The new season is upon us. Training camp has started and once again we have hope for a great season. One we all hope as Packer fans, that ends with Rodgers hoisting the Lombardi trophy.
This off season was a rough one. The humiliating playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The retirement of Donald Driver. The loss of Greg Jennings, and Desmond Bishop to the Vikings. I’ll address Jennings in another blog post. The whole Rodgers Braun soap opera that is going on. I just want to football without the drama. Thank you very much.
I believe there is room for optimism with this new team. I am keeping it simple for this season. I want to focus on three simple things.
The first area is the running game. What the Packers have a running game? Yes, we do. Eddie Lacy could prove what the Packers have been looking for. He is a bruising running back that will make safeties and line backers think twice before sticking their head in there. No more fourth and one throwing a simple out that Finley drops.
Jonathon Franklin is a weapon that Rodgers can use to exploit defenses in the NFL. Jonathon Franklin can be used on screen plays, draw plays, and as a decoy to keep defenses from jumping routes. If these two backs are healthy and productive. Rodgers will be smiling all season long.
The other backs Harris, Starks, and Green could help the offense. Being they are all recovering from injuries. It’s hard to say who will make the team and what kind of impact they will have.
The second area is the offense line. Bulaga is now at his original position at left tackle. Sitton and Lang switch guard positions; Dietrich-Smith is the new center, and Barclay, Newhouse at right tackle. What does this all mean? I am not sure. Many personnel people say that is a crazy idea to switch these players. It could be a huge disaster.
I am going to look at this with a glass half full point of view. McCarthy just didn’t wake up one morning and say, “I got it! Let’s switch the entire line around!” There had to be a great deal of thought in this decision. If this doesn’t work it could cost you big time. Every Packer fan knows if Rodgers is gone. The season is over.
The third area is the defense. The defense looked like a junior varsity playing the varsity. The last time we saw them in action. Letting Desmond Bishop go to the Vikings could prove costly. Nick Perry has to stay on the field and be a difference maker. He cannot be just a guy. Hawk and Jones are pedestrian at best. Manning is the wild card. In college he was a play maker. Clay Matthews has to take that next step to stardom. Without him on the field, the Packers were not the same.
Last but not least Datone Jones has to fill the void we lost in Cullen Jenkins. If Datone can get to the quarterback or at the very least have Matthews get to him. The defense can make huge leap from last year.
I am excited about this year. I’m also looking at it with guarded optimism. The injuries always seem to find us. The schedule is not a cake walk. The Vikings, Lions, and Bears will not make it easy. One thing I know for sure, I just want the drama to end. Let’s play football.