The 2023 Green Bay Packers are going to be one of the most fun, and interesting, teams to play in front of the home crowd at Lambeau Field in quite some time.
Fun doesn’t mean successful, necessarily.
Fun doesn’t mean finishing 12-5. I mean, that would be fun, don’t get us wrong. But this team will be fun to watch regardless of record (OK, not 1-16, but you get the idea). Us Packers fans haven’t had a season remotely like this since, well, 2008. And that squad had a bit more established veteran leadership than the current squad.
We have a very limited view of what this team is really going to look like out on the field.
This team is so young. We’re guaranteed to see many surprising moments as these speedy youngsters change the outlook of this franchise — the energy is different this year. We’re also guaranteed to see many mind-numbing mistakes. Mental errors will follow this team through January, no doubt.
The 2023 Green Bay Packers will be fun, regardless.
They’ll be fun because we’ll get to watch so many young men grow up together. It’s a rare thing in the NFL for a team to be this damn young. Numerous players are being counted on to take that next step as second or third year players and the amount of snaps rookies will take will be colossal, relatively speaking.
This all happened quickly, too, didn’t it? Many veterans were set aside for unproven talents. It takes immense planning, and trust, from a general manager to put a roster like this together. The trust he has in his scouting department cannot be understated.
All credit to Brian Gutekunst.
Toward the end of the Aaron Rodgers Era the Packers got close to a Super Bowl. So damn close. But they just couldn’t quite get there. Their rosters were undoubtedly strong as they won 13 games three years in a row from 2019-2021. The 2022 season was all sorts of weird, but it always seemed like they had a chance if they had just caught another break… or five.
They went all in. They kicked the can down the road. It just didn’t work. Shit happens, right?
But “fun” isn’t a word many people would use to describe the 2022 Packers. The drama and uncertainty revolving around their out-of-this-world top five all-time quarterback, and his future, permeated every moment of that frustrating season.
The injuries that piled up didn’t help either.
We blame that damn trip to London. The Packers were right clearly for not wanting to make that trip for years. That said, we are happy for all Packers fans on that side of the Atlantic that got a chance to watch the team play live.
One thing that can’t be argued is that the energy surrounding this team is better right now than it was a year ago — inside and outside of the building.
The 2023 Packers will not be judged by wins and losses this year — by us, that is. Many people are hoping the Packers win a bunch of games this year, however record isn’t everything. In fact, even as excitement for this squad builds, it’s important to keep that perspective or you’ll likely be setting yourself up for disappointment.
This season is all about development.
We just want to see development. We want to see progress. As we said, there will be growing pains. Many of them. We’d love to see this team win 11 games. We’d be ecstatic! But again, we aren’t hoping for a certain number. If it’s five, it’s five. If it’s seven, it’s seven. If it’s a division title, it’s a division title.
Before we jump into the various aspects of this team, let’s get this out of the way:
The 2023 Green Bay Packers will live and die in the trenches.
The offensive line and defensive line will dictate how good this team can and will be. Both units are poised to be incredibly successful.
The offensive line is already elite, looking around the league. Not many have the talent that this team has up front. Perhaps no one. A Hall of Fame caliber left tackle? Check. Maybe the best left guard in football? Check.
In fact, think about that for a moment.
Everyone understands the value of protecting your quarterback’s blind side — David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins form, perhaps, the best left side of the line in the NFL.
Scratch that, we’ll say the best.
The right side of the line has some question marks, but not a lack of talent. Center is probably the biggest question of all at the moment.
We have a feeling it’ll sort itself out and Josh Myers will prove why he won the starting role again.
The defensive line has a chance to be elite. That’s their potential. But will it pan out? It all depends on the youngsters Devonte Wyatt and T.J. Slaton. If they take the steps it appears they’re in the midst of taking, this defensive line will feast.
Kenny Clark is going to be Kenny Clark.
