Most players on the Green Bay Packers are not used to being the underdog in their professional careers. In fact, many fans under the age of 40 aren’t used to it either. Whether Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers is under center the last 30 years, they’ve been championship contenders for most seasons. Now, there’s been a changing of the guard. The door has opened to the unknown in Green Bay again. Many think the Packers will not be good entering 2023. That the tools to succeed aren’t there. The players on the other hand, are loving it, and are thriving on the disrespect.

There’s always been this notion the last few years that with Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have a chance. But if anything happens to Rodgers, the Packers are toast. Even though Rodgers himself has admitted in some games that the running game or the defense bailed out a poor game on his behalf. That’s not to say this transition is going to be flawless and the Packers are contenders again. But I don’t believe this talk that the Packers are suddenly at the bottom of the NFL. And neither are the players.

If you’re Kenny Clark, you’re loving it.

We’ll see how things stack up

Friday, Kenny Clark joined the Zach Gelb show and addressed the hate. He stated that he likes it that way. The team is loving it. And come Week 1, when the season gets here, we’ll see how things stack up.

Every single member of this team so far has down talked the idea that they’re going to be terrible. Well, of course, why wouldn’t they? What kind of team would tell the media that they’re likely to not be good? Not many, or any for that matter. Many players on the bottom dwelling teams though, you can tell when they’re just “saying the right words.”

Those bad teams, you notice it quick. Lots of words like “try” and “might” are used. “We might surprise you.” “We’re trying to be better each week.” So many uncertain or self-reassuring statements. We haven’t heard a lot of that from the Packers so far. They’ve shown a lot of confidence that they will, not might, surprise everyone.

I’m loving the sort of “we can’t wait to show you the truth” attitude that this team has. For much of my Packers fandom, there’s always been this brick wall between the Packers and the outside world. Give or take 2-3 off-season’s, the Packers have remained major drama-free for most of my 36 years. Most issues stay within the confines of 1265 Lombardi Ave. Sometimes, this means the good stuff too.

We saw this sort of confidence before in 2008 when Aaron Rodgers took over. We’re seeing it again.

Use it as motivation to prove them wrong.

We all know how Aaron Rodgers thrived on the negativity. He played his best football when everyone thought he couldn’t. He used those doubts as motivation to prove them wrong. He wanted to make those that under-estimated him, regret it. And most of the time, he did it quietly. He never came out and said that he was going to show people they were wrong, he just did it. Never gave in to the negativity around it, he just went out and proved they were incorrect.

Aaron Rodgers might be gone, but I feel that attitude still remains. That never-ending chip on his shoulder definitely rubbed off on his teammates.

This notion that the Packers are not going to be good with Jordan Love has sparked the fire to prove them wrong. Despite the fact that the team supports Love, and think he’s going to be a great player, it doesn’t matter who’s under Center. These are professional athletes that have been told that they are not good enough without one specific person holding their hand. They want to shut that opinion down.

Any team can beat any team, on any given day. And never doubt someone that has been told that they can’t. Just because a few talking heads believe the Packers won’t go anywhere this year doesn’t make it true. They definitely don’t understand what motivation means and they might end up paying for it. I think this team is going to shock a lot of people.

I can’t wait for the season. Go Pack Go

Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to PackersTalk as well as CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter at @gmeinholz. for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.