Read here from Don Banks at cnnsi.com. Banks talks about how the Packers are one Super Bowl winner that could very well disrupt the recent pattern of Super-Bow-winners-puking-the-year-after-their-Super-Bowl win. I think he makes some good points and I like his take on this.
I have to admit that tough questions linger for me from last year: what if we’d missed the playoffs? how did we win like that with a such a marginal running game? were we really THAT good if we were lucky to make the playoffs? which was the real Packer team – the team that steamrolled through the playoffs or the team that only scored 3 points at Detroit?
Despite some of these lingering questions and despite my conscious effort to think of reasons to doubt the conviction I have in this team – it’s really hard to not like this Packer team. I like the guys we have coming back and the new guys in the fold. I actually don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the team this year has better personnel than the one last year (despite losing some guys). I do think the Jenkins loss will hurt some maybe initially, but that’s it. We’re better off at linebacker, great at corner, solid at safety, strong on the d-line, better and healthier at WR with Cobb in the mix and Driver healthy again, deeper at RB with Grant and Green, loaded at TE with Finley back, DJ Williams and 2 2nd year guys with valuable experience in Crabtree and Quarless, as good as we can be at QB and importantly, possibly much improved at O-Line.
Last year, the O-Line to me, wasn’t much above average though they did come together nicely at the end. This year, we’ll have Clifton, Wells and Sitton back – all 3 of whom are very solid (Sitton is fantastic). But we’ll also have a more experienced Bulaga and a likely upgrade at left guard in Sherrod (…I even think Lang would be an upgrade). I actually think one of the bigger changes for the o-line, especially if Sherrod gets the nod, could be run blocking. The Pack has had suspect run blocking now for a few years but something tells me that with the experience gained last year and with Colledge gone (a guy I think struggled significantly with run blocking), this line could not only excel at pass protection, but also get the job done on the ground. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if our running game catches more than a few folks off guard in the first half of this season.
Bottom line is – this should be a very good team this year and for the next few years in fact. This is a team loaded with “young veterans” as Nick Collins indicates in the article. And as Rodgers points out, each year the team is restocked by TT and the brain trust. I like Woodson’s thoughts on this: “”It’s fair to say we’ll be a good team…So do I think we’ll make another run this year or two? Absolutely. What happens after that, I don’t know. If we go on a five-year run, I’m going to be here. You can write that down.”