And with the Packers’ newest first round pick, edge defender Lukas Van Ness, being able to jump into the interior defensive line as needed — look out. The opportunity to continually run fresh, rested d-linemen in and out of the game will be there.
Every. Single. Game.
Which isn’t something that could be counted on in previous years. This is easily the deepest defensive front in Green Bay since 2010.
For this piece we figured we’d stick with “three” as our theme. Maybe it’s because we’re hoping Jordan Love is the Packers’ third consecutive dominant franchise quarterback (against all odds), following Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.
Then again, the odds were stacked more in his favor than most young quarterbacks around the league. His situation was and is pristine. There is so much room for everyone to grow.
Alright, here are three thoughts on a slew of topics regarding the 2023 Green Bay Packers!
The Three Most Fun Aspects of the Youth Movement:
You can’t mention anything about the 2023 Packers without mentioning the youth movement. It’s all we can talk about. The average age of the team is a staggering 25 years old — the youngest in the league. The youngest since the (uh… winless) 2017 Cleveland Browns per Daire Carragher (@DaireCarragher on X, formerly Twitter).
1- Young pass catchers growing with Jordan Love.
Will the chemistry be evident from day one? Probably not. It’s going to take time, but that’s the fun part. We believe the growth will be evident. Every month should be more cohesive than the last. Hopefully the running back duo of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon will take some of the pressure off, initially. If Love can show immediate chemistry, well, how fun would that ve?
2- You simply don’t know what you’re going to get on offense.
It could be electric right away! And it could easily be disjointed, riddled with mental errors of inexperienced players. It will probably be a mixture of those two things at first. Hopefully as it gets colder out some of the mistakes fade away. But we just don’t know.
We think we’ll get a lot more carries for Jones and Dillon than we’ve seen in recent years. Here’s hoping that translates to a more consistent offense than most led by first year starting quarterbacks.
Could the rookie tight end, Luke Musgrave, be a weapon right away? Think about how that changes this offense. The Packers haven’t had a true difference maker at that position since Jermichael Finley in 2013. Yes, it’s been a decade. It’s time for a tight end to start making a big difference for this team again.
3- Going with rookies at both kicker and punter
Quite a message was sent by Packers GM Brian Gutekunst. An interesting one, too. They’re valuing youth over experience at every corner of the roster. It wouldn’t have shocked many if both Mason Crosby and Pat O’Donnell would have been back in 2023. And yet, here we are.
All youth, everywhere. That’s why we’re not overly focused on the record this year. Come 2024? Well hey, it’s time to start thinking about contending, baby!
Three storylines we’ll be watching closely this year:
We’re not including Jordan Love in this portion as, obviously, he’s one of the biggest stories in the entire NFL. Being handed the reins to an iconic franchise that has enjoyed 30 years of Hall of Fame quarterback play is no small thing. Everyone knows all about that storyline.
1- Red zone offense.
It was abysmal in 2022. Can it actually improve with Jordan Love at the helm instead of Aaron Rodgers?
It seems funny that the team could be better at something with Love than Rodgers right away, but honestly, the red zone offense couldn’t have been worse in 2023. Hopefully from Week One the Packers can make it obvious that the red zone will be a better place this fall.
We think a bigger commitment to the run will help this offense punch it in with more regularity. Hopefully we see more simplicity and a little less thinking when the team nears the end zone.
2- Can the defense take that next step?
If this defense can take that next step and start holding teams under 20 points per game then this team could do something special. It’s not all that unrealistic. The Packers let up 21.8 points per game in 2022. If the Packers’ offense runs the ball more (it will) this will only help this cause.
The Packers’ defense should be on the field less in 2023.
The other thing the defense needs to do is start taking the ball away. Period. The Packers stole the ball 26 times last year, including 17 interceptions. We’re hoping that number gets comfortably over 30 this year. Joe Barry has a better handle on the talent on his defense and the pieces seem to be there.
