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Packers bench veteran Jeff Saturday

Jeff Saturday AP

The Packers are making another change on the offensive line, and this time it’s voluntary.

Veteran center Jeff Saturday acknowledged Friday (via ESPNWisconsin.com’s Jason Wilde) that he’s been benched, in favor of Evan Dietrich-Smith. Saturday referred to it as a passing of the torch.

The 37-year-old Saturday has started all 14 games to this point, but has been held out of practice this week with a neck and shoulder issue.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said earlier Friday he thought Saturday would be ready to play this week, but said he thought Dietrich-Smith would likely start.

Saturday has 202 career starts, and hasn’t played as a backup since his rookie season, 1999. He spent his first 13 seasons with the Colts, missing just six games from 2000 to 2011.

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30 Responses to “Packers bench veteran Jeff Saturday”
  1. mnajb says: Dec 21, 2012 2:45 PM

    Hah. And the fans gave him the most votes to be the Pro Bowl Center from the NFC.. How bad are people at evaluating O-Line play?

  2. shaggytoodle says: Dec 21, 2012 2:47 PM

    I wonder if this will also occur in the post season, or is this something they are doing, because they have the division locked up.

    I also think they want to try to improve their running game and this is one of the things they believe will help.

  3. orourkean says: Dec 21, 2012 2:50 PM

    Saturday just didn’t seem to play with any grit this year. Weakest link on a patch work o-line.

  4. billsfaninmiami says: Dec 21, 2012 2:52 PM

    Sundown on another great career.
    HOF first ballot.

  5. filthymcnasty1 says: Dec 21, 2012 2:53 PM

    It’s been a nice run for Saturday, and he’s more than adequate as a backup.

  6. fdugrad says: Dec 21, 2012 2:55 PM

    Great career and a classy individual. He reminds me of Bill Curry the old center for the Pack and Colts, who, just like Saturday, centered to all-time greats. Curry protected John Unitas and Bart Starr, while Saturday snapped to Rogers and Manning. Amazing to think about the coincidental nature of their NFL experiences.

  7. amlowlife says: Dec 21, 2012 3:06 PM

    The Broncos were trying to get him to tag along with Manning but he went with GB. We grabbed Dan Koppen and that worked out quite well…

  8. binkystevens says: Dec 21, 2012 3:13 PM

    Great guy and reliable pass protector, but he just gets dominated in the run game. ED’S should add some meat to the ground game in January.

  9. teal379 says: Dec 21, 2012 3:16 PM

    Interesting.

    Compare Jeff’s play to Mason’s – makes me wonder why they’ll stick with Mason but demote Jeff.

    Makes no sense.

  10. justintuckrule says: Dec 21, 2012 3:22 PM

    Good, reliable center but not an all-time great. The Colts run game stunk out loud for eons no matter how many first rounders they drafted.

  11. modellforprez says: Dec 21, 2012 3:24 PM

    on Friday were told Saturday wont play Sunday….

  12. shaggytoodle says: Dec 21, 2012 3:30 PM

    teal379 says: Dec 21, 2012 3:16 PM

    Interesting.

    Compare Jeff’s play to Mason’s – makes me wonder why they’ll stick with Mason but demote Jeff.

    Makes no sense.
    ___________

    They have back up to replace Saturday.

    They don’t have a back up on the roster to replace Crosby.

  13. kidpresentable says: Dec 21, 2012 3:44 PM

    “Compare Jeff’s play to Mason’s – makes me wonder why they’ll stick with Mason but demote Jeff. ”

    Because Saturday misses more blocks than Crosby misses FGs.

  14. 4sacroc says: Dec 21, 2012 3:45 PM

    modellforprez says:
    Dec 21, 2012 3:24 PM

    on Friday were told Saturday wont play Sunday….

    =======================

    In the words of the great Peter Griffin:

    “Hehehehehehehehehehehe….”

  15. teal379 says: Dec 21, 2012 3:52 PM

    Crosby’s misses cost the team points and field position. He misses 50% of the time.

    I’m not saying you replace him with someone on the team but you can’t tell me there isn’t someone out there that’s better than 50%

    This isn’t an “either/or” thing – I just find it odd that McCarthy/Campen will do something about one issue but stubbornly refuse to even look at another kicker when the current kicker is the least accurate in the NFL.

    And spare me the “most of his misses are from 50 yards out” – he’s now missing from the 30’s and 40’s….

