10 Ways the Packers Succeed in 2017
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10 Ways the Packers Succeed in 2017

Let's get that ring this year.

10 Ways the Packers Succeed in 2017

With all things considered, 2016 was a successful year for the Green Bay Packers. After a dreadful 4-6 start, the team rallied behind Aaron Rodgers and made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game. There's always room for improvement, and I believe these ten suggestions could help the Pack get back on top in the 2017 season.

1). Prepare to part ways with DC Dom Capers.

Its no secret that the Green Bay defense was beyond pitiful. The pass defense was ranked second to last, and only briefly shined against the run (the run defense rating does not reflect the poor running talent the Packers played against). While injuries in the secondary were definitely a factor, teams being able to pick apart the defensive scheme of Dom Capers cannot be attributed to hurt talent alone. Teams have figured out the Packers defensive secondary, a sign that the Packers should entertain the idea of moving on from their long tenured defensive coordinator.

2). Address the secondary in the NFL Draft.

As previously stated, the secondary needs help. With a historically deep cornerback class this year, solutions to the pass defense can be found in any of the first 4 rounds. Don't get me wrong, I love the guys who play corner for the Packers, but they are not without their fault; LaDarius Gunter is simply too slow to keep up with top recievers, Damarious Randalls lets up too many big plays, and Quinten Rollins is coming off a big neck injury. My suggestion? Draft Sydney Jones, Jalen Tabor, or Quincy Wilson in the first round, and then draft a project cornerback in the later rounds. The Packers organization owes it to Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix to pair him with more talent.

3). Move Clay Matthews back inside.

Clay Matthews is one of the best first-round picks made by GM Ted Thompson, but it's time to acknowledge that Matthews has regressed. Often injured, Clay has shown in the past 2 seasons that he has lost his place as a premier pass rusher. However, he could still be an excellent asset on the team as a middle linebacker. Matthews still possesses a high motor, and continually displays the ability to recognize plays. So I say put him in the middle to mentor the younger talent around him, and give some of the other young guys an opportunity to play on the outside.

4). Create a new practice/training regimen.

In 2016, the Green Bay Packers had one of the most injured rosters in terms of star players missing time. Now I know there is no training system to completely eliminate injuries, but many of the injures the Packers dealt with this past year were ones that could have been prevented with a more yoga-based workout system. Multiple hamstrings that became an issue for several players could have been addressed in the offseason by continually emphasizing stretching.

5). Resign T.J. Lang.

GM Ted Thompson needs to swallow his pride this offseason, and retain the talent the Packers are about to lose in their star right guard. It's no secret that the idea of paying an aging veteran makes Thompson's skin crawl, but T.J. Lang is an asset too valuable to let walk to free-agency. Expected to fully recover from his late-season injuries, Lang is a guard who excels in both run and pass protection. Not to mention, he has (on multiple occasions) expressed interest in coming back to Green Bay. Pay the man.

6). Resign Jared Cook and Nick Perry.

These 2 get their own list spot purely because of their 2016 seasons. Cook was an excellent addition to the tight end spot via free-agency, and deserves a contract extension to show what he can do with a full season. He was one of Aaron Rodgers' favorite targets in the playoffs, and gives the Pack yet another weapon for utilization. Outside linebacker Nick Perry came on strong in the 2016 season, leading the Packers in the sack column. He has dealt with injuries throughout his first five seasons, but resigning Perry would allow Clay Matthews to comfortably move back inside.

7). Resign the other role players.

Micah Hyde and Eddie Lacy are 2 players who are not stars, but are vital cogs in the Packers machine. Hyde is a versatile defensive player who showed in 2016 that he will play whichever position he can to win. He is also an excellent tackler with a knack to find the ball. Eddie Lacy is a very interesting subject; when not injured and at his ideal weight, Lacy is a force for any defense to stop. Having missed most of 2016, I believe it would be in the Packers best interest to resign him, and pair him with new running back Ty Montgomery.

8). Draft more pass-rushers.

Julius Peppers is leaving the Packers, Clay Matthews has lost his step, and Nick Perry and Datone Jones are set to go to free-agency. Taking a look at that situation, it is obvious the Packers need to address the pass-rusher position. Regardless of who is resigned, it would be foolish for Ted Thompson not to draft pass-rushing talent in 2017. It is possible that T.J. Watt could be available still in the second round, and while he is still a raw talent, it's worth taking the risk on a guy who has shown he wants to play his hardest. If nothing else, Thompson should draft the fastest linebackers and D-linemen that he can find. Speed kills in the NFL.

9). Listen to Aaron Rodgers.

If the Packers all-pro quarterback is pleading with the front office to acquire more talent, the organization had better listen. Rodgers isn't getting any younger, and it would be a complete waste of his abilities to continue to not surround him with a cast of players capable of taking the Packers back to the Super Bowl. He turns 34 in December, and although quarterbacks are playing to closer to 40 than ever, the time to get him another ring is now.

10). Play to the team's strengths.

For the past few seasons, the Packers have survived almost exclusively on Aaron Rodgers' talent alone. While I would like to say it isn't sustainable, it clearly has been. The Packers have made the playoffs for eight straight seasons, each time with a lethal passing leader. So my message to head coach Mike McCarthy is this: if the run game just isn't working, abandon it. This time can survive with Aaron's arm talent, and as much as I love Ty Montgomery, the running back is not nearly as important to the team as our quarterback. There's no need to be balanced if the pass game is unstoppable. The wide receivers must prioritize coverage separation in anticipation for this over the offseason.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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