However the safety position is a pretty obvious weak spot for the team. Hopefully we all get pleasantly surprised at that position this fall. All eyes on you, Darnell Savage. This is the year to fulfill your potential or not. Sink or swim… away from Green Bay. Note: he is under contract through 2024, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot.
3- Matt Lafleur’s offense truly being ran for the first time
A real commitment to running the damn ball. Ahh, feels good to say doesn’t it?
That’s what we’re going to see this year as Packers fans. It’s an exciting thing to think about. We’re not bitter about the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers not running the ball as much. When you have a quarterback that historically dominant, you kind of let him do what he does best.
However with a relatively inexperienced quarterback in Jordan Love we should see an offense predicated more on running, rhythm, quick passes, and play-action deep shots. Matt LaFleur will set the tempo in 2023. We can’t wait to see this offense in action!
Three rookies all eyes will be on:
1- Luke Musgrave
Musgrave’s catch radius is something to behold and something we haven’t seen in Green Bay for quite some time. Could we possibly be blessed with a more humble version of the Mahomes-Kelce connection in Kansas city? His combination of size and speed cannot be ignored. And the potential increase of effectiveness via play-action with LaFleur focusing even more on the running game could mean big plays for Musgrave. He’s a rookie, so we can’t expect him to be a Pro Bowl talent right away, but in spurts? Why not?
2- Anders Carlson
Can he be consistent? That’s the big question. No one doubts his leg. He hit a 57 yarder at Lambeau Field in the preseason. Leg size isn’t the worry here. Hopefully the game slows down for him a bit as his rookie season progresses and the accuracy (which was a problem for much of training camp) improves.
There certainly will be many anxious moments as the field goal unit lines up this fall.
3- Lukas Van Ness
The mammoth rookie they call “Hercules” will be aided so much by the return of Rashan Gary. Even though Gary will start the season on a “pitch count” him even being on the field will open up opportunities from Van Ness.
Plus Van Ness, an edge defender, gets to learn from the ever-professional Preston Smith as well as the heart of the defense — Gary. Plus, as we previously mentioned, Van Ness can move inside to spell tired defensive linemen, too.
He’s a pretty raw talent and it’s going to take awhile for him to adjust to the flow of NFL football. But remember the point of this season? It’s development. As long as he shows continued improvement, he’ll have a successful rookie season (we’re not looking for a certain sack number or anything from him).
It was hard to not include Jayden Reed in this section, but it’s safe to say all of us will have our eyes on him. He’s electric and seems to be the slot receiver we’ve been waiting for since prime Randall Cobb.
Three players we’re excited to watch develop:
1- Quay Walker
Can he show the necessary maturity? Will he be a bigger pass rusher? Will he continue to be the aggressive tackler we saw as a rookie?
These are the biggest questions heading into 2023. We think he’ll show maturity, but you do know other teams will try to bait him into boneheaded penalties all year. One more ejection and he’ll forever be labeled a hothead. We hope he’s utilized as a blitzing backer more, it does seem like he will be used in that way more this year. His speed cannot be questioned and it makes sense to utilize that trait. Hopefully his tackling only improves, something that is already a strength of his. Lord knows this team needs run tacklers.
2- Christian Watson
Sophomore slump? Superstardom? Something in between?
No one knows. All we know is he’s as electrifying a talent as we’ve seen in Green Bay for decades — in terms of pure athletic ability. We’re talking James Lofton. That’s the incredible ceiling for this kid, in terms of athletic ability. His chemistry with Jordan Love, if the preseason was any indication, seems to have grown exponentially. We’re so excited to see how he plays this year.
How does this stat-line sound? 1280 receiving yards, 80 receptions, 11 touchdowns and 16 yards per reception to go along with 12 rushes for 150 yards and two touchdowns?
Does that sound insane? Plausible?
We can’t wait to find out.
Fingers crossed for his sake that the hamstring issues fade away as the 2023 season rolls on.
