Packers XLV

Things We Are Thankful For (Green & Gold Edition)

Posted November 24th, 2010 @ 07:11pm

It's the time of year when we reflect on what we have to be thankful for and gather with our families and friends for a wonderful meal, family traditions and football. So considering solely the latter, here is what The Head Cheese--and I expect, many of you--are thankful for this football season:

T. The state of the team heading into Thanksgiving weekend. Ted Thompson has built a strong, young foundation brimming with talent that has withstood the loss of 11 players to injured reserve, including six starters. He had the nerve to hand the team to Aaron Rodgers and to trade up for Clay Matthews. There are hits and misses in between, but they don't eclipse those two moves.

H. The amazing Aaron Rodgers. Football fans will now mention Montana & Young and Favre & Rodgers when considering teams that have moved from Pro Bowl QBs (dare I say Hall of Fame QBs?) to Pro Bowl QBs with no down time in-between. It's a rarity, but the Pack has achieved it. Rodgers' first three starting seasons have been historic, numbers-wise. A couple of playoff wins will elevate him to elite status.

A. The talent, passion, personality and total package that is Clay Matthews. He plays the key position in Dom Capers' 3-4 defense and his rare ability has allowed Capers to find new wrinkles to his scheme and keep opposing offenses on their heels. As long as he can stay healthy, Matthews is on a path toward greatness. You can't take your eyes off him when you watch him in person--because so few players play at the speed and level he does.

N. The classy exits of Al Harris and Aaron Kampman. Both Packer greats were unceremoniously dumped after great careers. Both tore up their knees and are trying to find their former greatness in new places. Their full-page ads saluting the Packers and their fans is precisely why we love this game. For some of these great athletes, the team and its community really is important to them. It's more than playing for ridiculous sums of money. Both Kampman and Harris will find their place in the Packer Hall of Fame someday. They will forever be Packers.

K. The offensive line. About 13 months ago, Rodgers was on his back more often than Andrew Bogut. But when Tauscher was re-signed and Clifton got healthy, the line solidified as the Pack made it's second-half run in 2009. This season it has reached a new level and is playing as one of the top 5 units in the league. Clifton seems reborn and worth every penny the Pack paid him to keep him away from Daniel Snyder. Josh Sitton should be a Pro Bowler this year and Bryan Bulaga has earned the right tackle spot and is run blocking better than his predecessor. The cohesion is there and the penalties aren't: a winning combination.

Y. B.J. Raji has figured it out. He plays, perhaps, the second most important position in Capers' defense. After a late start and early injury in '09, it was almost a lost rookie season. This year, he looks like a guy who's a year way from the Pro Bowl. His combination of size, feet and nasty have turned him into the rock of this defense. With revolving injured ends around him, he has held down the line and helped the big names behind him flourish.

O. Our corners. Woodson, Williams and Shields are all worthy of praise. Woodson continues to be the leader of the #1 scoring defense in the league. He's not making the same number of plays as last year, but he's still a top 10 corner and gamebreaking threat on any play. Williams has earned a jackpot contract. I'll be even more thankful once I know a deal has been signed. He has become a rare shut down corner. Shields has taken a page from Tramon's book: undrafted free agent is given a shot--though much sooner than Williams did. His speed covers up some mistakes, but he has held up well, especially when teams try to pick on him.

U. There are so many more things: the fantastic job by McCarthy and the coaching staff, mixing and matching and fixing early season problems like penalties and special teams. The recent play of punter Tim Masthay. Brandon Jackson stepping up and providing a solid running game to keep opposing defenses honest.

The Packers will face their stiffest test of the season on Sunday. At 8-2, the Falcons are the top seed in the NFC right now and are 18-1 at home with Matt Ryan leading the way. This game could have home field advantage implications. We'll preview this big game in a couple of days.

So as we dive into our Thanksgiving meal, let's be thankful for our family, our friends and the fact that our favorite team is poised for a chance to reach its ultimate goal.

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Comments (5):

thanks for share!

on February 26th, 2012 at 11:22pm

Hmmmm, I guess Hines is coming back!! Hehehe!Aye, it could have come down to the wire if it wasn't for that fulbme. I believe it was a momentum swing in favor of the Packs. Nice that the Steelers represented our division in SB. Its going to be a long break before we hear much about the Steelers for awhile. They should be proud to come out on top in the AFC. So kudoes to both Packers and Steelers for awhile until the HOF game in Canton!

on May 18th, 2012 at 04:28pm

Got it! Thanks a lot again for hpeling me out!

on May 20th, 2012 at 04:12am

As someone that questioned why we didn't move to pick up Marshawn Lynch, I am thankful for TT's good sense. Dmitri Nance looked good last week. Quick and decisive. I look forward to seeing more of him this week. Lynch on the other hand has done very little, however that is behind the Seachickens O-line. His penchant for fumbling this year would not sit well with Packer-nation. Brandon Jackson has been adequate as a runner, improving as a pass catcher and has been excellent in blitz pickup. Considering our offense is based on Rodgers arm, that seems to be a blessing. BJ Raji is definitely the unsung hero on D. No headlines but has anchored the line every week. It is simply a great time to be a Wisconsin football fan.........Pack back in the division lead, Bucky dominating teams like none of us have seen for some time, looking for a BCS bowl invitation (I smell Roses....). Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Go Pack!

on November 25th, 2010 at 07:23am

Very ine Dave. you said it all. we all think we know more then the coach and TT but he has proved he knows how to build a team. we do need to sign Tramon be fore the year is over. it will let the other players know too that if u perform u will get paid and we don't need high priced free agents to come in and screw up the personality of the team and how thinhs are run as an organization. by the way Lori, great letter, you need to get that to a mpls. paper and have them run it. they will never do it. to much truth. to all fellow Packer fans have a great Happy Thanksgiving. pack 27- falcons 23

on November 25th, 2010 at 12:26pm

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