Packers Fans Should Thank UCF Coach George O’Leary
After a disappointing 2008 season, the Green Bay Packers knew they needed a few changes. Aside from drafting future defensive stars B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews, head coach Mike McCarthy elevated Josh Sitton to the starting right guard position. Looking back, it’s easy to see the move paid dividends for McCarthy’s team.
Sitton, who was selected by the Packers in the fourth-round of the 2008 draft, has not missed a start since being handed the reins in 2009. In fact, the former University of Central Florida star has steadily improved with each snap, and his name is now brought up when discussing the NFL’s elite linemen.
The 318-pound guard says it was his collegiate experience with UCF coach George O’Leary that allowed him to excel at the NFL level.
“This is where it all started for me. This college game, and coach O’Leary, he’s the main reason that I’m doing what I’m doing right now,” Sitton said via UCF Today.
Sitton also credits his trademark consistency and toughness to coach O’Leary and the UCF program.
“Scouts told me when I was going to the NFL that if I had played for coach O’Leary that I could play for anybody in the NFL,” Sitton said. “You don’t really appreciate it as much at the time when you are in the (UCF) program, but I certainly do now. (O’Leary) taught me so much, made me tougher and helped me become the man that I am today.”
So the next time you question the selection of a small school lineman in the middle rounds of the draft, remember Josh Sitton and his former coach George O’Leary.
And while you’re having that thought, go ahead and thank coach O’Leary for that Super Bowl ring on Sitton’s finger. He is one of the many coaches, assistants, and trainers along the way who made the entire 2010 Packers team Super Bowl champions.