After a very disappointing season, Packers’ fans are wondering what is next for Aaron Rodgers and this team that has set such big standards throughout the last two decades.
Disappointments One After Another
With four games left in the season, General Manager Brian Gutekunst decided to fire 13-year head coach Mike McCarthy. Offensive Coordinator Joe Phillbin stepped in to finish out the season.
Going back further, in 2017, Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury Week 6 against the Minnesota Vikings. He broke his collar bone for the second time. Back-up quarterback Brett Hundley won three games as a starter and finished the season at 7-9.
In the offseason Rodgers told the press that he plans on winning the MVP award when he comes back just like he did in 2014 after breaking his collar bone the first time. But this task was unable to be fulfilled. The Packers ended 6-9-1. This is the first time since 1990-1991 that Green Bay had back-to-back losing seasons.
Don’t Go Pack Go-ing Just Yet
The Packers hired Tennessee Titans Offensive Coordinator Matt Lafleur as their new Head Coach. The young insights can help upgrade an old-style of offense that Green Bay has had for the tenure of McCarthy. Lafleur brought in former offensive Coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars Nathaniel Hackett. The new duo can bring light, style and energy to a team that is in need of some revamping.
Wide receiver Davante Adams had the best season of his career even though he missed the last game of the season. Adams had 111 receptions, 1,386 yards, and 13 touchdowns. He was able to catch almost 66 percent of his targets and averaged 12.5 yards per catch and over 92 yards per game. For the second year in a row, Adams was selected to the Pro Bowl. The star receiver also caught 35 touchdowns since 2016, which is the most among all receivers in that time period.
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WR Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison were taken out with injuries but rookie receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown stepped up to plate.
Former Cleveland Browns HC Mike Pettine was brought in as the Defensive Coordinator after the 2017 season. Their number aren’t what they wanted, ranking 18th overall but Kenny Clark, Kyle Mackrell, Blake Martinez and rookie cornerback Jaire alexander thrived under Pettine.
Cheese on Top of it All
With a stronger defense, starting receivers and a uninjured all-star QB, the Packers will be back to the threat they were in 2010-2016.
Gutekunst and the rest of Titletown decided to sign Aaron Rodgers to a deal worth almost $180 million over four years so their cap space will be around $46 million this year. This of course, barring the reconstruction of Nick Perry’s contract. As well as re-signing Clay Matthews. That is a good amount of money to sign free agents to fill spots like edge rusher, safety and offensive guard. Defense is a high priority.
Green Bay will pick 12th in the 2019 draft. As well as 30th via the New Orleans Saints. In total, the Packers will pick 10 different times. Not counting any of the compensatory picks they will be awarded, if any. Multiple prospects like Josh Allen (Edge, Kentucky), Denote Thompson (S, Alabama), Montez Sweat (Edge, Mississippi) and Zach Allen (DE, Boston College) should be high on the Packers list.
The offseason will be huge for rookie receivers to learn the ad-lib system Rodgers does so well. A connection with Rodgers will, no doubt, upgrade this team on offense. Free agency will be a good time and cheap way to get ahold of any top-graded offensive lineman. As well as another way to amp up this famous offense.
Free agent singings, the draft and the time off will be great for the Green Bay Packers. They will be ready to come back better than ever before in 2019.