This probably wasn’t the best offseason for a lockout, at least as far as the Green Bay Packers organization is concerned.
Every team coming off a Super Bowl win experiences some sort of hangover. The players are partying, making personal appearances, getting their faces in the media and partaking in all kinds of stupid promotional and commercial endeavors.
In other words, while everyone else is getting back to football, the players on the Super Bowl-winning team are standing around getting pats on the back and forgetting about the hard work it took them to reach the pinnacle of their sport to begin with.
In a normal offseason, that probably would have stopped by now. The Packers would have begun organized team activities and probably would have had a minicamp this month, which would have allowed the coaching staff to refocus the players’ attention on winning.
Back to football, back to normalcy and back to focusing on next season.
No one’s flipped that switch and it’s starting to look like some Packers are content to ride this Super Bowl wave on through the summer, which doesn’t bode well for a repeat.
The Packers are one of only four NFL teams who haven’t had any sort of player-organized workout sessions this offseason.
The others are the [intlink id=”147″ type=”category”]Seattle Seahawks[/intlink], [intlink id=”249″ type=”category”]Carolina Panthers[/intlink] and [intlink id=”13″ type=”category”]Chicago Bears[/intlink]. Both the Seahawks and Panthers are reportedly planning organized activities in the next couple weeks.
It makes you wonder if complacency has set in.
The team the Packers killed in the divisional round of the playoffs last season, the [intlink id=”127″ type=”category”]Atlanta Falcons[/intlink], have gone so far as to have organized 7-on-7 practices twice a week since May 10. The Falcons, who gave away a chunk of their future by trading five draft picks to move up 21 spots in the first round of this year’s draft and select receiver Julio Jones, clearly think this is their year and are acting accordingly.
The Packers, on the other hand, continue to offer excuses. First, linebacker [intlink id=”80″ type=”category”]A.J. Hawk[/intlink] characterized player-organized workouts as a disaster. Then quarterback [intlink id=”25″ type=”category”]Aaron Rodgers[/intlink] said the team had no plans to work out or practice as a unit because it’s too hard to get guys together.
Certainly, there are factors working against the Packers and their [intlink id=”527″ type=”category”]NFC North[/intlink] brethren. Most players live elsewhere during the offseason. The weather isn’t always cooperative, especially during the early part of the offseason.
If the Packers really wanted to get together, they would, though.
The [intlink id=”29″ type=”category”]Oakland Raiders[/intlink] met outside Atlanta just this week and defensive end Richard Seymour picked up the tab for many of the expenses.
Certainly, the Packers played longer than anyone other than the [intlink id=”386″ type=”category”]Pittsburgh Steelers[/intlink] last season, and have a level of familiarity and comfort with each other and the schemes, but it almost seems like they’re betting on that to win them games in 2011.
We assume most players are working out on their own, but Rodgers has been seen in the media more this offseason than he has been throwing a football. Meanwhile, linebacker [intlink id=”454″ type=”category”]Clay Matthews[/intlink] seems to be just as interested in adding to his commercial reel as he does in training — twice in the past three weeks Matthews was elsewhere when we called his training facility. This week we were informed he’s shooting commercials in New York.
These are the Packers’ team leaders and they might be taking a little too long to bask in their own glory.
It will be interesting to see if those teams working hard right now have an advantage over those doing commercials right now once the season begins.