Final look back

Like always I’m late to the party but in this case it is on purpose. I wanted to let it all soak in first, so I didn’t rush out and get the Packers’ 2010 highlight video. It was worth the wait. 2010 will certainly be the most unique season of the Packers’ four Super Bowl championships.

The Packers started out OK, a unexpected win at Philly coupled with an unexpected loss in Chicago left the Packers 3-1 at the first turn. Of course they had lost running back Ryan Grant for the year and were two plays away from losing Jermichael Finley the next week in Washington.

The Packers also lost Clay Matthews in the second half of that game and then lost the game itself when the defense broke down in the fourth quarter. Without Matthews the following week the Packers let Miami’s Chad Henne carve them up and Packers lost again.

That game contained head coach Mike McCarthy’s worst call of the year when he sent out the extra point team after the Packers scored a TD with 13 seconds left. The Packers were getting beat up all day and should have tried to win it right there, they had no chance in overtime, it was all they had just to tie it. After winning the toss they promptly lost a yard on three plays and punted – game over.

With the season on the brink, the Minnesota Vikings and Brett Favre came to town, and a big second half gave the Packers a much needed win over the Vikings. Not so much for the sake of the season but for sake of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers was a different player the rest of the season, he went from good to brilliant almost overnight.

Beating the Vikings while picking off Favre three times in the process seemed to propel the defense as well as the Packers shut out the Jets in New York the following week. That was a huge shocker to me. I thought we should have been able to score more on the loudmouth Jets. The Packers were the better team that day and are still the better team.

The Cowboys and Vikings followed but were mere fodder for the rejuvenated Packers. Then came a trip to Atlanta. This is when I thought the Packers would make their statement to the league that they are the team to beat. Not! Funny how they did end up making that statement in Atlanta but not until January.

The Packers lost to the Falcons and lost two of the next three following that game. Sitting at 8-6 things were not looking good. At least the Packers had the Giants and Bears at home and had Rodgers back after missing a game-and-a-half with a concussion.

Rodgers simply exploded upon his return and was unstoppable all the way to the Super Bowl. The Giants game was over early but against the Bears, like it would be three weeks later, Rodgers and the Packers had to grind it out. Other than the pick to Urlacher in the NFC Championship game Rodgers didn’t make a mistake and let his defense do it’s job.

Once the Packers hit the playoffs they were on a dead run. I was fairly confident going into Philly again and had no worries at all going back to the ATL. Playing a division opponent three times in one year is always a tough task, but the Packers came out firing this time and the Packers held on to beat the Bears for the second time in three weeks.

How sweet it is!

I’m still a little shocked how easily the Packers won the Super Bowl. Rodgers’ leadership on offense and the emergence of Clay Matthews as the leader on defense was very impressive to watch. Barring injury these two guys could easily be Hall of Famers before it’s all said and done.

Since the Super Bowl might be the last game we see in a while it at least was a great way to go out. I highly recommend buying the video, NFL Films at it’s best.

Go Pack Go!

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  • matt

    Your poll: “Do you think their will be NFL football this year?” You used the wrong there/their. It should be there.

    • Buffalo Jim

      Good god Matt what are you an English teacher? Get a life. This is football talk. We can all figure out what He meant.

      • iccyfan

        Why’d you capitalize “he”; it’s neither a title nor a proper noun!?! Just kidding…

        I haven’t ordered the 2010 highlight video yet because I can still see it all in my mind’s eye! Are they selling it at retail outlets or must it be ordered on-line?

        I live in eastern Iowa, which is by and large Bear and Viking territory. As much as I hate the off-season, I’ve gotta say I’m enjoying this one immensely. I picked up my lawn tractor yesterday and had a twenty-minute conversation with the counter guy (Bear fan) about Jay Cutler. My youngest is in the middle of pre-season indoor baseball practices and the freshman head coach is a Viking fan. One guy shouldn’t be allowed to have this much fun…

      • dave76

        Iccy, I picked up my SB45 Champions DVD at Walmart for just $20. I think it is very well done with good extra content. Sends chills down my spine all over again, any diehard Packer fan will love it!

