July 30, 2021

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There’s a lot to be thankful for

5 min read
There’s a lot to be thankful for

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Family, friends, Wes’s leftover turkey sandwich waiting to be stolen in the fridge, Spoff has a ton to be thankful for. But what should Packer fans collectively be most thankful for?

Meaningful December football. Good morning…and Happy Thanksgiving!

Do you think fan expectations have been a year too early? In the preseason this was largely seen as more of a rebuilding year than a contending year, and while every year with Aaron Rodgers is still a contending year, it seems like the Packers could be better positioned in 2020.

For many fans, it didn’t take long to go from “This is a rebuilding year” to “Make room for the Lombardi.” The Packers have been one of the NFL’s best stories in 2019 but the offseason moves they made were to ensure long-term success. Brian Gutekunst managed to do all of that without mortgaging the future. Don’t take eight wins for granted because the past two years showed how difficult it is to win in this league. Win or lose, there’s a lot of be thankful for this year.

I have a feeling this team is going to come out Sunday and play extremely physical ball and win going away. I know a win is a win in the NFL, but wouldn’t you be even a little disappointed if the Packers don’t win the next three convincingly? At some point they need to gain some momentum heading towards January.

A win is a win at this level. If it’s a dominant performance, that’s the cherry on top. The 49ers looked perfect against Green Bay on Sunday – after two nail-biters against Arizona and an overtime letdown against Seattle. What does that tell you? Just win the games.

Hi II, thanks for an always thought-provoking column. Fans tend to hang on to the emotional elements of a bad showing. The players cannot afford the luxury of brooding. They are already way past Sunday’s game. Knowing the players and personalities much better than we do, do you sense a tone of “Let’s just get back to doing what we do best”? Or does it feel as though there’s an urgency to “fix” things?

There is urgency to get this thing fixed but nobody is panicking. Whatever the outside sentiment, this is as headstrong and confident as any Packers team I’ve covered. As I’ve said time and time again, it’s not confidence for the sake of confidence – it’s real. When you’re confident, you aren’t afraid to critique. That’s the message LaFleur is sending to his team.

Roland from Oconomowoc, WI

The Packers keep talking it is the little things that matter, yet this team despite showing signs of brilliance has not come close to putting together a full game of keeping disciplined. What do you think is holding this team back from doing that?

Because football is a very complicated game.

Michael from Berrien Spring, MI

No question. Just hoping for something a little extra to give thanks for this Thanksgiving season. Please let Baltimore and Seattle win this week!

Get your drumsticks ready because this is a big weekend in the NFL, especially as it relates to the Vikings. Besides the Week 16 matchup with Green Bay, Minnesota faces Detroit, the Chargers and Bears to finish the regular season – and three of those four come at home. The Packers need the Seahawks to give them some breathing room from the pesky Vikings.

Mark from Iron Mountain, WI

You say getting off to a fast start is essential. What good did a fast start against the 49ers do? Fifteen yards on the first two plays. Then?

Two plays for 15 yards is not a fast start. It’s a first down.

If there is any sense of the Packers looking past their next two opponents (NYG and Washington), they only have to look at what happened to the Duke Blue Devils against a university I never even heard of…they better not underestimate either team!

The Giants have lost seven straight. They’re giving the ball away at a remarkable rate. Saquon Barkley has struggled over the past month, and New York could be without two of its top players (Golden Tate and Jabrill Peppers) due to injury. At the same time, New York has lost four of its last five by only one score. The Packers absolutely, positively, cannot look past the Giants. Do what you do and get the ball moving again.

Jeff from Clarksville, TN

Rashan Gary has the speed to play ILB. Why not get him more reps there? I mean imagine that coming at you downhill! Yikes!

Because he’s not an inside linebacker. What makes Gary an intriguing pass-rushing prospect is his size and his speed. He can rotate inside like Za’Darius Smith but he’s not an inside linebacker. League-wide, that position is getting smaller – not bigger.

II, despite great respect for the job you are doing, I think you ignored the question from Alan of LA regarding our poor special teams performance. The sight of multiple occasions when an opponent gunner leads two Packers’ blockers down the field toward the punt receiver after five months’ training screams for action. Yes, our blockers can be replaced. There are 53 guys on the roster and I’d bet they include four guys who can do it better. That would be accountability, wouldn’t it?

You want blockers replaced? Well, Josh Jackson was active on Sunday, wasn’t he? They used him as a gunner, too, did they not? So what do you want? Backups who haven’t played all year becoming every-down players? Or better yet, cut players who have been on the roster for six months to pick up guys not currently on any of the 31 other NFL rosters? When you’re an 8-3 team, there’s no reason to react like a 3-8 team. That’s a losing mentality. Get better and do it better.

There is no need to change our roster. Our team will get faster in a hurry with better game planning that places players in more advantageous spots to make plays. We will also get faster if players are more mentally prepared and alert to anticipating and making plays. Additional benefit: probably fewer penalties.


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