5 things the Packers Need to Repeat

From Larry R in Combined Locks, WI:

Here are my 5 things that the Packers need to have a repeat appearance at the super bowl.

  1. Great Coaching – The defense was simply amazing.  Unending injuries all the way through to the super bowl.  TT found players that were available and the coaching staff found ways to make them look like they should have been starters all along.  That is superior teaching, coaching, and scheming.  The Packers will need more of that and some more creativity because they will be studied to death this off season.  The opposing coaches have nothing else to do…..
  2. Aaron Rodgers missing less than 3 games – We may have a better than average backup but at some point you cannot get better without playing time (and he is not getting much).  What really makes this offense click is a quarterback that reads the defense and makes plays.  The Packers will play tough and keep it close but bottom line, this team will sputter without Rodgers.
  3. Get Hot When It Counts – I give credit to the team leaders for this happening in 2010-2011.  This when your stars and your emotional team leaders really make things happen even if they do not necessarily do it themselves.  The Packers have a number of these veteran leaders but I immediately think of Charles Woodson.  His numbers may have been down a bit this year but I believe he showed up BIG.
  4. Strong Offensive Line Play – Looks like there will be at least one and maybe two changes in the offensive line this year.  With minimal practice time and maybe even a shortened preseason schedule, they may need a few regular season games to really begin to gel.  They better not take too long because this part of the game is just too critical.
  5. Defensive Line Play – I assume Cullen Jenkins will be gone and that is just a shame.  The team does have candidates but no real replacements.
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  • Rick

    Great post Larry

  • Erick

    0. A season.

    • Rick

      Ouch !! Funny but painful

  • iccyfan

    Great opinion piece; you were very specific and I’ll be more general, bordering on ambiguous!

    Premise #1: It’s more difficult to repeat than to win the first championship;
    Premise #2: The NFC is loaded with playoff caliber teams in the North & South divisions;

    To get back to the Super Bowl:

    1) The Packers need to win the Norris Division to acquire at least one game of home-field advantage, hopefully more. What they did on the road last season was amazing; it doesn’t happen often (Pittsburgh & Green Bay only?) and we (as fans) can’t expect them to run that gauntlet again.

    2) We need Lady Luck to shine on us periodically. In 2010, the Packers never trailed by more than 7 points in any game yet we finished 10-6 and if not for some DeSean Jackson punt return heroics, wouldn’t have been in the playoffs.

    3) I know LarryTex won’t agree, but we need to continue improvement in our special teams play. Crosby needs to get over 80% on his FG% to tip the bar in our favor in those close games. The coverage units need to avoid lapses (New England game!) so our defense isn’t working with a short field. I don’t know that improvements to our return games are critical, but they’d certainly be welcome!

    4) The Packers must continue last season’s trend of decreasing # of penalties. They’d have won the division without that embarassing 17 penalty game in Chicago!

    5) We know Rodgers can carry the offense, but to repeat I think we’ll need a more balanced rushing attack. We all saw what happened when Starks became a weapon in the late-season; the passing offense became unstoppable!

    I like our chances if these knuckleheads can ever come to agreement on how to divvy up the cash cow that is today’s NFL, but I’m old enough to know that you take nothing for granted…

    • LarryTex

      My response would be total agreement with your two premiseses in that if #1 weren’t true there would be more of them and #2 I think we might agree that DET could be tough if they could keep their QB on the field.
      1) I was thinking more NYG a couple of years ago but you’re right, along w/ 2) it always takes luck. Teams usually need a little help from their friends in knocking someone else off on the way.
      3) I agree only to the extent that it was the only show of weakness on the team. However, better than the year before especially in the penalty phase and I think this draft contains ST members that will kick some of last years subs off the team. Now, I maintain my ideal team as 45% O (a good O out scores the other guy and wins), 45% D (a good D scores, takes points away from the other guy, and keeps the O off the field and rested), and 10% ST. Hell, with the dumb rules changes they’re talking about they’re practically handing us the Div and taking away our only perceived weak point away from the other teams.
      Can’t argue 4) and 5), my kind of football. Keeping your head in the game and balanced O.

