What the Packers’ Lacked in Their Off Season Strategy

The Green Bay Packers are sort of notorious for two things during their average NFL offseason; pleasing themselves and aggravating their fan base. By most accounts, this has been a successful offseason for Packers football, and as a result, they are currently one of the favorites to make their way to the Super Bowl. A pressing question does remain as they look forward to the start of the regular NFL season: are they a strong enough team to take down powerhouses like the Atlanta Falcons or the Seattle Seahawks? There were a number of things that the Packers could have done to really bring their offseason to the next level.

The problems at Center

The majority of the Packers problems seemed to have stemmed from their draft process. They did not re-sign T.J. Lang and J.C. Tretter as free agents and let them walk leaving a big problem on the offensive line. This problem could have been solved by drafting Tim Barnes. Barnes has been an above average center throughout his entire career and could have been a nice insurance policy to ensure the success of the offensive line. Coach Mike McCarthy has been blessed with starting caliber centers for the majority of his tenure as head coach at green bay and now he seems to be lacking in that area. Barnes could have provided the flexibility at the center position that the Packers have already enjoyed for years and solidified the Green Bay offensive line.

The advent of Adrian Peterson

Another player that would have made a big difference for the Packers offense is Adrian Peterson. Peterson may no longer be in his prime, but he would have made a huge difference for the Packers. Being a seven-time-Pro-Bowler, Peterson would have brought the experience needed to whip the Packers offense into fighting shape. He also could have provided the mentorship to groom Ty Montgomery into being Green Bay’s eventual starter sometime down the line. Peterson would have had a far reduced workload as it would have been split between himself and Ty Montgomery nearly fifty-fifty, taking the strain off him and potentially extending his own career.

Re-draft

The Packers draft was not nearly as successful as it could have been and a redraft would be the best way to fix this. The Packers had the right idea moving back on draft night, with the myriad of players of interest they needed the extra pick later in the draft. The second round pick of Kevin King was also smart to aid in the Packers lacking defensive backfield. The draft after that point was where the changes could have been made. The entirety of the draft should have gone as follows:

  1. Kevin King
  2. Alvin Kamara
  3. Jourdan Lewis
  4. Joshua Dobbs
  5. David Godchaux
  6. Jordan Evans
  7. Devante Mays
  8. Malachi Dupre

This combination of players along with Adrian Peterson would have been one of the strongest rosters in the NFL coming into the regular season. This combination of offensive and defensive players would have resolved many of the Packers weakness as well as paved the way for future starters under the mentorship of Adrian Peterson.

Final thoughts

The Packers certainly have had a better offseason than they usually do, but it could have been much better. With the addition of a few key players and a redraft process, Green Bay could have been in a much better spot to start the season. Though they have some issue to work through the Packers are strong and determined to make playoffs and try to take home a Super Bowl victory. Only time will tell if their offseason planning was enough.

Josh Hawkins: Could he be the Packers’ next undrafted success

Josh Hawkins may be exactly what the Green Bay Packers need to push their game to the next level.  The free agent cornerback out of East Carolina has based his entire playstyle off of another rookie success, Sam Shields.  Hawkins was inspired by the Sam Shields story and wants to be just like him.  In a quote from Hawkins, he states “I wore the armbands, the tape, the white gloves just like him. Some of the guys, they called me ‘Little Sam Shields.’ I’m just trying to play like him.  I try to mold my game after him.”  Sam Shields would make a great role model for any aspiring cornerback. Having a recorded 245 tackles, 66 passes defended, and 18 interceptions in 80 regular season games, the man is a force to be reckoned with.  It may very well be this admiration of Sam Shields that has pushed Josh Hawkins to be vigilant about improving his game in any way he can.

Accolades and History

Josh Hawkins played for the East Carolina Pirates, he stands 5-foot-10 and weighs in at 189 lbs.  His defining feature is his long arms which he puts to good use when defending passes.  His recorded time for his college pro day 40-yard dash was 4.39 and during his time with the Pirates, he was named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week multiple times.  Hawkins is currently one of five undrafted players on the Green Bay Packers’ opening lineup and really showed he has something to prove in Last Saturday vs Washington. During the 37 defensive snaps he played, he stunned coaches with seven tackles (two on special teams) and three passes defended.  This was Hawkins first NFL start due to the injuries of both Davon House and Damarious Randall.  Two of those three defended passes prevented a Washington touchdown and paved the way for the Packers’ 21-17 victory.  This performance garnered Hawkins the highest grade of all Packers’ cornerbacks that game.