3- Zach Tom
Imagine if he really becomes “the guy” at right tackle. Just like Elgton Jenkins, his versatility is his biggest strength. However, like Jenkins at left guard, we hope Tom finds a forever home at right tackle. Imagine if he’s the guy that he seems to be on track to be?
This offense will find itself in such a strong place if so.
How does this team keep finding and developing versatile, athletic offensive linemen? We don’t know, but we absolutely love it. We’re fine with this remaining a mystery, just keep it going!
Three thoughts on the Packers’ schedule:
1- The Packers’ Two “Bye Weeks”
The Packers play the Detroit Lions on Thursday Night Football on September 28th and then don’t play again until Monday Night Football on October 9th when they take on the Las Vegas Raiders. That’s a ten day stretch with no games.
Then after the game on the 9th they’re off until October 22nd (an 11 day game-less stretch) when they take on the Denver Broncos.
That’s essentially two bye weeks in a month span. They can use that time to rest a bit as this young team learns how to play in this league. It should be an invaluable advantage for Matt LaFleur and his staff. You’d have to think a whole lot of teaching will be happening in that first non-bye, bye week. What a bonus to a young team.
2- It starts and ends with the Chicago Bears
We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Kicking off the Jordan Love Era with style against the team’s ancient rival? A rival that Love’s two predecessors (Favre and Rodgers) absolutely dominated? Sounds incredibly fun. There’s obviously pressure on Love to be the next great quarterback in Green Bay, but there’s added pressure to beat the Bears. It’s fun to have the Bears bookend his first season as starter.
Fingers crossed for a 2-0 start to his tenure in the amazing Packers-Bears rivalry.
3- Are the Lions really real?
The Packers’ first Thursday Night game will be a big clue.
It seems like the Lions aren’t the same old Lions these days. They’re a tough-minded squad with a lot of talent and an ascending defense.
If the Packers win that game, at Lambeau Field, all will feel right with the world. If the Lions steal that game (and they may actually be favored), then it may be a sign that Detroit really is a force to be reckoned with.
We call this specific matchup a coin flip. And that might be being generous to the young Packers.
Three Historical Viewpoints of the 2023 Packers
1- Aaron Rodgers’ 2008 vs Jordan Love’s 2023:
Everyone will be comparing Love’s season to Rodgers’ 2008 season. There’s no other way about it. So instead of putting our heads in the sand, even though it’s not completely fair to Love, let’s look at Rodgers’ first year at the helm
4038 passing yards
28 touchdown passes
63.6 completion percentage
7.5 yards per attempt
207 rushing yards
Four rushing touchdowns
21 rushing first downs
3.7 yards per attempt
And of course, the Packers’ record was 6-10.
Can Jordan Love keep pace with those numbers? We’d like to think so, but also, those numbers were pretty damn good for a first year starter. We’ll see and it’ll be fun to see how Love stacks up (remember, he’ll have that added 17th game, too).
We’re not going to give a prediction on Love’s stats. We just don’t see the value in looking specifically at Love’s numbers. Again, this year we want development and progress. We’ll start talking stats in 2024 though, you better believe that.
A major difference between the 2023 from the 2008 Packers is that the 2008 Packers had Charles Woodson. An experienced all-time great voice in the locker room. The 2023 Packers don’t have that. They don’t lack leaders, just look at Aaron Jones, Jaire Alexander, Kenny Clark, David Bakhtiari and others. But there is no Woodson caliber player and leader on this team.
Rodgers could lean on Woodson in many ways to carry the emotional load. We wonder who Love will lean on — or if he’ll be that guy right away? Can’t wait to find out.
2- Coming off a losing season:
The 2023 Packers are the first Packers squad coming off a losing season since the 2019 team. The 2018 team finished with a 6-9-1 recored. The 2019 team responded by winning 13 games. They weren’t the best 13 win team ever, but hey, wins are wins. Hard to see how the 2023 Packers could possibly come close to this win total.
