Judging from the likes of Peter King, Chris Mortensen and Mel Kiper, the Packers are the feel-good pick as a Super Bowl favorite in 2010. While it is two months before training camp, the Packers seem to have all the pieces in place. Granted there are some question marks, cornerback and left outside linebacker the most glaring, the Packers seem poised to make a deep run in the playoffs.
The locals might not feel the same way considering enemy number one Ted Thompson did sign any free agents again, even though there were none available. The people that cover the league and not just the Packers seem to see things a little differently. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm the sky is the limit for the Packers. While Rodgers didn’t win his first playoff game last year, he certainly proved he belongs in the upper echelon of QBs in the NFL. Rodgers bounced back from a horrible start put up 45 points and if not for one overthrow the Packers might have been in the Super Bowl.
I was going through my old video tapes and pulled up the Packers-49ers playoff game in which the Packers of the 90s had there coming out. The next year they won the Super Bowl. I think the Packers of 2010 are very similar to that 1995 team that advanced to their first of three straight NFC Championship games. The biggest difference is this team doesn’t need to sign a half-dozen free agents to fill holes in order to win now, this team has much more depth than that 1995 team did. I think that bodes well not only for this year but for the next several years. Will a Super Bowl championship be part of the equation? I believe it will.
While Rodgers will always be compared to Brett Favre, which is fine, the guy Rodgers reminds me of more is Joe Montana. Like Montana Rodgers is a cerebral quarterback who rarely makes a mistake and is a leader of men. Rodgers certainly has the stronger arm. Rodgers is also more mobile, which can be a blessing, and a curse. I worry about Rodgers trying to cash a check is body can’t cash.
If Rodgers runs his starting streak to 48 games, the Packers will be in good shape next January.
Elsewhere it was interesting but not surprising to see B.J. Raji moved to nose tackle and Ryan Pickett moved outside. Raji was drafted to be the nose tackle of the future but never made it there on a regular basis last year because of a holdout and injury. Pickett is the ultimate team player, the kind of guy you wish you had 45 of. With Pickett stuffing the run outside and Raji more comfortable inside, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Packers led the NFL in rush defense again this year. That would be a good thing considering the running backs in the NFC North division.
I can’t wait for more OTAs and mini-camp, but training camp this year should be electric. The Packers have a good team and a potential superstar at quarterback just entering his prime. This team
should will be thinking Super Bowl this year.