Bringing the Title Back to Town: Green Bay Packers Training Camp Report
Many things are synonymous with the Green Bay Packers. First there's the cold, then there's the whole cheesehead thing, and then there's the most important tradition of all.
From a fan perspective, thinking of the Green Bay Packers as a non-winning team, is almost unimaginable. After all, their history speaks for itself when it comes to how many wins and losses the green and yellow have put forward over the years.
But although the Packers most recent Super Bowl win was more than 10 years ago, a certain spell has been cast over Green Bay, and to put it simply, anything other than a winning record is more than unacceptable.
Perhaps for the most part, we can thank the late, great Vince Lombardi for this. Considering that he did make the quote of "If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?" famous, I guess it is fair to say that winning has been embedded into this team from the very beginning.
However, aside from looking back at the long list of memories that the Green Bay Packers have given us over the decades, now comes a time in Packer history that will tell either a very promising, or a very disappointing one.
For you see, the Green Bay Packers are Super Bowl-bound. Well, that's what the Packer faithful would have you believe anyway. But realistically, who can argue with how impressive this team looks both on paper, and on the field this year?
I know I can't.
Therefore, when it comes to expectations, the Packers hopes and dreams must all come together neatly and tidily this season and ultimately result in the form of Super Bowl success.
Now I know that I did say the Packers look great at the present time, but at the end of the day, this is what every Packer fan expects every year.
Sure the bike rides to the practice fields are a very humbling tradition, but in each and every Packer fans mind that is in attendance, the glistening thought of the Lombardi Trophy sits atop the priority list.
While we're talking about it though, just how close are Green Bay to taking home the silverware this season?
I guess while we are talking about it, the most promising signs have come out of Packer training camp, as Green Bay have been quiet, but developing at an alarming rate in the past week.
To begin, the promising signs of course start with Aaron Rodgers. I think we are all aware of how scary this guy really is, considering that he is the only quarterback to throw for 4,000+ yards in his first two starting seasons.
Backing up Aaron Rodgers is of course what I like to call, The Two Stooges. Given that, they aren't smashing plates over their heads, and they are both quite intelligent. But Greg Jennings and Donald Driver are as close as it gets, and this is just fine when it comes to team chemistry.
Finally, we have the new man about town, Jermichael Finley. He has a new nickname "TGIF - Thank God It's Finley", and is now addicted to Twitter.
More importantly though, he steps into the starting role, and is such a fantastic target for Aaron Rodgers this year.
So I guess right now, everything is wrapped up in a neat little package, right?
Yes, believe it or not, this seemingly God-given gift to football does have a problem or two.
The first one comes as no news to anybody: the offensive line. Bryan Bulaga has now been placed in the hunt for the left guard spot, and while he seems likely to win it, it is still a questionable move to some, given that he has zero experience in top flight football.
Secondly, the concern stems back to the defense, which is funny seeing as though the Packers were ranked second overall last season.
With Al Harris still sadly out, Atari Bigby is now offering up some problems of his own. Bigby, who has missed the start of camp, and is now appearing to be injured, has disappointed most of the G-Force right now.
Luckily there is a solution to this problem, as draft pick Morgan Burnett from Georgia Tech now has made Ted Thompson look smart, and he looks to become the new starting safety in a matter of time.
The positives for the Packers are simple; there are only a few problems. If you look at other teams right now, Green Bay have managed to avoid any injury bug barring Al Harris and Atari Bigby, and haven't had the unfortunate event of losing one of their key players to a silly injury.
Other positives, of course, include team chemistry. As usual, there have been no offseason tribulations aside from Johnny Jolly, and the Packers have managed to stay out of the media, and kept their minds directed toward football.
The last positive now comes from a coaching point of view. I think every Packer fan has been pleased with both Dom Capers and Kevin Greene, both of whom have transformed the Green Bay Packer defense to dizzying new heights.
Fortunately, the good news doesn't stop there. Capers' creative ways on defense are beginning to show already, and his work with Clay Matthews has been duly noted.
Week One Wrap Up
List Week One down as a success; the Packers have done well. Don't forget some of the concerns, but all in all, Green Bay have responded to the pressure this season bears.
G-Force was out in full voice during team practices this week, and this only further says that Packer faithfuls are confident in their team's ability to get the full job done this season.
If Rodgers plays well, and the entire team stays healthy, there's no reason this team can't go even further than what this season allows them.
To think that dull days laid ahead when Brett Favre retired, are now almost laughable, as this team is really moving forward.
Close to 50,000 people turned out strong for Packer practices and the fans want some hardware. Some teams crumble under this type of strain, others don't. Green Bay look to be one of those others.
Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report . He is also an NFL columnist for Real Sports Net and a Green Bay Packers writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters . Ryan is also a contributing writer for Detroit Lions Talk, Gack Sports and Generation Y Sports . Don't forget to follow him on Twitter .
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