We give it a 0.0001% chance
…but we’d love to be wrong!
3- Aaron Jones chasing history
Jones needs just seven rushing touchdowns to become the fourth player in Green Bay Packers history to rush for 50+ touchdowns in franchise history.
He’s an all-time great, folks. Enjoy every second of watching him play.
We’re hoping he hits the milestone before Thanksgiving. Could he do it before Halloween? Certainly. Especially with a bigger commitment to the run. We think Jones should get more goal line carries. We know Dillon is bigger, but Jones has a nose for the endzone and he breaks tackles as good as anyone in the league. He hasn’t gotten many such carries over the last two years or he’d already have ran in his 50th touchdown.
We’re not aligning with the various analysts and sports books that don’t believe Jones will score many rushing touchdowns this year.
When he hits this milestone he’ll join Jim Taylor, Ahman Green, and Paul Hornung as the only men to hit 50 rushing touchdowns in Green Bay once he accomplishes this feat. Truly historic company… and company he certainly belongs with.
In fact, he’s third all-time in Packers history in points scored per game (not including kicks).
All-time Green Bay Packers points per game scored:
Don Hutson: 5.4 points per game
Jim Taylor: 4.6 points per game
Aaron Jones: 4.2 points per game
Jones is that freaking good. He’s a living legend in Green Bay — even if you’re hesitant to admit that.
And his points per game total should go up, too, because he should be utilized more this year with Matt LaFleur’s offense finally running the way he’d prefer it to be ran. We hope Jones puts up 12+ total touchdowns this year.
Three “Imagine if it happens?”
1- Dual 1000+ rushing yard backs?
Imagine if both Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon both rush for 1,000+ yards in the same season? It’s certainly possible. Matt LaFleur is going to rely on the running back position more than ever in his head coaching career. We’re bullish on this one.
We’re all on on this one. This duo wants it. The offense should operate in a way that makes this realistic.
We actually give it a 60% chance
2- Top Three Defense?
Imagine if the Packers defense finishes the season top three in the NFL? We wouldn’t file this under the “likely” designation, but if the Packers do really commit to running the damn ball, the defense should be more fresh than ever.
How amazing this would be. Unlikely, sure, but fans can dream right?
We give it only a 20% chance
3- Coordinator change before the season ends?
Imagine if Joe Barry loses his job before the end of the season… things will have had to have gone so wrong. Hard to figure how it could happen, as he has so many talented players to work with. And all reports suggest that he’ll be turning these guys loose this year (meaning, more blitzes, more creative attacks, etc.). We shall see. He’s not a fan-favorite and he’ll have to work pretty hard to get back in the fan’s good graces. Even so, we don’t see this happening.
We give it a 10% chance… and even that may be too high
It’s not something the Packers organization really does. If it does happen, you’ll know things went terribly, terribly wrong this fall.
Three ways Jordan Love can have a successful season:
It isn’t just about putting up great numbers or the Packers winning a bunch of games this year, it’s about him showing development as a quarterback — and leader.
1- Pocket Presence
If Love continues to show that the pocket presence he had in the preseason will continue into the regular season. It’s a big if, as defenses were predictably vanilla in the preseason, but if that’s the quarterback he is this year? It’s a successful season. Going along with this point, in the third preseason game he showed poise in knowing when to run. The mental side of the game is the most important side for NFL quarterbacks (all of them have good arms). If he can continue to look like he belongs through the entire season, well, then we got a real one!
It’s all about making the right decision at the right time.
Continuing to build that rapport with this young team, specifically his pass catchers. If their chemistry only evolves and strengths then, regardless of the team’s record, it will be a successful season for Jordan Love. Just imagine where this team will be heading into 2024 if the chemistry continues to build like is seemingly already has? With another year in the offense for everyone? Come on… get excited.
3- Making sure the Bears Still Suck!
