Being busy in Dallas, I never had time to post my weekly column from last week. With a win in the Super Bowl, it’s even more appropriate now.
Here’s my column published on Wednesday Feb. 2, in which I tackle the subject of the Packers being built for sustained success:
DALLAS––Every decade in the long, storied history of the NFL has one team that is remembered as a dynasty.
Think of the Packers of the 60s, the Steelers of the 70s, the 49ers of the 80s, the Cowboys of the 90s and the Patriots of the new millennium.
It’s only one season into the newest decade, but the Green Bay Packers are in great shape to become the first team to be a repeat dynasty.
Head coach Mike McCarthy acknowledged that his current focus is on the Super Bowl and the Pittsburgh Steelers but knows that he has a young core of players that can be formidable for years to come.
“I really like our team,” said McCarthy. “I really like our structure, our program. We have drafted players, we have developed them and have been successful in doing that. We need to continue to do that because every year is a new year.
“This year for us is a great example of that. There are challenges in front of you that you don’t know you’re going to hit, and when they hit you have to be prepared and you have to fight through the adversity of every season because it is always different. Every team is different, every season is different. But I think the future is bright for our football team.”
The most important piece to any championship puzzle is a great field general. The Packers found one in Aaron Rodgers and have him locked up for years to come.
But they also have young, impact players at several other positions that figure to be effective for the next ten years or so, barring injury. Last season’s first-round draft choices B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews come to mind.
From the decision to move beyond Brett Favre and make Rodgers the future of the franchise to several years of solid drafting, general manager Ted Thompson deserves much of the credit.
Even the players on the Packers, who frequently turn a blind eye to the ongoings of the front office, know Thompson has earned the lion’s share of the Packers achievement this year.
“I think the guys upstairs have done an outstanding job of bringing in guys with high character but at the same time guys that can get it done on Sundays,” said wide receiver Greg Jennings. “What Ted (Thompson) has done and those guys upstairs, I think it kind of goes underrated sometimes because of some of the decisions he may have made in the past.”
For the Packers to overcome the volume of injuries they did this season––15 players on injured reserve––and still have the success they did, speaks volumes about the level of talent they have on the team.
With a little better luck in the injury department, and that’s not hard to imagine, the Packers should only be better in future seasons.
The Packers also have the proper mix of veteran leadership to add to the youthful talent, that makes them a championship-caliber squad.
Guys like Charles Woodson and Ryan Pickett, who have both been to a Super Bowl and lost, bring perspective to the team and said that the Packers can’t use injury as an excuse for what they still have to accomplish yet this season.
“I definitely think Ted Thompson, all these guys put together a great nucleus,” said Pickett the week before the Super Bowl. “It’s a team. We have a lot of good players and a lot of them are young. But it doesn’t matter. I mean, it’s hard in the NFL.
“You have to take your shot when you have it. So we can’t even think about five––I mean five weeks down the road, five years. Who knows? Injuries happen. Everything happens. We just know that we have to take the opportunity that we have now and capitalize on it.”
With players Pickett providing savvy guidance now, and players like Raji set to supplant him down the road, the Packers are assembled to win for a long time.
The column appears in the Bliss Communications platform of publications including the Janesville Gazette, Janesville Messenger, Stateline News, Walworth County Today and Walworth County Sunday.
It also appears in the Reilly family of newspapers including the Dodgeville Chronicle, the Pecatonica Valley Leader and the Democrat Tribune of Mineral Point.
Follow the above link to read the column.
Filed Under: Packers News