This is the worst time of the year for Green Bay Packers fans.
The return of football is so close. So very, very close. Less than a month away until the team takes the field for Training Camp at Nitschke Field. Yet it seems so far away.
Time just seems to stand still during this dead time of the football calendar year. Every day is one day closer to football, but it sure does not seem like it.
Because the days seem to go slower during these dog days of Summer, this allows for ample time to think about the upcoming season, and ask plenty of questions about it.
Why spend time asking questions about the season? Because they need to be asked. As much as everyone may want to believe that the Packers are prepared to go undefeated, scoring an infinite number of points while allowing zero in the process, and culminating in a Super Bowl victory, this is just not the case. The Packers have on paper made improvements, but there are still plenty of questions surrounding this team.
Optimism is high, but it does not mean that the questions should not be asked.
Here are just a few of the questions that I have thought about in the past week about the 2014 Packers:
- Will Eddie Lacy continue to be a force on offense, or will a healthy Aaron Rodgers shift the focus on offense back to the passing game?
- Speaking of Aaron Rodgers, will he stay healthy this season?
- If Aaron Rodgers were to get injured again this season, will Matt Flynn be able to effectively run the offense?
- What about Scott Tolzien? Is he the next Matt Flynn, or the next Graham Harrell?
- Many were expecting a Lacy/Starks/Franklin/Harris four headed monster at running back. Now that Johnathan Franklin has been forced to retire due to injury, how will this affect the Packers plans?
- Will Derek Sherrod finally be able to contribute, or will the Packers just cut their losses with the former first round pick?
- Speaking of first round picks, where is Nick Perry?
- Who will get their contract extension first-Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb? When will this happen? Will it happen?
- How will Bryan Bulaga be one he puts the pads back on?
- Will David Bakhtiari be able to improve as a player protecting the $120 million blindside of Aaron Rodgers, or will he suffer through a sophomore slump?
- How exactly does Julius Peppers fit on this team?
- Is this the year that Clay Matthews finally stays healthy for an entire season?
- Is Dom Capers seriously going to go with AJ Hawk and Brad Jones at ILB this year?
- How motivated will BJ Raji be this season, after leaving millions of dollars on the table because of poor play the past two seasons? And what if his play 2012-13 continues-then what?
- Is all of this talk about the defense being more “nasty” this season a serious approach to the defense, or just talk?
- Will Casey Hayward’s hamstring stay in one piece?
- Was Tramon Williams’ play at the end of the 2013 season a mirage-will he revert back to 2012 form?
- Is Ha-Ha Clinton Dix the answer at Safety, or will he be another first round pick who will fail to meet expectations?
- Who will be returning kicks for this team? Does Shawn Slocum have a plan?
- Which Mason Crosby will show up-the ice cold 2012 version, or the red hot 2013 edition?
Lot of questions for a team with Super Bowl aspirations, isn’t it?
Perhaps I’m just a little paranoid about this season. Four years removed from the Super Bowl season of 2010 without even so much of a return to the NFC Championship game has left me wondering if this team is capable of getting back to the top of the league. The talent is there to do so. But three years of early playoff losses have caused doubt-and plenty of it.
If the Packers are able to overcome most if not all of the questions that were asked, they will be in prime position to earn their 14th NFL title this season. If not…..well, let’s not worry about that right now.
John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio. ---------------------
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio.You can follow John on twitter at jrehor or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.