I don’t think anyone that knows me doubts how fervent a Packers fan I am. To say last season was disappointing almost minimizes how bad it really was. AND it was the second year in a row Green Bay missed out on the postseason.
I’m the first one to say, “This will be our year!” but there are a lot of unknowns – mainly because the Packers have a new head coach in Matt LaFleur.
Here’s the full, 16-game schedule facing the Packers in 2019:
I’m taking a break from my quarterback series to discuss a trait found in some quarterbacks. Leadership.
Leadership has come into question quite a bit in the past month or so, especially among the quarterback position. Specifically Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger, whose leadership skills have recently been called out.
Of course, this could be just some silly, off-season stuff to keep us talking. If so, I fell for it. But it did get me to thinking, do quarterbacks really have to be good leaders? I don’t think it’s a true requirement. Respect, yes. Leadership skills? I’m going to go ahead and say no, and this is why.
This season an unprecedented eight NFL teams will have new head coaches. And for six of these coaches, it will be their first time running the whole show.
Bruce Arians has stepped out of the booth and back onto the field in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have floundered recently and Jameis Winston hasn’t grown or flourished the way we expected him to when he was drafted in 2015. Perhaps promoting former NFL QB turned offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich will be the first step in turning Winston around.
But the seven other coaches have their work cut out for them. Let’s take a look at these “rookies” and, maybe the biggest key to their success, who will be under center as they take the field.
It started as a dream. In 1892 two sports collided, soccer and rugby. On November 6, 1869, two prolific colleges, Rutgers and Princeton played what was advertised to be the first college football game. But it wasn’t until rugby player Walter Camp from Yale decided to change the rules to gradually turn the game of rugby into the game we now call American Football.
For the benefit of readers who will argue that their team should have been chosen to start the 100-year celebration, let’s put it in perspective. There is no question as to the birth of the game of football. In 1903 Pro Football was popularized in Ohio when the Massillon Tigers hired four Pittsburgh pros to play in the season-ending game against Akron. As teams started to implement rules of the game, like touchdowns and the forward pass, the game moved. In 1919, Earl (Curly) Lambeau and George Calhoun organized the Green Bay Packers. The Packers went 10-1 that season.
It’s been a pretty eventful offseason for the NFC North teams. Free agency has brought some good players into the mix, as my fellow reporter Wanda Wiedman has mentioned. New coaches and coordinators have been hired, and the teams are looking to solidify themselves with a successful draft.
The 2018 season was presumed to be a lock with the Green Bay Packers on top of the NFC North and the Chicago Bears in last place, according to most sports affiliates. But no one expected the opposite. Granted the Packers fell into third place in the division, finishing with a 6-9-1 record. However, no one expected the Bears to win the division with a 12-4 record led by a wicked defense and the Coach of the Year in Matt Nagy.
The Bears are fighting to keep that division title but their rivals are nipping at their heels, or so it seems on paper. Running backs, corners, safeties, defensive players and wide receivers are the focus of each team. Here is what the NFC North teams have done so far in free agency to fix some holes:
With the success that the NFL’s youngest head coach, LA Rams HC Sean McVey, it was no surprise NFL owners wanted to try to find the same needle in a haystack. This offseason brought a fury of hirings of young head coaches. Smartly, those coaches are looking to veteran coordinators to fill out their coaching staff.
While teams like Tampa Bay decided to go with a veteran head coach in Bruce Arians, most other coach-needy teams decided to go young. Arizona, Green Bay, Miami, and Cincinnati have all hired coaches between the ages of 35 – 39.
Not that age has anything to do with coaching, but it does have to do with experience. Bringing in veteran coordinators and specialist not only is savvy, but it allows the HCs to be educated by some of the best.
According to them, the Lions can’t even tank correctly.
I don’t get this tanking crowd, they told us we needed a top 10 Pick just 4 weeks ago and now that we’ve dropped from 5th to 8th in the draft order they act like it’s end of the world, it’s still a top 10 Pick. What the heck #OnePride
For the second consecutive season, the Green Bay Packers have failed to make the playoffs. It’s as odd to write as it is to think about.
Am I holding onto the Packers “glory days?” Can the Packers top the NFC again? Will they ever be the same Green Bay Packers we know they can be?
They are going to have to do a lot of work in this offseason to get back to the caliber we have come to expect from this team. Rather than lamenting about this season, let’s stop the grumbling and look ahead to the draft and next season.