The Green Bay Packers have provided plenty of offseason content for NFL fans to digest.
It started during the weekend of the NFL Draft, where it was reported that quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not happy with the only franchise he’s ever played for.
Fast forward several months, and it seems like the organization and their future Hall of Fame signal caller have patched things up for now.
During Rodgers’ scorched Earth press conference on Wednesday where he articulated his long list of grievances, he mentioned losing players over the years who were integral to success.
Whether it was in the locker room or on the field, Rodgers felt Green Bay let players walk who could’ve still helped the team.
Perhaps to placate the befuddled quarterback, the organization brought back a familiar face in wide receiver Randall Cobb.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) July 29, 2021
Cobb was brought back to the Packers in exchange for a sixth-round pick sent over to the Houston Texans.
He spent the last two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and Texans respectively, and will look to stay healthy and productive in his second stint in Green Bay.
The hope for Rodgers and Packers fans is that he’ll provide a reliable presence in the slot.
I’M COMING HOME! 💚💛 pic.twitter.com/qxSwkQo89f
— Randall Cobb (@rcobb18) July 28, 2021
While this transaction will undoubtedly put Rodgers in a better state of mind heading into the 2021 season, it’s not a game changing move that will cement the team a spot in a third consecutive NFC title game.
Green Bay isn’t far from getting over the hump, but they need a few minor tweaks to help take the next step.
Za’Darius Smith has been a huge addition to the team’s defense in the last couple of seasons.
He’s brought down the quarterback 26 times in his last 32 regular-season games, which is a remarkable pace.
However, he didn’t have much help in that department in 2020.
Linebacker Preston Smith, who was also brought in two years ago to upgrade the defense, only finished with four sacks last year.
In order for the team to truly strike fear in the hearts of opposing offenses trying to make a comeback, they’ll need more from Preston Smith or another blitzer to make teams think twice about doubling Za’Darius.
Fans often hear about the three phrases of the NFL game, but the least discussed one is special teams.
Kickoff and punt returns are seemingly being ushered out of the NFL experience, but they can still affect games in a significant way.
Last season, Green Bay was the worst team in the league in average punt return yardage allowed, and were also bottom ten in kickoff return average yards.
Allowing speedy players a chance to pick up steam is a dangerous game to play, and they’ll need to improve in that department in 2021.
Crunch Time Execution
It might be easier said than done, but Green Bay just needs to execute better in crucial situations, which comes down to coaching and the player on the field.
Their defensive approach against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the end of the first half of the NFC championship last year comes to mind, when Tom Brady was able to find Scotty Miller for a 39-yard touchdown.
Without pointing the finger, something like that just can’t take place for a team that’s trying to make it to the Super Bowl.
Additionally, head coach Matt LaFleur and his staff electing to kick a field goal and not go for it on fourth down in the waning moments of the game was another glaring misstep.
Look for the team to let Rodgers and the offense keep the chains moving with more frequency in 2021 in order to make amends.