20 Questions About the 2014 Green Bay Packers

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.

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John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.

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 johnrehor@yahoo.com.

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14 thoughts on “20 Questions About the 2014 Green Bay Packers

  1. I won’t address every question, but do have some humble thoughts. Or not so humble, maybe.

    Lacy could actually benefit from more passing plays, both in production and health.

    Rodgers is everything. Talking about his backups is the old tallest midget discussion.

    Feel terrible for Franklin. He had a future in the league. But 3 RB’s is better than 4. It makes for an easier roster decision.

    Let’s consider the Perry & Peppers questions together. They used a 1st round pick for need, to address the lack of a pass rusher opposite Matthews, when there wasn’t an OLB worthy of that pick on the board. Perry was a DE, an they put that square peg in the round hole. Peppers is a DE, too. So, I’m guessing it could go two ways. They try the same thing with Peppers, or they could scheme things in order to fit Peppers AND Perry’s talents where they belong. Hybrid away, Dom.

    Hawk & Jones, no. Between different packages and Lattimore’s emerging game, there’ll be a little bit of everyone. I’m also pretty curious about Barrington, but may have to wait another year.

    Raji needs help from Capers if he’s going to show us his old self. If he’s allowed to shoot a gap off the snap, he could get back to playing on the other side of the LOS again. But, if his assignment is to tie up blockers, he’ll disappear for another year. In a way, I feel bad for him being mis-cast for a while.

    Does Slocum have a plan? Very important, but not so much as a returner or kicker question. The coverage teams may have been the worst problem that got the least discussion last season. Starting field position was a real problem last year, or perhaps the last few years. If the Packers can stop giving the opponent the ball on the 35 yard line, they could stop playing with a constant disadvantage.

  2. The only questions that are a real concern are those that have been about the defense and that still holds true today with a new twist.

    1)The Peppers plan.
    2)The search for ‘Perry’.
    3)Hybrids..making our own mold.
    4)The ‘Hamstrings’are us motto.
    5)Is it ‘all’ about Clay again.
    6)Square pegs and round holes syndrome.
    7)Over/under on finger pointing for the DBs
    8)Pass rush..making a pocket for the other QB.
    9)We guarantee your offense can score too…maybe quicker than ours.
    10)
    11)
    12)
    13)

    The onion peeling effect is taking effect..

  3. I won’t address every question, but do have some humble thoughts. Or not so humble, maybe.

    Lacy could actually benefit from more passing plays, both in production and health.

    Rodgers is everything. Talking about his backups is the old tallest midget discussion.

    Feel terrible for Franklin. He had a future in the league. But 3 RB’s is better than 4. It makes for an easier roster decision.

    Let’s consider the Perry & Peppers questions together. They used a 1st round pick for need, to address the lack of a pass rusher opposite Matthews, when there wasn’t an OLB worthy of that pick on the board. Perry was a DE, an they put that square peg in the round hole. Peppers is a DE, too. So, I’m guessing it could go two ways. They try the same thing with Peppers, or they could scheme things in order to fit Peppers AND Perry’s talents where they belong. Hybrid away, Dom.

    Hawk & Jones, no. Between different packages and Lattimore’s emerging game, there’ll be a little bit of everyone. I’m also pretty curious about Barrington, but may have to wait another year.

    Raji needs help from Capers if he’s going to show us his old self. If he’s allowed to shoot a gap off the snap, he could get back to playing on the other side of the LOS again. But, if his assignment is to tie up blockers, he’ll disappear for another year. In a way, I feel bad for him being mis-cast for a while.

    Does Slocum have a plan? Very important, but not so much as a returner or kicker question. The coverage teams may have been the worst problem that got the least discussion last season. Starting field position was a real problem last year, or perhaps the last few years. If the Packers can stop giving the opponent the ball on the 35 yard line, they could stop playing with a constant disadvantage.

  4. The only questions that are a real concern are those that have been about the defense and that still holds true today with a new twist.

