New (Old) Dad, New (Old) Center

Veteran Scott Wells is coming off three consecutive strong performances, with a rematch against Minnesota's Pat Williams coming up on Sunday.

Scott Wells is a new dad.

"A new old dad," he corrects.

Which is appropriate, because the Packers may have a new starting center.

A new old starting center.

Wells, who was beaten out of his job of the past three seasons by Jason Spitz during training camp, is coming off arguably the best three-game stretch of his six-year career.

Even if Wells has no interest in talking about it.

"I try to go each week and approach each game the same, regardless of who's across from me," Wells said after posting winning performances against three of the NFL's best big men the past three weeks in Minnesota's Pat Williams, Detroit's Grady Jackson and Cleveland's Shaun Rogers. "They roll in guys in games, so it's never a battle against one guy. There's other guys that come in you have to be prepared for. I just try to execute the game plan and play to the best of my abilities and see what happens."

With Spitz plagued by low-back pain, Wells will start again in Sunday's rematch against the Vikings. That entails a rematch against Williams, who has earned Pro Bowl recognition the last three years. During their battle at the Metrodome last month, Williams had no tackles, no assisted tackles, no anything. It was the first time since 2006 in which Williams was kept off the stat sheet.

"We still lost the game, so it's hard to say anybody has success," Wells said. "He's an excellent player, so really you have to rely on fundamentals, technique. He's very savvy. If you try to adjust your weight, he can feel and he reacts off that. It's a physical chess match with a guy like that."

When Wells was beaten out in training camp, his disappointment was evident but he remained professional in his actions. So, when veteran left tackle Chad Clifton went down early in the third quarter against Cincinnati, Wells was ready to go on a shuffled offensive line. Last week at Cleveland, he was superb against the Browns' Rogers, helping spearhead the Packers' 202-yard rushing attack.

In his five games and four starts, Wells has been charged with one-half sack and only one penalty (holding), according to STATS.

"We knew in training camp we had six starters, counting Scott," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said last week. "They wanted to let Spitty take over that center role, but Scotty kept his mouth shut and continued to work hard and knew he was going to get an opportunity at some point. Cliffy went down, he stepped in the starting lineup and has done a great job for us. He's been a good leader for us. He's just a solid, solid player. He hasn't made mistakes, he's played well, he's snapped the ball well, his communication has been very good. You know that's what you're going to get out of Scott Wells."

Wells arrived at training camp stronger and healthier than last year. Wells downplayed his more muscular build — "Nah, I think you guys put more into it than I do" — but he pointed to offseason surgery on a torn labrum as one reason for his solid performance.

"That's definitely better," he said. "I was able to go through the entire training camp this year and haven't missed a whole lot of time. I've been blessed with health this year and I want to continue that trend."

Wells and his wife, Julie, were blessed with their third child, Kingston, on Tuesday. Asked if he'd be a future center, Wells suggested baseball would be a better career option.

Because of the baby, Wells missed the first day of practice this week but has been strong the last two days, coach Mike McCarthy said. There's a good chance the same line that overpowered the Browns last week will answer the opening bell on Sunday. With subpar play from that group the first five games, Wells is hopeful that the performance against Cleveland is a sign of things to come.

"We've improved but still not where we need to be," Wells said. "We're, like the coaches say, stacking successes. We're moving in the right direction and looking to take another step this week. We did a lot of things better last week than we did the previous week. We still need to improve our red-zone execution. When we get down in the red zone, we need to get touchdowns and not field goals. Last week, we did a little better job protecting the quarterback. We need to continue that, build off that. We're taking steps in the right direction."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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