NFL preseason Hurdles

Though Hawkins may be a strong athlete one thing he struggles with is consistency, a problem that resulted in him being benched during his 2016 rookie season.  To combat this, he trained rigorously with former Falcons cornerback David Irons in Atlanta during the NFL preseason.  Hawkins and Irons trained relentlessly with two-a-day practices to really hone Hawkins’ skills and Iron out the inconsistencies in his game.  Hawkins emerged a much stronger player as a result of this training and though under the shadow of players like Damarious Randall, Quintin Rollins, and second round pick Kevin King, Hawkins is starting to make a name for himself.  Head Coach Mike McCarthy had as much to say about Hawkins, “I think the fact that Josh was on our 53-man roster last year tells you how we felt about him.  If you look at last year, he played very well on special teams.  Maybe not as far as his game opportunities, but throughout the second half of the season our special teams coaches were very high on him, and fighting to get him up on a weekly basis.”

Hawkins has worked hard to overcome his consistency issues and now looks to be a driving force for Packers football.  Just like his Idol, Sam Shields, before him Hawkins is breathing new life into the Packer’s defense.  He may not be starting when his injured counterparts return but that does not dampen his determination to improve.  With his speed, reach, and new found precision, this undrafted player from East Carolina could be the Green Bay Packers’ next success story.

packers preseason opener

Why Packers Running Game Fell Short in Preseason Opener

Most people hate the preseason and so do the players, but it is a great opportunity to get a look at some roster bubble players and the new acquisitions. Then again, we can’t get enough football as it is and everyone likes to see their team out on the field even if it is still summer time. The Green Bay Packers first preseason game was at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. The team came out with a pretty ugly win. It was a sloppily played game that showed how much rust these guys need to shake off before the regular season begins. The Packers had a tough time running the ball and here is why.

Vanilla Offense

First and foremost, it is the preseason. Most teams use this time to evaluate new players and slowly work in more of the playbook. As such, coaches play it pretty tight to the vest. They do not want to show too much of their play calling, adjustments or various ‘looks’ to an opposing defense they may see in the future or put on tape for the entire league to see. This is the preseason, players (starters) are not here to really win. They are here to get a few reps and stay healthy. This is why they do not game plan. Coaches evaluate players on the bubble of the roster and their new signees. With that said, it is obvious why the running game fell short in this preseason opener. The Packers didn’t game plan to run the ball, they simply put out an offense and had them run plays they should know by this point.

Eagles Defense

The Philadelphia Eagles defense is one of the best in football. They have, arguably, the best defensive tackle in the league in Fletcher Cox. The second greatest rusher in Brandon Graham and a rookie defensive end (first round selection) that broke Reggie White’s sack record at Tennessee and many analysts argue was the best pass rusher in the draft. This is only compounded by their acquisition of Timmy Jernigan a mauler from Baltimore and their formidable linebacker core. A surprise in the game was non-starter Mychal Kendricks ability to rush the passer/backfield and contribute. The Packers running game, which was at the bottom of the league last year, had quite the difficult task ahead of them. Not to mention that the Eagles second and third string defensive line players would be starters for other teams.

Number of Touches

The biggest reason for the lack of a Packers rushing game was the limited number of touches that the running backs were given. Their starter, Ty Montgomery, carried the ball three times for zero total yards. Jamaal Williams carried the ball four times for fourteen yards (long of 5). Aaron Jones carried it twice for zero yards and Devante Mays did not get any touches. In total, the Packers ran the ball nine times in their season opener. The team is clearly a pass happy team, you would be too if your quarterback was Aaron Rodgers, but McCarthy is going to have to find a way to get the ball in his running back’s hands if he wants to have a successful season. This was probably done with a purpose. The team’s third string QB looks really good and the team could be looking to trade second string QB Brett Hundley for a pivotal piece. He is in a contract year and not likely to stay with the team since Rodgers is nowhere near done. Letting him go out there and let it rip is a great way to show the rest of the NFL what he has, that he’s ready to start somewhere else and worth a nice player or solid draft pick.

