March 21 marks the birthdays of several Packers including Paul Fitzgibbon, Junior Coffey, Larry Mason and Robert Hudson. Of most significance to Packer history, though, are Andy Uram and Bryan Bulaga.
Andy Uram was a 5’10” 188-pound shifty halfback from the University of Minnesota who was known for big plays, setting team records with a 97-yard run from scrimmage in 1939 and a 98-yard kickoff return in 1942. A sixth round draft pick in 1938, he averaged 4.5 yards per carry and 18.7 yards per reception for his NFL career. He also intercepted 10 passes while playing defense for Green Bay from 1938-43 before going into the service. He was elected to the Packer Hall of Fame in 1973.
Bryan Bulaga followed Mark Tauscher who followed Earl Dotson, giving the team a 20-year string of solid right tackle work. Bulaga was the team’s top draft pick out of Iowa in 2010, moved into the starting lineup in October of his rookie season and became the youngest player to start in a Super Bowl that season. That year, he made the All-Rookie team, and then drew some All-Pro notice in 2011 despite missing four games with a knee injury.
A hip injury ended Bulaga’s 2012 at midseason, and then he tore his ACL during an intrasquad game in training camp and missed all of 2013, a season when he was slated to move to left tackle. Returning in 2014, he stayed at his original right tackle position and had a very sound season both in run and pass blocking. When he had to leave the opening game against Seattle, Packer fans got to see the difference between a quality tackle and a weak one when swinging gate Derek Sherrod stepped in and nearly got Aaron Rodgers killed. Bulaga returned the following week and solidified the line once again.
The 6’5” 315-pound Bulaga does his film study and has worked hard to gain strength. Line coach James Campen told the Journal-Sentinel, “He’s a big man who plays with power. Now it’s just a matter of refining those techniques and getting them ingrained in him.” A free agent following the 2014 season, he was seen as the top tackle in the pool, but re-signed with Green Bay right before free agency began. Left tackle David Bakhtiari, said of his line mate, “The biggest thing is consistent play. You know what you’re going to get with Bryan.”
(Bulaga adapted from Green Bay Gold.)
Uram custom cards are colorized.