Green Bay Packers:
Favre not 'Pack'ing his bags for retirement yet
The Green Bay Packers are one of, if not the,
most historically storied team in all of the National Football
League. They first broke onto the national scene
in 1959 when an outspoken coach by the name of Vince Lombardi
took the helms of the 1-10-1 franchise. Lombardi is considered
by many to be the greatest football coach of all time. The NFL
went as far to name the Super Bowl trophy after him since his
Packers won the first two Super Bowls. Above everything else Lombardi
was know to be an incredible motivator and had a knack for having
incredible inspirational sound bytes like, "There's only
one way to succeed in anything, and that is to give it everything.
I do, and I demand that my players do."
Lombardi knew how to motivate his players and it showed with
his six world championships. Lombardi was the face of the team
and even today his thumbprints are all over the team and the
city and even the league. The Green Bay Packers are extremely
unique among sports franchises in that they are not owned privately,
but are owned by the city of Green Bay. This brings the fans
closer to the players and the team, making a Packers
ticket a prized commodity every week in Green Bay. There still
is a central figure that embodies everything that the Packers
are, but it’s not the coach but rather their starting quarterback
Brett Favre. Favre is the most amazing quarterback of his time.
He’s started a NFL quarterback record 208 straight games
since he first came off the bench to make a start in 1992. Since
then 159 different quarterbacks have started a game in the NFL.
Not only is he a durable player but he’s also a shoe in
for the Hall of Fame. Favre is the only player in NFL history
to win three MVP awards and he won them in three consecutive years.
Last year he led the Pack to a 10-6 record which fetched them
a NFC North divisional title. They won their first round playoff
game in overtime against Seattle and then went on to lose to the
Philadelphia Eagles in the second round in overtime by a field
In the off-season the Packers have only made two additions and those were the
additions of former Bengals’ cornerback Mark Roman and disgruntled Browns
quarterback Tim Couch. The team also let go of punter Josh Bidwell, defensive
tackle Gilbert Brown, and defensive back Antuan Edwards.
In the draft the Packers got their much needed help at cornerback in the forms
of Arkansas corner Ahmad Carroll and Montana State corner Joey Thomas. The Packers
also filled the gap at defensive tackle with Clemson tackle Donnell Washington
and Arkansas State Corey Williams.
The Green Bay Packers have strayed away from the pass
first offense that Brett Favre made so successful in
the ‘90s. The team has instead has evolved
the offense into a more balanced offense since landing Pro Bowl running back
Ahman Green. The offense was borderline unstoppable in 2003 ranking 4th overall
in the NFL and 3rd in rushing offense. Green ran for 1883 yards and 15 touchdowns
it marked Green’s 4th straight season rushing for 1000 yards or more. Favre
was his normal sparkling self in 2003 passing for 3,361 yards, 32 touchdowns
and had his highest completion percentage of his career completing 65.4% of his
On the other side of the ball the Packers weren’t quite as dominant. The
team finished 16th in total defense and a very disappointing 23rd against the
pass. Nick Barnett, the rookie linebacker out of Oregon State, led the team in
tackles in 2003 with 112 and also had the third highest interception total on
the team with three. The defense is still anchored by Pro Bowl free safety Darren
Sharper. Sharper is one of the few safeties in the league that can change the
entire game through their play. He led the team with five interceptions in 2003.
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