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.