Green Bay Packers: Correcting the 4 Biggest Misconceptions About Green Bay
While some of these reputations are well-deserved, there are also a handful of them that are complete misconceptions about the team.
Today we'll take a look at four of these misconceptions and correct them.
The Packers Can't Run
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
It isn't so much that the Green Bay Packers can't run, it is more of the fact that they choose not to run as often as other teams.
During the 2011 season, Green Bay only attempted 395 rushes as an entire team. That was good for the seventh lowest of all teams and over 150 less attempts than the top team, the Denver Broncos.
However, when starting running backs James Starks and Ryan Grant did actually touch the ball, they both averaged over four yards per carry. In fact, there were times when Starks and Grant were crucial to a victory thanks to their late-game running and the ability to drain time off the clock and pick up first downs.
Whenever you have a player like Aaron Rodgers on your roster, your run game is going to look worse than it actually is. While the Packers certainly don't have a run-oriented offense, they do have the ability to move the ball on the ground. They sometimes just choose not to do so.
The Offensive Line Is Horrible
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Had you uttered to me that the Green Bay Packers' offensive line is horrible two years ago, I would have been fully on board. However, this unit has taken great strides towards being a competent group of players capable of protecting Aaron Rodgers.
Even with starters like Chad Clifton, Bryan Bulaga and Josh Sitton missing games in 2011 because of various injuries, the Packers only allowed 41 sacks on the entire season. While Green Bay didn't allow the fewest sacks in the NFL, they were also a ways off from the St. Louis Rams' 55 sacks given up in 2011.
The way you could really tell that the offensive line was improved was the fact that Rodgers was no longer constantly having to get outside the pocket because of pressure. Sure, there were designed plays that rolled him out, but we didn't see Rodgers running for his life because his offensive line broke down.
There is still room for improvement from this group, but they are at least moving in the right direction.
Tramon Williams Is Overrated
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
After an extremely impressive 2010 season that saw Tramon Williams get invited to the Pro Bowl, Williams didn't play up to the same level during the 2011 season. However, people who began calling Williams an overrated player were sorely mistaken.
While the entire Green Bay Packers' secondary gave up the most yards in the NFL, they were also tied for the lead with 31 interceptions and 43 overall turnovers. Williams recorded four of those interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. He also recorded more tackles in 2011 than he did in 2010 and had the second most passes defended in he entire NFL.
Let me remind you that he did this through a shoulder injury that lingered from the first week of the season against the New Orleans Saints. Due to that injury, Williams wasn't able to be as aggressive at the line of scrimmage against receivers as he usually is. He basically was forced to change his entire gameplan for the season because of that injury.
There is no doubt that Williams is still one of the better cornerbacks in the league, and better overall play from the secondary in 2012 with a fully healthy Williams should show that.
Aaron Rodgers Is a System Quarterback
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
This misconception became relevant after Matt Flynn threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in a Week 17 matchup against the Detroit Lions. That was one of the most impressive games ever played by a quarterback in the history of the Green Bay Packers, and it really got people wondering if Aaron Rodgers could thrive with a different team rather than Green Bay.
Well, the obvious answer to that question is that he would absolutely thrive with whatever team he was on. You see, you can't just look at the statistics, but how those statistics are obtained is what is important. Rodgers racked up his impressive yards and touchdowns by throwing ridiculously accurate passes that only his players could catch.
His overall body of play during the 2011 season was historic. That didn't happen because of the system he was in. That happened because of the player that Rodgers is.
That happened because the game's greatest quarterback happens to be wearing green and gold. If you were to put Rodgers on any other team, he'd still be the best the league has to offer.