  • http://Orlando Mark

    The season was a lot like the Giants run. Their defense kept making stops at the end of close games in the playoffs. They had a good run game, pass rush and a WR who was dominant. Burress was a head case the Steelers dumped and he promptly proved them right by destroying his career and the Giants chances the next year. I don’t think we have a Burress but we also don’t have a good run game we can fall back on. I hope we can work to improve that this year.

    • dave76

      I think you are right Mark. We got a glimpse of Starks that was nothing short of great potential. I did hear MM say Grant looks light on his feet and expects a full recovery, right on schedule. If Starks can carry part of the load, Grant will have fresh legs all year and that combo can only help the passing game. Plus we can throw in a couple touches for BJax and Kuhn on screens and shorts. But I’m with you that the run game can hopefully improve.

      • http://Orlando Mark

        Sitton and Bulaga could be a serious improvement from the players they replaced in run blocking. Colledge is going to have to improve if the team is going to get better. You’re right about Grant needing the help and Starks can improve.

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      Hindsight maybe, but now we (myself included) sit around and discuss how great Grant and Starks will(might) be as a tandum with perhaps Bjax and Kuhn a little spice added to the mix. Wow, what a difference a SB makes. Think back a couple of months, ie, Marshawn Lynch, DeAngelo Williams; that Thompson, what a dunce.

  • Servius

    We were almost out of the playoffs with the highest net scoring margin.

    The breaks went against us much of the year but the team rallied, overcame and won the Super Bowl!!

    If Rodgers went from good to brilliant after the first Vikings game he went from brilliant to Ascended after he came back from his concussion. Maybe sitting out a game and resting is good for a quarterback and therefore better for the team.

    Awesome year.

    Go Pack!

  • Pierre

    It’s kind of surreal knowing the Packers have overcome all the injuries and issues that have beset this organization and now they sit on top of the hill as NFL Champions! Detractors of Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy…SILENCED! Aaron Rodgers has also disproved those who questioned his skill level and his ability as the next Packers’ QB to successfully lead this team going forward; decision by Thompson…absolutely correct! That’s decision making and foresight of a championship caliber general manager! Now Rodgers has joined the class of the elite quarterbacks by the six game run and a Super Bowl victory as an MVP that included stats not many QBs have demonstrated in post season play. Can you think of any other quarterback you would even want leading your team than Aaron Rodgers? It really is quite incredible what the Packers were able to accomplish this past season and if there is football next season they should once again be ready and able to compete at the highest level as their talent is solid and deep.
    Yes…the train has indeed left the station, with a victorious stop at Dallas, Texas, Superbowl Champions 2011…next stop…Indianapolis, Indiana, 2012. All aboard!….

    • iccyfan

      “Can you think of any other quarterback you would even want leading your team than Aaron Rodgers?”

      There is not another QB in the NFL today that I’d trade for Aaron Rodgers; Manning and Brady are obviously his statistical equals (or betters) but they’re substantially older. Phillip Rivers comes to mind from a talent level, but he doesn’t seem to have AR’s leadership skills. When you look his public persona, including the way he has handled the hardships of the transition and the accolades that come with a championship, Drew Brees comes to mind. In my limited perspective of the situation, Rodgers incorporates the best traits of all these guys in one body. We are amazingly lucky to have him as our QB!!!

      The only “worrisome” factor is the multiple concussions he has suffered. The new helmet should help and he’s more than intelligent enough to change his game slightly to minimize dangerous situations, but concussions are not totally avoidable. I never liked Troy Aikman but it was sad to see his career ended prematurely.

      • http://Orlando Mark

        I was impressed with #12 in 2009 by excelling after losing both of our tackles and getting buried in sacks. That’s enough to ruin most QB’s. Also some of the head injuries came from scrambling for an extra yard. He might have learned something from missing those 2 games.

