General manager Ted Thompson, per usual, didn’t shed much light in his “Football Report” to the Green Bay Packers’ shareholders during the organization’s annual meeting on Tuesday, but he provide one notable insight.
“Our team is maturing,” said Thompson. “We won’t be the youngest team in the league this year for the first time in a while.”
The Packers have traditionally been one of the youngest teams in the NFL under Thompson’s direction.
In information culled from the Green Bay Press-Gazette and Packer Report, here’s how the Packers have ranked among all NFL teams in terms of youth, reportedly from information provided by the league at the start of the season:
While the Packers have been in the top-five youngest teams in the NFL for each of the past six seasons, you’ll notice that the year they were the most experienced of those six was the year they won the Super Bowl.
After taking a step backwards in 2011 in terms of youth, it appears as if the Packers could reverse course and become a more experienced team again in 2012 if Thompson’s words ring true.
“Our goal is always the same, to win now but keep and eye on the future, manage our resources and make sound football choices,” said Thompson.
There appears to be several reasons for an increase in the average age of the Green Bay Packers roster:
- The team is not in any rebuilding mode. The core of players from last year’s team has been kept intact including Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson, etc. All of them are one year older and more experienced.
- The Packers were more active in free agency than in year’s past, and actually got older at the center position by losing Scott Wells and bringing in Jeff Saturday. If free agent signees Anthony Hargrove, Daniel Muir and Philip Merling make the roster, they could all bring up the average age of the Packers as well.
- Instead of using their full allotment of 12 draft choices adding new rookies, the Packers traded up three times in the April’s draft to come to a total of eight selections in 2012.
The Packers did, however, add three underclassmen during the NFL draft by selecting Nick Perry of USC in the first round, Jerel Worthy of Michigan State in the second round and Terrell Manning of North Carolina State in the fifth round. Assuming they make the roster, they’ll bring down the average age among all Packers players.
“It will be the veterans that will determine our fate,” said Thompson, “will kind of decide on how we do.
“It’s up to the veterans, the leadership, their skill levels, their focus, all that sort of thing. And our emphasis is on the team-build. Everything is focused on the team. We want to continue to build depth and quality. We want to strive to always get better.”