For a little over a decade, you can find Green Bay Packers fans emotions looking like a roller coaster. They were at a high from moving on from hybrid general manager/head coach Mike Sherman. Ted Thompson was brought on as the new general manager for the Packers and Mike McCarthy as the new head coach. Then, there was the low of waiting for Thompson & McCarthy to rebuild the Packers their way around their golden goose, QB Aaron Rodgers. Finally, the duo would go on to bring a Lombardi championship back to Green Bay in Super Bowl XLV in the 2010 season and Packers were at an all-time high. They had a QB entering his prime, a GM/HC duo using the draft and develop theory spot on, everything was right where they wanted it.
In 2011, the Packers went 15-1 in the regular season with home-field advantage in the NFC heading into the postseason. Packers fans had a high like never before ready for the repeat of glory from the year prior. Out of nowhere, the unthinkable happened with the New York Giants upsetting the Packers at Lambeau Field ending their magical quest to repeat as world champions. In 2012 and 2013 the Packers hit the same wall in the playoffs falling short. 2014 was a special season that ended with a nightmare collapse in the NFC championship against the Seattle Seahawks. It started reminding me of the first Rocky movie against Apollo Creed watching the round cards fly by while Rocky Balboa was getting the pulp beat out of him like the Packers defense in the playoffs year after year.
Packers fans hit an all-time low after a disappointing 2017 NFL season. Green Bay lost their franchise QB Aaron Rodgers in week 6 against the rival Minnesota Vikings after a monster sack by Anthony Barr that crushed his collarbone. Watching the dreadful play of replacement Brett Hundley, not being able to throw a touchdown pass at home, or even watching a lacking defensive scheme by Dom Capers get beat down. A Rodgers comeback couldn’t even get the Packers into a playoff run. Packers fans like Rocky Balboa were beaten, bruised, and battered after the boxing match against creed watching their team miss the playoffs for the first time in eight years. After multiple seasons of players and fans calling for the defensive coordinator Capers firing, they had finally gotten their wish. Former Browns Head Coach and Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has been brought in by the new regime to run the defense for McCarthy.
The fans received long-awaited response from Packers with Thompson steeping down from the General Manager position into a lateral advisory role. Packers hired from within promoting Brian Gutekunst as the new GM with complete control over personnel and the roster. Packers fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief with the new aggressive nature Gutekunst had towards free agency and the NFL Draft. A welcomed sight after watching Thompson’s nonchalant attitude in free agency for over a decade. Gutekunst signed multiple notable free agents in tight end Jimmy Graham, defensive end Mohammed Wilkerson, bring back veteran cornerback Tramon Williams, and even releasing fan-favorite wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Gutekunst’s showed his aggressiveness in free agency beyond what Packers fans expected and now they have hope in what their general manger can do in th Draft. A successful draft will do wonders for putting a competitive team on the field to maximize their window to compete for championships with an elite Quarterback, something the old General Manager and front office failed to accomplish. The Packers new general manager has washed away the ashes from the old regime and left a phoenix standing waiting to rise.