What does Pack need to get back to Super Bowl?
I watched both the NFC and AFC championship football games Sunday. Afterward, I was more convinced than ever that Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sportswriter Bob McGinn was on target with his analysis in Sunday’s Gazette. The Packers are too soft. They need to get more physical to compete with the National Football League’s elite teams.
After the San Francisco 49ers dismantled the Packers, it appears obvious. The Packers need to upgrade their talent on both the offensive and defensive lines. The Pack can’t run the ball consistently enough, nor can the offensive line provide star quarterback Aaron Rodgers adequate pass protection. Absent the aforementioned weak running game, defenders pin their ears back rushing Rodgers. He’s a great player, but one more concussion might spell a premature end to his career. With just one Super Bowl victory, that would be a sad waste of talent.
San Francisco’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick might be a rising star, but he looked like a world beater against the Packers. When our lone viable pass rusher, Clay Matthews, went inside, Kaepernick slipped around him and was off to the races. When Matthews later held his corner as Kaepernick went back to pass, the interior linemen couldn’t get penetration and the 49ers’ second-year QB picked the Pack's secondary apart.
So what do you see as the Packers’ key off-season needs?
Word has it that Donald Driver has seen his last game as a Packer, and as little as he played this season, that’s no surprise. Their salary demands may mean defenders A.J. Hawk and Charles Woodson, wide receiver Greg Jennings and tight end Jermichael Finley have played their last games in Green Bay, as well.
Which of those five would you like to see the team retain? I’d like to see them keep Jennings the most. He has the deep speed to truly stretch the defense. Age is catching up with Driver and Woodson. Hawk makes a lot of tackles but doesn’t have the speed you’d like. Finley still drops too many passes and seems to be a head case—he never has reached expectations, and he runs too much at the mouth.
Are better linemen the answer to upgrading the rushing game, or does the team need to finally use a high draft pick to get a top-flight running back?