Colledge, Spitz Try To Lock Down Guard Spots

If Sunday’s game is any indication of how Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz are going to handle adversity, the Packers’ offensive guard situation may soon work itself out for the rest of the season. - More Audio | Video | Packers-Vikings Game Center


If Sunday's game is any indication of how Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz are going to handle adversity, the Packers' offensive guard situation may soon work itself out for the rest of the season.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy made it known last week that he wasn't too thrilled with the play of his two young guards lately and if they didn't start performing better, he would be forced to find other people who would.

Though the coaches still have to view the game film, one would think that helping your team in doubling up the opponent in the time of possession battle and assisting a running back in going over the 100-yard mark would certainly qualify for improved play from the offensive line, particularly at the guard spots.

That, of course, is a good thing for Colledge and Spitz, who both only entered the league last season, but also have plenty of experience in starting the majority of games since then.

In other words, though they are both young by league standards, it was time to play better. To their credit, this was a fact they both understood. Though things may have gone their way Sunday, however, don't expect either of them to let up at this point.

"I feel like I had a good game," Colledge said. "Right tackle was a little shaky, but I feel like I had a pretty good performance at left guard.

"But again, I'm going to go out and keep fighting for my job, keep working hard and I'm going to keep trying to improve."

Making the task at hand a little more difficult was the switch to right tackle that Colledge alluded to, which came when Mark Tauscher hurt his ankle late in the third quarter. Rookie Allen Barbre then replaced Colledge at guard.

Early indications are that Tauscher is fine and if everything checks out in the film, it's possible Colledge and Spitz will once again be in the starting lineup next week against Carolina. Not that they will breathe any easier at this point, with Weeks 2-5 starter Junius Coston getting closer to a full recovery from an ankle injury.

"I don't think the pressure's going to change at all," Colledge said. "I got a lot of stuff I still need to improve on this week. We got a tough Carolina defense coming in so I'm going to try to keep fighting for my job and helping this team win.

"For me, I know what's on the line every time I go out and take a snap. For me, it doesn't change my mentality. I know I've got to work hard, I know I've got to get better. You don't have to tell me."

Like Colledge, Spitz admitted that despite the win and a rather impressive showing by the offense, this isn't a time to be resting on laurels of any sort.

"It's a challenge every week in this game," Spitz explained.

"I mean, (Ryan) Grant's doing a heck of a job hitting the holes and running. Obviously, we still need to improve on that side of the ball, there's probably yards left out there. But we'll go back, watch the film, see what we need to correct and see what we did well."

{sportsad300}Of course one of the things the Packers did indeed do well was rush the football, gaining 120 yards on the day. According to center Scott Wells, there is no reason the Packers can't establish that type of running game every week.

"Obviously we haven't shown that up to this point, other than Denver," Wells said, referring to Grant's other 100-yard game. "We just have to be more consistent. We have to study what we did right, what we did wrong, make those corrections, and move in the right directions.

"I think we should be able to run the ball anyways."

In order for the Packers to do that, however, it's obviously going to take more performances like Sunday's game from the guards, which is fine by Colledge.

"I'm a young player," Colledge acknowledged. "I have a lot of stuff I have to work on. I'm by no means the player I want to be yet. I'm going to go out and do that every single week.

"I'm going to fight like my job is on the line and I'm going to keep trying to improve and keep trying to help this team find a way to win games."

If that's the case, you can consider goal number one accomplished as Colledge and Spitz try to make sure there will be no changing of the guard again anytime soon.

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