A friend worries a bit too much


I keep telling Doug, my friend and the sports editor at the Tahoe Daily Tribune in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., that he shouldn’t worry so much.
“Doug,” I tell him, “we’re the world champions. Stop worrying so much about 2011. This team will repeat with no problem.”
He points to Detroit and Chicago in the North, Atlanta and New Orleans in the South and the entire East Division and says any of those teams can overtake the Pack this year and you know what? I guess he’s right.
He also points out that the Pack didn’t even win the division last year … He’s right about that, too.
But I think he still worries too much. To me, it’s time for this team to reload and repeat.
But to honor my friend, I’ll give him a chance to tell us why he’s worried … The following  are his thoughts and why he is looking toward this season with trepidation:
“I am more worried about what we DON’T do in free agency. This year isn’t quite as desirable as others – having the second youngest team in the NFL and putting nearly all the pieces back in play this year makes any PackPhan feel comfortable. We just can’t stand by and not do ANYTHING. Teams that do that aren’t improving, I feel. We need to keep the feeling of competition within the group. “Going out and getting a tight end in the draft was HUGE. It’s going to make both Quarless and Finley take a look at what they are doing to keep their spots on the team. Whether it’s run blocking, catching passes or being asked to lock down a defensive end 1-on-1 on 3rd and 15.
“I still have a question mark around the running back position just because there hasn’t been any stability there over the past two seasons.
“With Starks coming on, Grant will again feel the pressure to perform. He’s had a breakout year, but he must come back to prove that he wasn’t a flash in the pan.
“James Jones needs to get better. He can’t be dropping every other TD pass that comes his way. We got away with it last year because we had so much talent at that position, but his inconsistency was too noticeable. Same goes for Jordy Nelson – though I think he’s a little more dependable between the hashes in the slot.
“The linebacker spots are going to be something to watch as well. Teams that run the 3-4 successfully have down years – production-wise – once teams figure out their blitz schemes. Hawk didn’t run too well with slot guys, and with Collins and Bigby being gone half the time it didn’t help either.
“If we don’t become more athletic there, we’re standing still and not getting any better.
“Collins needs to take a lot at what he’s doing for himself vs. for the team. Too many times you see the ‘Darren Sharper’ come out in him which we all know – KILLS US – in pressure situations ‘cough, cough, 4th-26 ….’ ‘cough cough, NFC Championship Game in San Fran, cough, cough, T.O.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4th_and_26
“I really think Tramon Williams will be a STUD on the exterior of our defense. He’s already shown the willingness to come up and tackle, and no receiver in the league is going to run by him. He needs to get stronger in the bump and run, but for the most part, he’s another Charles Woodson in the making.
“Woodson I think is best suited at safety, so if we can go and produce another lock-down type corner, and let Tramon roam a bit like what we did this season with Charles,  we’re going to be tough to stop.
“Oh, did I mention we have this Rodgers guy playing QB too?  If he does what he did last year, and doesn’t win the NFL’s MVP, I’ll piss on Roger Goddell’s $1,000 Italian leather shoes!”
Lets hope doug doesn’t have to soil the commissioner’s shoes!