The hype is over. Let's play football!
It must be mentioned - the G-Force enthusiasm will play a role in the 2010 season. We bring it. We never take a Sunday off. In fact, the G-Force presence is so mighty that I could argue that the G-Force equals football fanaticism, which represents a terrific energy within the human spirit. In turn, this vibe captivates the imagination of all sports fans who truly understand the dynamic bond between the organization & its fans. In Green Bay, football is sacred. In some ways, the Packers are what one lives for, works for, plays for. In American sports, this bond doesn't exist anywhere else. Nowhere. Eventually, this enthusiasm & kinetic energy will produce another Super Bowl title. It has to. Why not now?
Don't get me wrong - I'm not predicting a Super Bowl this year. Our QB has yet to win a playoff game. While that is not a prerequisite, it would certainly enable me to feel more comfortable in making a bold statement that equated the Green Bay Packers and feeling Super. However, from a distance, the camaraderie & attitude that surrounds the Packers camp feels like a winner.
Including 2010, in 14 of the last 17 years, the Packers will have had one of the best QB's in the league. The exceptions being '05, '06, & '08. The NFL is predicated on spectacular QB play. In '01, St. Louis had Kurt Warner playing at an exceptional level. They made it to the Super Bowl & lost to Tom Brady's NE Patriots. In '02, Rich Gannon was the MVP. Oakland made it to the Super Bowl. In '03 & '04, Tom Brady was the man you had to beat. He won 2 more Super Bowls. 2005 was the exception. In '06, it was the year of Peyton Manning. In '07, Tom Brady had the greatest year any QB has ever had & the Patriots played in the Super Bowl. In '08, Kurt Warner was having an MVP type season until the Cardinals went into cruise control in mid November. When the playoffs began, they flipped the switch back on & Warner carried the Cards to the Super Bowl game. '09 was dominated by Manning, Brees, & Favre. They were the last 3 standing.
Again, I'm not predicting a Super Bowl. Not yet. But, last year we saw a late game poise out of Rodgers that elicits a positive reaction. Heightened enthusiasm. Renewed belief. Aaron Rodgers is our catalyst for enormous events with the game on the line. Think Week 1 against the Bears at Lambeau in '09. Rodgers evolved tremendously from '08 to '09. Via repetition & commitment, I have no doubt that Rodgers will become the master of our offensive display. His biggest obstacle will be remembering that protection is the ultimate variable. Defenders are paid to make plays & Rodgers must be mindful of getting rid of the ball in a timely fashion. If he improves on this flaw, look out.
The 2010 Packers will penetrate defenses with a variety of weapons. Defenses won't be able to plan for just one guy. Greg Jennings, Double-D, J-Mike, JJ, Ryan Grant, & Jordy Nelson are all expected to make plays. Then consider that the Packers opened training camp with a double TE formation - uniting AQ & TGIF. It's thrilling to imagine the prospects of these two lining up together. I was surprised that we drafted Quarless. I didn't think we needed another TE. Now, I'm animated that he's on our squad. I'm sure that most of you have watched Greg Bedard's daily videos on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's web site. In today's video, it showed Quarless running down the seam & reaching across his body to catch an errant pass. After making the catch, he absorbed a hit by Charlie Peprah and carried on for extra yardage. E.P.I.C!
I envision offensive mastery with many magnificent plays resulting in yards gained by the masses. It'll be a thing of beauty. Metaphorically, the running & passing games must be two rivers in which the same water flows. One must set up the other. Thus, offensive harmony is achieved through an unpredictable offensive attack. In '96, Levens ran out of spread formation with great success. Pounding it up the center of the defense. Swiveling the hips. Picking up additional yardage. I was hoping the same would be expected of James Starks. Starks' injury is a total bummer. The injury also has me - once again - asking for the Packers to visit with Brian Westbrook.
Defensively, my bet is that the Packers keep 7 DL, where typically a 3-4 defense would keep only 6. Bedard's video has showed Mike Neal plowing over players. Vargas & my cousin, Danny McKenna, have attended practices. They've both mentioned Neal's brute strength. I believe that Neal, Jenkins, Pickett, Raji & CJ Wilson are locks to make the team. If Harrell stays healthy, he'll be on the opening day roster. I also expect Wynn to make the roster though it wouldn't shock me if either Talley or Toribio beat him out. Either way - look for the Packers to keep 7 DL due to uncertainty with regards to the current abilities of those on the roster. MM & TT might feel that the Packers are best suited with power in numbers.
A quick shout to Ras Al in regards to his undying fight to recover from this nasty injury. 'Nuff Respect, Al!
While Ras-A-tari is battling another nagging injury, Morgan Burnett is looking to complete our stellar starting defensive backfield. Burnett would be the 4th defender in our secondary that has the potential to grab 5 interceptions. I'm elated that he's a Packer. There's no question that he has the size & the speed to be a stallion. I wonder if he has the mental capacity to be an effective every down player as a rookie. My cousin Danny knows football much better than most & he offers such hope. He went to the practice on Sunday morning & said: "Bigby doesn't have a shot -- Burnett is going to be that good. One play he took away Finley going deep down the seam."
I can't wait for Family Night when I can witness all of the fun with my own eyes. For the non-locals, the replay can be seen on Monday Night on the NFL Network.
The optimism is fully justified.
Good buzzes to you,