Wells’ absence means line shuffling
Scott Wells
Scott Wells
packwriter2002@yahoo.com
Posted Aug 18, 2008


Rookie Sitton remains the starting right guard, with Spitz moving over to center.

And the Green Bay Packers’ starting offensive line is ...?

In limbo.

After the starting offensive line’s subpar performance on Saturday at San Francisco, there was some question on whether Jason Spitz would remain the starting left guard and rookie Josh Sitton would remain the starting right guard. Monday night’s practice did little to clear things up. Starting center Scott Wells was out after aggravating the injured trunk that kept him out for more than a week early in training camp. Spitz slid over to fill Wells’ void.

Two groups took snaps as the No. 1 offensive line. The primary group had Tony Moll filling in for Chad Clifton (rest, general soreness) at left tackle, Daryn Colledge at left guard, Spitz at center, Sitton at right guard and steady Mark Tauscher at right tackle.

Also getting snaps as the No. 1 line were Colledge at left tackle, Allen Barbre at left guard, Spitz at center, Sitton at right guard and Tauscher at right tackle.

“Well, we’re going to look at a different rotation because, obviously, Chad not being able to go today,” coach Mike McCarthy said at the end of a brisk — time- and temperature-wise — workout. “Daryn, who was working both left tackle and left guard, Josh Sitton is still at the right guard, and Jason had to play center, so we're still going through that process.”

Asked if he’s comfortable with Spitz at left guard — Spitz gave up two sacks on Saturday after a solid 2007 season at right guard — McCarthy said he wasn’t “ready to make a decision.”

The Packers need to solidify the line quickly. They have allowed nine sacks and 15 quarterback hits in two games. With only five practices and two preseason games remaining before preparations start for the regular-season opener, time is running short to find the right group.

Spitz, meanwhile, learned he’d be playing center right before Monday’s practice.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” said Spitz, who has worked with the No. 1 unit at center and both guard spots during camp. “You never know who’s going to be available, so you just got to go where they tell you.”

Ditto for Colledge, who has routinely played left tackle on one snap and left guard the next. It’s that kind of flexibility that’s been a curse and a blessing for linemen like Colledge, Spitz and Moll. While they haven’t been able to settle in at one spot, their flexibility makes them invaluable performers.

“I think we proved that the last two seasons,” Colledge said of the importance to play at least a couple of positions. “It’s a battle at our position. Guys are going to get nicked, guys are going to get hurt. You wish you could have the same five every week, but the chances of that happening are slim.”

On the field, Spitz and Sitton know they know more is expected of them.

“See what not to do, obviously, and move on and get better,” Spitz said of his plan of attack.

Sitton, who has fought through two uneven performances since surprisingly getting a crack at the starting spot at right guard, said he learned plenty on Saturday night and the ensuing film work.

“There’s always room for improvement,” the fourth-round pick said. “There are a lot of little things I’ve got to work on. There’s always positive on film that you can always learn from and take that to practice and get better.”

McCarthy wasn’t sure of Wells’ long-term status. Wells was injured during the second quarter on Saturday

"It's the same thing he had on the other side, trunk injury," McCarthy said. "They did a bunch of tests today. We'll have all the results tomorrow.”



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