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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Rebuilding mode



by Mark Quarderer
PackerChatters Staff

It's very apparent to me that this team is in rebuilding mode. We'll have at least 11, and possibly 15 new faces on the 53 man roster and a totally new crew on the practice squad. Add that to the salary cap moves and the all of the people on the team right now that are in the last year of their contract---including some of the mainstays of the team---- and we could be looking at a team in 2006 that has 25 or more people on it that joined the team since TT took over. We're already looking at 5 new starters on defense and at least two on offense this year. That's seven out of 22....almost a third of the team...in the first year. That's not rebuilding?

If we needed a further indication that this team is rebuild mode, we'd look at the coaching staff. The Packers have a new DC, new DL coach, new secondary coach, new backfield coach, new receivers coach. The Head Coach is in the last year of his contract and hasn't been extended yet. This doesn't sound like rebuilding?

Thompson is in the FIRST year of his tenure here, so there's no reason to assume that he's under any pressure to win the Super Bowl this year. Building a team that is capable of winning the Super Bowl and building one to win it THIS YEAR are two different things and it certainly seems by what he has done so far that TT has much more of an eye on the future that his predecessor did.

I do not see this team as a legitimate Super Bowl contender this year. There is not a good mix of experience and talent in the secondary, we have too many unproven performers on the defensive line, and we don't get good enough play at the QB position in the playoffs to think that we can beat 3-4 quality opponents in a row.....which is what it takes to win the Super Bowl. I think that although the defense will be improved this year, they're still at least a year away from being the kind of defense that could get you to the Super Bowl.

I'd love to be proven wrong, but I don't think I will be. I don't think that looking forward to the future is any more of a "sick dream" than continuing to cling to an illusion of something that was but isn't anymore.

Time marches on, as it always does. In the NFL, if you insist on clinging to the past you become non-competitive. I don't think Thompson is going to let that happen.
Comments:
"Rebuilding Mode" is often being used to compare what is now commonplace turnover (with cap, FA, draft) to differing conditions 10 years ago. I think that's more the case here.

Also, GB has had virtually no turnover with starters the last year (what, we had Parker on special teams, nobody on offense, and a couple on defense). While this may seem like a "shock" to some Packer fans, it's really GB regressing to the NFL mean in player turnover. This doesn't equate to a rebuilding mode.
 
First question, what's the average turnover for an NFL roster from year to year?

I'd be willing to bet that it's not too far from eleven.

Anyways, I believe rebuilding in an NFL sense has to meet a certain number of key-position players. Out of 24 starting positions on a team there are certain positions that could be considered more important than another (like a good QB is more important than a good G).

So out of the 12 positions on offense only 2 will definitely be different players from last year, the guards. Guards are important but they are definitely the least sought after position throughout the league. It is tough for me to say that side of the ball is rebuilding. The Packers might have some turnover in the deeper sections of the offense but the weapons it uses to attack the opposition are could easily turn out to be identical to last year.

For me, I would say an O is rebuilding if you were exchanging around four of the following positions:

-Starting QB
-Starting RB
-Starting LT
-Starting C
-Starting RT
-Starting TE
-one of the Top 3 WRs

Time for the D. The Line is going to end up with the same talent pool. Hunt could easily not be a Packer at the start of the year but it would be tough to convince anyone (besides PFW) that it would be a loss or downgrade to the unit as a whole. The rookie might end up on the PS because the the EXISTING talent pool is so deep.

The LBs.... 2 out of the 3 starters are probably shoe-ins for a return. The quality of the newly added faces will probably determine where Diggs will end up. There are currently 10 LBs on the roster and only Barnett and Diggs are locks at this point. Now this is getting closer to what I would call 'rebuilding' but it still there is still a chance that not one of the starters will change.

Now the secondary.... okay you can have this one. Only Al Harris has a lock on his position at this point. It appears that the secondary could see some major overhaul but even then some of the potential replacements (like Thomas and Horton) were already on the roster. So IMO, the safety positions are truly the only positions on the defense that are being re-built.

The punter will most likely be different and the kicker won't.

Overall, through my eyes, the guard and safety positions are being 'rebuilt'. If you had to assign a value of importance for all the positions on the roster we are looking at two of the lowest positions on the scale (if not the lowest).

The coaching staff has been under construction for years. And the defensive side of the staff has been a merry-go-round under MS's tenure.

I'm just not seeing 'rebuilding'. I could handle 'reloading' to classify this offseason and I can see the 'look towards the future' label TT has been given but this team is a ways from 'rebuilding'.
 
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