Cause For Optimism
[Note: Considering my recent gush fest for the Packers' upcoming season, I thought why not continue the positive outlook. Being a a guy who always sees a glass half empty, I'm trying to place a more positive spin on 2010. I originally wrote this in mid-May, and despite the updates, it might sound a bit dated. Cause for pessimism will follow shortly.]
The Green Bay Packers were 11-5 last season, and they very easily could have ended up 13-3. Two late game losses, one being a near miracle pass by the now infamous Ben Roethlisberger, were the only reasons Mike McCarthy and company did not finish with 13 wins. With nearly everyone returning and a couple newly added pieces, there is no reason not to believe the Packers will be a better team in 2010.
When someone hands me a present, I don’t look them in the eye and say “what a terrible gift!” No, when you are given a gift without having to pay back anything in return, you accept it gladly.
That’s how I view this draft/offseason. Every significant piece of this team is back, and the newly added additions can only make them better. Green Bay might not have won the Powerball Jackpot with their 2010 offseason, but that 500 bucks from the local lottery will still help in the long run.
Of course losing Jonny Jolly on the defensive line does leave a pair of fat, playmaking shoes to be filled. Still, I think the defense will be just fine, so long as they continue to force turnovers. And we all know how deadly the offense already is. Aaron Rodgers will be an MVP candidate, and Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings and the ageless Donald Driver should be absolutely electric once again. Oh yeah, and their 1250+ yard, 11 touchdown running back, Ryan Grant, he’s returning as well. Stats may lie, but 1 lost fumble doesn’t.
If the team that secured an 11-5 record last season and barely lost a playoff overtime heart breaker is still intact, then the offseason acquisitions are a welcomed gratuity. It might not be a shiny new Bugatti Veyron ($1.7 million) , but that scooter can still be put to profitable use. Yes, there is definitely cause to be optimistic as a Packer fan.
Anytime NFL rankings are released with the Packers consistently placed within the top 10, I instantly channel Debbie Downer from Saturday Night Live. I would much rather have Green Bay considered a sleeper that surprises, but those expectations are there this time around whether we like it or not, ugh. Also, their schedule is stacked compared to 2009, yikes. Add that to inevitable injuries, aging, bad breaks, folding under the pressure…NO! Not this year. Every team likes to believe they have a chance to win the Superbowl in July. Sorry Detroit, St. Louis, not you. For now I’m siding with the masses, or at least until the Packers’ first loss. Per the Obama campaign, “yes we can” (Fingers crossed).