Packers still striving for stability on offensive line
The Packers have shuffled their guards all season, and the left side still appears to be up for grabs going into the Packers’ regular-season finale against Detroit at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
“You know, that’s not up to me to decide,” Favre said. “You would like to think that that would be a done deal when we go into the playoffs. I haven’t played a lot of attention to that, which may surprise you. But it is, I’m sure from the offensive linemen’s standpoint and even from a coaches’ standpoint, (it’s difficult) to gain any chemistry and consistency there when you’re still feeling out who’s better suited to start for you.”
Second-year player Jason Spitz has started 10 straight games at one of three different positions – center, right guard or left guard. He started at right guard in the Packers’ loss at Chicago on Sunday, and the team seems inclined to keep him there.
Earlier this week, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Spitz was clearly the best player out of their three top guards and called on one of the other two, Daryn Colledge or Junius Coston, to “take control” at left guard.
Coston started at left guard on Sunday, but the position isn’t necessarily his to keep.
“I would just like the consistency to improve in some areas, and that’s what we’re looking for and I think another game will help those guys,” McCarthy said Wednesday. “It does not help with the number of times we have moved them (around), I am aware of that. But it’s important for that position, for someone to grab ahold of it.”
Favre said the offense has performed well despite the instability.
“Yeah, you would like to be solidified at those positions, but I’m sure from a coaches’ standpoint the competition part of it keeps these guys going, but I think that they’re competitive anyway and want to play well. I guess to a certain degree, the job’s still up for grabs. So we’ll see what happens.”
ROUGH REF: McCarthy said he spoke with NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira earlier this week about umpire Jim Quirk’s takedown of linebacker Nick Barnett during an on-field scuffle in Sunday’s game.
McCarthy praised Pereira but wouldn’t reveal details of their conversation.
“I’m comfortable with the conversation,” McCarthy said. “That’s something I can’t share.”
On Monday, McCarthy said Quirk acted “totally unprofessional” when he grabbed Barnett by the neck and wrestled him to the ground. League officials haven’t announced any action.
Barnett said he didn’t want to cause any further trouble and was letting McCarthy handle the incident, but joked that the official might have a future in professional wrestling.
“I got in a choke hold, I couldn’t really breathe a little bit,” Barnett said. “He got a good one on me. I don’t know how he got under that face mask, but he got a good hold on me.”
JUST CHILLING: If you’ve ever wondered what NFL players say to each other as they’re shaking hands after a game, wonder no more.
After the Packers lost at Chicago on Sunday, Favre’s postgame conversation with Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher went something like this:
“He wished me well and said, ’If you guys get the chance, go all the way,”’ Favre said. “You know, the typical stuff. But he said he was freezing. I said, ’You wasn’t by yourself.’ So everyone was cold.”
NOTES: Green Bay Packers fans who don’t get the NFL Network at least will be able to see the New England Patriots try to complete a perfect regular season on Saturday. The league announced Wednesday that the Patriots’ game against the New York Giants will be simulcast on CBS and NBC. ... McCarthy said he will wait until later in the week to decide how long to play his starters on Sunday. ... Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings sat out Wednesday’s practice because of an ankle sprain. McCarthy said earlier in the week that he was optimistic Jennings would play on Sunday. ... Cornerback Jarrett Bush (calf) fully participated on Wednesday. ... Coston (ankle), LT Chad Clifton (shoulder), TE Bubba Franks (knee), CB Al Harris (heel), DT Ryan Pickett (groin), WR Koren Robinson (knee), QB Aaron Rodgers (hamstring), RT Mark Tauscher (ankle) and CB Charles Woodson (toe) were limited in Wednesday’s practice. ... FB Korey Hall (hip) has been ruled out of Sunday’s game.