Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers raised some eyebrows the other day when he was asked once again about the Green Bay Packers – and specifically about whether the team is big enough, fast enough and more importantly, physical enough to compete in today’s NFL.
The NFL continues to grow, as does the size of the players who don the uniforms of the 32 teams.
Bigger, stronger, faster … that’s the NFL of today.
What caught everyone’s attention the other day was how Rodgers saw his team in the past when they hit the field against opponents.
“I think we’re a bigger, more physically intimidating team. We haven’t had the kind of physical talent as far as size here in a while. I think there’s been times — I think back to playing Jacksonville in ’08 in Jacksonville [a 20-16 Packers' loss], some of the battles we’ve had with our division teams at times — where you walk on the field and feel like you’re kind of a JV team.”
“We’ve still won a lot of games looking like that, but it’s fun when you walk around the locker room and you’ve got guys like [Julius] Peppers, [Adrian] Hubbard, Datone Jones and then with Derek [Sherrod] back with his size, adding size at receiver, tight end with Richard Rodgers. We just haven’t had guys in some of these positions with those body types, and that’s exciting.”
Size and intimidation has always been the norm in the NFL, but with the players coming out of college these days, it’s become even more important for teams to try to bulk up, speed up and develop a mean streak.
But for the Packers, there have been many over the past few years who have said they aren’t big enough, strong enough, fast enough or physical enough to win a championship.
In fact, many have said the Packers are soft.
They’ve been trying to do something about it and Rodgers’ comments this week has once again drawn interest.
Rodgers went on to say in that same interview:
“It’s natural when teams win the Super Bowl, everybody takes a hard look at what makes their team a championship-caliber team,” Rodgers said. “With Seattle, you’ve got large players in positions you haven’t quite seen that size player in a while.
“Both of their corners, [Brandon] Browner and [Richard] Sherman — I know Browner didn’t play a whole lot because of his suspension and injury — are bigger corners. You’re seeing bigger wide receivers. You’re seeing larger guys up front in size and length. That’s kind of the trend to combat some of the athleticism on the defensive size. On the flip side, it’s to have big tight ends and big wide receivers and big offensive linemen to combat them, whereas a few years ago you saw kind of a mix of the zone blocking scheme, smaller quicker offensive linemen. Now you’re going back to bigger guys on the offensive line.”
Yes, the Packers have taken the steps to compete with the big boys across the league, but we also can’t scoff at the fact that the Packers have won three straight NFC North Division titles, have been consistent contenders for a spot in the playoffs and have won a Super Bowl in the past five years.
Do they need to get bigger, faster and stronger?
But they’ve been doing pretty well as a “JV team.”