out there."
rest of story
nice job by EDS.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 5:22:01 PM(UTC)
And Jeff Saturday just made the Pro Bowl. What a joke that game is. It should be abolished.
EDS should have been put in at center a month ago but needed to fill in at guard. I'm happy for Evan, but that shouldn't keep the Packers from drafting a center in this year's draft.
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