Brian Gutekunst was probably more confident than most Green Bay Packers fans were two weeks ago. Apparently, with five minutes left in the Packers’ Divisional Playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers, Gutekunst thought “we were going to the Super Bowl.”
This Packers fan, for one, had seen the Packers collapse against the 49ers too many times in the postseason and had seen the Joe Barry defense fall apart at just the wrong point in games more than enough to feel comfortable about the Packers winning that game. I would venture to guess that most fans were on the edge of their seats with the Packers up by just four points with the 49ers taking over after a missed field goal.
Gutekunst’s faith in the team that he had built is admirable, but the collapse did help the head coach, Matt LaFleur, make the decision to fire Barry. Now with a new, seemingly more aggressive defensive coordinator in the building, the Packers will need to build out the defense to help put him in a position to succeed.
That starts with Gutey, whose season wrap-up press conference on Thursday addressed a wide range of topics, including that defense. But perhaps the number one focus for the offseason will be a new contract for Jordan Love, the young quarterback whose ascension over the 2023 season is the biggest reason the Packers were in the playoffs at all.
Love also spoke this week to discuss the crazy 2023 season, while looking ahead to next year, and his reflections on his first year as a starter are worth taking in as well as we head into the weekend.
5 things learned from Packers GM Brian Gutekunst’s season-ending press conference | Packers.com
Gutey spoke about Jordan Love, all but confirming that the QB will get a new contract this offseason, and he is committed to taking the team's new defensive coordinator's thoughts into account when building out that part of the roster for 2024.
Packers QB Jordan Love describes 2023 season as ‘rollercoaster’ and ‘fun journey’ | Packers Wire
Meanwhile, Love spoke this week as well and said that he enjoyed the ups and downs of his first season as a starter, but he never wavered in his confidence in himself.
Packers’ Isaiah McDuffie Eager to Play Again Under Jeff Hafley - Sports Illustrated
McDuffie's best college football season was his last, and his only one playing for Hafley. Hafley made him an in-the-box linebacker instead of one who played at the line of scrimmage, and he responded with over 100 tackles and three sacks.
NFL's prioritization of player safety leads to promising injury data for 2023 season | NFL.com
ACL tears were down in 2023, according to the league's data, and although overall concussions were up, they were down on kickoffs. It appears the NFL will be using this apparent positive trend to keep looking at changes to the kickoff.
Angus man who tried to fly drone into Perth Prison claimed Romanian circus stole his chihuahua | The Courier
This headline delivers on every level.