Being An Underdog Again Might Be Fun

We need to start a new journey.

There is this unmistakable déjà vu that keeps running through my head.  I keep flashing back to that frigid January night at Lambeau Field in 2008.  Brett Favre, looking miserably cold, throws a back breaking interception in overtime, enabling the New York Giants to upset the favored Packers 23-20 in the NFC Championship game. 

 

I had forgotten how good that 2007 team was.  They had gone 13-3 and demolished Seattle in the first round of the playoffs.  The offense featured Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, and Ryan Grant.  We had that incredible offensive line of Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher at tackle, Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz at guards, and Scott Wells at center. 

 

The defense featured standouts like Aaron Kampman, Ryan Pickett, Cullen Jenkins, Brady Poppinga, Charles Woodson, Al Harris, and Nick Collins.  AJ Hawk and Nick Barnett were on that squad as well.  Waiting on the bench were talented future stars like Desmond Bishop, James Jones, Tramon Williams and Johnny Jolly.  Aging veterans like Bubba Franks and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila were still on the roster.  Mason Crosby, just coming into his prime, was the kicker.  How the heck did that team not win a Super Bowl?   

 

I remember how shocked and numb I was when the season ended so abruptly and prematurely in the brutal cold.  It was at that point the front office decided that Brett Favre could no longer lead this team to a Super Bowl.  It seemed as though the majority of fans, even those who idolized Favre, had come around to the same conclusion.  The organization and its faithful were ready to move on.  Favre announced his retirement weeks later.  The team would cast its lot with young Aaron Rodgers.  

 

This was most certainly not a rebuild.  The Packers returned virtually every other starter on offense and defense from that 2007 team.   I was sad to see Favre go, but there was an excitement in the air about this new quarterback, unproven though he was.  Expectations were low.  Nobody could replace the iconic Favre.  Winning was just a pipe dream.  We just wanted to see hope for the future.  The Green Bay Packers had become underdogs again, and it was kind of exhilarating in a strange way.  No pressure to achieve a certain won-loss record.  No Super Bowl or Bust mentality.  Anything good that happened was considered a plus and a pleasant surprise. 

 

Green Bay went 6-10 that season.  But I remember a feeling of undeniable optimism.  Most fans forget the Packers were actually 5-5 after their first ten games.  It was a defensive collapse that caused the Green and Gold to drop five of their last six.  The team finished fifth in the league in points scored per game, but 22nd in points given up.   When the campaign ended with a ten point win over the Lions, we were excited about the future.  How would this upstart team shock the league next year?  

 

Becoming an underdog again was actually, dare I say it, fun! 

 

The thrill of anticipation only grew in 2009 when Green Bay finished 11-5, losing that wild game to Arizona in the first round of the playoffs 51 to 45.  Then the ultimate Nirvana when the Pack won three straight playoff games on the road after the 2010 season, going on to whip the Steelers for the Lombardi trophy.  What a journey.  What an emotional high. 

 

Since then, things have changed.  The problem with being on the top of the mountain is that the journey back down is frustrating and deflating. It’s like striking that rare, perfect golf shot. 250 yards straight down the middle of the fairway. You tell yourself you did it once. You should be able to do it over and over again. Except you can’t. It’s too hard.  

 

The Packers won the Super Bowl. Most of the key players returned. We tell ourselves they should have been able to do it again. And again. But they can’t. It’s too hard. The competition is too strong. So we’ve walked away from the last eleven seasons feeling disappointed and forlorn. The season was another epic fail.   

 

There are 32 teams in the NFL.  Twelve of them have never won a Super Bowl.  That’s 37 percent of the league.  Four teams have never even played in one.  The Packers have four Lombardi trophies, and have played in the final game five times.  

 

If the Green Bay Packers do wind up looking very different next season, most notably at quarterback, it may well mean some hard times are ahead.  But it’s not the end of an era, it’s the beginning of a new one.  A new journey.  We are proud to be Packer fans.  Our team has more league championships (13) than any other.  But expecting and demanding one every year is exhausting, and a recipe for disappointment. 

 

Becoming an underdog again just might be more fun than you think. 

 

-----------------------------------

Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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16 points

Comments (93)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
NickPerry's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:01 am

Sorry DP...

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NickPerry's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:01 am

Can't give this enough "Thumbs Up", thanks Ken.

I was responding to other commenters from a piece yesterday and in each one I mentioned a bright FUTURE which I what I think is ahead for the Green Bay Packers, especially if they trade Rodgers. Now I have no idea what Rodgers might bring in compensation, but even an additional 1st and 2nd THIS year, a few next year, and a player, hopefully a WR would be just fine with me.

The ONLY team in worst financial shape than GB in 2022 are the New Orleans Saints. That's because the Saints kept pushing money to the future, adding void years on contracts, (sound familiar?) while trying to win one more with Drew Brees.

Lets RIP the bandaid off now. Personally I have no desire to watch a Packers team potentially losing players, YOUNG players, like Jarie Alexander, Elgon Jenkins, Deondre Campbell, Darnell Savage, AJ Dillon, and Rashan Gary for example, or even older important vets like Adrian Amos, Preston Smith, or even Allen Lazard, just to sign Rodgers and Adams.

