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When a collarbone injury spoiled a promising start for . Jersey

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Aaron Rodgers would fix everything. It could have been the title of the Packers 2018 offseason http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/nick-perry-jersey , or the headline for the last five years of the organization’s team-building philosophy under Ted Thompson. When a collarbone injury spoiled a promising start for Green Bay in 2017, Brett Hundley and Co. managed just enough wins to keep the Packers in the playoff hunt for Rodgers’ way-too-soon return. Mike McCarthy finally, mercifully, made a change at defensive coordinator, bringing in the pedigreed Mike Pettine to replace the anachronistic Dom Capers. Mark Murphy slid Thompson a step closer to retirement, installing Brian Gutekunst as general manger, and all was right in the world. Or so many thought. An organizational shakeup, a gut check season, and the return of the best football player on God’s green (and gold) earth would bring this team back to Titletown glory. Until it didn’t. An injury in Week 1 to Rodgers robbed him of his ability to move, improvise and break down defenses, exposing the lack of creativity long prevalent in McCarthy’s offense. Injuries to Geronimo Allison and Randall Cobb proved just how valuable Jordy Nelson was to this offense even if he had lost a step or three. And despite improvements to defensive personnel, injuries tore through that side of the ball, undercutting any strides made by Gutekunst in using the draft and free agency (quelle surprise) in the spring. If winning is a habit, so is complacency. The last two seasons in Green Bay proved how deeply rooted that little monster became.The Packers haven’t used a top-100 draft pick on a skill position player since Davante Adams in 2014. Their idea of solidifying the offensive line was to show T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton the door with no obvious replacements http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/bryan-bulaga-jersey , and while Lane Taylor has emerged as a solid guard, the right side remains an utter black hole. What’s more, McCarthy proved either incapable of unwilling to make changes to his offense to the point he lost his team. Watching the Packers this season, I kept going back to something Robert Mays wrote for the Ringer in early fall: The last line perfectly encapsulates the 2018 season. The Packers haven’t been keeping pace, not schematically, not philosophically, and not culturally. Draft-and-develop works when you’re hitting on picks, but Thompson missed myriad opportunities to improve this team on the margins with mid-level and lever lower-level free agents. McCarthy’s schematic stagnation has been well-documented and it’s clear the players on the team no longer trusted him to design and call an offense. And while the rest of the league was pouring resources into edge rushers, the Packer shrugged and walked away whistling with their hands in their pockets. Rodgers himself must also stand tall to face the slings and arrows here as well. There’s an old saying in the NFL that a great quarterback never gets a coach fired. Rodgers may not have openly attempted to get McCarthy fired, but his subversion of the head coach, flatly dismissing playcalls, and inconsistent play helped torpedo him just the same. The quarterback we saw in 2014 has only been seen for brief glimpses since then thanks to a mixture of lack of confidence in the offense and lack of discipline within it. The time for dick measuring is over; the quarterback won. Now go play like the MVP and best player in the game again. After this season, it should be clear Rodgers needed this reset as much as anyone. When your quarterback is openly admitting on ESPN to being bored in practice, the writing should have been on the wall. McCarthy no longer engaged him Authentic Kevin King Jersey , challenged him, coached him. Matt Nagy is always on the sidelines talking to Mitch Trubisky while the Bears defense was on the field. When was the last time we saw McCarthy do that? He needs someone to get him re-focused, re-engaged, and back playing more rhythm football than backyard football. Rodgers knows what’s being said about him — the whispers about his undermining of McCarthy, the questions about his leadership. It’s not a coincidence he insisted on playing the final two weeks of the season despite myriad injuries in order to show just what kind of leader he is. In Week 16 in the comeback against the Jets, he reminded the fans, the team and the organization about why he is such a special player. A player famous for carrying slights with him, there’s no doubt Rodgers will shoulder the takes, the criticisms and the doubters.In a post-Run the Table world, coming off a 2017 where it was clear how badly the Packers needed Rodgers, a season in which Rodgers finally had to admit he needed some help too could return the equilibrium to this team. The failures of 2018 started much sooner and are structural, institutional shortcomings stemming from the Ted Thompson era and a spoiling through success. The collapse of that culture, both good and bad, come as a necessary reckoning for a team on the precipice. In all likelihood http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/david-bakhtiari-jersey , the Packers are due for a wandering in the wilderness period in a post-Rodgers world. Teams don’t luck into HOF quarterbacks twice, much less three times. Mark Murphy and Brian Gutekunst have to get this right in order to maximize what is left of Rodgers’ prime before the metaphoric winter comes. It’s up to them to decide if these two seasons signal the beginning of the end, or demarcate a momentous change in course toward recapturing success. Each year, the NFL releases a ten-part weekly series counting down the Top 100 players in the league, as voted on by their peers. That usually comes out in the late spring to help bridge the gap between the NFL Draft and the start of training camps.Pro Football Focus, however, is publishing their list of the Top 101 players in the 2018 season this week. Although the Green Bay Packers did not land a player between 50 and 101, in the third installment — players 26 through 50 — the team is well-represented. Four Packers showed up in that grouping, including three members of the offense. Let’s look at them one-by-one.#48: Wide receiver Davante AdamsWe’ll have to wait to see how many receivers rank ahead of Davante, but he was unquestionably one of the best wideouts in the NFL this year. He finished the season sixth in receptions, seventh in receiving yards, and second in touchdowns, and he would have been higher in at least the first two categories had he not sat out week 17’s game with a knee injury. Although his DVOA numbers don’t match up to his lofty PFF grade (87.8) or raw stats, much of that is likely due to Mike McCarthy’s scheme doing him no favors.#43: Defensive tackle Kenny ClarkLast year: 69thThe monster in the middle of the Packers’ defense http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/davante-adams-jersey , Clark was more than deserving of a Pro Bowl honor in 2018, though he was denied. In 13 games, he racked up six sacks and provided far more pass rush than one would expect from a traditional 3-4 nose tackle. In fact, PFF credited him with a pass-rush grade of 88.8 on the year, while also noting that he ranked 16th among interior linemen in run stop rate (9.9%).#41: Quarterback Aaron RodgersPFF gave Rodgers the sixth-highest grade of any quarterback in the NFL this season, and had him ranked third in passer rating when throwing the ball 20 yards or more downfield. We all know that what we saw from Rodgers in 2018 was less than stellar, but his yards per completion number finally climbed back near 12 (11.9, to be exact), the first time it has been above 11.0 since his last MVP season in 2014.#39: Left tackle David BakhtiariLast year: 30thTwo spots ahead of Rodgers is the man named the best pass-protector in the league by PFF. They credited him with allowing just 25 pressures in 16 games, only seven of which resulted in hits on Rodgers.The Packers’ four best players all showed up on the second-to-last portion of this list, so don’t expect any more members of the Green and Gold to appear in the Top 25. The 2017 team also failed to place anyone in the top 25, with Bakhtiari’s #30 ranking being the top spot held by a Green Bay player. Hopefully they won’t be shut out of that upper section for a third year in a row in 2019.

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