Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Getting Their Shot NFL Veteran, of South Park, Gets Another Chance at Tackle

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Getting Their Shot NFL Veteran, of South Park, Gets Another Chance at Tackle

Article excerpt

GREEN BAY, Wis. --

For Reggie Wells, the end appeared to be near. After the Carolina Panthers released him in late November, the 31-year-old offensive lineman returned to his hometown near Pittsburgh and helped coach his father's high school girls basketball team.

Wells sat on the bench, offering occasional advice to the South Park squad. Wells figured he'd coach one day. Maybe his new life was starting now.

But instead of turning the page, Wells was rejuvenated.

"Being around them," Wells said, "and seeing them work kind of re- energized me."

This past offseason, Wells worked out with the high school athletes at South Park, his alma mater. He patiently waited and finally got a call from the Green Bay Packers.

Time is running out for Wells. He realizes opportunities are scarce for aging, backup linemen. But Thursday night in Cincinnati, Wells will get a look at left tackle. With second-year pro Derek Sherrod likely to begin the season on the physically unable to perform list, uncertainty reigns at left tackle behind Marshall Newhouse.

This opportunity in the third exhibition game is all Wells could ask for.

"Since I've come into the league, I've had that mentality of as long as I have an opportunity to be out there, that's all I can ask for," said Wells, who graduated from Clarion University and was drafted in 2003 by the Arizona Cardinals. "Obviously, most of my career has been at one spot. But you always have to be ready whenever your number's called."

Herb Taylor was solid at right tackle against Cleveland last week after a nightmare opener at San Diego. The 6-foot-3, 318-pound Wells struggled at left guard against Browns defensive tackle Brian Schaefering. But now it is apparently his turn at tackle. During Tuesday's practice, Wells worked with the No. 2 offense at left tackle.

While not the same player who started six seasons at left guard for the Arizona Cardinals, Wells has occasionally played tackle in his nine-year career. That versatility was appealing to the Packers.

Thursday will be key for evaluation.

"You don't want to be pigeonholed as a guy who can only do one thing," Wells said. …

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