Nope the future of this team are the young guys and HOPEFULLY Jordan Love. If Loves not the dude lets get some extra draft picks to make sure we DO get it right in the future.

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Razer's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:25 am

...I have no desire to watch a Packers team potentially losing players, YOUNG players, like Jarie Alexander, Elgon Jenkins, Deondre Campbell, Darnell Savage, AJ Dillon, and Rashan Gary for example, or even older important vets like Adrian Amos, Preston Smith, or even Allen Lazard, just to sign Rodgers and Adams...

Well said. This is the crux of the issue when talking about "trying" to make things work with Rodgers and Adams. Your reference to New Orleans is our glimpse into the abyss.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:21 am

Exactly, and the poor ST's will be the least of the Packer problems at that point just to try squeezing an aging QB on the team under the cap. Watching Mahomes and Burrows playing yesterday illustrated the need for a change at QB for GB.

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Coldworld's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:02 am

I’ve been watching sports for a long time and the end of careers of great players seldom reward. There are exceptions, Elway and Brady, but in most cases it’s players and fans belief over actual capability. Brady went to a team that was loaded. He didn’t win the MVP for a reason and they didn’t win the Super Bowl because of him. A little luck and a packed roster.

Next year’s Packers will be weaker. Other than Z it’s not yet clear how. Without getting into the dangers of undermining the future A weak QB and a weak roster is a killer combination in terms of results and the chances of developing any QB. Look around at the league for plentiful evidence of that mutually reinforcing downward spiral.

So if we keep Rodgers and tag and keep Adams or sign both for 3 years to spread out the cap, we are going to be cap hamstrung in every other position. It’s just inevitable that we will be a late era TT (Ball) type team, full of young draft picks and street free agents. Lacking depth and talent at key positions.

Just looking at next year, we would be starting the season with Rodgers, Adams and then minus 4 to 6 players that came after them in terms of ability. That’s just not a recipe to win, and, in addition our depth will be thinner. We’d need injury luck for the ages to hold up. This team will be wafer thin in terms of experience and ability at most positions.

If anyone really believes that Rodgers and Adams can compensate for that, we differ. Rodgers couldn’t in his early 30s. We all knew it was an unrealistic ask then. It’s equally or more so now. That the team would even consider this a viable strategy suggests a great deal wrong with the leadership. Add to that the competitive disadvantage for future years that it will take to squeeze under the cap and it’s not merely foolish sentimentality but downright negligent.

In these conditions there’s no hope of upward movement. There’s only hope that the decline can be minimized as the roster erodes and an increasingly unlikely and improbable hope that a weaker roster somehow overcomes what it couldn’t for years.

This is when leadership is needed to make hard, objective decisions in which popularity and emotion have no part. So far, I’m questioning whether that is something Murphy and LaFleur at least are able to grasp and deliver.

This conversation should never have started. The Packers shouldn’t be leaving this to Rodgers and Adams. Murphy and the team should stand up, thank Rodgers and tell the world that it’s over: that the window has closed and the team must retrench and plan for a future return to relevance. Are they so deluded, so afraid of the public reaction or just lacking the belief in themselves and the courage of their convictions?

Ironically, next off and actual season could be the least interesting one in decades. That happens when one combined a late draft pick and no cap room while trying to do more with less on the field while not addressing the reasons for repeated similar failings that still remain.

5 points
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dobber's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:08 am

"This is when leadership is needed to make hard, objective decisions in which popularity and emotion have no part. "

This is where being a franchise without a fickle owner who looks at his team more as a cash cow than a competitive enterprise pays off: the Packers should be far more nimble as it regards making hard decisions of this type.

5 points
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Coldworld's picture

January 31, 2022 at 10:40 am

This is in theory correct. That’s one reason why the current drift is so disturbing. However, an owner who wants to build value might have long ago moved Drayton out and, possibly, just made a decision that the last dance had run its course. Who knows. Owners can be decisive for good and bad. Place holders tend to avoid tough choices as a matter of course.

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Razer's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:28 am

Well said - Multiple thumbs up.

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Since'61's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:41 am

Excellent posts by Nick Perry and Coldworld. If at this point our management team takes the Packers down the path of retaining Rodgers and tagging Adams that will prove, at least to me, that this management team is not capable of getting us out of the mess they have created with the salary cap, STs, WR and DL.

We will get nothing nothing for Rodgers, be left with late draft picks at least for this season and a weaker team for the 2022 season and probably beyond. An injury to either Rodgers or Adams and the "plan" blows up.

I have been as big of a supporter of Aaron Rodgers as anyone but there comes a time, for every player, when it is time to move on. As it is Rodgers may retire and the Packers will get nothing in return. If the Packers keep Rodgers, for sure there will be no return for Rodgers when he does finally retire. The Steelers and Rothlesberger provide a good example of how the next 2-3 seasons are likely to go if we retain Rodgers at this point.

If we go into 2022 with Rodgers and Drayton the Packers have bigger problems than just the play of Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs. At best we have a management team that is afraid of the future and a head coach who flaps his arms like "Rodan" rather than meeting with his coaches and QB to make in game adjustments.

As I posted last week, the seeds for this scenario were planted 2-3 seasons ago. Murphy, Gute, and Ball have sown the wind, and if they continue on this path they will reap the whirlwind. Thanks, Since '61

3 points
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Coldworld's picture

January 31, 2022 at 10:53 am

This is where the inexcusable lack of transparency Murphy created will come back to bite us. Who is making this decision?

