It’s that time of year – when fans of 30 NFL teams yearn to have what the Patriots and Eagles fans now have – a Super Bowl Experience. If you are not a fan of those two teams, the next two weeks are good for only two things – growing tired of the Super Bowl hype and wondering what your team has to do to get there next season.
For Packers fans, the almost unanimous feeling is that it is imperative for the Packers to improve their defense. There are only so many times you can lean on Aaron Rodgers to win games single-handily. Plus, as this season has proven, forget about their chances if Rodgers has to miss a lot of time.
In situations like that, you would hope to lean on the defense to keep games close enough to give your inexperienced backup quarterback and the offense a fighting chance. Alas, they were simply not up to the task.
So… it had to happen – you know, the firing of Dom Capers. Many would say it was long overdue, but I wasn’t fully on the #FireCapers bandwagon – until this season. Watching how soft the Packers secondary and their whole defense in general played, made me finally realize this had to be by design. When a Pro Bowl safety like Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix could be observed continually backing up and away from receivers instead of attacking, you knew it had to be Capers telling him to play that way.
So now there is a new sheriff in town at Defensive Coordinator. Mike Pettine, known for his aggressive tactics as a defensive coordinator under Rex Ryan, is the anti-Capers. There is little doubt the Packers’ defense will play a different style, more of trying to disrupt opposing offenses than hoping to contain them. Hopefully, the draft will bring some appropriate new talent to the Packers’ defense as well.
Most mock drafts have the Packers going defense in the first round, and the analysts at SportsBettingDime.com put the odds at 1/3 that Green Bay uses the 14th-overall pick on that side of the ball, with defensive ends Arden Key and Marcus Davenport as the most likely selections.