      • Rick

        I say that Phillip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers are almost neck and neck as QBs. Peyton Manning is still the best in the league and Tom Brady is just behind them as he is getting older but is still one of the best and most consistant passers of the last 10 years.

        That said I would not trade AR for any other QB in the league.

        • dave76

          Rick, I agree with everything except Rivers being almost neck to neck. IMO, AR is above because of the SB win and MVP. If or when Rivers has a SB victory, I’ll put him in the elite group. I don’t know any diehard Charger fans, but I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall as Drew Brees won the SB with the Saints. Good debate though!

          • Rick

            True that a SB helps elevate a QB short but the reality is still how good of a QB that player is. Eli won a SB by being mistake free for about 5 games. Now he is middle of the road again. Brady has not one for a while but is still great. Manning is terrifying in that he makes the WRs better with his skills.

            I just am glad that Denver not SD traded away the QB. I am much happier facing Cutler then Rivers.

        • dave76

          That’s true about Cutler instead of Rivers. If SD ever cleans up its STs, we might face Rivers in a SB down the road. Their O and D were outstanding in total yards, while STs were pathetic. I do feel Rivers is dangerous and explosive, and I don’t really see him fading away like Carson Palmer. Either way, I’m thrilled with Aaron Rodgers as our QB for many years to come.( And hopefully a couple more SBs)

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    Jon, where are you? You’re missing out on all the fun. PRICELESS!

    • iccyfan

      Matt Hayton says: March 17, 2011 at 6:41 pm
      “Saw you ripping on us haters. Willingly admit, I was wrong and happy I was!”
      ==========================================================

      C’mon Jon – step up to the plate like your brethren Matt Hayton…

  • iccyfan

    “Bears coach Lovie Smith said the criticism of Cutler after a knee injury knocked him out of the NFC championship game was insulting, and he’s sick of talking about it.”

    This is so awesome and I take every opportunity possible to needle Bear fans about it, just like they gave me the business when Favre “un-retired” three years ago. Hey Lovie – there’s a reason people are still talking about it! My younger sibling is a physical therapist / athletic trainer and she has some pretty good street cred considering her Masters Degree from Ohio State included two years on the Buckeye sidelines (during the Eddie George era). She says the Bears could have braced him up and assuming he could tolerate the pain, he could have played on a Grade 2 MCL sprain. A sister-in-law is a PT who used to work with the Chicago Fire’s Orthopedic Surgeon (he did my wife’s knee reconstruction); she’s a Bear fan and she says the same thing! You have to love it when your arch-rival has controversy clouding their off-season. Much to our delight Cutler quit and the Bears still suck!!!

    • dave76

      Very true Iccy, how fun it is to watch! The one thing you can’t fix is a broken “will” to compete. That day our D broke Cutlers” will” to go on and he just plain quit when he realized there was no hope against the mighty Pack. LOL

  • http://Orlando Mark

    Iccy, we’re a good team that went on a great run where everything fell into place. But I don’t see the Yankee type chest thumping being appropriate. When Lombardi demolished the Bears for a decade I don’t remember this kind of disrespect. The Bears were lucky to have been in the Championship game Their fans should be thankful and disregard this fake controversy. Did #12 quit against the Lions, he could have stayed on his feet long enough to go back in. This is phoney and if the Bears fans buy it they’ll deserve what they get. Though I have to admit losing a Championship game makes fans want to find a convenient scapegoat.

    • iccyfan

      Aren’t you the same “Mark” who celebrated (on this very message board) Brett Favre’s last-play TD pass to Greg Lewis which allowed the Vikings defeat the 49ers (early in their 2009 division championship season)? Now you’re saying the Packers are just a “good” team who got hot at the right time? Sometimes it’s a little difficult to determine where your loyalties lie…

      Mark – I’m not finding random people in Bear jerseys and yelling, “Your QB is a quitter”! I’m chest-thumping amongst friends; there’s a not-so-subtle difference…

      • Steve Cheez

        Great idea Iccy. But when I tried it out on my boss it didn’t go so well…

    • http://Orlando Mark

      Sorry, Iccy, it just seemed like piling on for no good reason. If I were a Bear fan I’d be feeling sick enough. I think they’ll regress next year along with the Vikes so what’s the point.

