Coach's corner with Campen

Offensive line coach James Campen talks about the constant shuffling of his group

"I wouldn't call it boring," offensive line coach James Campen said in response to a sarcastic question about this being an uneventful training camp for his unit.

Tuesday was just another day at the office for Campen and Co. With center Scott Wells (trunk) and left tackle Chad Clifton (rest, soreness) missing their second consecutive practice, the shuffling continued for a unit that struggled during Saturday's preseason game at San Francisco.

On one snap, Daryn Colledge was the No. 1 left tackle and Allen Barbre the No. 1 left guard. Then, it was Tony Moll at left tackle and Colledge at left guard. Then it was Barbre at left tackle and Colledge at left guard. The only constant was Jason Spitz — who has lined up as the No. 1 right guard and No. 1 left guard during camp — playing center.

"We're just working real hard and guys are moving around a little bit just to see the flexibility we have," Campen said.

The Packers had kept Barbre basically locked into left guard for his first two training camps, but the second-year pro got a lot of reps at left tackle on Tuesday. Barbre was an all-American left tackle at Division II Missouri Southern, so the position isn't foreign to him.

"Again, we're looking for flexibility and guys to be able to play in different positions," Campen said. "A lot of times, different things can happen. Certainly, we're going to put the best five players out there, even if we have to move them around a little bit."

With four practices and two preseason games remaining until preparation begins for the Sept. 8 regular-season opener against Minnesota, time is running short for the Packers to put together a cohesive line to face the talented front four of the Vikings. Campen, though, sounded confident in whoever would line up on opening night.

"I feel comfortable with any of those 14 kids we have. I'm comfortable with all of them," he said.

A big key is Wells, who had missed more than a week of camp with what coach Mike McCarthy called a trunk injury (torso). He sustained a similar injury to the other side of his body during Saturday's game at San Francisco.

Campen was the Packers' starting center from 1990 to 1992, played five seasons in Green Bay and has been a line coach here since 2004, so he knows Wells' importance to the offense. Again, though, he talked about the depth giving the Packers the ability to overcome the injury, starting with the versatile Spitz.

"You never like anyone being nicked up. Of course, he's missing reps, and that's always a concern," Campen said. "We have three other good centers (including Junius Coston and undrafted rookie Brennen Carvalho) behind him, so we feel fortunate that we have enough depth to move forward."

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com


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