From the way LaFleur talks, he’s involved and others. Head Coaches should not be part of that decision (although consulted for opinion). Ball should have nothing to do with it, but apparently he is involved. The GM should make the call, but it sure sounds like Murphy is in there.

Whatever happens, we should know who makes the call, but we won’t it seems. Consensus will possibly be claimed as a cover for imposition. We need to clear out this structure and see some light shed on this. Board and Executive members: if you actually function: force this out into the open!

It should be Gute as GM, if it’s not, this whole structure needs fixing and accountability restored. If it’s Murphy as President, say so. No more obfuscation in what is supposedly a publicly owned organization. Just because you can hide in your sinecures doesn’t mean you should and is incompatible with your supposed obligations as members of the Board and Executive Committee. Time to earn your perks and do something useful and beneficial for the franchise whatever is decided.

4 points
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Since'61's picture

January 31, 2022 at 12:09 pm

Coldworld there are 2 issues with nonprofit organizations. First is fund raising and the second is the image of the organization. This is where nonprofit board focus much of their energy. I know I am a board member for 2 nonprofit organizations.

For the Packers fund raising is covered by the sold out stadium, league revenue sharing and their recent donation drive which they euphemistically call "selling shares of stock" in the team.
As for the image the Packers have for the most part been a pretty squeaky clean organization. However, image should not be identified with management competence. We have seen management competence decline in TT due to medical problems and we saw MM decline as an HC after the 2014 debacle combined with the unexpected loss of his younger brother.

The current regime of Murphy, Ball and Gute appears to have everyone in charge which means that no one is is charge and therefore no one is accountable either. And as you have correctly posted there is no transparency in the decision making process or the communication process.

We have witnessed their failures to address the WR, DL, ST and until this season the ILB weaknesses on the team.
Rodgers takes the blame for the playoff failures and this is fair to a degree since he gets most of the credit when the team wins. His failure to move the team down the field during the loss to SF is mostly on him and a porous OL. But the point is that Rodgers is a symptom of a larger problem with the Packers organization. Specifically the failure to address weaknesses on the team for long periods of time and failure to hold anyone accountable for the same mistakes which are repeated over and over again.

I cannot imagine that there is another team in the league that would not have chucked Drayton by now. I'm also having trouble believing that they are going to try to keep this team together by resigning Rodgers and tagging Adams. If that comes to pass they clearly do not have a strategic path for the future of the team.

We'll see what happens but when an organization is at a crossroads which the Packers are, the worst thing the management team can do is nothing which is in effect what will happen if they try to keep Rodgers and Adams given the current cap situation. Worse yet, they will get nothing in return for either player, which in the world of a FOR profit organization would be unforgivable. Stay safe. Thanks, Since '61

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Coldworld's picture

January 31, 2022 at 06:13 pm

Yes.

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stockholder's picture

January 31, 2022 at 11:48 am

With the retirement talk. You won't get more then a 3. And Gutey pisses his 3s away. Adams has shown his true colors as a packer. It's about the money. And I believe he's ready to turn out like Odell Beckman. The salary of a Qb isn't cheap. Especially if they win the MVP. I can't see paying guys that sit the bench. Trade them first.

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jurp's picture

January 31, 2022 at 03:47 pm

Guys that "sit on the bench" are called "depth". You know, guys like Nijman, Newman, Kelly, Garvin, P. Taylor, the other Taylor, and on and on. Without them, you don't have a team; they also don't cost very much in the scheme of things. And just what team do you think would be interested in trading for our "guys that sit on the bench"? SMH.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 31, 2022 at 05:56 pm

Affirmative, clean Haus !

0 points
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Hematite's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:07 am

Thumbs up to you Nick!!!!!

2 points
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Turophile's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:01 am

I don't think the Packers have the ruthlessness or perhaps you could call it intestinal fortitude, to cut ties with Rodgers and Adams.

I think they should................but i don't think they will.

12 points
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mrtundra's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:40 am

I think both Rodgers and Adams are gone, just because of our salary cap numbers. This team will look a lot differently, next season, than it does now.

3 points
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jurp's picture

January 31, 2022 at 03:47 pm

If the FO destroys the future by keeping AR and DA, then we know that we have, essentially, Nagy and Pace running our team - too scared for their own jobs to do what's right by the franchise. They will fail, sooner rather than later, and then the 70s-80s Packers that so many here are afraid of will become a reality.

Change now, and the future looks bright; but let the team's talent dwindle over the next few years and the Packers will be the new LOLions, with AR abandoning the ship as it sinks into mediocrity.

2 points
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Guam's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:12 am

I hope you are wrong Turophile, but the is no question this will be a career decision for the management team and that can make you too cautious to pull the trigger.

I remember a year ago when the CHTV faithful were split on whether or not to resign Bahktiari. Some said Bahk was irreplaceable and others said third contract O-linemen can be injury prone and not live up to their contract. The Pack resigned the all-pro LT to a mega contract.