      • iccyfan

        Geez Mark – it’s not like their dog died or their spouse left them; their favorite football team lost a game to my favorite football team, in no small part because their star QB couldn’t play the second half. These guys are four of my best friends in life. One of them was best man at my wedding and I was best man at both of his. When the Bears acquired Cutler, the Packers were coming off a 6-10 season. Do you think they didn’t give me a ration of crap about how they were going to dominate the division for the next decade with their newfound superstar?

        I guess the next time the boys are over I’ll polish up the tea set, put out the silver platter with crumpets and we’ll see what we can accomplish to end that drought in central Africa. ;)

        • http://Orlando Mark

          Sounds like jolly good fun.

      • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

        Wow, iccy, how ironic – “When the Bears aquired Cutler, the Packers were coming off a 6-10 season.” Just makes this afterglow even harder to believe. Pinch, pinch, and pinch again!

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    Character matters. Re Dez Bryant Mall droopy drawers caper. He says, she says, type argument but prior activity like parking in fire lane and lewd behavior towards female service workers indicates “where there’s smoke, etc.”.
    Perhaps unfair to judge on the simple face of it, but damn its great to be a fan of an organization the cares and gets involved with their players outside activities.

    • Rick

      LT you are so correct.

      Class shines through. Kampman was a low round worker that gave so much here and is still helping even though he is in Jacksonville.

      Did you see the Gazette article on Ryan Grant and what he is doing even with the labor issues. He is paying for the junior prom and all the money they fundraise will be for the scholarship fund and he is contributing about 100,000 to the fund as well. Whether you are Catholic or not. To see a man follow his heart and faith is an excellent thing to see.

      • http://Orlando Mark

        Thanks for sharing that Rick.

  • Sheesh

    That defensive stand against the Vikings and Favre on the last play of the game (to me) was a moment that I think this team ‘shed some baggage’ and grew up. Could you imagine if Brett completed that pass to Moss…yikes..but he didn’t and we began to roll!!!

  • Rick

    True that GB seemed to shake off the ghosts of old in that game.

    On to why I am glad some owners are d!cks. I am glad Cincinatti won’t trade Palmer. The Vikings giving up a 1st and a 3rd rounder for Palmer when combined with their WR core coming back healthy would make them a very tough team to beat in the division.

  • Steve Cheez

    Way to go, Jolly, you big F-ing idiot.

    • http://Orlando Mark

      I hate to kick a guy when he’s down but it’s probably a good thing he wasn’t with the team last year. He’ s the very definition of a loser.

      • Steve Cheez

        It gets better, apparently he’s been working out with Jamarcus Russell. Mark, he doesn’t need me to kick him, he’s doing it all to himself.

    • Rick

      Paging Mister Jenkins your contract is waiting….

    • dave76

      This was what I was talking about with Jolly. This guy needs rehab and psycological help before he ends up a statistic. Pro football is not in his near future, nor should it be. I don’t want to label him a complete loser yet, because drugs can be such a personality altering and judgement making factor. But I do hope he cleans up his life not only for himself, but for his loved ones around him who are suffering while watching all this happen.

      That said, I hope we can get Jenkins to stay!

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    As Dandy Don would say “The parties over.”. Jolly is no longer a Green Bay Packer! Zero tolerance; at least in my house. We all have our own opinions re the drug culture and come at the subject from our own experiences.

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    Wow, super good fortune re 4th for Kampman. Could the same happen if we lose Jones? Frankly I’d like to keep Jones more than I wanted to keep Kampy.

    • Rick

      Which Jones??

      • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

        Oh, now that you asked, I meant James. But now on reflection I really want both of the Jones boys. Yeah, I guess I was a little ambiguous……!

  • roy jamison

    Johnny Jolly we hardly knew ye….But, from what we know of you, your brain apparently looks like those eggs in the frying pan. Adios Johnny!

