Daryn Colledge was tough. He was selfless. And he helped the Green Bay Packers win a Super Bowl.
The Packers, however, thought T.J. Lang was a better long-term option at left guard, and they made no effort to retain Colledge after the Arizona Cardinals threw $27.5 million at him with a five-year free agent contract after the 2011 lockout.
“This business is one of those ones that it never goes exactly how you want it to go or think it will go, but I had a great time there,” Colledge told Packers beat reporters during a conference call on Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s Cardinals-Packers game at Lambeau Field.
“My time was special there. I won a lot of games, went to the playoffs three times and won a championship. I have no regrets about the things I did there. I feel like I came in and did the things I was asked to do. I never missed a single game. I showed up to work every single day. I didn’t always do the best job, but I felt like the team knew exactly who I was. I came to work every single day and they knew that’s what they were going to get.”
A second-round pick in 2006, Colledge started 76 of a possible 80 games for the Packers — including the last 49. Going back to his days at Boise State, Colledge has never missed a game — a streak of 104 regular-season games in the NFL. For Green Bay, he lined up mostly at left guard but never quibbled when injuries forced him to the tackle spots. He’ll make his 25th consecutive start at left guard for Arizona.
“He’s done a nice job,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said during his conference call. “I think last year was a tough year because of the lockout and not having an offseason. He got better as the year progressed learning the system but he’s really done a nice job for us this year. I’d say he’s been our most consistent lineman and has done a good job in a leadership role with those guys.”
Colledge took a lot of grief during his five seasons in Green Bay. As a second-round pick, he never turned into an upper-echelon blocker. By never declining an interview, he somehow rubbed some fans the wrong way. During his final season in Green Bay, he became at least a little frustrated that he was not deemed a priority and offered a contract extension.
Still, he’s looking forward to coming back to Green Bay and wishes nothing but the best for Lang.
“I’m excited for T.J. and I’m excited about the opportunities I had there, but I’m also excited about my opportunities here in Arizona,” Colledge said. “I’m glad to be with these guys, but it’ll be great to come back to Green Bay. It’s a special place to play. I don’t think anybody should not have an opportunity to play there. I think there’s a certain kind of mystique that goes with being a Green Bay Packer and playing at Lambeau Field. I’ll never forget that stuff.”
Packers injury report
Out: WR Greg Jennings (groin/abdomen); CB Charles Woodson (collarbone). Did not participate: FB John Kuhn (hamstring); DE Mike Neal (ankle); WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring); LB Nick Perry (knee/wrist); CB Sam Shields (ankle); DE Jerel Worthy (concussion). Limited: WR Donald Driver (neck/thumb); TE Jermichael Finley (shoulder); G T.J. Lang (elbow/wrist); DT B.J. Raji (ankle). Full: QB Aaron Rodgers (calf).
Coach Mike McCarthy said Kuhn and Nelson possibly will practice on Friday, while Worthy was feeling “a lot better” but had not been cleared. Meanwhile, Greg Jennings’ surgery will be done sometime this week. It was supposed to have been done on Tuesday but was delayed because of the hurricane.
Cardinals injury report
Did not participate: QB Kevin Kolb (ribs); G Adam Snyder. Limited: TE Todd Heap (knee); LS Mike Leach (back); FS Kerry Rhodes (back); CB Greg Toler (hamstring). Full: T D’Anthony Batiste (toe); DT Darnell Dockett (hamstring); TE Jim Dray (knee); CB Jamell Fleming (back); FB Anthony Sherman (knee).
Whisenhunt said John Skelton will remain the quarterback ahead of Kolb.
— The Packers have another week to make a decision on tight end Andrew Quarless (knee) and outside linebacker Frank Zombo (hamstring), who remain on the physically unable to perform list and have started their third week of practice. They must be added to the roster, put on injured reserve or released by Wednesday, Nov. 7. “We’re going to start working them into some of the game-plan stuff and see where they are,” McCarthy said.
— If Nelson can’t play, that means another opportunity for extended playing time for rookie Jarrett Boykin, who had one catch for 9 yards in 22 snaps last week. “I think he’s ready,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “There’s an expectation around here that when a guy goes down, the next guy up has got to step in and play well. Jarrett's going to get some more opportunities and we feel confident. There’s a reason we kept him on the team after training camp, it’s because he’s going to be a big-time player for us at some point.”
— Asked how A.J. Hawk looks, Colledge joked, “He looks like he’s got short hair.” Turning serious, Colledge added: “I think he's getting aggressive. He looks like he's making the plays. He's being put in a position to make great plays and I think the d-line is doing a good job of giving him the opportunity to get in the holes. The d-line is doing a good job of taking up two blocks and letting him be an athlete. To me, he's always been a guy that can strike, he's always been a guy that could be a fast mover and could go and put a hat on somebody. He's a guy that we've got circled on our list.”
— Cornerback Davon House was named the NFC’s special teams player of the week for his blocked punt that sparked a 24-15 win over Jacksonville.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.