McCarthy Names Offensive Line
Next game: Friday, August 28th at Arizona
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy has picked his starting offensive line. At least for now.
Calling it a "very tough decision," McCarthy said Monday that Jason Spitz will start at center over Scott Wells in Friday's preseason game at Arizona. Allen Barbre also will start over Breno Giacomini at right tackle, where the Packers had to replace longtime starter Mark Tauscher, an unrestricted free agent coming off a season-ending knee injury who Green Bay did not re-sign.
"The starting five tonight is the starting five that we'll take into Arizona," McCarthy said after Monday night's practice.
That means Spitz and Barbre will be joined by veteran Chad Clifton at left tackle, Daryn Colledge at left guard and Josh Sitton at right guard.
"If they keep progressing, this is who we'll line up with," when the season begins against Chicago, McCarthy said. If not, "we've got guys that are chomping at the bit that are ready to go."
Offseason injuries played a major role in Monday's decisions. Wells required shoulder surgery while Giacomini needed ankle surgery. So Spitz, a starter at right guard for most of his first three NFL seasons, got all the offseason reps at center and Barbre all the reps at right tackle.
Wells and Spitz shared the No. 1 reps at center during training camp, and McCarthy said Wells was one of the team's "top three or four linemen" in the preseason. Giacomini shared the No. 1 reps at practice last week but allowed a second-half sack that injured No. 2 quarterback Matt Flynn's shoulder on Saturday against Buffalo.
"I achieved a goal that I set for myself, one of my many goals," said Barbre, a third-year player. "I want to keep working hard and keep getting better, and you never know. I feel like I'm not even close to reaching my potential."
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)