      • iccyfan

        My #3 was primarily centered around Mason Crosby. We lost four games by three points; without going back, I recall him missing a short FG in Chicago and a couple in Washington. Other than David Akers in the Philly playoff game, opposing kickers rarely seem to miss against us! Coming out of Colorado, I thought Crosby was going to be the all-pro PK for the next decade. It hasn’t turned out that way; he’s OK but we’re gonna need those three-point games to turn our way if we hope to repeat. I’m not calling for his head – just opining he has room for improvement…

        • Rick

          He has a leg that can just boom kicks but he gets the yelps every now and again.

    • LarryTex

      Easy answer guys, don’t kick from the right hash. Thats where the misses come from. Heh, heh.

  • Rick

    How to win Super Bowl
    1) Get to Playoffs
    2) Don’t lose
    3) Enjoy and repeat :)

  • ScottS

    We can win with Flynn!

    • Rick

      Sounds like a politician slogan. LOL

  • Mel e Mel

    The #1 thing the Packers need to repeat is end the lockout. The NFC south is a joke Matt Ryan has played in 2 playoff games and has been horse piss in both of them. Tampas best defender (Aqib Talib who was owned by Jordy Nelson in college) is going the way of Johnny Jolly. NO cant stop anyone. Philly or Dallas may challenge. Detroit didnt fix their oline and that could mean curtains for Stafford. The real challenge would come from the AFC, NE BAL or even Pitt would be a tough game. The NY Ryans or Colts would be something also.

    Cobb,Green Grant and Finley make the Pack virtually unstoppable on Offense, defense may be weaker but it may not matter.

  • ScottS

    I think your Reason #5 is the real key. The Packers are loaded with talented offensive players but their success is still dependent on the o-line. While their play was solid during last season’s super bowl run there is no gaurantee it will carry over to this season because of Colledge’s free agency, Clifton’s age and the whole lock-out situation. Without good blocking all the offensive talent is wasted.

    • ScottS

      I meant to say reason #4 but it hurts to write that. ouch.

  • Rick

    The Vikings are finally going to have the Williamses serve their 4 game suspension.

    I think the Bears will stay a dangerous team in the Norris as well as the Lions stepping up and being much tougher opponents. Assuming taking 2 wins from the Vikes, 1 from the Bears and 1 from the Lions we still have a favorable chance to be 10-6 up to 13-3 next year.

    As I said above, making the playoffs is job one, once you are there – just don’t lose!!

  • LarryTex

    Gee, I seem to recall, not too long ago, the crap I was getting for declaring that this was more of a draft for need than PBA. But all I see above is need, need, and more need.
    Seems to me, after the fact, that our first three picks were need, need, need. IE; Sherrod (Colledge and/or Tauscher), Cobb (Driver and/or Jones, maybe even Swain), Green (Bjax and/ or Nance, maybe the FB of your choice), and lets not forget the STs picked later on.
    Hmm, sure feels like perceived need to me. Maybe not today, but certainly tommorow. My gosh, the biggest complaint TT has gotten these last few years was the OL starting with the two he let get away many years ago.

    • iccyfan

      Not that I have any interest in joining you in a dead horse whack fest, but do you have reason to believe Sherrod, Cobb and Green weren’t the highest rated PLAYER on Ted’s value board at the time he selected them?

      By your definition, every draft selection (for every team) is need-based.

      Just my opinion after watching Ted operate, but it’s pretty clear that he and the scouting staff assemble a “value board” and when draft slot and rated value are equal, they pull the trigger. If not, they trade out (assuming there’s a willing partner). How else do you explain the selections of Justin Harrell, Nick Collins, Mike Neal and Alex Green, all of whom were selected well before their publicly perceived status’? Are you of the opinion that Ted “reached” for these guys to fill need (or alternatively, were they the highest valued player on his board)?

