Replacing Barry

While losing Kevin Barry will hurt the offensive line, the Packers have time to evaluate some of their current players as well as seek veterans to play at right guard.'s Todd Korth breaks it down.

With Kevin Barry likely sidelined for the 2006 season, the Green Bay Packers' offensive line took a hit, but there is still a lot of time for the line to re-adjust.

The Packers were hoping that the 6-foo-4, 332-pound Barry would challenge for a starting spot at right guard, but nothing was set in stone. More likely, second-year pro Junius Coston had the inside track on Barry because Coston is more athletic and likely to adapt better in the new zone-blocking scheme. We'll know more in training camp, but for now look for the Packers to give other linemen on the team a chance to beat out Coston and also to sign a veteran guard.

Top candidates on Green Bay's roster to compete against Coston include veterans Adrian Klemm and Wayne Lucier, second-year pros Will Whitticker and Chris White, and third-round pick Jason Spitz.

White and Lucier are listed as centers but have the ability to play guard. Lucier played all three inside positions for the New York Giants in 2003-04. White made the team as a free agent last year but at 285 pounds might be too small to play guard.

Whitticker started 14 games at right guard last year, but at 338 pounds may be a little too big in the new offense to block well in space.

Spitz, selected in the third round of the recent NFL draft, played left guard in the mini-camps, but now may be switched to the other side.

The Packers also may turn to a veteran, like Ross Verba. The former Packers No. 1 draft pick in 1997 worked out for the Packers this spring. He was out of football last year after asking to be released from his contract with the Cleveland Browns. Verba also has drawn interest from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Other veteran free agent guards available include: Ron Stone, Kendyl Jacox, Fred Weary, Tom Nutten and Tupe Peko.

Barry was lost for the season Sunday near the end of the final mini-camp practice when he sustained a torn quadriceps tendon in his left leg.

"It's unfortunate, it really is," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "You never want that to happen during a spring activity."

Packer Report Top Stories