The year is 1966 and the Green Bay Packers are once again in the NFL Championship game and once again legendary head coach Vince Lombardi leads them to victory from the sidelines, but on the field, what are the Packers know for?
The year is 1996 and 30 years after their last Super Bowl, Mike Holmgren leads the Packers to victory via the West Coast Offense which he learned under Bill Walsh, but what is Green Bay's biggest strength?
The year is 2002, the Packers finish 12-4 behind great coaching and the usually brilliant body of work demenstrated by Brett Favre. But if its not Favre, who is it in terms of offensive production for the Green Bay Packers?
If you answered the running game to these three questions you are absolutely correct. But since the Packers have put Greg Jennings, Ruvell Martin, Jordy Nelson and James Jones with former 6th round draft pick Donald Driver the Packers have turned into a team that can pass the pigskin with the likes of New England and Arizona. The talent level for the Packers is not limited to the offensive side of the ball. After taking two giant steps back from their 2007 team defensively the Packers front office decided to make up ground by using little steps through the draft. The Packers selected Boston College DT BJ Raji with their first pick and traded up to take USC linebacker Clay Matthews. BJ Raji is expected to help the Packers run defense which was suspect last season. With Dom Capers moving in to Green Bay as defensive coordinator and with him his 3-4 scheme, Clay Matthews is expected to fill the other outside linebacker spot the opposite of AJ Hawk.
Green Bay may have a potent passing attack but they don't limit themselves to using 4 and 5 wide receivers every single play. The running game is lead by Ryan Grant but is not limited to the former Notre Dame back. Green Bay also has Brandon Jackson, Deshawn Wynn and Kregg Lumpkin to battle for the back up running back position.
If there is one thing the Packers struggled with the most last year it was winning close games and if there is one thing that will help that it will be a healthy and improved defense. Dom Capers is know for getting the most out of his defenses and although they are switching schemes the offense should be able to rely on the defense to force three-and-outs and timley turnovers.
In the end there is really only two changes from the team the team that nearly went to the Super Bowl in the 2007-2008 season.
1. Aaron Rodgers takes the place of Brett Favre at quarterback. Although Rodgers was not the risk taking gun slinger Brett Favre was, he was still effective in his first year as starting quarterback. If there was one thing that both surprised and impressed me last season about Aaron Rodgers it was his mobility and his ability to make plays using his mobility, an attribute Green Bay didn't have during the Favre era.
2. Dom Capers' 3-4 scheme takes the place of Bob Sanders' 4-3 scheme. This should help the personnel that Packers have because they now have good depth at linebacker and their quick defensive lineman now can be versatile and play among the entire defensive line.
Regardless of those two changes the Packers should return to past glory by using their balance offensively and their depth and quickness defensively to exploit teams weaknesses all season long.