Fast forward to this year, Bahk played 27 snaps for the year and was adequately replaced by Jenkins/Nijman. Not all-pro caliber replacement, but good enough to earn the best regular season record. Now many folks are asking for the Pack to cut or trade Bahk (and unload his big contract) as part of the rebuild. I hope Gute and company are paying attention vis a vis Adams and Rodgers.

8 points
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Turophile's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:55 am

For those that are thinking of getting rid of Bakhtiari this offseason, forget it.

His cap situation makes it impossible. However, there is an out in 2023 (according to spotrac) at a cost of $17.5m dead cap, compared to a cost of $26.28m if retained.

5 points
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Guam's picture

January 31, 2022 at 10:58 am

Well aware that Bahk is here to stay for at least one more year. However the fact that he didn't play this year yet consumed around 10% of the Packers cap (AAV) is a cautionary tale about older players and big contracts.

4 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 02, 2022 at 10:19 pm

It was a pre-mature signing. If any credence applies to the old guy myth from Ted, it is that you sign them after the season is completed. Bhak is a three-term guy. They rushed him on the field when he wasn't ready, just like Horse trainers. Nijman was holding his own despite my initial skepticism, he performed. The Team was feeding off each other and they pulled out Wins.
The playoff juxtaposition of the O line screwed the team from the onset, in the Divisional Game, on their Home Turf.

0 points
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Oppy's picture

January 31, 2022 at 11:34 am

Murphy and Gutenkunst were with the Packers when they stood up to Favre.
Gute was still scouting, but he was TT's understudy at the time.

I am a little concerned that the Packers may actually try to retain Rodgers, but only in the sense that anything can happen.

I see no reason to doubt these two men who have seen it before, weathered the storm, and come out the other side in a better place would lack the intestinal fortitude to do it again if they see fit.

0 points
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Houndog's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:09 am

Yeah, it might be fun being an underdog again, but will we really have a choice?
We don't have anything near the situation we had back then at QB, and who knows what next year's roster might look like? The cap looms pretty large at this moment.
With so many offensive coaches leaving, and so many directly connected to Rodgers, one might think it will have some connection to Rodgers' making his decision. With Aaron who knows?
He might be thinking "Well, I can stay and start over, or I can go elsewhere and start over? With GB's cap issues and Adams being a free agent, I might choose the latter if it was my decision. I would doubt he'd follow Getsky.
So yeah, it might be fun, but it could also be Jim DelGaizo, Jerry Tagge, Rich Campbell, or Dennis Sproule time all over again. OMG!

Oh Shit, I forgot "Bubba", Carlos Brown.

1 points
3.5
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Roadrunner23's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:23 am

Randy Wright ? Jerry Taggee 😂

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Roadrunner23's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:20 am

Reminds me of the dating advice I once got from an old friend:
“if she’s below your expectations the lower your expectations!”
My expectations for the 2022 season are just that, I’m not expecting to have as good of a Packers team but it’ll still be fun I’m sure.
Will Rodgers & Adams stay or go? That’s up to the guys that make the big decisions and the big bucks!
I know there will be packers football and I’ll be drinking beer, grilling and watching every damn play win or lose.
Go Pack!

8 points
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Handsback's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:32 am

If the Packers keep Rodgers and stay under the cap, they will lose a ton of starters. Would they win is the issue? Maybe, but not at Lambeau. Green Bay is not a cold weather offense. They probably can open the offense up more in milder climates than in Green Bay.
To me it seems there’s a mismatch between the climate and the teams makeup. MLF wants that running game to shine, but it will never be optimized as long as Rodgers is QB.
So that long road back to the SB will require the Packer’s mgt. to make the first step in a new direction. It’s scary and comes with a lot of disappointments but the sooner they do it the sooner they can have another SB trophy.

2 points
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dobber's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:10 am

"If the Packers keep Rodgers and stay under the cap, they will lose a ton of starters."

They're going to lose a crap-ton of talent either way, either by losing a couple high profile guys, or by losing a bunch of players to clear room for the high-profile guys.

I agree, I think the best way forward is to garner draft capital and build for the next window. I would argue this gives you more control over the players you keep.

9 points
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Coldworld's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:06 am

Something is better than nothing, as the old adage goes.

7 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:30 am

Exactly!

The Packers have four good RB's and a good OL. However, with Rodgers possibly gone the Packers NEED more the road grader 'knock the Snot out of you' offensive linemen vs the finesse pass blockers, particularly with the cold weather. How often have we watched our OL over the years get beaten up losing the line of scrimmage and not getting those 3rd and 1's, or 4th and 1's? The Packers are entering a new era and need to change their approach. An example with Rodgers gone is would Humphrey's been a better run blocking center than Myers?

-1 points
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4thand10's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:01 am

The cold weather thing is funny. GB tries to understandably portray this tough guy mentality. There something to that however, it is misguided. MOST times SF comes to GB ,MOST have long sleeves. The fact is …warm muscles work better than cold ones…so the whole sleeveless deal in single digits idea is just dumb. And they make the same dumb mistake every year. Science says warm muscle perform better than cold ones. I want to see most of the team back..even if that means coughing up Rodgers and Adams. Recent history has showed you can get to a SB with a great D, good ST and a great running game…all of which LaFluer is perfectly capable of putting together. A large tight end, another large bruising RB and another top 1-3 draft WR, maybe an OL, and DL pick is what the team needs this year.

