The Green Bay Packers are one of the most storied franchises in the NFL. From their 23 Hall of Famers to their NFL-best 13 world championships, the Packers have one of the richest and most successful histories in football.
With Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers at quarterback over the last 24 seasons, Green Bay has consistently ranked near the top of the league and has high expectations each year. After the dark days of the 1970s and 1980s, these two players have helped resurrect the Packers’ culture of winning.
After winning the Super Bowl in 2010 and taking home the NFC North title in each of the four seasons since, the Packers have asserted themselves as one of the few perennial championship contenders. That culture of winning has led to Green Bay being able to continue to build a team whose success is built to last.
A statistic that has been floated around a lot lately has been the Packers’ retention of offensive players from last season. Heading into 2015, Green Bay will bring back 95 percent of its offensive snaps from last year, which is the highest percentage in the league.
Of the 28 players that Green Bay used on offense, just seven left during the offseason and those seven were all pretty low on the depth chart. More importantly, all eleven starters from the league’s top-scoring offense will return in 2015. But a big reason that the Packers were able to keep all of their offensive starters is because of the culture that Green Bay has established.
Two of the Packers’ primary free agents after last year, Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga, were both vital pieces of the Green Bay’s offense. They both chose to come back to Green Bay in free agency, but took slight home-town discounts to do so.
Despite receiving offers from numerous teams and for more money, both Cobb and Bulaga elected to stay with the Packers. This reflects the culture that has allowed for lasting success over the last two decades. Players are choosing to stay in Green Bay because they know they will be surrounded by talent and are putting themselves in a position to benefit their career in both the short and the long term.
Other valuable players, like John Kuhn and Jordy Nelson, have taken less money than they might have received elsewhere in order to stay with a perennial powerhouse in Green Bay. Julius Peppers chose to join the Packers because he felt they gave him the best chance to add a Super Bowl to his career resume.
The culture is something that is not only noticed by veterans. A number of the Packers’ undrafted rookies chose to come to Green Bay because of the history. Cornerback LaDarius Gunter knew of Sam Shields’ path from undrafted rookie to starter with the Packers, and hoped to duplicate that success. Running back John Crockett chose to sign with Green Bay despite interest from other teams as well.
This rediscovered culture will ensure that the Green Bay Packers remain successful in the future. Free agents and rookies want to play for the Packers, and those who make the team willingly choose to stay there. Green Bay will continue to be a successful franchise in the NFL, and the culture that the team has created is a big reason why.——————
Sean Blashe is a Packers fan who grew up in Bears territory and is currently a journalism and history major at Marquette University. Sean is a writer with PackersTalk.com and you can follow him on twitter at @SeanBlashe .