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Benching Daryn Colledge

While watching the game on Thursday I thought LG Daryn Colledge had been injured, and RG Junius Coston had come into replace him with G Jason Spitz moving over to the left side. The NFL Network's crack team of announcers, somebody get Bryant Gumbel a team program stat, didn't know what was going on either because Cris Collinsworth thought Spitz was out of the game and hadn't noticed he had moved to the left side. Instead it turned out that Colledge had been benched.

Of the three rookies that started in 2006, Colledge appeared to be the best. He had a solid rookie season and even played well filing in at left tackle for one game. But he has taken a step back this season. I didn't see exactly why the coaches felt they needed to make the change on Thursday, but I had seen reasons why in previous games. Colledge came into the NFL weighing under 300 lbs., although the Packers currently list him at 305, so he's not a physical freak and is routinely smaller than the defensive tackles he lines up against. During the game at Kansas City, journeyman DT Alfonso Boone beat him on multiple plays and bull rushed him back into the pocket. Colledge has to have excellent technique to avoid getting overwhelmed by guys like Detroit's DT Shaun Rogers, and he hasn't shown that he can consistently do it.

It's a good problem to have three promising young offensive guards battling for two starting spots, but Mike McCarthy doesn't know who should start and who should be the backup:

"Daryn and Jason and Junius are really all about pretty equal in their productivity, in their performance," McCarthy said. "We're just trying to ... find the right combination, and we're keeping it as competitive as possible."
Both Spitz and Coston have returned from injuries and since they are healthy they should be starting ahead of Colledge. It's good to have that depth along the line anyway and if Colledge doesn't make it back into the starting lineup this season, he can rededicate himself to making it back in 2008.