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      I think the funniest one I’ve seen was the comment that said “that must have been one hell of a cough”.

  • Rick

    Not to be weird but I think I may have to buy a VCU Rams hoodie for this upcoming Saturday’s games.

    Was it ever fun watching a #1 go down to a #11 yesterday. VCU BUTLER KENTUCKY UCONN…..its like the old Sesame Street song, which one of these don’t belong :)

  • Mel E Mel

    I think we would all agree that the Matthews/Raji draft pushed this team over the top. I believe the next draft could make the Pack a dynasty. If I am Ted and no big move to get a dominant LT is available, I go best athlete available. Scott Wells and Daryn College are nice people but just arent going to get it done against Suh and the new Silver Rush in Detroit.
    College is not physical enough. Chad Clifton has to be on borrowed time. With a franchise QB the Pack can not afford the bargain basement oline. We can have Packs Romana in the division MIn in shambles Aging Chicago defense, and the only team with young talent is Detroit.

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      Ooh, this hurts so much! You are so right MEM, the NEED on this team is at OL. Absolutely kills me to have to go 1st round for an OG/OT because I still have a Mandarich hangover. Probably because of the environment we play in but look at our history; Gillingham maybe the best, but Koncar-Ruettgers-Hyland-Verba-Taylor, uh,uh w/ incomplete for Bulaga. TT history, in theory, (his mentor-Wolf too) is BPA. BUT, that only goes so far like when you’re rebuilding. Both Wolf and TT have done a hell of a lot of NEED picks, especially on D.

      The problem as I see it is – value! Is the 3rd, 4th, or 5th rated OL guy in any draft worth a #32? I’m still predicting one of two senarios. Either we package the pick and move up to top 10 for a Von Miller type OLB or its a trade down for more picks and get lucky on the OL and DB stable for future development.

      But you’re right MEM; where, at what position, could a rookie beat out any of our vets or IR guys from last year? Only as a replacement for Cliffy and/or Tausch. If we hold the 32 its BPA.

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    Some credence to the trade down theory if you want to go there. The Pack has had no first round pick only three times since ’36 and once was ’08 traded to the Jets for #36 in the second and #113 in the fourth during TT’s time. So, there is precedent and coincidently that was a number 30 pick after the 13-3 year. Unfortunately, we went 6-10 in ’08 didn’t we and some were calling for TT’s head. Glad cooler heads prevailed in the front office on Lombardi.

    • iccyfan

      I’m with you LT; I’m becoming more and more convinced a trade-down is in the offing (with one asterisk)! Some of the more knowledgeable talking heads are suggesting QB’s will tumble; the Packers will therefore have fewer desired players on the board but somebody in the early second will see an opportunity at a QB they hadn’t anticipated. They trade up for our #32 and the Packers select Leonard Hankerson / Torry Smith / Titus Young / Ben Ijalana / Danny Watkins / Brooks Reed somewhere in the top third of the second round. Ted accumulates extra ducats and still gets the player he wants at a lower price-tag…

      Former Packer Ryan Bowen, along with the National Football Post’s draft guy (Wes Bunting), have some interesting podcasts. They love Titus Young of BYU, think Hankerson will be a solid #2 in the NFL and aren’t enamored of Torry Smith (one trick speed pony – catches with body too much).

      My conditional asterisk, included to irritate rockbottom70, is Akeem Ayers. Last season Bulaga dropped because of his “short arms”; Ayers is dropping due to his 4.8 – 40 time at the combine. LT cites Von Miller, and Ayers is / was the #2 OLB prospect behind Miller. I wouldn’t mind seeing a USC / UCLA tandem at OLB…

      • Rick

        The three day “spectacle” of the draft good really play in to GB favor. Round one is the only round on Thursday. GB pick is at the end of the night. We may find a team willing to trade into the spot to grab a particular QB or player that slides. However unless a talent plateau is reached. GB is already sitting in the best spot to draft for TT.

