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Cheese Curds, 9/8: Packers tout locker room chemistry ahead of week 1 opener

A team that...plays cards together, wins together?

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NFC Divisional Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Chemistry is an integral part of any team, whether in sports or in any other line of work. It’s a word that Green Bay Packers fans have occasionally joked about, particularly in relation to a certain quarterback and his receivers, but at the same time the concept does have an intangible effect on any squad.

If the reports out of 1265 Lombardi Avenue are to be believed, this year’s Packers roster has certainly established the kind chemistry needed to be a championship-caliber team.

It’s difficult to measure or even assess whether a group really does work together well, and often the only way to do so is anecdotally. But the anecdotes coming out of the Packers’ locker room do suggest a tight-knit group that trusts and believes in one another, and that starts with some of the team’s most high-profile players. (Yes, that’s Aaron Rodgers).

Perhaps head coach Matt LaFleur has pulled in some strategies from some time he spent with the Milwaukee Bucks this offseason. Perhaps it’s just little things like COVID protocols lightening up and allowing players to spend more time with one another both inside and outside of the locker room. But whatever the reasons, this team seems to be as close or closer than any other recent Packers team, and that bodes well for the team’s chances — although that closeness is only one small aspect of playing winning football.

Let’s look at how this chemistry has developed in today’s curds.

How road trip with NBA's Milwaukee Bucks helped Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur's football education - ESPN
LaFleur joined the Bucks for a West Coast road trip in March, developing a quick friendship with Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer and learning how to truly build camaraderie across a team -- even with a smaller roster -- by setting aside time for the players and their families to all be together.

Green Bay Packers build team chemistry with a locker room card game |
Meanwhile, when is a card game more than just a card game? "Columbo" has been going around the locker room and is a sign of the strong bonds that this roster has built.

More similarities than differences between Packers and Vikings entering Week 1 | Packers Wire
New Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell brings experience in the Sean McVay offense to Minnesota, which could bring with it more similarities to the Packers' offense -- things like pre-snap motion and a heavier use of 11 personnel. Then there's the defense, which has Mike Pettine heavily involved and may look a bit like Vic Fangio's, and there are some connections to Joe Barry and Green Bay as well.

Packers season preview: Superlatives, predictions and a bold playoff forecast - The Athletic ($)
One beat reporter sees a 12-5 record in the cards for the Packers with losses to the Buccaneers, Bills, Eagles, Rams, and yes, the Vikings at Lambeau late in the season.

Long odds didn’t deter Jack Coco from chasing his NFL dream |
The Packers' new long snapper has taken one of the longest roads possible to the NFL, starting as a walk-on snapper at Georgia Tech then moving to tight end before getting back into snapping to pursue his NFL career. Now he's under the wings of veterans Mason Crosby and Pat O'Donnell as they help him navigate NFL life.

Cup Noodles unveils 'pumpkin spice' flavor | KSL TV
Look, I enjoy many food products made with real pumpkin, and I'm not above enjoying pumpkin spice-flavored things on occasion, but this is taking it one step too far.