“What a Difference a Year Makes”
The prevailing thought that crossed my mind while watching championship Sunday yesterday was, “what a difference a year makes”. As I watched the Patriots come from behind to make their eighth super bowl appearance in the Brady Bellicheck era, I thought to myself how it must be nice to expect a Superbowl appearance year after year.
When I watched the Eagles absolutely cave the Vikings skols in, I thought of how Vikings fans must have felt just one year earlier when the Falcons dispatched (The Packers) in a similar fashion. After processing those thoughts, I grew sadder and more frustrated, lamenting over this past season because of how close I thought that The Packers were to winning another Super Bowl.
As I finished up my dinner, my thoughts began to shift to the season that the Jacksonville Jaguars had. I thought to myself, hey they were 3-13 last season and did not come into this season with any Superbowl aspirations. However, by rebuilding the organization with plenty of young talent through the draft and free agency, a completely new regime in place, and a change of culture, the Jaguars were able to win the AFC South and nearly make it to the Super Bowl.
Suddenly, I felt a glimmer of hope come over me. I thought to myself, yes! “what a difference a year makes”. Like the Jaguars, the Green Bay Packers have endured a regime change which will hopefully lead to a change in culture. With this new regime in place, they could be looking at a new outlook on the draft and free agency which could bring with it, a defense that flies around the field and hits their opponents in the mouth.
The Packers have young players like Josh Jones, Kevin King, and Kenny Clark that will continue to improve and be more effectively utilized, as well as the potential for more young impact players to be drafted and more impact free agents to be signed. If you take that and add a new defensive coordinator who breeds perennial top 10 defenses, in Mike Pettine and count on having a healthy Aaron Rodgers lead the Packers offense, then maybe the Green Bay Packers will see a turn around in 2018 just like the Jaguars experienced during this season.
The most important aspect to remember when dissecting the draft and free agency is that with one good offseason, the Green Bay Packers can find themselves right back in the thick of things in the NFC. Take heart Packer fans, a year can truly make all the difference.——————
David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave