Aaron Rodgers Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Aaron Rodgers: Nine more years?


 

The Green Bay Packers and their all-world quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, lost one more time Sunday to the San Francisco 49ers – after which Rodgers made the comment that he has been in the league for nine years and would like to play nine more.

However, he also intimated that with each passing season of not winning a championship, the chances for doing so tend to diminish. In other words, the window is closing – and it may be closing faster than he or Packers fans want to realize.

Rodgers, who in 2010 won his first and only Super Bowl, was confident at that time that the Packers would be back in the big game more than once before he left the game.

Well, that was four years ago.

Rodgers, who continues to play at a high level is considered one of, if not the best quarterback in the league.

Is Matt Flynn the answer at backup quarterback for the Green Bay Packers? Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Is Matt Flynn the answer at backup quarterback for the Green Bay Packers?
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

However, the NFL is a fickle league. Winners are usually the teams that happen to get hot at just the right moment (see Packers of 2010); winners are also determined by a minimum of injuries and a little bit of luck.

The luck ran out on the 2013 Packers on Sunday and unless the team makes strides in improving these key areas – the backup quarterback, the offensive line, the defensive line, and the defensive backfield – the Packers may be seeing another championship drought for the foreseeable future.

Packers GM Ted Thompson has made attempts to shore up the defense and offensive line through the draft over the past few years. He’s hit on some players (Mike Daniels, Micah Hyde), but has also swung and missed on others (Derek Sherrod – though his injury has kept him off the field; M.D. Jennings, Davon House, and Jerron McMillian). Some will say they are questioning the skill level of Morgan Burnett after he was considered the second coming of Nick Collins and given a big contract extension at the beginning of this season. However, after missing the first four games of the regular season due to injury, Burnett never seemed to get back to the level where everyone expected him to play. That may change next year, but that in itself is problematic.

Davon House has had potential, but hasn't been able to translate that talent on the field. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Davon House has had potential, but hasn’t been able to translate that talent on the field.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

But back to Rodgers.

He wants to win and has the contract in place now to make sure he doesn’t go anywhere for the next four or five seasons.

That’s all well and good, but Packers management clearly has to do a better job of putting players in place around Rodgers that are going to perform at that championship level. Packers fans expect a quality product placed on the field – on both sides of the ball. Granted, the Packers fell apart when Rodgers went down this season, but that’s the type of thing that good teams with competent management overcome. While the Packers did eventually overcome a winless month of November with a couple of miracle wins in early December and a rousing finish against Chicago to win the NFC North Division for the third straight year, it wasn’t enough to extend their playoff push.

They once again lost to the San Francisco 49ers who will now move on to play Carolina next weekend while the Packers watch. Like the Packers of the 1990s trying to beat the Dallas Cowboys, it seems the rivalry with the Niners is reaching that level and won’t be resolved until management does something to turn around the level of play at several positions.

If the Packers can bring about improvement at the positions around Rodgers, the next nine years that he wants to stick around are going to be difficult and frustrating ones for Aaron Rodgers. And to put it bluntly – he’s too great of a talent to see the best years of his career go by without winning at least one more Super Bowl.

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  • Bob Wysocki

    Ted thompson has to utilize both the draft and free agency to build the team. The Packers have too many holes to fill with the draft alone. The good news is Capers will have another off season to try and figure out how to stop Kapernik and the fortyniners (make that anyone). And maybe we will get an offensive coordinator who has some imagination and can get the plays in on time so we can save our timeouts. Hope springs eternal!

  • nicholas starling

    Bob, it’s like you were reading my mind. Thompson has to dip into free agency. There are to many holes to fill via the Draft alone. Two should be enough. And I couldn’t agree more about the offense. Their 3rd down completion rate is a travesty. This offense has to much talent to be playing at the level they have been. They should be scoring more like the Eagles.

  • MNPackAttack

    I agree with both of you, Bob & Nicholas, Ted Thompson needs to supplement his draft picks with Free Agents. The 2010 Packers had a nice mix of veterans via Free Agency in addition to solid draft picks. In addition to retooling the roster the Packers really need to take a very hard look at the Strength & Conditioning staff since it seems the Packers have more serious injuries than any other team in the NFL. I noticed in the game against the 49ers that the Packers lost Shields, Neal & Mulumba for the rest of the game whereas the 49ers only lost Aldon Smith who returned. I really hope the Packers examine everything very carefully on all sides of the ball as well as with the coaching staffs so that they can surround Aaron Rodgers with the talent & coaching to help the Packers win Championships. If they do not reverse this trend we may lose Rodgers early via retirement or Free Agency. I really hate to squander a talented QB like Aaron Rodgers’ career with mediocre or injured talent & poor conditioning and coaching. I have faith that Ted Thompson & Mike McCarthy will figure out how to turn this thing around. Regardless of what happens I will always be a Packers fan. Go Pack!

  • Tom Collins

    He’ll probably play for the Packers another 6 or 7 years, bust his butt trying to win a few more Super Bowls, and then get bounced out of his job by some young stud a la Brett Favre.

  • Loren Baldwin

    Wonder if there is any thought on replacing MM with an OC that actually has some imagination in calling plays. MM seems to be very predictable in his play-calling. Seems that Rodgers could have done better to roll out of the pocket to keep away from the SF pressure and avoid the costly sacks. Just seems like somebody dedicated to the play-calling and not managing the whole staff and team would be a better fit.