The Green Bay Packers To-Do List
While the Packers had a solid draft, there are still some holes to fill on both the offense and the defense. Ted Thompson would rather build through the draft then succumb to risky free agent signings, which I don't blame him for.
Here are five things that I believe the Packers need to do to make a return back to the glory days:
1. Solidify our once unstoppable Special Teams unit
Will Blackmon looks as if he has the goods to be the next Desmond Howard, but one season with a few returns doesn't mean anything if you can't do it consistently.
Look for special teams coach Shawn Slocum to push Blackmon to the next level, which will only make life easier for the offense.
2. Correct the questionable play calling issues
Mike McCarthy has a bad habit of becoming too conservative and too predictable in the second half of games. That's what killed us in the 2008 NFC Championship game against the Giants and it killed us last year on the road and at home.
The Packers rely too heavily on Ryan Grant to pound it up the middle, even when the run clearly isn't working. If I see the classic "dink and dunk" play run once more (where Rodgers flips the ball to Grant and gains maybe, oh, 2 yards) I'm going to run on the field and demand that McCarthy resign at once.
3. Get the secondary all on the same page
If you can count on one hand how many times the Packers secondary got burned for a touchdown last season, you're clearly not remembering all of them.
I'm a huge supporter of Atari Bigby, Nick Collins, Al Harris, and Charles Woodson, but they got mixed up in coverage far too often last year, which yielded huge, momentum-depleting touchdowns for our opponents (come on, you MUST remember Monday night against New Orleans?).
For every great offensive drive, the momentum was completely lost the minute the defense gave up a long TD. I'll allow a free pass for the 11/30 game against Carolina because, well, Steve Smith is just really damn good.
4. Stop the BIG plays
Last year the Packers allowed 12 touchdowns on plays of 20 yards or more. They also allowed 14 runs of 20 or more yards, which made them fifth worst in the NFL. This is fairly self explanatory: stop big plays, win more games. For further explanation, see step No. 3.
5. Utilize Donald Lee more often
Donald Lee was a big asset for us last season, grabbing five touchdowns and becoming an effective blocker for the run game.
If the Packers utilize Lee more often, our wide receivers can get open more often and the running game should be able to bust open some big plays.
Lee has great hands and good downfield vision, something all good tight ends need. Work him into the offense more, and we can probably notch an extra win on the schedule.
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