      Not that it really matters in the greater scheme – just curious as to your perception…

      Item last: Everything I read about Sherrod says he’s a LEFT TACKLE, with no suggestions (such as were made regarding Bulaga) that he’s better suited for right tackle or guard in the NFL. I think Sherrod was a pure luxury (BPA) pick who won’t get moved around to get him into the lineup; he’ll backup Clifton (like Rodgers behind Favre) until such time as Chad hangs ‘em up. Bulaga stays at RT and Lang / Newhouse / McDonald / EDS / Battles, etc. fight it out to see who succeeds Colledge (assuming he’s in the wind). JMHO.

    • LarryTex

      You’re right, I’m not interested in beating a dead horse either. Bulaga, Harrell, Rodgers, Matthews, and probably the biggest BPA (Board Value) other than Arod was Raji. This all started when I said this year was a need draft and I still think it was. Prior years I think were pretty much BPA. Thats the strategy for most teams. You re-build W/ BPA and fine tune (need) thru FA and draft selectability (again, value) after the core is in place. Wolf did it that way and TT is doing it too, IMO. Shoot, how many times has TT said he is a deciple of Wolfs way; he just hasn’t had the value out there in FA that Wolf had or he would be a lot more active.

      • iccyfan

        “This all started when I said this year was a need draft and I still think it was.”

        So you don’t think Sherrod was the highest rated player on Ted’s board when he selected at #32? Likewise with Cobb at 64?

      • LarryTex

        Have no idea, maybe so. What I do know is that we need a LOT to replace Clifton and a WR to replace Driver and/or maybe Jones. Now you’re just arguing for the sake of an argument. Doesn’t matter, we NEEDED an OT, a WR, a RB, and ST help and got it all in one draft.

        • iccyfan

          Arguing? I asked you a simple question in hopes of understanding why you keep coming back to this topic.

  • dave76

    I think one other factor will be injuries. To repeat I think we will need both Grant but especially Finley to return at full strength. Jones was great at times and frustrating at other times,but if Finley has knee issues again and we lose Jones, we NEED another WR to step up. Also our D-line without Jenkins will be tested. Raji must stay healthy and hopefully CM hamstrings are a thing of the past and he will get his 20 sacks. Depth is our best friend right now and has been a blessing in disguise through our injuries last year. Our worst defeat last year was by 4 points, so we were always a play away from a win. Fewer injuries this year will benefit us tremendously and we will WIN the division. No wild card this year.

  • Larry

    Other than CB and QB we seem to be able to absorb an injury or two elsewhere…Dline seemed to work OK in 2010 without Jolly, Jenkins and Pickett at times. LB’s lost Barnett and Jones and didn’t miss a beat…safety seemed OK as long as Collins is on the field and we won a SB without Finley, Grant and Tauscher. In 2009 with the loss of Harris and other CB’s we were abused.

    Is it safe to say if Rodgers, Collins, CM3 are healthy and Lee and Bush are on the bench we’re playoff bound???!!

    • LarryTex

      Oh, no, not by a long shot. Without Bush we don’t win it all, nor repeat….! Couldn’t resist.

      • Rick

        You and Jolly sippin to much Sizzor LT

        LOL

      • LarryTex

        I still say the best line I heard was “That must have been one hell of a cold.”

        • Steve Cheez

          good one

    • dave76

      True Larry, we did win the SB and that was great. My point above was without Grant our running game suffered and we had no big play TE without Finley. IMO, with those two alone being healthy, we could have been 12-4 or 13-3 and won the division and maybe home field advantage. ( I think we would have beat Atl.) We were able to sneak into the playoffs but it was close. Other areas you are right, we did absorb just fine and had some good discoveries as well.

  • Cody

    The number one thing that the Packers need to repeat is for there to be a season…

    • Rick

      And the Packer congregation said “AMEN!!!”