training camp players

5 Green Bay Packers to Watch During Training Camp

Training camp is almost over and the rumors and analysis of the hot new players continue to swirl. The team needs to see some improvement from their defense and their running game. There have only been a few practices this year, so there is plenty of time for new players to prove themselves and others to drop. There are high hopes for this season and the team will need to get some solid production out of their newly acquired players. Here are 5 Green Bay Packers to watch during training camp.

Quinten Rollins

The defensive backs for the Green Bay Packers ranked next to last this past season. Therefore, it is no surprise that this group must improve drastically to give the team a fighting chance at a deep playoff run. Quinten Rollins took plenty of hits last year as half of the team’s cornerback trouble. They gave up the second-most passing yards out of the entire league. He was returned to training camp a new man and receiving the praise of both the D-coordinator and position coach. It is going to take some serious hard work for this group to turn around what they put on the field last year. Rollins has come back to camp with a fire that everyone is noticing. His transitions are much cleaner and have added some speed out of his breaks. Able to play both outside and inside provides the team with some flexibility, but coaches see a ‘star’ in him and like his physical style of play at the line. Quinten Rollins is definitely someone to keep an eye on as the season begins.

Dean Lowry

Part of the problem with the Pack’s passing defense is a lack of sufficient pressure from their line. The best way to improve a team’s pass defense is to get some big, fast, and strong bodies to pressure the quarterback. Having players in the backfield forces the quarterback to rush through reads and make poor decisions. Dean Lowry (DE) had a quiet rookie year and is looking to make a real impact in his sophomore season. He has returned to camp bigger, faster and stronger. Head coach Mike McCarthy has noted the difference and hopes that he can continue that growth into several hurries and sacks this season.

Josh Jones

The team was very high on their second round pick, out of NC State. It seems that they have good reason to be as well. Josh Jones is not disappointing when the pads are put on in practice. The team desperately needs a dynamic playmaker at this position. Jones has been flying all over the field. He is getting some looks as a hybrid inside linebacker because he has great size and instincts. This kid is the real deal.

Running Backs (Ty Montgomery)

The running back is a position to watch during camp. The Pack desperately needs a player to step up and be “THE GUY.” Ty did a serviceable job last year as a hybrid WR/RB but has come to camp with more weight and better vision. He is rarely, if ever, stopped at the line of scrimmage and clearly (originally a WR) has great hands. Jamaal Williams is a favorite draft ‘steal.’ He has continued to impress but still sits in the no. 2 RB spot currently. If he can show better ability to catch the ball and pass protect (which Montgomery is struggling with), then he could be the no. 1 back.

Jason Spriggs

Spriggs was a second round pick last year and slated to make a big jump into a starting role for the Packers. He must find some rhythm and confidence to bolster this o-line group. His performance against the Eagles was not a pretty one. Rookie, first round pick, Derrick Barnett was able to put a lot of pressure on Spriggs’ quarterback. He must bounce back for the next game and camp is the place to make that happen.

green bay rebound

How Green Bay can Rebound from NFC Title Loss this Season

Training camp is coming to an end and the first preseason game is almost here. While preseason is just that preseason, the team is in a familiar position and eager to start the regular NFL season. The devastating loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC title game is still weighing on the minds of players, ownership, and fans alike. This, the third NFC title loss, will be fresh for all Packer’s fans as the start of the season kicks off. The start of the season must kick off with a boom. If the Green Bay Packers can get off to a strong start, then the sadness and disappointment of that Title loss will dissipate. If the Packers end their season with another NFC Title defeat or even worse, no playoff berth, it will surely result in a shakeup of the front office and coaching. Nevertheless, the team must start fast to gain momentum to free themselves of the embarrassment of the 44-21 loss to the Falcons. In order for this to happen, several things need to fall into place.

