Wired-up Packers center Wells has concerns about TV mikes

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Packers center Scott Wells wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea of wearing a television microphone during Sunday's season opener at Philadelphia.

As the on-field leader of Green Bay's offensive line, Wells is concerned that another team could gain an advantage by being able to hear the calls he and quarterback Aaron Rodgers make at the line of scrimmage.

"I don't really like being miked up, personally, because the centers say a lot, we make a lot of calls and adjustments," Wells said. "So if you have a microphone in there, it's broadcast to the whole world what you're saying. You have to be smart, what you say, and try not to give everything away."

The NFL is allowing TV networks to put microphones on centers during select games this season. Wells said he wore one microphone on the front of his shoulder pads and another on the back.

"It was explained to me it will be prime-time games, so pretty much all the night games, and then any big rivalry afternoon games," Wells said.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said microphones on centers take the place of microphones previously placed on umpires, who will spend the majority of the game lining up behind the deepest running back instead of in the middle of the defense this season -- and presumably wouldn't be in good position to pick up sound.

"We are using them on selected games so far," Aiello said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "The mikes are open only from the break of the huddle through the snap, same as with the umpire mike. We are continuing to review how it is working."

Wells said he understands the influence that TV has on the sport.

"We do what we're told," Wells said.

Wells didn't say whether he was more concerned about a rival team using the broadcast to gain an advantage during a game or an upcoming opponent using a tape of Wells' calls to better scout the Packers' offense.

"I just have a concern any time there's a mike on the center or the quarterback, because they're going to hear a lot of the adjustments," Wells said. "That's stuff you can't get off of regular film."

And if opposing defenses begin using the broadcasts to gain an advantage, Wells said Green Bay's offense will have to consider additional ways to disguise its signals.

"Once things start getting picked up, it's going to happen," Wells said.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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