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Five questions with ex-Packers OT Greg Koch

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Oct. 14, 2011 @ 12:32 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Each week throughout the season, PFW executive editor and resident Packers expert Dan Arkush hooks up with a personality who has connections with the Packers and asks him five Packer-related questions. This week Dan connects with ex-Packer Greg Koch, a fixture at right tackle in Green Bay from 1977-85.

1. Let's start by looking at the Chad Clifton hamstring injury. How was he playing in your mind when he got hurt? If I remember correctly, you didn't think he was playing all that well when I asked you about him a month ago. Do you think he had improved any since then?

Koch: Chad's problems were not going away. He has slowed down and gives too much ground on pass protection, although I thought he had improved in his run blocking. I continue to believe he needs to be more physical.  

2. How do you think Marshall Newhouse played as Clifton's replacement last Sunday in Atlanta? Do you think he can hold down the fort at left tackle sufficiently?  

Koch: Newhouse is a work in progress, but I think the Green Bay coaching staff believes he has the necessary tools to get the job done. I don't have him pegged as a Pro Bowler, but playing the offensive line takes actual game situations, which cannot be replicated in a practice situation, so I thought he did OK and should only improve as time goes on.

3. One more O-line-related question: How do you think Derek Sherrod did at right tackle in his first sustained action this season against the Falcons?

Koch: I remember playing as a rookie in the NFL. The speed, intensity and pure athleticism are nothing like college. In college, you face maybe two guys who can give you a hard time in a game. In the NFL, you face two or three guys in practice on your own team who can make you look bad. He did not have a great start and has a long way to go, but I think in the long run, he will be fine, although I question whether he has the necessary feet to play tackle. He might end up as a better guard with more big bodies in the wash instead of being on an island in pass protection.

4. There are more and more people actually talking about the Packers going undefeated. Are they that good? Looking ahead, when do you think they might get their first "L" in the standings?  

Koch: The Packers' O-line is a concern to me at this point, and their defense is puzzling at times. They can score on anyone, and Aaron Rodgers seems to be in postseason form, instead of the sixth week. Detroit is really a fine football team, and their defensive line is scary good. If Matthew Stafford remains healthy and as good as their skill positions are, it is not a great matchup for the Packers right now if the line continues to have injury problems.

5. Do you see any way the really down-and-out Rams could actually give the Pack a run for their money this Sunday? Or do you smell a rout? In other words, what's your prediction for Week Six?

Koch: The Rams are not a good team. The Packers win going away, 34-10.

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