    • LarryTex

      I hate to think of what a late start might do to the conditioning. They always talk about “football shape” regardless ofhow a guy heals. Without a full training camp does a guy give his all or does he come in worrying about that twist or pull if he goes all out? One would think a short season would favor a young team like ours, one with a lot of playing experience that belies their age, but who knows. I have to feel our advantage would be in knowing the playbook, even tho MM is likely to use a new found running game a bit more.

      • Rick

        The later the season gets going the more advantage the veteran teams that have minimal change over in personnel and more importantly coaching have over the others.

        That should bode well for the Packers, Steelers, and all the the playoff teams.

  • Mel e Mel

    Name the only team in NFL History to win 3 SuperBowls with 3 different QBs, and 3 different coaches. Thats right THE GREEN BAY PACKERS. If it wasnt for the infernal Joe Gibbs, The Pack would be the only team to win 3 with 3 different QBs. An asterisk should go by the Redskins because Williams was not the season long starter, and 82, and 87 were strike seasons. So the Packers are the only team in NFL history to win 3 Superbowls with 3 different QBs in 3 non strike seasons.

  • Larry

    Many thanks to all the Vets out there for their sacrifice! Never a work stopage there!!!

    • Rick

      How true Larry how true.

  • Rick

    Memorial Day 2011
    By Rick
    My Grandfather on my Mom’s side passed in 2004. He was a gunner and search light operator in London England during the blitz. He sent my grandmother and his children (My Aunts and Uncles) to north of Manchester in the country for safety. After the war he moved his family on the Queen Mary to start life anew here in the US in Loves Park,IL. I was one of the first born in the US members of the family as my Mom was only 2 when they moved here. He never spoke about the war other than he remembered and wrote to each of his old friend’s and unit member’s families at Christmas. The members that did not make it he could still write their names from memory when I was helping fold the letters into envelopes as a 9 year old in ‘79. He was quiet about it but I always thought that that said it all about what he saw and felt.

    Great Grandpa Sarge pretty much sums up what he was. A sergeant in the Big Red 1 he survived all 4 landings (North Africa, Sicily, Italy, D-Day at Normandy) He was so happy of the bomb because the Big Red 1 was going to be tagged with transferring to the Pacific for the invasion of Japan. I still have the Remember Pearl Harbor patch that was given to members of the unit as they trained for Japan. He was a hard, love to fight, never back down from nothing Wisconsin man. Raised to speak German and English from rural Eau Claire. He showed me how to hunt, farm, raise and butcher rabbits, and all sorts of interesting things. He also showed me how to shoot. He hated the Nazis. We still have the uniform he stripped with a bullet hole in it from the SS Major that tried to surrender one of the camps to his unit. If you ever watched band of brothers and the camp scene, I was raised with stories like that. War was not all fun and John Wayne. War was one of the sides kill or be killed. But the Nazis and the camps was another level of evil. He was one of the most loyal and trustworthy men I ever knew. At his funeral we all decided that other than saying Great Grandma was not fat (she was 5’0” and 250) he never lied to a soul in his life. He was an old man when that war started (36) and I thought he was going to outlive us all.

    Grandpa Breitenfeldt was a great piano player and was called away from his unit along with other members to play for Generals at a Christmas party in WWII. As he was leaving something was up and his unit was being called up from R&R and told to grab and run. Later his unit, the 101st Airborne, was shoved into a town called Bastogne. My grandfather missed having to be trapped with the rest of his unit. He hated not being there for them. He had missed D-day by a month and was one of the first replacement soldiers. He and his Dad both fought in the same war. I do not know many families that had that happen. No German nor his police work got him after the war… I just ask you all not to smoke. He never got to meet my children.

    I miss all three of you.

