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Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Packers looking at 2009 line possibilities?

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

Interesting move Wednesday afternoon in Green Bay, where coach Mike McCarthy has shuffled the offensive line for the season finale against Detroit.

Left guard Daryn Colledge will move to right tackle, where he will replace Tony Moll. Right guard Jason Spitz will move to left guard, and rookie Josh Sitton will start at right guard.

Moll started the past three games in place of veteran Mark Tauscher, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Dec. 7.

This move would be a yawner were it not for Tauscher's status as an injured free-agent-to-be. The Packers need a plan to replace Tauscher for at least the early part of next season -- if they want to re-sign him at all -- and you could interpret Wednesday's news as a tryout for Colledge.

McCarthy flatly denied that scenario Wednesday while speaking with Green Bay reporters, saying Moll played poorly Monday night at Chicago. He also said he isn't looking to give young players a tryout in regular-season games. But if Moll has proved he isn't a long-term answer, why not look somewhere else? Generally speaking, it's easier to find starting-caliber guards in the draft than it is to find tackles who are ready to jump in right away.

"We're not having those kind of discussions," McCarthy said. "We're not looking to give guys looks. There's a fine line and I understand, and I'm not trying to be hypocritical because we changed on the offensive line, but we're lining up to win the game. We're a young football team. We feel we have a lot of information about all of our players, for the most part. There are some younger players that have not played this year, but that is not our mindset at all."

As fans and reporters continue to dissect the Packers' season, there will be plenty of discussion about the departure of quarterback Brett Favre. But for my money, the constant shuffling of their offensive line has played just as big -- if not more -- of a role. Sitton, Tauscher, left tackle Chad Clifton and center Scott Wells have all dealt with injuries. And the backup situation -- Spitz has played center and guard, Colledge has played guard and tackle -- has limited the chemistry-building process.

On Wednesday, in fact, McCarthy said: "We have probably too many revolving chairs in the offensive line and that is something we can talk about it in the offseason."