Judging by the response of Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, he's not buying a flimsy excuse from Daryn Colledge that time he’s spent the last few seasons helping out elsewhere on the offensive line has made him less effective at left guard.
Yes, the left guard position Colledge will have to battle to keep this season, the one that he’ll face serious competition for from Jason Spitz, among others.
Colledge tells Lori Nickel of the Milwauke Journal Sentinel that he’s looking forward to settling in and only playing guard this season. You know, after he made 14 starts there last season and 14 starts there in 2008. The idea is that with the addition of first-round draft pick Bryan Bulaga from Iowa, Colledge will no longer be called on to pitch in at either tackle spot if/when injuries strike.
“Well that's kind of the promise every year, but due to injuries and things like that, I don't try to rely on that,” Colledge told Nickel. “I would absolutely love to be the left guard full time and take every rep in every game because I feel like that's my best position. It doesn't always work like that.
“For now, we're going to go in with the same goal we have every year: Bust our (expletive), stay healthy and have a great offensive line.”
Sound like excuse making to you? Colledge made two starts last season at left tackle and had one each at left and right tackle in 2008. Could that have hindered him that much? Injuries rocked Green Bay’s line last year and changes were necessary. Across the board.
“We could sit here and say, 'Well, he had to play left tackle for two weeks, and that's why he didn't play well at left guard,'” Philbin told Nickel. “And I'm not sitting here saying he didn't play well at left guard. But the fact of the matter is, in the National Football League, you dress seven guys; sometimes guys have to play different positions.
“I think in his vault, he has probably 2,500 reps or maybe 3,000 reps at left guard even going in to last year. I don't know if we can knock our offensive staff around for moving guys: 'Oh my gosh, we can't get guys in the same position.' I don't know if that's a valid argument in that particular case.
“Moving T.J. Lang out to left guard and left tackle as a rookie, and not ever being a starter – there may be some merit to that. And I'm not saying Daryn Colledge didn't play well at left guard. That's not the case. However, when push comes to shove, you've been in the league 3