1 points
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dobber's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:10 am

"Science says warm muscle perform better than cold ones"

Sadly, we're in an era where what science says doesn't seem to mean very much...

8 points
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PeteK's picture

January 31, 2022 at 10:52 am

Yes, a dominant running attack and we're one more good DT away from a dominant defense.

1 points
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Booner's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:32 am

Ground Control to Major Ken.

Favre to Rodger's is a once in a lifetime event! Rodger's to Love = Better switch from drinking beer on game day to whiskey!
Really looking forward to having the first pick in the draft for a loooooong time!

FUN!

-8 points
4
12
MarkinMadison's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:55 am

Did you watch the AFC games at all? Allen. Burrow. Mahommes. All of them played far better than Rodgers. Tom Brady is a once in a lifetime quarterback. This is a young man's sport.

8 points
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Todd's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:10 am

The difference in play during the playoffs between Rodgers and the QBs you mentioned was truly startling, Mark. Definitely has me thinking the time has come to as NickPerry posted earlier, rip the bandaid off and move on.

5 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:35 am

Mark,
Exactly my thoughts as well! In doing so it was clear just how far Rodgers has physically declined. Rodgers struggles to escape the pocket anymore and getting out of the pocket to extend plays (which was once his strength) is virtually gone. DL 60 to 80 lbs heavier quickly catch him now. Watching Mahomes and Burrows reminded me how Rodgers cannot escape the rush anywhere near he once did.

9 points
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coolhand's picture

January 31, 2022 at 10:27 am

But, neither could Brady EVER really escape a pass rush, but he was quick and decisive with his throws most times. Something Rodgers would never seem to do, would hold the ball too long for the perfect opportunity even if if meant taking the sack. Like after the Jones reception, first and goal and what happens? Rodgers holds the ball and takes a sack with no time outs left.

5 points
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jurp's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:14 pm

Yep. A TD there would probably have won us the game; as it was, we got zero points.

0 points
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dobber's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:02 am

If the Packers move on from 12 (and 17), we need to expect an open competition at QB going forward. Bring in a vet, draft a developmental rookie later on, bring back Benkert and let the best man win. If the Packers just anoint Love as a starter and don't make him win the job? That's the problem.

1 points
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stockholder's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:17 am

They need to move on from Bahk, Adams, And Smith. Peyton Manning went out a winner and Rodgers can too. Every team in the playoffs: have better, faster WRs. The packers have slow. That once in a life time to Adams shows how slow he is. This team should have drafted Wrs instead of Love.

-4 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:45 am

Dobber,
Of course there will be competition. That is a guarantee! However, if Rodgers departs it is because of the cap and bringing in any noteworthy veteran QB will cost. The FO needs to look at what the cost for that veteran QB is because if significant would they be better off keeping Rodgers?

I like the idea of should Rodgers be traded to Denver that a 4th year QB like Lock be included as he is still on his rookie contract. In a scenario like with Lock I think the Pack could get him in a 'okay sure' you can have him situation. Lock was a high 2nd round pick and may be obtained cheaper than normal. What I don't want to see is some broken down veteran QB (Bortles) who takes up Love's playing time just to win an extra game or two now essentially pushing Love back further and prolonging his experienceand readiness.

1 points
3
2
13TimeChamps's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:59 am

The difference between Love and Lock is that Lock has already proven who he is. 25 TDs and 20 INTs in 24 games. Let's see what Love looks like after 24 games.

I disagree with the doom and gloom of some of the posters. I think there is a very good, talented young core of players on this team. I'm looking forward to next year. It'll be strange not having a HOF QB behind center for the first time in 30 years, but I see no reason why the team won't be competitive, especially if Love proves to be a legitimate NFL QB. It's time to move on and find out.

10 points
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jurp's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:11 pm

Lock could be Love's backup. I think I'd rather have him over Benkert at this point, unless of course Benkert kicks his ass in camp.

0 points
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MarkinMadison's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:52 am

The rumor mill that is the 24-hour news cycle was spinning yesterday that Rodgers stuck around in Green Bay for three days after the loss to plan with the Packers for next year, and so the story goes that he MUST be planning to get Olive a puppy. I sure hope not.

3 points
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jurp's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:54 am

Excellent article, Ken, but WAY too many people have become absolutely scared shitless of change. Any kind of change, anything different, is just beyond scary and terrifying for too many folks. Remember the fan backlash in 2008? Dump Rodgers and Adams in 2022 and half the fanbase will lose what's left of its collective mind.

So - will the FO man up and do what's right for the franchise or appease at least half of the fans by signing AR and probably Adams (pushing costs as far down the road as they can) dumping vets right and left, and saving their jobs for the near future? THAT is the ultimate question. The problem with that strategy is that AR can blow up their plans at any time, simply by saying "I retire".

2 points
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Razer's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:04 am

...The problem with that strategy is that AR can blow up their plans at any time, simply by saying "I retire"...

So true. Rodgers reeks of celebrity and the drama of that realm. I didn't see a guy interested in battling the cold when things got real at Lambeau. I can't trust our future to this guy. Sorry

5 points
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2
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:50 am

Jump,
My fear as well, however I like to believe with the Packers organizational structure being so unique and Murphys direct involvement in this process that no one would lose their job over pulling the pin. The only way Gutey would loses his job over time is if he drafts poorly fielding bad teams. I don't see that happening. In fact, it would not surprise me if Gutey got Executive of the year award for his pickup of FA's.