    Tom a hellion from Springfield, IL that lost his Dad in Korea. When drafted decided to fly choppers and helped form the Thunderchickens and get the SOG guys in and out of some of the hairiest places. Helped train Kris Kristopherson to fly an attack helicopter. Afterwards he took his unit mates and the shattered lives they had when they got back and started Tulsa Valve with Crow and helped the guys and became very successful. I know you hated that war. You hate the current wars and while we may agree and disagree on politics I will always love, honor, and cherish your little girl as I promised when I married her many years ago.

    To all of you that read this that serve or served in our military, thanks. To all off you that lost members of your family while in service, I am sorry and thank you for their sacrifice.

    Say a prayer if you have religion, or kind words if you do not, for those away from us serving in the military this weekend.

    • Steve Cheez

      They all get my prayers and my kinds words. Thanks for the stories, Rick.

    • LarryTex

      Rick, great clip, they called mine a “Police Action”. Regardless, a name in your piece caught my eye. I dated a girl by the name of Dolly Breitenfeldt from Loves Park circa ’49, ’50. Could be a relation? Thing I remember most about her was that she was a baton twirler and led the band from Harlem High in parades. Hmmm!

      • 4205

        Small world – at least for midwest packer fans. I’m a 33 year Rockford resident, moved here in ’79 – have to meet at Jax for a beer – if there is a season!

      • Rick

        Small world indeed. Dolly rings a bell as one of my Grandpa’s cousins. She would part of the family that I believe was my grand uncle Richard’s kids. Do you remember if her Dad was a Rick or Richard? He was a mean drunken SOB from what I heard, no real contact from that side of the family since before I was born. But I recognize Harlem High from my own stash of family stuff.

        • LarryTex

          Wow! Its a match. You guys sure like the name Rick; I’m sure her brother’s name was Rick too.
          42, don’t know Jax; before I got my tower we used to go up to Hansen’s in Beloit to watch the games. I retired from Circle S in ’90 and came to Texas then.

          • Rick

            George and Richard seem to pop up alot. Not sure why. Started with all the American born family members in the 1870s and 1880s. Maybe to sound more English/American?

            Small world LT, you could have married into the clan. LOL

          • LarryTex

            Ha, ha, not likely. One winter afternoon a buddy and I happened to run into a couple of girls from school at the local “Sweet Shop”. In walked Dolly and a couple of her friends after twirling practice and I got that baton over my head. Never saw her again! True story, kind of easy not running into her again since we went to different schools.

          • Rick

            You barely the survived the baton of courtship LT.

            Good thing you got out when you did or you could be LarryNorthernIllinois :)

        • LarryTex

          Yeah, and with all those references to Richard and George your probably related to the English crown.

  • iccyfan

    Neat stories Rick; the WWII vets I have known in my life definitely deserved to be described as “the greatest generation”.

    I grew up across the street from a WWI veteran, a retired farmer who’d “moved to town”. He was gassed in the trenches and suffered from respiratory ailments in his old age. Interestingly, August Wintermeyer was serving in the Kaiser’s Army at the time of his gassing! My father was a construction superintendent and he ran the millwork division of a large union general contractor. His best cabinet-maker was a Lithuanian named Albert who was conscripted into the German army as a carpenter. At war’s end, Albert raced to be captured by the Americans rather than the Russians. I learned relatively young that our “opponents” weren’t necessarily evil.

    My family has been non-military for a number of generations, but it’s not always been that way. My direct-line paternal grandfather with “five greats” was in the Continental Army for two-plus years and was discharged at Valley Forge. He settled in Tennessee and lived into his 80′s. He was illiterate but did leave a record of his service by filing for a Revolutionary War pension in the 1830′s. His grand-son, my GGG Grandfather, is buried in a Civil War cemetery in New Albany, IN. He was a 38 y/o carpenter in Terre Haute, IN who died of disease less than two months after joining the Union army, leaving a wife and four children. While I know little of these men’s lives, I did visit each of their graves last summer and I’m proud to be a descendant of men who sacrificed for their country.