  16. skarbar001 says: Dec 21, 2012 3:52 PM

    “Hah. And the fans gave him the most votes to be the Pro Bowl Center from the NFC.. How bad are people at evaluating O-Line play?”

    Since Kalil is on IR, there aren’t many household names that fans would recognize. IMO, Sullivan and Montgomery should be the NFC representatives.

  17. deltaoracle says: Dec 21, 2012 3:54 PM

    He’s done okay but has needed help fairly often and just can’t get to the second level on runs very often. Pack should be concentrating on both lines in April, plus an inside LB and a PK.

  18. opshuns says: Dec 21, 2012 3:59 PM

    Not a bad career for a non-draftee…

  19. lionsdraftguy says: Dec 21, 2012 4:01 PM

    This clown is in the lead for Pro Bowl voting for Center in the NFC. Pathetic. Just a bunch of Packers fans voting a million times for their own team.

  20. jerrytagge says: Dec 21, 2012 4:34 PM

    Every time I think the world has dealt me a bad hand, I read a post from a Lions fan and my mood improves dramatically.

  21. fdugrad says: Dec 21, 2012 4:43 PM

    lionsdraftguy: Maybe Mr. Saturday doesn’t deserve to be in the Pro Bowl, however, even though I am not a Packer’s fan, I am certain there is nothing clownish about Jeff Saturday the player or MOST importantly, the person. He has suited up for more than 200 hundred consecutive games and has conducted himself appropriately at all times throughout his entire career. I find it interesting that a fan of the LIONS would call someone like Saturday a “clown.” Perhaps you haven’t heard about the off-season clown college the Lions organization ran this year.

  22. jimmysee says: Dec 21, 2012 5:15 PM

    Everyone expected the Packers to draft a center in April.

    Maybe no need now if the torch *has* been passed.

    Saturday can serve as coach for Dietrich-Smith.

    That frees up draft picks for other needs.

  23. jerrytagge says: Dec 21, 2012 5:39 PM

    Clown: “To get this opportunity, I just hope I can go out there and make the coaches proud,” said Dietrich-Smith, who repeatedly mentioned the respect he has for Saturday and how much he appreciates the relationship they’ve had this season.

    By all accounts, that respect is mutual.

    “We’re at two totally different points in our career,” Saturday said. “His is on the up ramp, mine’s on the way out.

    “I’ve put the best I can be out there. If that’s not good enough and somebody is better, they deserve to play. I’ve always felt like that. I respect ‘Diety’ enough to say if that’s his, then he needs to take it and go do a good job with it.”

  24. samanthasteeleruinedmyqb says: Dec 21, 2012 6:42 PM

    Who cares if they benched him on Saturday? The game is on Sunday.

  25. filthymcnasty1 says: Dec 21, 2012 6:47 PM

    The depth on this team is truly amazing.

  26. gpack22 says: Dec 21, 2012 6:57 PM

    Lets hope to Baby Jesus that EDS can play center better than he played LG. He was TERRIBLE in that role. Yes, I said terrible and if you don’t concur go watch the game tape. It does not lie.

  27. axespray says: Dec 21, 2012 8:46 PM

    EDS did pretty good at center last year – Shut down Suh so bad, Suh got frustrated and stomped on him…

    EDS is a better run blocker than he is a pass blocker… so, having Newhouse/Lang/EDS/Sitton/Barclay isn’t a bad combo if you wanna run the football .

  28. jerrytagge says: Dec 21, 2012 10:22 PM

    Might be that McCarthy’s thinking long-game…and realizing that by keeping Crosby, he’ll be needing to go for more “4th and short” 1st downs inside the 40-yard line than he is certain Jeff Saturday can deliver.

  29. allidoiswin55 says: Dec 21, 2012 10:25 PM

    Discredits PROBOWL voting when a dude only gets in on reputation alone and not solely this seasons performance.

    He was awesome in Indy. But looks like a bad call by GB to pay this dude to ride the pine on his twilight years. Good for team in the locker room but on field he’s a liability. Shoot ask him bout that Hawks 8 first half sacks.?

    Rodgers deserves better!

  30. chillmodedlb says: Dec 22, 2012 10:39 PM

    They’ll still have to draft a Center. Saturday is not going to come back next season. My guess is he retires and ends up with an executive position in the NFLPA.

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