In early November, Bob McGinn wrote a column suggesting Green Bay would be just fine should something happen to star Aaron Rodgers. “The Packers possess the coaching, the personnel, the chemistry and the backup quarterback to win.” Those were his exact words. A day later something did happen to No. 12, and as we all found out, the team was anything but fine. OK, McGinn was very wrong. It happens. But the point of the column was that general manager Ted Thompson had put together a coaching staff good enough and a roster talented and deep enough to still win 11 games without its best player. Well, that coaching staff and that roster remain. What doesn’t remain, however, is McGinn’s unbridled optimism. Here are his words from this morning: “The Packers can take a long look at themselves, admit to their many shortcomings and failings and come back as a more vibrant organization under old standbys Thompson, [Mike] McCarthy, Rodgers and Dom Capers. None of those four men has any reason to feel good about the recent past.” Ouch.
Other than Dr. Henry Jekyll, has any human being ever changed so dramatically in two months? In November, according to McGinn, the Packers were such a smooth-running machine that even the loss of Rodgers couldn’t derail them. Two months later, according to McGinn, the Packers are such a mess that the only thing keeping them from being the Bears, Lions and Vikings are the Bears, Lions and Vikings.
Here’s what I think (and what I’ve been writing for the past two years). The Packers simply aren’t good enough on defense to make a long run in the postseason, and things won’t get better on that side of the ball until Thompson adds veterans in free agency and McCarthy replaces Capers. That’s it. In my humble opinion, the rest of McGinn’s rantings are bullshit. The head coach is fine. The offense is fine. The drafting, while not great in recent years, is fine. This organization doesn’t have “many shortcomings and failures.” Sure it has some, but what organization doesn’t? Unlike the Hall of Fame scribe, this lowly blogger feels exactly the same way about Green Bay today that I felt in early November. There’s absolutely no reason for such gloom and doom. If Rodgers stays out of harm’s way, the Packers will win 10 or 11 games and make the playoffs in 2014. Heck, they may even win a game at Lambeau Field in January for a change. And while that might not be good enough for some, it’s a far cry from the Armageddon being predicted by Bob “Chicken Little” McGinn.