    • Rick

      Wow that is some old school family Memorial Day iccy. My Great Great Grandpa Otto didn’t come to Wisconsin from Germany until the 1860s for my own family. Tennessee in the late 1700s would have been the edge of the world back then. No Louisana Purchase or nothing. Wow.

      • Rick

        Forgot one more Great….. Gosh all my frickin family that doesn’t smoke lives almost 90 to 100 it seems. I hope I last as a long.

      • iccyfan

        While I’ve never been able to verify if it’s true or not, the family story is that Revolutionary War veterans were given land in Tennessee in appreciation for their service. I doubt it but there are 61 documented Revolutionary War veterans buried in Grainger County, TN. That’s quite a few for a small rural county where the land appears to be all hills and rock. Something must have drawn them there!?!

        My early ancestors were “movers”. We carry a very unique surname but the family history “starts” with my Rev. War veteran grandfather (and his brother). We don’t know where these two came from other than being born in Virginia; theory is probably Germany with the surname anglicized upon arrival. My 5x G-Grandfather is the Revolutionary War vet, buried in Tennessee. My 4x G-Grandfather is buried in western Iowa, having moved here after my 3x GGF (living in Indiana) died in the Civil War. He (4x) left Tennessee with his wife and daughter-in-law’s parents, picked up my widowed 3x GGM and Children in Terre Haute, IN, and ended up in Iowa. Part of the 3x generation moved on to South Dakota. I guess they took Horace Greeley’s newspaper editorials to heart…

        • Rick

          Nice family history iccy.

  • Steve Cheez

    A special thanks to all who sacrificed so much so that I can have the freedom and the prosperity to devote my leisure time to football.

    • Rick

      Amen

  • Rick

    Wow Ponder had a Vikings training camp and like no veterans showed up. Harvin even lives in Florida where the camp was. Gotta give Ponder a thumbs up for trying. He invited Chris Wienke to help him and the guys in attendence study and learn part of the playbook he got that Friday morning.

    But not veterans is almost a joke. Hopefully that mean the Vikes will have another down year.

    Go Pack Go!!

    • Rick

      I guess the O linemen met in Tennessee today for the Packers. That is a good thing.

  • LarryTex

    I’m guessing that the comradeship rather than any conditioning would be the benefit of such meetings. The guys do know how to play football and know the playbook. I would be concerned with contact and overdoing the weights unsupervised.
    This meeting business, all over the country, could get pretty expensive for the lesser income types only making the $345K or so. I knew this Smith guy would be trying to make a name for himself and said so long ago. And no, I have absolutely no sympathy for the players. I’m from the old school and felt it an honor to have worked for the employers I had over my working years.

    • Rick

      Clandestine meeting around Noon to 5 in Chicago. Only a few owners and DeMaurice Smith and a few players in on it. May actually mean there will be some soft negotiation happening.

      Judges in Appellet court will listen tomarrow and then make a ruling in July sometime.

  • LarryTex

    Was listening to the Sirius NFL Channel yesterday and caught a brief interview with a former player who was a former NFLPA Prexy. He is now (I think) head of the retiree group. Didn’t catch his name.
    He kind of had the interviewers speechless in that they, to a man on that channel, have been so suportive of the players. Anyway, the thrust of the comments of the ex-player were that Smith has been totally void of any care for the guys who founded the association and paved the way for much of what the players of today have with regard to bargaining rights. In fact he stated that Smith has not, nor will, meet with him to consider any of that groups needs or desires. He further stated that it was the league reps who are the only ones trying to help the old guys in these negotiations. Not sure but I think his name was Carl (Eller?).
    Don’t know where I’m going with this other than it seems to me a disconnect or breech between the former and current player groups. Anybody know anything about this? Curious.

    • LarryTex

      Maybe Banks?

  • makarschuk

    I think we just need a season!

    Makarschuk

  • Rick

    It loks like we may be getting closer. We can hope