Hey all, I've been a regular reader of this website for almost this entire season, but I've only now decided to post something. I've been a Packer fan for the past 10 years of my life (I'm 20 right now) and I've been through every single playoff heartbreak the Packers have been a part of this past decade (Mike Vick getting rid of Lambeau's perfect record in the postseason, 4th & 26, the Randy Moss mooning game) and this last loss is no different. Tough loss to swallow. But I was talking to my friend the other day who missed the game (he's abroad in South Africa) and, despite the loss, I told him how I don't think I've ever been as excited for this team as right now in my entire time as a Packer fan. Many of you will think I'm going overboard, but here's what I said to him:
They [The Packers] couldn't get pressure on Warner all game long. That screwed them over - Capers will have to work on fixing this in the offseason. But there were many positives to take from the game: Jermichael Finley (as a WR & TE), Woodson (Larry got away with two clear offensive PI's that led to TDs), Aaron Rodgers (despite the TOs), and McCarthy (he called a hell of a game today with the onside kick). Also, I am hoping AJ Hawk (got burned several times) doesn't start next year and Jarrett Bush will be cut. But it is clear to me this team has a very good shot at winning the Super Bowl next year IF they do a couple things:
1. Resign their own free agents (Collins, Pickett, Johnny Jolly, Tramon Williams, maybe Daryn Colledge) & sign and trade Kampmann for a high draft pick.
2. Fix the O-line (either through the draft or FA)
3. Fix the nickel & dime packages (Al Harris' return will help tremendously with this)...
4. Sign a big-name free agent a la Woodson. I don't know how it will work in the 3-4, but Julius Peppers sounds good. And even better would be Richard Seymour (!). I think Seymour would fix all their problems with pressuring the QB in addition to allowing them to let one of Jolly or Pickett go. It has been clear for years now that this is what can and most likely will put the Packers over the top.
5. Draft well again (specifically for OL & DB, maybe DL too)
If the Packers do this, they will be Super Bowl contenders for the next 4-6 years, with a decent possibility of winning multiple ones. I am unsure of the financial situation (in fact all of this is probably a HUGE stretch), but Ted Thompson will be my hero if he is able to get most or all of this done. This team learned a lot this year character-wise, battling through adversity week-after-week, and it is clear they have been building this team the correct way (with young talent & fiscal shrewdness). I am hoping to God TT does everything right this offseason because I see it as THE most important offseason for the Packers in the next 5 years. Provided the CBA gets done in time to prevent a lockout, we are looking at a team that could rival the '00s Patriots in terms of domination (if somebody like Seymour is signed). Holler.