2 points
3
1
Coldworld's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:10 am

Jurp, I agree, but the sad fact is that change occurs anyway. Rosters erode without injections of new blood and age catches up unpredictably. This idea that the status quo is some how eternal is just not so. No change is a guarantee of decline.

2 points
2
0
Razer's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:55 am

Not sure why people won't accept that change will come. Can we keep our team competitive by resigning Rodgers and Adams? Who won't we be able to resign? I am not interested in keeping Rodgers beautiful mystery going only to be left with the scraps that the partiers left behind. Sean Payton bailed on the Saints because he doesn't want to pay for the party that he and his buddies had. Favre had his chance, Rodgers his, now it is time to move on to the next generation.

11 points
11
0
PhantomII's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:54 pm

Real tired of AR running the play clock down to -0-..to figure out what the defense is in, while resting the defense and making the throw to the absolute wrong read...with a guy wide open.

1 points
1
0
stockholder's picture

January 31, 2022 at 07:58 am

Vince Lombardi would never agree with you. Dish out the Pain! Don’t take it. Crush the ants. Underdog is what the NFL is about now. The bigger they are the harder they Fall. There are No Dynasties. It’s set up to make money. And instead of hope. " I prefer to rule.” If you look at the failures of every loss. It’s obvious why this team loss. There just aren’t enough play makers. They take what their given. Instead of; you can’t stop us. Will kill YOU! Yes -Kill your opponent. Thats how to play the game. Bury them! But lets not let money change that direction. Did they come here to Win? Or just support their family. Right now ,thats where the packers are. Loyalty doesn’t mean anything. That last pay Day is more important. Show me the money. Thats why you want to be the underdog.

-6 points
2
8
dobber's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:14 am

Someone found an online cliche generator...

7 points
9
2
croatpackfan's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:16 am

Aaron Rodgers, The Old Diva, showed us what loyalty means... To him (and you) obviously nothing!

-1 points
2
3
stockholder's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:20 am

Peyton Manning went out a winner. Rodgers can too. Your mistake is thinking were going to get a boat load of picks.

-3 points
3
6
dobber's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:12 am

I see absolutely no reference to draft picks in Croat's comment...

2 points
5
3
Coldworld's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:23 am

I’d like a boat load, it’s possible we would, but that is jam not the bread and butter. The decision on Rodgers should be simple: does he (with his associated cap consequences) offer us a realistic opportunity to win the Super Bowl? Unless the answer to that question is yes, then anything we get us a bonus (including cap room).

There is no point in sinking cap into and building game planning around a player who is 38/39 unless the odds are he can take the resulting roster all the way.

8 points
8
0
dobber's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:31 pm

Do we get to pick how big the boat is?

0 points
0
0
PeteK's picture

January 31, 2022 at 11:04 am

Stafford's success just increased Rodgers's trade value.

1 points
3
2
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:52 am

I believe you are trying to say...KNOCKTHESNOTOUT of them Stockholder! :)

1 points
2
1
jannes bjornson's picture

January 31, 2022 at 06:26 pm

The One Pick needs to be a WR and the third. Tee Higgins controlled that drive in OT for the Bengal Tigers yesterday.

0 points
0
0
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:16 am

Absolutely fantastic Lass! Well thought out and written.

Ever since all the negative poor me comments about the possibility of Jordan Love starting next year started pouring in my argument was exactly what you outlined. The comparison is dead on!

If Rodgers is traded the Packers will land on their feet and there will be many positive outcomes. Yes, there is the possibility that initially there are some bumps and bruises but the joy of watching a young player develop and improve is exciting. Watching the team find its identity will be fun. Seeing the team win games in different ways will be fun. Plus, not having a narcissistic all about diva will be fun as well.

0 points
5
5
Coldworld's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:26 am

The majority of the fun in sports fandom is in watching and hoping for improvement in terms of rosters, players and coaching. It’s about the potential to improve. Remove that and all you have is hope for bragging rights in a roster one isn’t really invested in. Often that becomes hollow fast.

4 points
4
0
Brockrice99's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:22 am

In a way this is kind of like the Milwaukee Bucks. The one seed two years in a row and upset both times not even making it to the NBA Finals. Then the they get the 3rd seed and go on a run to the finals and eventually win it all. Obviously the circumstances are much different, as for the Bucks they were building a mini super team with Jrue, Khris, and Giannis as to where the Packers at a moments notice could go into full rebuild. But sometimes just having all the pressure on you to make and win the championship that comes with that 1 seed can just be too much pressure sometimes. So, I would not mind at all having a little bit of an underdog mentality heading into a postseason run.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:26 am

Here's a pretty comprehensive look at where things stand.

https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/2022/01/31/salary-cap-...

-1 points
0
1
HarryHodag's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:33 am

I came here to link to the same story. It's probably for subscribers only, but it pretty clearly lays out what 'all in' really means.

Largely because the North Division is weak the Packers will have a shot again next fall, even after the blood letting. I have enough faith in Murphy, Gute and especially Matt LF to think any downturn will be short lived. But a downturn is coming so buckle up.

