Hello again Packer fans. After a brief hiatus to re-introduce myself to the wife and kids, I am back to once again discuss all things Packers. I have had several weeks to digest the Packers playoff loss to the Cardinals and their season, in general. As the Super Bowl (oops, “the Big Game”) approaches, I am left to wonder what might have been.
What might have been if the Packers had brought in some experienced DB help (not talking Josh Bell, here) like the Saints did when injuries hit their secondary? The Saints brought three different CBs in until they found the right combination to stabilize their secondary.
What might have been if Ted Thompson hadn’t traded up to pick Clay Matthews? Imagine the Packers defense without his QB pressures, 10 sacks, and big plays.
What might have been if Al Harris had not been lost to injury? Besides the obvious effect of moving Jarret Bush up the depth chart, it very much affected what Dom Capers could do with Defensive Player of the Year Charles Woodson. As I predicted in this article , Capers could no longer afford to risk bringing Woodson on blitzes and leaving the other inexperienced cornerbacks to fend for themselves.
What might have been if 23 other teams hadn’t passed on Aaron Rodgers? I don’t think I’ve ever properly expressed my gratitude, so let me officially say “thank you guys.” Getting Rodgers was like finding a Lexus in your driveway on Christmas morning. By the way, does that ever really happen?
What might have been if the Packers had a kicking game? I mean a real kicking game. I mean a punter that could occasionally pin a team back inside their 10-yard line. I mean a place kicker that could be depended upon to make a big field goal when the team needs it most. Yes, that kind of kicking game.
What might have been if Charles Woodson hadn’t decided to come to the last place on earth he wanted to be: Green Bay? For Charles Woodson? Really? YES!
What might have been if Scott Green wasn’t refereeing the Packers-Cardinals playoff game? And for doing such a fabulous job, he’s rewarded by being named as the Super Bowl referee. Business as usual in the NFL.
What might have been if Ted Thompson hadn’t plucked Jermichael Finley in the third round of the 2008 NFL draft? Still only 22 at the time of this article, Finley has a world of upside and could very well crack the all-pro lineup next season. Much like Shonn Greene was the steal of the ‘09 draft, Finley will carry that title for the ‘08 draft.
What might have been if the Packers hadn’t seriously underestimated their depth at offensive tackle and the trickle-down effect seen when three starting positions were changed?
Granted, there aren’t many good tackles out there that you could bring in as a reserve, but how about a right tackle to compete for the job in camp with Barbre and Giacomini? Or why wasn’t T.J. Lang given a real shot at the RT job? I believe Mike McCarthy had his starting OL set in his mind before camp even started. Personally, I’m for open competition.
What might have been if Bob Sanders was still the defensive coordinator of the Packers? Dom Capers led an amazing turnaround for the Packers defense. Sure, there were some bad games. But remember, the majority of the personnel on the Packers defense were drafted to play in 4-3 scheme.
While some players can make quick adjustments, others will struggle. For everyone who is still blaming Capers for not blitzing more against the Vikings, Steelers and Cardinals, you’re misguided. Capers had to pick his poison against the better quarterbacks. And with nobody other than Clay Matthews getting to the quarterback, he chose coverage. It was all he could do.
What might have been if Brett Favre was still on the Packers? Nah, just kidding on that one.
This article officially concludes my looking back on the 2009 season. From this point on, I’ll be focusing on the NFL Draft and the 2010 season. In the near future, I’ll be posing a series of questions I feel need to be answered to make for a successful Super Bowl run in 2010. Stay tuned…