With recent news that has Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher saying publicly that he thinks Chicago is the best team in the NFC, the timing is appropriate to examine the Packers’ motivation for the upcoming 2011 season.
“I think we’re the best team in our conference,” Urlacher is quoted as saying in the Albuquerque Journal. “I know we’re not the Super Bowl champs like the Green Bay Packers. … We want to be the best in our conference and to be there, we’ve got to go through Green Bay.”
Whether this particular comment becomes bulletin board material for the Packers may be irrelevant. According to at least one player, there’s already one objective every team member can rally behind, and it didn’t take a newspaper clipping for inspiration.
“I think the team goal is to win the NFC North,” Kuhn said. “Even though we won the Super Bowl last year, we did not win the NFC North. I think that’s eating at a lot of guys right now, so our first goal will be to win the NFC North, but once we do that, we can talk about bigger and better things.”
The Bears are public enemy number one. They’re the reigning NFC North champions and defeated the Packers in a nationally televised game on Monday Night Football Week 3 last season, a penalty-filled affair.
Then there’s the Detroit Lions who not only beat the Packers Week 14 last year, they ended their own season on a four-game winning streak and are a team on the rise. Plus, behind the selection of defensive lineman Nick Fairley, the Lions are being hailed as having one of the best drafts of any team in the NFL.
And the Minnesota Vikings can’t be discounted with talents like Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Jared Allen appearing on their roster.
So if anyone was scared that the Packers would become content with a Super Bowl title already under their (championship) belts, just know that further incentive exists, and players are already talking about revenge for not winning the division when it’s not even August yet.