5 points
5
0
Hematite's picture

January 31, 2022 at 08:32 am

Screw this getting logged out without warning.
I'll try again some other year.

9 points
9
0
Packers0808's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:33 am

Yup every time you go to another site come back, logged out! Fix the problem! Was wondering if just me.

6 points
6
0
BirdDogUni's picture

January 31, 2022 at 10:39 am

What pisses me off, is why a site would ever log you out? It's like they don't want us here???

WT%?

5 points
5
0
Coldworld's picture

January 31, 2022 at 11:01 am

Well it all started when you reappeared! Coincidence or something more sinister?

Seriously though Al, some engagement might help understanding. It has helped reduce the spam, just needs some adjustment.

5 points
5
0
JerseyAl's picture

January 31, 2022 at 11:54 am

Our web developers are trying to come up with a solution to the spammers - this is not the solution, just a temporary action while they explore other options. It's extremely frustrating for everyone, so please try to be patient with us. Right now, Aaron and I have to manually look for spam comments every day and manually delete them and their accounts, so no one wants a real solution more than us.

4 points
4
0
jurp's picture

January 31, 2022 at 03:55 pm

Al - the spammers hit all recent threads at roughly the same time - can you guys program an algorithm to check for posts on multiple threads that are made one or two minutes apart, or posts on more than three threads by the same user within 10 minutes? If so, then you should be able to auto-delete the spam.

0 points
0
0
Turophile's picture

January 31, 2022 at 04:40 pm

Thumbs up Al, for trying to get the damn spammers removed.

I'll sign in every time I visit the site, if it gets rid of spam here.

1 points
1
0
Spock's picture

January 31, 2022 at 11:27 am

I complained about this 2 days ago on Nagler's "Stress free weekend" article. Lots of other people having the same problem and -crickets- no explanation so far.

0 points
1
1
JerseyAl's picture

January 31, 2022 at 11:53 am

Our web developers are trying to come up with a solution to the spammers - this is not the solution, just a temporary action while they explore other options. It's extremely frustrating for everyone, so please try to be patient with us. Right now, Aaron and I have to manually look for spam comments every day and manually delete them and their accounts, so no one wants a real solution more than us.

1 points
1
0
Packers0808's picture

January 31, 2022 at 03:42 pm

These spammers are on many sites, not just yours. They are a real pain in the ass for sure!

1 points
1
0
Spock's picture

February 01, 2022 at 05:38 am

Thanks for the update, Al.

0 points
0
0
Packers0808's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:31 am

Well for the 12 seasons being the overdog most years hasn't worked out very well, why not try the flipside and be the under dog? Can't get any worse when it comes to being on the really big stage!

1 points
3
2
jurp's picture

January 31, 2022 at 03:57 pm

Last time we were the underground throughout the playoffs was, IIRC, 2010. I think that worked out pretty well, eh? For more recent over-achieving underdogs, one need look no further than the 2021 Cincinnati Bengals.

When you're an underdog, you literally have no pressure on you because no one thinks you're going to win anyway.

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

January 31, 2022 at 06:41 pm

They look to have the best QB in the League.

0 points
0
0
Ryan3468's picture

January 31, 2022 at 10:20 am

Excellent article. It clearly represents how to be a fan of a team. I think it’s clear how plan A, B, and C could go. We just need to enjoy it.

What I see as best for the Packers would be longevity. That doesn’t involve paying two or three players the highest in the NFL, and suffering at a lot of other positions. Davante Adams is the best possession wide receiver currently playing in the NFL. He lacks the top end speed to be what would get a team elite results. If you are down by points late in the game you aren’t generally going to get that Hail Mary bomb to Davante. It’s not happening. He lacks that type of speed. So I turn to value. If a team wants to over value Rogers, and Davante and can afford them I think the Packers could get it done. Rogers will win a lot of games if he wants to play longer. It might be in Green Bay, but it might not be. I prefer longevity for the Packers and welcome what ever we get. It’s been a fun ride and I suspect it will be again. Draft capital, and cap space sounds like a great way to help this team grow. Do we have a Hershall Walker thing going? I doubt it, but I would welcome that.

3 points
3
0
Dragon5's picture

January 31, 2022 at 10:27 am

I pose this question...how did superstar contracts work for the (aged) Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, and DeAndre Hopkins? With 'Tae, now 29, entering his enemy year tomorrow, and a personal 7 year the following, I cringe at the thought of Gute committing another cap crime as was the case extending Bahk just weeks before his enemy year. Do some players avoid drastic outcomes during their enemy year? YES! Cordarelle Patterson and Aaron Donald come to mind this past year--but most do not.

We know a capable QB is the most important factor for the Super Bowl recipe; with Stafford reaching the SuperBowl, Rodgers trade value just went up. If Rodgers has truly tied himself to 'Tae (and supposedly MVS), the decision becomes easier from a GM standpoint. I can't think of any time in the last 30 years where we have the opportunity to fortify our roster via a Herschel-Walker-esque trade. The tragic mistake back then was Minnesota's perceived value that a RB > QB.

If Gute does re-up the tandem/trio, it's a passive yet firm acknowledgment that his Love pick was a BIG mistake.

The nail in the coffin? God help us, Brady ends up in SF (with Gronk in tow).