        It only takes a little extra to be added added and TT moves up to grab a player like he did with CM III. Or we get great value and slide back and get more picks or even better we swap a number 1 this year for the other teams number 1 next year. This could really work out like the Patriots seem to do year after year.

        • Rick

          My apologizes I am typing on the little blackberry buttons. Ugh I want an edit button

        • iccyfan

          Saw this thought posted on another website. Ted lets selection #32 “time out” on Thursday night, entertains trade offers for it overnight and makes certain he’s first up to the podium on Friday morning, either announcing the trade or making a pick. I’m sure there’s a mechanism in place to prevent this type of activity…

          Trading our 2011 #1 for somebody’s else’s 2012 #1 will improve the draft position with almost 100% certainty, but it robs us of a year to develop a really good young player. The Patriots keep getting fat trading established players for future draft picks (Cassell, Vrabel, Seymour); wish they’d get that CBA done so we could get in on a little of that action…

          • Rick

            There is no rules against it that. Once GB time expires pick or no pick, nothing starts until the bginning of the draft clock on Friday. Gb could get smashed out of the way if they do not get some pick done thr night.

            Swapping a 2011 #1 for a 2012 #1. It denys GB a single player but if we are looking to trade down mainly because of a talent plateau then aquiring pick(s) for next year makes more sense. Especially if it is something like the Panthers. They have no second round pick. They can get a player they need desperatley at #32. GB gets a probable early to mid round 1st pick back.

            We have many more players returning to compete than normal from the IR and we will picked clean by other teams grabbing our”crumbs” of whomever does not stuick on the roster. Next year I hope we do not have a 17 player IR pool to bring back again.

            I agree a CBA would clarify a lot of things including value of rookie QBs and top 5 draft picks pay.

  • Rick

    Back in the office and on a real keyboard again :)

    Two quick observations.

    I have watched a lot of tape on Patrick Peterson CB from LSU. He is the number 1 guy on my big board. I know he did not win the heisman but he looks to be the dang same size, speed, and skill set as Woodson was when he came into the league. This guy has that ability. I envy the team that drafts him.

    AJ Green is like watching Calvin Johnson all over again. Size, speed, and crisp route running. He is the best WR in this draft by far.

    Guys that I hope are available later in the draft for GB,
    Will Rackley OT, Lehigh top Patriot league player will be a solid OG in the NFL. #85 on my bigboard 3rd rounder. I see him as a lot like Sitton.

    Chris Neild, NT/DT West Virginia. 3-4 Fire plug run stopper, able to handle double teams. Not a pass rusher. Slight smaller frame than Raji, more Chris Hoke size. #220 on my big board 7th rounder. With the amount of teams moving to 3-4 defenses GB may grab him at end of 6th or first 7th round.

    Richard Sherman, CB Stanford. Converted top ranked California High School WR to CB in 2009 6’3″ 195 runs 4.49 press corner that needs help learning to cover better. A steal in the 6th or 7th round for a team capable of coaching up players. Indy and GB would be perfect fits. his pro day and film is quite impressive. He reminds me of Kelvin Hayden former Big Ten WR turned into CB.

  • Mel E Mel

    I for one would love to see a real return specialist. We have had nothing in that dept since Allen Rossum left. T.J. Lang held is own against Julius Peppers in the NFC championship, is he the RT of the future? Can Bulaga play LT in the NFL? Lamar Woodley dominated Bulaga in the Super Bowl but Aaron could see him coming so it was not a big factor. A dominant lineman isnt too much to ask at this point.

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    Hey, Rossum is available.

    • Rick

      LOL

  • http://Orlando Mark

    It looks like college players from big time schools can get an enhanced education in lying, cheating and hypocracy. Starting with their university Presidents down to their bagmen(i.e. the athletic directors) and coaches doing things the right way is just a close second to winning. I know this has been going on from day one. But allowing players under investigation to play games for better bowl ratings and the bowl system being so corrupt makes me wonder if I’m like a druggie supporting the Mexican drug cartels. Where is Judge Landis when you need him.