Maybe they can’t find another angle, maybe it was the only thing they could think about, but NFL Network analysts Heath Evans, Lindsay Rhodes, and Willie McGinnest took a shot at answering the question – is the window closing on the Green Bay Packers?
The question was one asked as part of a segment where the three expressed their views on all four teams in the NFC North. As the winner of the division two straight years, the Packers, with a 15-1 divisional record over those two years, are seeing some significant changes this offseason, starting with the retirement of Donald Driver, continuing with the release of Charles Woodson and the impending departure of wide receiver Greg Jennings. Yes, it seems the old guard is starting to be a thing of the past and it’s time for a new regime.
Does that mean the window’s closing? Absolutely not. Are the other three teams doing all they can to narrow the gap? Certainly. But the Packers are a team that continues to evolve, thanks to the creative and forward thinking of Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy and their staff. Using the draft – and even more importantly – the undrafted free agent route they continue to bring in players that up the competition on the field and deepen the talent pool of the 53-man roster.
As long as the Packers take care of their core – Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, B.J. Raji – as well as those who make this team elite – James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang and that incredibly young and talented group of defensive backs, the Packers will year-in and year-out be the team to beat in the division and one of the top five teams in the conference, if not the league.
Yes, they have holes to fill (running back, offensive line, defensive line, inside linebackers), but that’s what the draft is for. There are also some important questions – will they bring back Cedric Benson? Will they keep Jermichael Finley and A.J. Hawk? Will D.J. Smith and Desmond Bishop come off their significant injuries in time to bring stability to the position? Will the young defensive backfield take the next step in 2013?
But the window is far from closing on the Green Bay Packers in 2013. They are still the elite of the division and the NFC.