-1 points
1
2
BirdDogUni's picture

January 31, 2022 at 10:51 am

Personally, I just don't see how we can afford AR/DA and field a competitive team...

Get the teams who will inevitably be interested in AR and get them into a bidding war against themselves, tag and trade DA, and move on...

Jordan Love may not be the answer, but he might be... None of us knows for certain whether JL will develop into a viable starting QB, but I know he won't sitting another year behind AR12.

Moving on from AR/DA is the logical thing to do for the Packers as a franchise IMHO. If Gutey doesn't think JL is the answer, he only has himself to blame, but the only way to find out for sure is to find out for sure.

Sign the guys who deserve signing, let those who are fringe guys walk, and keep building for the future.

6 points
7
1
stockholder's picture

January 31, 2022 at 05:41 pm

First -we don't need Adams. He hung himself. Choosing 30 mil over the Packers. 2. WE don't need Bahk or Z.Smith. They never helped us get to 13-4. And with their injuries. Their time in GB is over. Thats Rodgers Salary right there. Rodgers is responsible for the 13 -4. The solution to Adams is simple. MVS and TONYAN. Linsley got replaced by Myers. and Adams can Also be replaced by Burks in the draft. Burks is Randy Moss. I also know of 3 WRS that will change this offense for years to come. Don't over-pay Lowrey. He can be replaced, I'd go with Whitney Mercelius. and Campbell first.

1 points
2
1
jurp's picture

January 31, 2022 at 09:05 pm

You must've missed the many posts that have said that Bakh can't be cut without a massive hit to the salary cap for the upcoming league year. Z is, indeed, probably done here, but that's not enough to counter the $46M owed to the Choker under his current contract.

And why should Adams choose the Packers instead of a big payout? He EARNED that payout, and more power to him. Tell me, when was the last time YOU turned down a raise for your employer?

If Rodgers is responsible for 13-4, then he's also responsible for 0-1 in the playoffs. Gee, Matthew Stafford did what AR wasn't able to do. Huh. Matthew effing Stafford is a better QB in the playoffs than AR? Who'd'a thunk it?

0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

February 01, 2022 at 08:17 am

I'm sure the Language in his contract protects the packers. And the time they make that decision has cap relief. Bahk was smart. He states he's ready with rest. So far he's a thief.

0 points
0
0
Oppy's picture

January 31, 2022 at 11:44 am

Ken, great article.

I learned everything I needed to know about what I really enjoy about football during the 2011 season.

15-1, and I have never been so unenthusiastic about watching a Packers season. I realized that for myself, I truly enjoy the journey more than the destination.

I loved watching the packers retool and build and develop talents as individual players as well as a team identity from 91-96 and 2005-2011. Watching the team morph and shape and grow into a competitor, find ways to get past the opposition teams that represent the "old guard", and watch them scratch their way into a deep playoff run for superbowl contention while the outside world is trying to figure out just exactly who are these upstart young Packers?

That to me is so much more rewarding than watching the veteran team that is expected to win, that coasts to the play offs. I enjoy the struggle and drama of team building. I enjoy the back and forth of a great contest - win or lose- more than I value an easy win.

I'm so ready to see what the new version of the Packers is going to look like, and embrace the struggles and pitfalls that may come with it. There's no greater fan base in the world than the one that supports its team through thick AND thin times.

4 points
5.5
1.5
Alberta_Packer's picture

January 31, 2022 at 01:05 pm

Memo to : M. Murphy, B. Gutekunst, M.LaFleur

“Those Who Do Not Learn History Are Doomed To Repeat It.” - George Santayana

I have no interest in watching the (Rodgers)Packers go 0-4 in the playoffs - in as many years. Please act accordingly.

Sincerely,
AB-Packer,
Fan

5 points
5
0
Coldworld's picture

January 31, 2022 at 06:24 pm

Those who can’t learn from history soon end up part of it.

1 points
1
0
GPG1985's picture

January 31, 2022 at 01:02 pm

With Stenavich as the new O Coordinator it’s time to finally build this team around the run game and defense. Get as much as you can for Rodgers and field a team that’s gonna punch you in the mouth.
Rodgers only Super Bowl was when he had his greatest defense.

Campbell should be a top priority this off-season..since we lost Desmond Bishop and Nick Collins (and of course C Wood) this defense has never been the same.
Not sure if J Love is the answer, but if we can build around our strengths I think we will be just fine.

With the elephant no longer in the room it will be much easier for MLF to take control of this team and allow some of our emerging stars to take a leadership role for a much needed culture change.

3 points
3
0
tommynak's picture

January 31, 2022 at 04:57 pm

Underdog, yes but if we move on from 12 & 17 which I think we would should the Packers are not going into the toilet. They will still be in a very winnable Division and with the ability from a cap situation to keep key free agents instead of leaving with the quality youth & depth on this roster we will be just fine. Don't keep your star QB for to long by kicking the can down the road that when he does retire the Pack will be in complete rebuild mode & that my friends is no fun. Gute has drafted well & pieces are here. If Love isn't the guy we will have to find that guy, but that is much more doable than gutting this roster to survive with 12 & 17 for couple more years before hitting rock bottom.

0 points
0
0
Buckywunder's picture

January 31, 2022 at 11:07 pm

Count me in!

I’m ready to move on…

1 points
1
0