NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi laid out a compelling argument Monday as to why he thinks the Packers are in prime position to pull of the rare feat of repeating. Colleague Pat Kirwan wrote following the game Sunday that he thinks the Packers could be on the verge of a dynasty.
It’s a natural conversation to have, especially given the makeup of these Packers. Kirwan noted 44 players on the roster are younger than 30 years old. The quarterback is in his prime. Jermichael Finley and 14 other players on IR will be back, and the players who replaced them got valuable experience. Veterans Charles Woodson and Donald Driver will be back. Cullen Jenkins, Korey Hall and Daryn Colledge are the only key free agents.
Still, the Packers haven’t hidden behind the fact they think they will be back. It’s struck me as the postgame unfolded that they weren’t dismissing the topic as post-Super Bowl fodder. No, they’re embracing it. Hell, they sound as though they expect it.
“I think so,” Rodgers told NFL Network. “I think we’re going to reload next year. Jermichael will be back, the best tight end in the NFL. We’ve got everyone else back. It’s going to be a lot of fun, hopefully for a number of years in Green Bay.”
It’s evident this mantra comes from the top. Mike McCarthy has preached about the confidence of his team throughout the postseason, and it wasn’t necessary to read in between the lines when he took the podium Monday:
“We felt that we had an aggressive game plan on both sides of the ball, going against Pittsburgh. As the players got into it, you could see they had the confidence, you could see the excitement. We felt we were a better team than Pittsburgh. No disrespect for them, we really respect the way they play. We knew they were going to be a physical, tough football team, but we felt we were a better football team coming in here, and we needed to go out and prove it. That’s why we were so confident.”
… “(Trying to repeat) is going to be exciting. On paper, it’s a lot like this year. Coming out of training camp, it was the best football team that I’d stood in front of. I knew we had an excellent opportunity to win the Super Bowl, and definitely, you look at our returning roster next year, it’s going to be the same type of situation.”
… “I’m a builder and we have built something special. This program was built the right way, has quality people in Aaron Rodgers and all the way through that are going to lead this football team for a long time.”
Really, all of this feels way too early. And history tells us repeating not only isn’t easy, it’s rare. Even so, let’s discuss it: Do you like the Packers’ chances of repeating?