Often, the NFL’s “offseason winners” don’t win when the regular season actually begins. But it’s hard not to be impressed by the Green Bay Packers’ work over the past six months.
Thirteen wins. Eighteen defeats. One tie. More importantly? Zero playoff games.
That’s a brief summary of the Green Bay Packers‘ past two seasons. For a team with a Hall-of-Fame quarterback and Super Bowl hopes each year, that’s simply not good enough.
Something had to change. And that’s exactly what happened. The Packers have made some smart offseason moves, and they now have the potential to bounce back and not only get back into playoff contention, but contend for a championship in 2019.
A change at head coach was inevitable, and so far, so good for Matt LaFleur. Davante Adams described LaFleur’s offense as “electrifying” on The Jim Rome Show. Lane Taylor said that the team has “bought in” to the new offense.
With the talent the Packers have on the roster, and with the opportunity to start over with a new offense, the potential for this team is sky-high.
Defensively, GM Brian Gutekunst made key additions at positions of need, balancing the need to be aggressive in free agency and the draft, while also not putting the team in a bad salary cap situation in future seasons. Gutekunst took risks, but not too many.
The Packers made the most of their cap space to address positions of need at edge rusher, safety and on the offensive line by making four signings in the first week of free agency.
Za’Darius and Preston Smith will both start at edge rusher, Adrian Amos at safety and Billy Turner has a great chance to start at guard. The Packers potentially added four difference makers at positions of need in free agency. And they then doubled down at each position, selecting edge rusher Rashan Gary, safety Darnell Savage Jr. and offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins with their first three draft picks.
Fortunately, the Packers also enter training camp without any notable injuries (except for the head coach, that is). Injuries will happen, but so far, the roster has been able to stay relatively healthy throughout the offseason.
From the coaching changes to the roster additions, this has been a good offseason for the Packers and fans have every reason to be excited about this team’s potential.
But this is only the beginning. Now the hard work begins at training camp in six weeks.