1.) Who is the Packers running back?
-Ty? Eddie? Ripper? Does it really matter? It appears that with a quality offensive line, and linebackers that are deathly afraid of Aaron’s arm make it pretty easy to run here in Green Bay. It seems obvious that the Packers need a running back that can pick up blitzes (Thanks for nothing James Starks), and catch the ball out of the backfield. I don’t see Ted drafting Christian McCaffery (at least not in the 1st round), so is there a running back in this draft that can do what they may ask of them (See Kareen Hunt-Toledo). There is no questions that it would add a new dimension to an already potent offense though, and one that may be able to push this team over the proverbial hump and get to the allusive Super Bowl.
2.) What does Ted do in the Draft and Free Agency?
-I am on record as saying that being a Packer fan from February until July is the worst. The Packers are the most boring team in the league within those months. With that said, there are a lot of moving pieces that need to get figured out, and soon. When free agency kicks off on March 9th, the Packers are in a very serious predicament that could force Ted’s hand earlier than normal. They are at risk of losing a lot of very important pieces from a team that finished 2nd in the NFC last season (Hyde, Lang, Cook, Perry, etc.). If they lose any combination of those players that has to adjust what their Draft day needs look like. It is feasible that the Packers could lose TJ Lang, Don Barclay, and JC Tretter. If that happens then offensive line becomes an extreme area of need, unless you’re cool with second year, no experience NFL players blocking for the leagues best QB. Losing Micah Hyde would put an already shitty secondary in an even worse spot. It seems obvious to me that the Packers should draft defense (So I am sure we will take a former Point Guard, turned Wide Receiver or some shit). There is also some shifting of salaries that I believe needs to occur (Clay Matthews, and Randall Cobb). Cobb is due to be the league’s 7th highest paid WR, not worth it. Matthews is due to make 15 million in 2017. Had he made that salary in 2016 he would have been paid 3 million dollars per sack (Let that sink in…). Nowhere else in America can you make more and produce less. If I did that I would be blogging far more often as I would be unemployed. Does it even matter if they restructure those contracts if they don’t spend the freed up cap space? A lot of this lands squarely on the shoulders of Ol’ Teddy Thompson. I am giving him one more off-season to get this team setup to make a Super Bowl run, but there will be a ton of questions on the way to Minneapolis.
3.) Breaking down the schedule far too early.
– Take the NFC North games out of the equation. They will beat the Bears twice, and will not get swept by either the Vikings, or Lions, so that should net you at a minimum of 4 wins. They also play the Browns, there is 5. From there things get a little more difficult, especially if they don’t upgrade that shitty secondary. The Packers will play against the following receivers in 2017, Julio Jones (Falcons-Away), Antonio Brown (Steelers-Away), Dez Bryant (Cowboys-Away), Greg Olson (Panthers-Away), Doug Baldwin (Seahawks-Home), AJ Green (Bengals-Home), Mike Evans (Buccaneers-Home). If that doesn’t make you lose a little sleep them you don’t care if the Packers win. In my honest opinion, I do not believe the Packers have a corner on the roster than can cover any of those guys. Obviously there is a lot that will change between now and Opening Weekend, but man that is scary as hell! I actually believe that the Lions will drop off, and the Vikings will be about a 7 win football team. If this team can find a way to get to 10 wins they will win the North. Get to 12 wins and you will get a first round bye. 13 gets you home field, which would be a great help (Especially once they get that running game figured out-See #1).
My 2017 Predication on February 26th (Guys, I know it is way too early)
-Packers will finish 13-3 with losses at Atlanta (Opening of the Mercedes Benz Dome on Sunday Night Football), at Minnesota, and at Dallas (Thanksgiving Day Game). They walk through the playoffs and it’s a rematch of Super Bowl II. It would be the 50 year Anniversary of that game….
Packers beat the Raiders 34-31.