Lineman settles in at one position

Versatile Moll puts main focus as Tauscher's backup

Tony Moll is enjoying a break of sorts this off-season. The versatile offensive lineman played a variety of positions along Green Bay's offensive line last season as a rookie, but will enter training camp as Mark Tauscher's understudy at right tackle – period.

That's OK with Moll, a former tight end at the University of Nevada, who could be the future starter at right tackle if Tauscher moves on when his contract expires after the 2008 season.

"Hopefully it means that they're happy with the way I've been playing and how my off-season has been going," said Moll. "They haven't been trying me at other positions."

Moll was invaluable for the Packers last year. The fifth-round pick gained a starting spot at guard after Daryn Colledge struggled in the preseason, making a total of five starts in the early going. Moll, a converted tight end in college, then had five starts at right tackle toward the end of the season in place of the injured Tauscher (groin).

The Packers have settled on Colledge and fellow second-year player Jason Spitz as their starting guards between tackles Chad Clifton and Tauscher. Colledge is the top backup for Clifton, according to coach Mike McCarthy. Moll could be used at either guard position, but McCarthy is hoping he won't have to make that move. Plus, the Packers selected offensive lineman Allen Barbre in the fourth round of the recent NFL draft, and he has been lining up at guard in minicamps and Organized Team Activities practices.

"I'm of the opinion that when you have young linemen -- and we have a number of them -- if you want them to progress, you need to keep them in one spot," McCarthy said.

McCarthy said that Moll's flexibility to move along the line is crucial if needed in an emergency situation on game day, though, there's an inherent risk of stunting his development.

Moll agrees.

"Last year, it would have been a lot easier playing one position," Moll said. "This year, I know guard and tackle so well that it doesn't really matter. They could throw me in and I'd be able to do it. It's nice being able to play one position because you're able to work on the footwork at that one position. Every position is different."

Look for Moll to settle in at right tackle and, perhaps, start at that position within a few years for the Packers.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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