Colledge Proves His Value During Super Bowl Season

In a season the Packers are playing for the Lombardi Trophy, guard Daryn Colledge has made his mark on the team.

DALLAS – It almost seemed like a backhanded compliment.

When Green Bay Packers offensive line coach James Campen was asked what starting left guard Daryn Colledge's best quality, best attribute is, he replied, "The best thing that he does is communication skills."

Uh oh. Raise the red flags.

Being the best communicator among NFL offensive linemen might be comparable to being the best blocking wide receiver in the NFL. Sure it's nice, but it's also not exactly at the top of the list of characteristics one is looking for in a football player.

How about being a punishing run blocker? How about latching onto a defender and not letting go? How about the ability to neutralize a defensive lineman? Communication could probably be overlooked if he is superior at any of these aforementioned qualities.

Okay. Let's put that aside for right now and hear Campen out.

The Packers are in the Super Bowl for a reason. The offensive line may not be the team's greatest strength, but they must be doing something right to advance as far as they have.

"He is very, very smart," said Campen. "You can put a player in the right or left of him, if he’s playing at left guard, and he can get you in the right position.

"He handles a lot of things when we go in silent count. He has to identify things for the center because his head’s between his legs in silent count. I would definitely say that his biggest thing is that he’s an unbelievable communicator, and you don’t worry about him having mental errors or anything like that."

College, for his part, is a straight shooter.

Ask him the same question, what's his best quality, and you'll get an acceptable answer. But he'll also address his weakness... and expand upon it... and actually tell you more about his weakness than his strength.

"I think most people, scouts in general and even coaches, will tell you I’m a better pass blocker than I am a run blocker," said Colledge. "For me run blocking is one of those things where I have to consistently work my butt off in the offseason to try to get better.

"I did a little better this year at it, and hopefully next year I’ll take another step forward, but making the transition from tackle and guard, the run game’s probably been the most difficult transition of all."

Still, there's value to these qualities possessed by Colledge. He may not be a Mack truck in the run game, but he's probably average to above average as a pass protector, a precious feature in Green Bay's pass-first offense.

And there's something to be said about his consistency, his ability to play in nearly every game and participate in nearly every practice.

"He’s a very accountable person; he’s available," said Campen. "He doesn’t miss practice. Jeez, I couldn’t tell you how many practices maybe he’s missed. He’s probably missed, I’d probably say 10 practices in five years. So I mean, very durable."

Colledge has pretty much been a starter from Day 1 in NFL. As a rookie he started 15 out of 16 regular season games. And he's started all 16 games for past three consecutive seasons.

This current season stands out for one reason in Colledge's mind, however.

"This is actually the first year I’ve had the opportunity to play all 16 games at left guard," said Colledge. "I’ve had to play right tackle, left tackle, right guard due to injuries along the offensive line, and I’ve struggled at times moving and moving back and forth.

"So this year’s probably been my most consistent year, and I feel like if I can continue to stay at left guard, maybe some of those accolades will come, and I’ll become an even better player than I will today."

Despite not being an All-Pro, a Pro Bowler or anything of that nature, Colledge is a smart and durable pass blocker who's making progress year after year and is also an effective communicator on a Super Bowl team.

As part of an offensive line where he's only one of five moving parts, there's room for one of those types of players.

"I just want to be a guy that this team can rely on," said Colledge. "I want my coaches to be able to look at me and say, ‘Alright, our left guard situation we’re good at. If something needs to be worked on elsewhere, let’s take care of that.’"

That's exactly what he did during the preseason when facing competition from rookie Bryan Bulaga for the starting left guard position.

Colledge is a free agent after this season, and while he may not be the pick of the litter, his résumé will read "starting offensive lineman on a Super Bowl team."

And many teams are in the market for one of those.

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Comments (20)

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FITZCORE1252's picture

February 02, 2011 at 11:46 pm

"The best thing that he does is communication skills."...

It's better than what we used to know him for, helping #12 off the ground. He has played better/more consistent this year.

WHITEHOUSE ON THREE

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Farah's picture

February 03, 2011 at 12:01 am

I will be SO sad if he leaves Green Bay after this season, he is my favorite! I love his attitude. And I really miss watching the Colledge Experience, lol

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Bearmeat's picture

February 03, 2011 at 12:14 am

Colledge sucks.