Green Bay Packers 2017 Season Theme

Every year Mike McCarthy provides a theme for the upcoming season. In previous years, post-NFC Title loss, he has given different themes and non-themed years. After the Seahawks defeat, the coaching choice was not to discuss the loss and ‘completely’ forget about it. This was followed by a 4-6 season start that took Green Bay out of position to host the NFC Title game at Lambeau Field. The theme for this year should be ‘Fast Start.’ They need to kick the tires and light the fires if it were to boost morale and get the team energized for another season. Key positional places have been filled by free agency and the draft. The team is lacking experience in the defense, but a solid run game and pass rush could help mask those deficiencies. Playing fast and getting out to quick leads should be their motto this season because it was Atlanta’s fast flying defense that was able to keep them in check.

Packer’s Offense

This is the time of the year when fans and analysts alike look over rosters and decide who has fixed previous years problems and bettered themselves overall. On paper, the Pack is looking as strong as ever on the offensive side of the ball. This speed, power, and experience should get them out to early leads in all their games. The team as added Bennett and Kendricks to their TE group, which should only provide Rogers with more weapons. These two will bring a great level of skill and experience to that position. These big bodies will help in the run game (which desperately needs to produce this year) as Kendricks is an above average run blocker; both of whom can get up to the second level and take on backers and CBs. The NFL season is a growling one, one that requires production from everyone on the team. If these Tight Ends can show they were worth the acquisition, then the team could get off to a great start. Rogers and his top flight receivers must regain midseason form and light up opposing defenses. Finally, if they can get any type of running game to one, control the clock and wear out the defenses and two, pull another body down into the box, then the offense could be unstoppable.

2017 NFL Season

The keys for a Green Bay rebound this year will be a good start to the season. The offense must light up the field in the air and on the ground. A well-balanced offense is the key to a great start. They must take the pressure off the defense, but who also must show up. Rogers and the offense cannot continue to get involved in shootouts. A strong start to the season will definitely help the team overcome their NFC Title loss from last year.

packers training camp

Packers Training Camp: Who Will Emerge as the One to Watch

As the final morning practice wraps up this Tuesday, August 1st fans all over the country are wondering what this Green Bay Packers team will be. For the last several seasons the playoffs have always been expected with Aaron Rodgers at the helm of the offense. The question will become, what will the defense be like? The once powerful and sturdy defense has continued to dwindle for the last few seasons as vets lose a step and become less effective. Clay Matthew’s positional shift has to place talent in a needed position and keep a defensive leader on the field. The secondary needs to take the next step if the team expects to take that step towards the Lombardi. The Packers are going to need someone to take it up a notch in camp and show some real promise. A solid defensive contributor or a workhorse back is necessary.

Past Years: Players Who Have Emerged

In the last few years, there were a number of players who would emerge as champions of camp. That does not mean they are Pro Bowl caliber players, or even that they will start, but they are exciting to watch and even more exciting to imagine out on game day. Last year it was Geronimo Allison that shined in camp and went on to make some considerable contributions to the team. He looks to be given a larger role in the Pack’s offense this year as well. In the year before, it was Jeff Janis that broke out during camp. Janis had a monster game in Arizona playoff game, but his ceiling has been reached and probably will not be back in Green Bay after this last year on his contract.

Flash Shines Bright

More often than not, it is a flashing player that will shine in training camp. Skill positions are the players that normally shine because their play is easily recognizable and often times electric. Lineman on both sides of the ball can show promise, but with limited contact, it can be harder to recognize their work. If history decides to repeat itself for another year of training camp, the player who will emerge as the one to watch will be former LSU wideout, Malachi Dupre. The 6’4’’ receiver should show the Packers he was worth a late round pick. The receiver has the size, talent, and more skill than his college resume would show (a lack of consistent quarterback play and having Leonard Fournette as your running back will drive down your stats). All signs point to the possibility that Dupre will have a great camp when you combine his potential with the arm talent of Aaron Rodgers.

Potential Camp Break-outs

The Packers need rookie running backs Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones to have a great camp. Ty Montgomery will be back as the lead back, but as a converted wideout, he could have some trouble with players more comfortable with the role. Jamaal Williams looks to be the bruiser that the Pack desire, but could be much more. He seems to have the speed and power to be a solid contributor and if he can show some elusiveness, he could earn a heavier workload. Aaron Jones is speedy and shifty and racks up a lot of yards, which could show up in camp.

