CineSport—As Packers camp begins, Coach McCarthy sticks to a "Super Bowl or Bust" mindset. CineSport's Noah Coslov & the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Michael Hunt mull this & the team's biggest weakness.
Heading into the 2011 season, the Packers were coming off a Super Bowl victory and looking to repeat as NFL champions.
Things started off well as Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to a 15-0 start, making them the overwhelming favorite to run the table again in 2011. But a loss to Kansas City in Week 17 sent the message that no one is invincible. Indeed, the Packers later made an early playoff exit against the eventual champion Giants.
Entering 2012, Green Bay has kept their roster mostly intact, the only significant loss being back-up QB Matt Flynn to the Seahawks.
The team’s biggest weakness heading into 2012 is their ground attack. After RB Ryan Grant went down injured again last season, James Starks stepped in to take the starting position. Starks disappointed, as he rushed for only 578 yards in 13 games.
Starks will have to vastly improve his game in training camp if he wants to go into 2012 as the #1 option. He will have some competition for the job in second year man Brandon Saine, who was supposed to be the #2 option behind Grant last year but suffered an injury of his own.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Packers have a shortage at safety. Morgan Burnett will continue to be the starting free safety heading into the 2012 campaign, but the rest of the safeties are very young and lack game experience. There will be a training camp battle for the #2 free safety and strong safety positions.
Third-year S M.D. Jennings, second-year S Anthony Levine and rookie S Jerron McMillan will all likely get substantial playing time with only four safeties on the roster.
The Cheeseheads certainly have the talent to return to The Big Game. If they can improve on their weak spots by getting an every-down back or using a two-back tandem and shore up the safety position, the team could be well on their way to becoming a perennial contender.