Wednesday, August 30, 2006
As I continue on with these NFC North previews, the next on the list is the Green Bay Packers. Basically, the team I love to hate more than any other in sports. So let's have a look.
About Last Year: Let's put it this way, with all the injuries to their RBs, I think they were even scouting me at one point. The season was that bad for GB. They finished 4-12, Brett Favre threw like 100 INTs, and their best WR got hurt right away. And then after the year the Packers had to go through 5 months of Brett Favre's "will he retire or won't he?" Add it all in, and 2005 is probably a year the Packers would like to forget.
What they Added: Well, they managed to get some good underachieving defensive guys! Charles Woodson is talented, and has had a nice career, and he'll be looking to rebound in the Packers secondary. Rian Pickett will add depth along the line, and he's another early draft pick that hasn't really panned out. In the draft, the Packers added AJ Hawk, who's going to be really good. Also, reports are that Abdul Hodge is also looking real solid for the Packers. You wouldn't know it if you just watched the Bengals/Packers game, but the defense should be pretty decent. Elsewhere, long-time head coach Mike Sherman is gone, replaced by Mike McCarthy, who lasted worked as the O-Coordinator for the SF 49ers... you don't sound impressed? Although the Packers will get like 10 RB from injury, and that's nice.
What they Lost: For one, reliable kicker Ryan Longwell is gone, leaving for the friendly confines of the Metrodome. Longwell has been a consistent, reliable threat and should be missed. Center Mike Flanagan is also good, as he's not with the Texans. The D-Line also took a hit as big Grady Jackson is gone. Jackson didn't rush the passer, but he was very solid against the run. Offensively, the big loss is Javon Walker due to trade. He wasn't going to playing for GB, and so they had no choice. But I can't say I'm too upset. Despite his injury last year, I expect nothing less than a very good year from Javon, a very talented WR.
What does this all mean? It means relief probably isn't really in sight for GB. The O-Line still isn't good, the RB aren't that talented, and the WR not named Donald Driver aren't very reliable (in other words, get Donald Driver for your fantasy football teams). Meanwhile, they're working in a new coach, and the defense hasn't looked too impressive. I see a lot more INT for Favre, a lot more frustrations for the Packers, and another losing season. 5-11 sounds about right.