McCarthy picks Colledge to start at LG for Packers
GREEN BAY (AP)
Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy made the announcement Sunday. The decision follows a 59-24 preseason victory over Indianapolis on Thursday night, when Colledge took all the snaps with the No. 1 offensive line while first-round pick Bryan Bulaga was sidelined by a hip injury.
''We haven't announced it (to the team) or anything, but I think it is accurate that Daryn Colledge will be the starting left guard in Philadelphia,'' McCarthy said during his daily sideline press briefing following Sunday's practice. ''I like the production of the first line. I thought Bryan was improving with his opportunities there, but when you are injured you are not part of the equation anymore. Daryn Colledge will be our left guard in Philadelphia.''
Bulaga took part only in the jog-through portion of Sunday's practice, leaving him out of the running to start after being inserted into the competition Aug. 9. Earlier in camp, Jason Spitz and Allen Barbre had challenged for Colledge's starting job and came up short, as well. T.J. Lang and rookie Marshall Newhouse never seriously were considered.
McCarthy's decision to go with Colledge was made easier because of Bulaga's injury, which had been bothering him for about a week before he dropped out of practice Aug. 23, but it was more of an endorsement of Colledge's play.
McCarthy said that head athletic trainer Pepper Burruss told him that Bulaga, who missed the victory over Indianapolis, may practice on Monday.
''We'll see how he does,'' McCarthy said.
Colledge has started 60 career regular season games since the Packers drafted him in the second round in 2006 out of Boise State, with 55 of those starts coming at left guard.
Told of McCarthy's announcement, Colledge wasn't surprised.
''Awesome. I didn't know I wasn't the starter originally,'' he said. ''I think I played well last season, I played well during the preseason, so I'm excited to have another opportunity to start for the Packers.
''I did what I always do: I focused on my own game. I knew there was going to be competition in the beginning ... That's the way it is. That's football.''
Throughout camp, Colledge has taken the first repetition of virtually every drill with the No. 1 line. He has also started all three preseason games and will do so again on Thursday at Kansas City in the exhibition finale. He was brimming with confidence Sunday, emboldened by his strong play in practice and the three games so far.
''I think I stayed with the same mindset the whole camp. I knew I played well at the end of last year. I knew if I had the opportunity to stay at left guard and continue to compete, that I would continue to improve,'' Colledge said.
Bulaga, the team's left tackle of the future who is now penciled in as the top backup at both left tackle and left guard, didn't learn of the decision until approached by reporters after practice.
''He won the job and coach made a decision and that's what it is. Obviously I'm disappointed that I'm not the guy, but I've been nicked up a little bit and that's just the way it goes,'' Bulaga said. ''Whatever position they throw me at, I'm just going to try to make the best out of it, take as many reps as I can at tackle and guard and if I get thrown in at both, just do my job and just go from there.''
Notes: Two-time Pro Bowl CB Al Harris, who remains on the PUP list after reconstructive knee surgery last November, is doing ''very well,'' McCarthy said, adding that he hasn't ruled out having Harris on the active 53-man roster when the season opens. Whether Harris will be ready to play Sept. 12 against the Eagles is unclear. ... Starting QB Aaron Rodgers did a lot of scout-team work during practice, with backups Matt Flynn and Graham Harrell slated to get most of the work in the exhibition finale. ... Rookie RB Quinn Porter sustained a ''pretty significant'' knee sprain against the Colts, McCarthy said.