Packers Offseason: Imitating the Super Bowl Teams

On Sunday, Green Bay Packers fans will sit at home watching two other teams play in the Super Bowl for the fifth straight season. If you can stomach watching the game, pay attention to how the rosters of the Falcons and Patriots were constructed.

The Falcons have transformed themselves from a team with a good passing game and a terrible defense, to one of the most well-rounded teams in the whole league in just two seasons. They invested heavily in the draft, but they also addressed the weaknesses on their team through free agency and trades. On offense, they added WR Taylor Gabriel and C Alex Mack after they were cut by the Browns, WR Mohamed Sanu as a free agent, and traded for G Andy Levitre. Their offensive line immediately paid dividends, as they’ve become a really good running team in addition to the aerial show from Ryan to Julio Jones, Sanu, and Gabriel.

On defense they’ve supplemented their young talent from the draft with DEs Dwight Freeney, Tyson Jackson, Adrian Clayborn (now on the IR), and OLBs Brooks Reed and Courtney Upshaw. They’ve been able to acquire veteran presence and proven talent through means other than the draft, and it has paid huge dividends for the Falcons. Perhaps their most aggressive move dates back to trading a bunch of picks to the Browns to move way up in the draft and take Julio Jones.

Green Bay Packers Offseason Preview

The Patriots have always used free agency and trades better than any other team in the league. On offense they have acquired WRs Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, and Michael Floyd (who was cut midseason for off the field issues), TE Martellus Bennett, and re-acquired RB LeGarrette Blount. On defense you’ll see DE Alan Branch, Chris Long, Jabal Sheard, LB Shea McClellin, and S Patrick Chung. They’ve also traded for LBs Barkevious Mingo, Kyle Van Noy, and CB Eric Rowe. The Patriots are constantly taking on veterans other teams didn’t want to pay. They get them at a discount and allow them to revitalize their career. Some players move on after short contracts and New England gets compensatory draft picks. Some players enjoy winning and stay with the team. There is a reason why the Patriots are in the AFC Championship or Super Bowl every year.

I am not asking Ted Thompson to go out and make a splash on one or two big name free agents. I would prefer 5-7 veteran minimum deals or trades for lower draft picks. Following the model of the two teams in a Super Bowl would help to alleviate some of the major concerns on the defensive side of the football, and allow the Packers to utilize their picks on players who can really put them over the top (like another athletic pass catching Tight End). If the Packers are not aggressive this offseason, we will probably be watching our favorite players in the Pro Bowl instead of the Super Bowl again next year.

Andrew Mertig is a a lifelong Packers fan and draft enthusiast. He has covered the NFL draft for radio and television stations in Green Bay. He is currently a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewmertig
Share
  • packers fan

    Something needs to be done about the defense! Sign Gilmore and draft Jalen Tabor. Also please draft Soloman Thomas as well. A 3-4 outside linebacker!

    • Andrew

      Love the idea of Gilmore, but would like to see one more veteran. Tabor may end up being available at the end of the first.

  • shavager

    ANDREW–COUNT better my friend—this will be SIX CONSECUTIVE SEASONS (not five) Packers got SENT HOME because of a DUMB Capers DEFENSE or lack of one! Capers defenses from ’11 to ’16 AVERAGE giving up MORE POINTS PER GAME, MORE Total yds per game, MORE Pass yds per game, MORE Run yds per game than McCarthy’s offense can generate, FACT!! IN 11 playoff games–Capers “D” has given up 27 POINTS, 402 Total yds, 264 Pass yds, and 139 RUN yds PER playoff game average. McCarthy/Rodgers offense AVERAGE SCORING 26 POINTS per game, 362 Total yds per game, 250 Pass yds per game and 113 RUN yds per game==THAT’s LOSING FOOTBALL and THAT IS what Capers has given the Green Bay Packers for SIX consecutive seasons. Since Capers has been “DC”–his defenses have given up MOST POINTS ever scored against a Packers playoff team over 96 YEARS of TEAM history!! They gave up SECOND most and THIRD most points ever given up by a Packers playoff team over TEAM history!! McCarthy has now LOST as many playoff games in TEN years as Lombardi, Holmgren and Curly Lambeau LOST in 30 YEARS OF PLAYOFF APPEARANCES!!