Defensive Backs

The Packers really need to have some more skill come out of their cornerbacks during camp. Kevin King (first selection in this year’s draft by the Pack) has shown real promise as a starter, but rookie corners often need at least a season experience to make a difference. Devon House is looking to have a bounce back year and show he can start in this league. If either of these DB’s shows any flash of skill, it will go a long way. 

green bay packers roster

The Forecast for the Green Bay Packers 2017 Roster

The dead time of the NFL season is finally over. Training camp has started and so have the bold season predictions and hard-fought roster competition. There are 53 roster spots for the many players fighting to show the NFL what they have. Many of these spots are already solidified, yet there are many positions where training camp will produce some surprising newcomers. Veterans and rookies alike are descending on the Pack’s practice fields to get ready for the upcoming season and become familiar with the coaching staff’s plan. Here is a breakdown of the Green Bay Packers roster for the upcoming 2017 season.

Quarterback

In the last two seasons, the Packers have kept two quarterbacks on their roster. Aaron Rodgers as the starter and Brett Hundley as his backup. Aaron is the unquestionable starter, one of the best signal callers in the league and of all time. He has not missed much time due to injury and continues to light up defenses. There are no signs of him wearing down. He is in his prime. Hundley is an excellent backup, who has shown in preseason that he has potential to be a starting quarterback somewhere. This preseason he will be auditioning for other teams during the preseason. It is likely that he will be playing in another jersey next season.

Running Back

How many running backs will the Packers keep? Ty Montgomery will most likely be the starting running back, but the three running backs they have drafted could push for that spot. Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, Devante Mays, and Aaron Ripkowski are the other running backs fighting for a roster spot.

O Line

The team will most likely have eight offensive linemen on the roster. Last year they made a surprise move by allowing Lang to walk in free agency and cut Sitton. They are unafraid of making bold moves and they have paid off. Lane Taylor is in his second season and Corey Linsley is in his contract year. Jahri Evans will be a placeholder for a free agent pickup or future draft pick. David Bakhtiari long term deal has secured his position. The backup positions will be decided in training camp.

Wide Receiver

The team has a great three piece wide receiver combo in Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams. Geronimo Allison will be serving a suspension for the first week of the season. Trevor Davis, Jeff Janis, Malachi Dupre, and DeAngelo Yancey round out the rest of the receiving core. Several analysts believe that Max McCaffrey is a player to watch during training camp.

Tight End

Martellus Bennett, Richard Rodgers, and Lance Kendricks will be the tight ends for this season. They have brought in two veterans as well in Bennett and Kendricks to bolster their core and add some two tight end sets to their offense.

D-Line

Packers defensive line must get more pressure on the opposing offenses to give their weak cornerbacks more help. To do that they will keep Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Ricky Jean Francois, Dean Lowry, and Montravius Adams.

Linebackers

The team has lost some significant experience at the line back position. They will have Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Jayrone Elliott, Kyler Fackrell, and Vince Biegel will hold down the outside positions. Beagles foot surgery will keep him from practicing, but he is expected to be contributing to the defense by week 1. Jake Ryan, Black Martinez, and Joe Thomas will hold down the middle.

Safeties

Morgan Burnett, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Josh Jones, Kentrell Brice, and Marwin Evans are the safeties for the Pack. The team will most likely use Burnett and Jones down in the running defense as hybrids.

Cornerbacks

Six cornerbacks for the team will consist of Davon House, Kevin King, LaDarius Gunter, Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins, and Lenzy Pipkins. Kevin King is looking to be a solid starter and possible star at the position. Training camp will show his skill and ability to adapt to their defensive scheme.

Specialists

Mason Crosby will be the team’s kicker. Justin Vogel and Derek Hart do not have any competition for their positions on the team but are far from locks.

packers receivers

Competition Among the Receivers: Who Will Make the Cut

Training camp is right around the corner. The excitement to see and hear who have kept themselves in shape, bettered their speed, build more strength or are surprising rookie standouts is palpable. The Green Bay Packers need their young defensive backs to show up and blow up. They are in desperate need of, at the very least, serviceable DB’s. The team is solid at Quarterback and wide receiver, these are the two positions that the Pack can count on. Aaron Rodgers has a great set of wide receivers to throw to, but is there any competition at that position? Competition brings out the best of professional athletes. The three starters all, but have their starting roles in place for next year. Who will be their backups?

