A surprise move

On Monday, the Green Bay Packers admitted that they have a big-time problem with their offensive line by shuffling their guards around. Perhaps the most surprising of the moves is the decision to insert Tony Moll at right guard.

Moll had been practicing with the second-team offensive line at right tackle for the first two weeks of training camp. A fifth-round draft pick, Moll also practiced at left tackle upon his arrival in Green Bay for the post-draft mini-camp.

Except for two plays at the Pop Warner level, Moll has never played guard.

"I took two snaps at guard, then I had to go back to quarterback," Moll recalled with a smile.

Maybe that's next for the rookie? Who knows?

As a matter of fact, Moll has barely played on the offensive line between college and now. He went from tight end at the University of Nevada to tackle for his senior season. He gained about 40 pounds to make the move inside, but it wasn't all muscle. He's been trying to turn the fat into muscle through this off-season, and now will be going up against defensive linemen who will be much stronger and heavier. Moll is listed at 308 pounds, but he reportedly weighs under 300. Is he ready for the inside? Apparently, the coaches think so.

"I put it on quickly, and that's not always going to be muscle," Moll said. "It definitely put a little wear and tear on my body during my senior year. I lost a lot of flexibility. I've been trying to be aggressive in getting it back. I've been doing a lot in the weight room to get rid of the fat and put on more muscle – switch it over from bad weight to good weight."

Let's hope it happens sooner than later. For now, the Packers have thrown in the towel on second-round pick Daryn Colledge and are hoping that Moll can be the guard that the offense needs to be effective. It seems to be a stretch on the part of the coaching staff, but their depth is so thin right now at the position that they've got nothing to lose.

If Moll and Spitz can hold their positions at guard, good for them. But they will have their hands full, if last Saturday's preseason game against the Chargers is any indication. Moll has got to show some spunk, an ability to be aggressive and take on defenders, but that doesn't seem like it will happen too soon. Right now he is just happy to be with the first-team, which is good, but he needs to develop a mean-streak along with muscle.

"It's extremely exciting to be in the huddle with those guys," Moll said. "They're very professional every play. They are very confident in what they do. They know what they're doing. If I'm not sure about what we're doing, I can look to my right or to my left and both of them can tell me what to do."

The Chargers pretty much pushed the Packers' interior line around, Colledge and Spitz included, and that created problems for Brett Favre and the running game. Other teams will only do the same until the Packers figure out how to run their new zone-blocking scheme effectively.

So they move Moll, who performed halfway decent with the second team at right tackle on Saturday, to guard? Seems like a desperation move, though, it is only training camp. However, it is about the time that a team wants its first-team offensive line to start playing together with every snap for the sake of continuity.

The next couple of preseason games will be interesting to watch, especially Moll. He has the chance to seize the position as long as he plays aggressively. If he plays like he's just happy to be there, he won't last long. The clock is ticking on the line to come together. If they don't have together by early September, the offense will have some major problems this season.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.

Packer Report Top Stories