GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Not everyone can say they had the opportunity to protect, what will be, two hall of fame quarterbacks and also the chance to serve their country, but it’s an honor that one former Packer can proudly say.
Green Bay’s second round draft pick in 2006, Daryn Colledge, was a staple on the offensive line for five seasons. He started every single game from 2008 until 2011 and got the opportunity to protect Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers from defenders.
“It was special. I think we knew the situation we were going into. We knew that Brett Favre was the quarterback when we got drafted, obviously. The first time you do it, it’s still special. You know who he is and what he’s going to do. You also know it’s your responsibility to take care of that person and keep him protected” says Colledge.
When Aaron Rodgers took over as the starting quarterback for Green Bay in 2008, Colledge says that it was a different friendship with Rodgers considering how close they were in age.
“Playing with Aaron, it was a totally different experience. Aaron was my closer to my age and Aaron and I had a relationship off the field. We were friends and, again, something that will always be special to me and something I still hang onto this day”, Colledge explains.
Colledge was apart of the Packers Super Bowl 45 team and to have the opportunity to bring the title back to Titletown was surreal.
“To bring it back to that town, I think it means more than bringing it back to just any city. There’s certain places that a championship just means a little more and I think anybody will admit that. To have the chance to bring one back to Green Bay is certainly a special thing and I only wished we could’ve brought them back more”, says Colledge.
When Colledge retired from the NFL after his nine year career, it was time to start a new journey. One that’s always been on his mind. He joined the Military.
“I always wanted to be apart of that brotherhood anyway. I spent a lot of time with the Packers traveling and you miss the chance to compete with people, you miss the brotherhood, you miss the pushing for one goal”, says Colledge. “I was raised around Military bases, I had Military members in my family, my brother is an active-duty Military member, and they were some of the best men and women that I’ve had the chance to be with. They were self-sacrificing for people that they’ve never met. I think it’s something easily to be drawn into and I think it’s easy to get behind”
Colledge tells Local 5 that his family was super supportive of him during his time in the NFL and especially, being away in the military. After being deployed in Afghanistan for nearly a year, Colledge explained how the life skills he learned on the football field translated into the Military.
“Learning to be coached, learning to be yelled at, and learning to work in a group, I think those are all skills and traits that work great in a military uniform or in a football uniform. Overcoming adversity, finding ways to set goals, and all of those things on the football field, definitely helped me”, Colledge says.
Even though it’s been seven years since Colledge has played in the NFL, he still tries to make it a point to watch the Packers on Sunday and make it to Lambeau Field once a year. After back-to-back NFC Championship appearances from the green and gold, Colledge believes that this year’s Packers team is set up for another year of success.
“I think when you have Aaron Rodgers at the helm, you have that organization there, and the Lambeau advantage at home, you always have a chance to win. I don’t expect this team to not make it to the playoffs. I don’t expect this team to not do great things. These guys will have that opportunity but they definitely need to have a few things to fall their way”, says Colledge.