    1)The Peppers plan.
    2)The search for ‘Perry’.
    3)Hybrids..making our own mold.
    4)The ‘Hamstrings’are us motto.
    5)Is it ‘all’ about Clay again.
    6)Square pegs and round holes syndrome.
    7)Over/under on finger pointing for the DBs
    8)Pass rush..making a pocket for the other QB.
    9)We guarantee your offense can score too…maybe quicker than ours.
    10)
    11)
    12)
    13)

    The onion peeling effect is taking effect..

  5. I am only going to address one Hawk/Jones…Good Lord I hope not. Hawk has been and always will be the weak link in the middle and Jones next to him has made it even worse.I know you will say Hawk is our leading tackler..Well MLB is suppose to make the most tackles right? Here is my argument if he is the leader in tackles and MISSES more than he makes what does that tell you? He is durable but why have a guy on the field that is going to let QB’s and RB’s run for more than 10 yards up the middle before making the tackle or missing it like he does 60% of the time? The time has come for management to realize this and start drafting or signing UDFA’s to fill these holes…Time for Hawk/Jones to go bye bye!!! I am really hoping this kid Bradford takes over in the middle he is a player that has the fire it takes to fill the holes and stop the runs,along with Hubbard and/or Doughty maybe we have found some new blood for the ILB job..At least let Lattimore and Barrington play more if they must keep Hawk/Jones on the roster at least those two will do a better job.

  6. I am only going to address one Hawk/Jones…Good Lord I hope not. Hawk has been and always will be the weak link in the middle and Jones next to him has made it even worse.I know you will say Hawk is our leading tackler..Well MLB is suppose to make the most tackles right? Here is my argument if he is the leader in tackles and MISSES more than he makes what does that tell you? He is durable but why have a guy on the field that is going to let QB’s and RB’s run for more than 10 yards up the middle before making the tackle or missing it like he does 60% of the time? The time has come for management to realize this and start drafting or signing UDFA’s to fill these holes…Time for Hawk/Jones to go bye bye!!! I am really hoping this kid Bradford takes over in the middle he is a player that has the fire it takes to fill the holes and stop the runs,along with Hubbard and/or Doughty maybe we have found some new blood for the ILB job..At least let Lattimore and Barrington play more if they must keep Hawk/Jones on the roster at least those two will do a better job.

  7. Packer Fans know who is getting it done and who isn’t. If the coaches can’t figure it out by now maybe they need to start reviewing some of these sights for clues. The OLD GUARD doesn’t equate to winning the big games so change things up with a mix of new talent with the vets that still want to play. Nick Perry and Sherrod probably should not start since they both haven’t brought much to the party. Some of the young players that have not lived up to expectations need to be cut and lets move on. If the Pack can stay healthy they have a good chance of winning the division. After that its a ???

  8. Packer Fans know who is getting it done and who isn’t. If the coaches can’t figure it out by now maybe they need to start reviewing some of these sights for clues. The OLD GUARD doesn’t equate to winning the big games so change things up with a mix of new talent with the vets that still want to play. Nick Perry and Sherrod probably should not start since they both haven’t brought much to the party. Some of the young players that have not lived up to expectations need to be cut and lets move on. If the Pack can stay healthy they have a good chance of winning the division. After that its a ???

