GREEN BAY – The bottom line for Bryan Bulaga wasn’t about the bottom line.
Yes, more money was on the table elsewhere, but re-signing with Green Bay was about being able to enjoy coming to work every day – with the Packers coaches and teammates he knows and loves, and with the knowledge the team has a chance to win, every year.
“That makes this process all worth it,” Bulaga said in a conference call with local media on Thursday, discussing his new contract with the Packers. “Every day is fun. That’s what makes Sunday so much more worth it.
“I know year in and year out we’re going to be competing for a championship, and that’s fun. That’s what this game is all about, competing for championships and making runs like that.”
Green Bay’s starting offensive line – Bulaga and David Bakhtiari at the tackle spots, Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang at the guards, and Corey Linsley at center – will be together for the foreseeable future now.
It’s the best offensive line in Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s tenure, and Bulaga said the close-knit bunch hasn’t reached its peak yet.
“I think we can be better, we really can,” he said. “I think we started a little slow at the beginning of the year, so we can get better. Everyone will be a year older. Everyone will have another year under their belt.”
Personally, Bulaga is “thrilled to death” he’s under contract with the Packers for five more years, and he talked about how much he enjoyed a relatively healthy 2014 season.
While dealing with season-ending hip and knee injuries the previous two years, Bulaga said he didn’t even want to talk about football while he trudged through rehab.
In contrast, this past season was a rejuvenating experience. Week 1 marked his first game action since early November of 2012, and he ended up starting 15 regular-season games plus two playoff contests.
“To be able to come home and talk to my family and my wife about something you love and care about, which is football, that makes a big difference,” he said.
All that weighed into his decision as he pondered offers from four other teams his agent told him about. So did, partly, the disappointing finish in Seattle in the NFC title game, because the bulk of that contest proved how talented this Packers team is.
Bulaga said he and his teammates individually need to be “accountable” for how they let the game get away, but they can’t let that failure consume them and allow them to forget they’re “a veteran group of guys who have played good football.”
“Remember what happened, but you can’t harp on it,” he said. “You have to move on and get ready for a new year.
“It’ll be here before we know it.”