Starting Receivers

The three starting receivers for the Green Bay Packers are Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams. The absence of Nelson a few seasons ago was beyond noticeable. He is their number one receiver, but only when Cobb is on the field. The two receivers get so much attention from opposing defenses. These receivers could be the best duo in the NFL when they are at their best. Cobb is incredible in the slot and Jordy is a huge down the field target. The pack and McCarthy have been patient with the development of Adams and it has paid off. He has more than doubled the receiving yards of his last two seasons. Adams also quadrupled his touchdowns from his first two seasons combined. His continued growth could prove to make the Packers receiving corps a formidable force that keeps opposing defenses from loading the box and/or blitzing.

Competition for Roster Spots

The top three WR spots are all locked up. That leaves several back up spots for these players. These spots are critical positions considering the amount of time that Cobb and Nelson have missed due to injury. Jeff Janis had seen considerable time due to these injuries and is a great fourth receiver option but has not proven to be a viable long term option. His familiarity with the offense and experience will help the rookies acclimate to the pros and their growth in the McCarthy offense. Although, this could lead to his imminent demise if the rookies can prove they were worth their draft selection.

Geronimo Allison proved to be quite the steal of the draft in 2016 as he came in during Cobb’s hamstring injury. He came in and really showed a great amount of potential. He had twelve catches for 202 yards and two touchdowns. He should show some improvement on his route running ability, which could start to take some snaps away from Janis and even Adams. Ty Montgomery played a crucial role as he transitioned into a role as a running back. This gave the Packers offense another dynamic play maker, which will also provide them with depth at both positions in the next season.

Additions at the Position

To better the competition at this position the Packers have signed Malachi Dupre (LSU), Trevor Davis (cracked practice squad and made plays against the Falcons), Yancey (Purdue), Crockett (Georgia Southern) and Pearson (BYU). These rookies have impressive college stat lines and look to bolster the competition at this position. The team will have an impressive WR battle during camp. If the Packers keep 7 receivers like last year that leaves at least one roster spot. Nelson, Cobb, Adams, Davis, Janis, Allison and one more player, unless some of the camp bodies/rookies beat out Davis or Janis. Malachi Dupre has played in big games at a big school and seems to have the intangibles to crack the 53 man roster for that final position. No matter who ends up making the 53 man roster, it should be an interesting and exciting battle.

aaron rodgers

Aaron Rodgers and the Preseason Games

Preseason is what we all know it to be, a money grabbing ploy by the NFL to extend the season by circumventing the players union. If the NFL could extend the season it would. It has been in discussion for a few seasons now, but the season (which could never honestly be too long) wears down on the athletes as it is. It is the most physically demanding professional sport. The preseason does, however, provide one much-needed test for the professional players. One, in very short game time, first and second string players are able to ‘ease’ into the season by getting into the game time atmosphere. Second, it provides second stringers and others a chance to display their potential and make the roster or push for a starting position. What about pros like Aaron Rodgers? What do the preseason games mean for him?

Starters and Preseason Games

Starters are not huge fans of the preseason games. There is no benefit for them playing in such games. These games do not matter to the team or the individual. They are P-R-E-S-E-A-S-O-N. The only thing that matters at this point in the year is that the starters are healthy and ready to go. Healthy being the key word. Preseason games are only a chance for starting players to get injured and potentially ruin their and their team’s season. Green Bay Packers fans do not need to look too far back in preseason history to remember Favre’s fractured thumb. For those who forget, or like the torture, Brett fractured his thumb on a pass rusher during a preseason game. It would be an injury that affected the quarterback for the entire season. Could you imagine the anger if this happened to Rodgers? As such, preseason is not a time for starters to get significant game time action.