  9. BEFORE YOU LET CAPERS ADD ANOTHER PAGE TO HIS ALREADY OVER LOADED PLAYBOOK .SOMEBODY NEEDS TO CHECK HIS PAPERTRAIL .FIRST FACT HES BEEN FIRED EVERY WHERE HES BEEN – HES TURNED EVERY POOR D AROUND EVERYWHERE HES COACHED USING THE 34 – THEN AROUND YEAR 2 OR 3 HE PHASES OUT THE 34 IN FAVOR OF THESE HYBRID FORMATIONS RESULTING IN HIS D BEING WORSE THAN WHEN HE GOT THERE. THE YEAR AFTER WE WON THE SB HE INTRODUCED THE PSYCHO PACKAGE – NO DOWN LINMEN -ARE D WENT FROM TOP TEN TO THEE WORST D IN NFL HISTORY ! THE LAST 3 YEARS WE RAN THE 34 LESS THAN 25% OF THE TIME AND NOBODY CALLS HIM OUT ON IT ! 2 DOWNLINMEN CANNOT DEFEAT 5 OL WALK YOUR LB UP ALL YOU WANT TO BLITZ AND ANY GOOD QB WILL AUDIBLE SLANTS OVER THE MIDDLE IN THE GAPPING HOLES LEFT BY THE BLITZING LB. LIKE THE ABOVE WRITER ELUDED TO HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO CAN PLAY N WHO CANT WHEN THE SCHEEM YOUR USING PUTS EVERYBODY AT A DISADVANTAGE ? THIS IS NOT MY OPINON ITS HIS RESUME! HISTORY IS NOT ON CAPERS SIDE AND HIS SCHEMES ARE NOT ON THE PACKS !!!!!!!

  10. BEFORE YOU LET CAPERS ADD ANOTHER PAGE TO HIS ALREADY OVER LOADED PLAYBOOK .SOMEBODY NEEDS TO CHECK HIS PAPERTRAIL .FIRST FACT HES BEEN FIRED EVERY WHERE HES BEEN – HES TURNED EVERY POOR D AROUND EVERYWHERE HES COACHED USING THE 34 – THEN AROUND YEAR 2 OR 3 HE PHASES OUT THE 34 IN FAVOR OF THESE HYBRID FORMATIONS RESULTING IN HIS D BEING WORSE THAN WHEN HE GOT THERE. THE YEAR AFTER WE WON THE SB HE INTRODUCED THE PSYCHO PACKAGE – NO DOWN LINMEN -ARE D WENT FROM TOP TEN TO THEE WORST D IN NFL HISTORY ! THE LAST 3 YEARS WE RAN THE 34 LESS THAN 25% OF THE TIME AND NOBODY CALLS HIM OUT ON IT ! 2 DOWNLINMEN CANNOT DEFEAT 5 OL WALK YOUR LB UP ALL YOU WANT TO BLITZ AND ANY GOOD QB WILL AUDIBLE SLANTS OVER THE MIDDLE IN THE GAPPING HOLES LEFT BY THE BLITZING LB. LIKE THE ABOVE WRITER ELUDED TO HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO CAN PLAY N WHO CANT WHEN THE SCHEEM YOUR USING PUTS EVERYBODY AT A DISADVANTAGE ? THIS IS NOT MY OPINON ITS HIS RESUME! HISTORY IS NOT ON CAPERS SIDE AND HIS SCHEMES ARE NOT ON THE PACKS !!!!!!!

  11. I hear you-think we all do with the all caps comment you left. There is no denying his track record is not the best after the first couple of years with a team. I’ve had my own battles between wanting Capers gone and whether he is the only one to blame for the issues on D:

    https://packerstalk.com/2014/01/12/a-change-of-thought-regarding-dom-capers/

    If the defense suffers through another piss poor season, there is ZERO reason to keep him around in 2015. I would almost be tempted to cut the cord mid season if they play that poorly.

    Thanks for reading!

  12. Kind of difficult to interpret your comment. Are you implying the players are not playing well, or Ted Thompson and the coaching staff have done a poor job analyzing the talent on the roster? Not criticism of your comment, serious question.

  13. I hear you-think we all do with the all caps comment you left. There is no denying his track record is not the best after the first couple of years with a team. I’ve had my own battles between wanting Capers gone and whether he is the only one to blame for the issues on D:

    https://packerstalk.com/2014/01/12/a-change-of-thought-regarding-dom-capers/

    If the defense suffers through another piss poor season, there is ZERO reason to keep him around in 2015. I would almost be tempted to cut the cord mid season if they play that poorly.

    Thanks for reading!

  14. Kind of difficult to interpret your comment. Are you implying the players are not playing well, or Ted Thompson and the coaching staff have done a poor job analyzing the talent on the roster? Not criticism of your comment, serious question.

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