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PackerAaron's picture

February 03, 2011 at 12:44 am

I really hope you're not being serious.

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jack in jersey city's picture

February 03, 2011 at 02:29 am

he meant college sucks. he hates his classes this semester

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Bearmeat's picture

February 03, 2011 at 09:00 am

I was being sarcastic. I should have put a smiley face after the comment. And yes, my doctoral classes suck this semester. PhD = Pile it Higher and Deeper.

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nunobow's picture

February 03, 2011 at 02:37 am

Great reading, Brian.

Colledge is perhaps one of those guys on the roster that only gets criticism when due - but when he plays well he just flies under the radar?!

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MarkinMadison's picture

February 03, 2011 at 08:09 am

Isn't that an offensive lineman by definition?

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ZeroTolerance's picture

February 03, 2011 at 06:06 am

While not being the best run blocker, he is soild in pass pro. Plays every game and does not miss a practice. If not really good, he's really steady.

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zub's picture

February 03, 2011 at 06:26 am

Colledge will get at least one team to over price him in the off season, IMO TT will pay him a fair price, but not go into a bidding war.

With Lang and the draft coming up, TT has options if another team goes crazy.

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MarkinMadison's picture

February 03, 2011 at 08:16 am

I think that is exactly right. We'll find out how much the Packers really miss him (or not) next year, after he's signed with another team for more money than TT will be willing to pay him. Kind of like Scott Wells a couple of years ago, Colledge is one of those guys that we like to pick on as being a weakness on the O-line. He is in that undersized, more athletic, Denver-mode lineman that TT has favored. I have to grudgingly admit that he has his upsides though. Nicely done Brian.

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jeremy's picture

February 03, 2011 at 01:16 pm

"at least one team to over price him"

That would be my point as well. Coledge is an OK player they can win with but he's not worth above average money. Save the money to resign Sitton. Either Lang or Spitz is not a huge downgrade from Colledge. I'd really like the Packers to look for another mauler at guard in the draft.

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Ruppert's picture

February 03, 2011 at 09:23 am

I'm going to defer to Bob McGinn on this one, from his article about how the Pack is rising to power in the league: "Daryn Colledge is as ordinary as ordinary can be."

The guy shows up for work every day, but I think the LG position could stand an upgrade. The best thing would be for somebody to rise up and remove Colledge from his job. That hasn't happened, though.

When I think of Daryn Colledge, I think of a guy who is inconsistent from game to game. He is capable of having a fantastic game followed up by a game like the first Atlanta game. Let's hope Sunday is one of the good ones.

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bogmon's picture

February 03, 2011 at 02:33 pm

Colledge had a serious chip on his shoulder during training camp and preseason...He DID NOT like the local press questioning him about the possibility of losing a starting role or about his unhappiness about his contract.
I think that 'anger' helped fuel his drive this season. He has been more consistent; cut down on mental lapses and the penalties. All in all, a surprisingly good season.
If he wants a big raise after this season I say let him walk, but that still doesn't change the level of achievement he helped his team and quarterback achieve THIS season.

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foundinidaho's picture

February 03, 2011 at 09:32 am

I'm just glad I don't have to apologize for him anymore. Not hearing his name much this season has been absolutely fabulous.

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CSS's picture

February 03, 2011 at 10:04 am

Normally I would dig the facial hair prior to the war but Keisel set the bar so high everything else looks like peach fuzz.

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Joyce c's picture

February 03, 2011 at 11:13 am

good article keep em coming

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PackersRS's picture

February 03, 2011 at 11:41 am

He's not having mental lapses this year. He's not missing assignments, he's not comiting dumb penalties in key moments (knocks on wood).

That alone is big improvement.

Still think we need improvement at LG for next season, be it a new player, be it Colledge's maturation.

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Point Packer's picture

February 03, 2011 at 01:12 pm

Pack should keep him. Experience and smarts are incredibly valuable on the O-line.

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Wgbeethree's picture

February 03, 2011 at 01:22 pm

For anybody who is thinking the Pack is gonna let Colledge walk take this into consideration. MM has repeatedly said "availability and accountability" are the two things he preaches the most. Then look at how he is described by Campen.

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