Aaron Rodgers has made it emphatically known that he does not need to play in preseason games. The guy exudes confidence and excellence on the gridiron. He is arguably a top five quarterback in the history in the NFL. While these types of claims are arbitrary and subjective, he is no doubt in discussion as one of the all-time greats. His strong arm, confidence, and ability to extend plays is extraordinary. Given this understanding, what could be the benefit of risking injury in the preseason? Timing? Rhythm? Game speed? These aspects of the game, when coming out of the offseason, are crucial, but a pro such as Rodgers does not necessarily need the added snaps during the preseason. In conclusion, number 12 will most likely play on series (which will probably end in a touchdown) and then hang up the helmet for week one.

Preseason and The Rest of The Team

Preseason can be beneficial for a variety of other reasons. It is the best time to gauge how a team’s rookies have developed during practice and how their draft selections might play out. This is a critical time for roster bubble players to show up and blow up. These players have a limited number of snaps to show that they are worth a roster spot. It is this drive and hunger from players that makes it more sensible to rest starters. There is no point in letting an overzealous rookie take out one of your star players are they play through the whistle and injure a team’s critical puzzle piece. What preseason has showed Packers fans is the backup quarterback Brett Hundley is a great developmental prospect. What the Pack hopes for this year is that second round DB’s Josh Jones and Kevin King can fill crucial roster spots and make an impact day one of the 2017 season.

packers success

Aaron Ripkowski- The Key to the Packers Success this Season

The NFL season is officially in its’ ‘hibernation’ mode. These very short (yet feel long) weeks between OTA’s and official training camp are filled with football speculation and dreams. It is a time to criticize draft decisions and roster moves. To predict camp standouts and busts. More importantly, it is to argue highly questionable ‘keys to success’ for the season. It is impossible to predict what will happen in the next season, thanks to the NFL’s ability to create a parody. Every team, minus the few lost causes, have a chance to compete for the Lombardi. What is definite is that few teams like the Patriots, Seahawks, Cowboys, Raiders, and Packers are locks to really compete for a chance at a Super Bowl. With that in mind, what are keys to success for the Green Bay Packers this coming season? Could it be the continued growth and success of a little-known fullback? Aaron Ripkowski could very well be the key to the Pack’s success this upcoming season.

Keys to Success in the NFL

What are the keys to a successful NFL season? Everyone has a different opinion, but the basics are the same. Super Bowl winning teams must have a stout defense. It is impossible to consistently win games if your offense is always trailing and the other offense controls the clock. Second, being able to play your type of football, which means being in control of the clock. We all saw the disaster that was the Philadelphia Eagles with Chip Kelly at the helm. Speeding as fast as they could to 3 and outs while leaving their defense gassed on the field for record amounts of time. The defense must hold teams to under twenty points on average and the offense has to be able to control the clock. Third, controlling the clock means being able to run the ball. Which, is one of the problems for the Pack who was 22 out of 32 last year. For perspective, Atlanta and New England were 5 and 12 respectively on the season for rushing. Finally, a football team must be healthy and have a few calls/balls go their way.

Aaron Ripkowski: Key to the Pack’s Success

If defense, controlling the clock, running game, staying healthy, and a little luck are the keys to success, then what do the Packers need to be successful? Improvement on the defensive side of the ball is definitely a must.

The offense can help the defense out by controlling the clock with their run game. Leading us to the need for Aaron Ripkowski take his game up to the next level. Former Packer fullback John Kuhn was a fan favorite for his ability to throw menacing blocks, gouge through the line for pivotal first downs and occasionally throw the defense off by catching a pass out of the back field.

Aaron Rodgers is going to continue to do his thing and improvise, which means Ripkowski must be able to pick up the blitz and pass block better. He must also be able to pick up those crucial first downs.

Mike McCarthy’s offense is only successful when his fullback can be that player. They might not see a large number of snaps, but the ones they do see must be meaningful. This is especially paramount for the success of their young backs.

New draftees Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones will be fighting for roster spots and could be nice compliments to each other. Devante Mays has a shot to make the team, but 7th round picks are most likely to be drafted to be scout team players or on the practice squad. These young backs will need the experience and guidance of a two-year fullback to read defenses and find the right holes to run through. In the end, Aaron Ripkowski could be the key to the Packers 2017 success.