That he leads the Packers to victory over the Chicago Bears. “Wins aren’t a quarterback stat” yadda, yadda. Yes, everyone knows this. But part of being quarterback of the Green Bay Packers is having your squad beat the Bears. It’s always been that way, it always will be. That’s how Packers quarterbacks are judged. If he can lead them to a 2-0 record over the team’s arch rival–in his first year as starting quarterback–the season will be successful in some regard no matter what else happens.
Yes, this rivalry still means that much.
Three Undrafted Free Agent Rookies we’ll be cheering for:
1- Emanuel Wilson
What a great story. This kid got a small opportunity and absolute ran with it (get it?). But for real, he runs with surprising bounce and he seems like someone who wants to be successful at all cost. There’s always room for a guy like that on an NFL roster. Here’s hoping he gets a chance to show his meddle during the regular season a few times. The NFL is a next man up league. Hopefully he’s ready if and when his name is called.
2- Daniel Whelan
No one ever cares about the punter position until you have a really bad one. Whelan comes in fresh and as a rookie has a chance to be the punter in Green Bay for quite some time. Hopefully he makes the most of this chance. In this league, punters get replaced without much thought, so his leash won’t be incredibly long.
Here’s hoping the luck of the Irish are on Whelan’s side (as he’s the first native Irish player to suit up for the Packers and the first in the NFL in 40 years).
3- Malik Heath
Heath was, perhaps, the most fun receiver to watch in the preseason for the Green Bay Packers. He has great size and is a willing blocker. For a team that just lost Allen Lazard, that’s the perfect recipe for Heath to find his way onto the field. There’s something special about undrafted rookies fighting their way onto NFL rosters. Hopefully Heath can get on the field in 2023. We can’t wait to watch what he can do.
With hamstring injuries nagging both Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, Heath may have a chance to make a difference for this team early in the season. Hopefully he is up for the task!
Three guys coming back from injury:
1- David Bakhtiari
Can Bakhtiari finally put together another completely healthy season? For Jordan Love’s sake, we certainly hope so. Having a player so talented protecting the blindside of a first-year starting quarterback is invaluable. Love’s confidence should grow from knowing Bakhtiari has his back (literally). But all eyes will be on him… and his knee. He’s been battling injuries since 2020. We all hope he can stay healthy this year, he deserves it more than anyone.
All of this said, Bakhtiari is somehow the least worrisome when it comes to these three guys. If he isn’t great or can’t stay healthy the Packers have shown such a great ability at developing tackles over the years that it feels like Rasheed Walker (or even Yosh Nijman) could deliver what Love needs when it comes to protecting his blindside.
2- Rashan Gary
The heart of the 2023 Packers defense is Rashan Gary. The coaching staff brought him along at the right pace (by all accounts) and they’re going to ease him into the season. We appreciate that they’re taking Gary’s injury and recovery seriously, as he’s poised to be “the guy” on this defense for the foreseeable future. He’s the most important player on the defense and by far the most important player coming back from an injury on this team.
His motor is relentless and he’s such a joy to watch. He’s also the Packers’ best player at recording PCIs, which are a huge stat for any defense.
Don’t know what PCI’s are? Learn all about them right here, we think you’ll enjoy what you find!
3- Eric Stokes
Stokes is kind of the x-factor to this defense. We really don’t know what we have in him. Is it the promising rookie that showed elite speed and confidence? Is it the last year’s version that was more tentative? Is it a combination of those? We hope that another year studying this defensive system will result in a more confident version of Stokes in 2023.
If he can be the guy he appeared he was as a rookie, but with a better understanding of his assignments? This defense will look and feel altogether different than it did last year, especially after his foot and knee injuries. He’ll start the season on the PUP list and will miss at least the first four games.
And if he does come back as healthy as ever, it will give the Packers the ability to move Rasul Douglas around as necessary. We have a feeling the secondary is going to have to be used in creative ways to overcome the deficiencies at safety.
If defensive coordinator Joe Barry does indeed “turn the defense loose” that should be mean more man-to-man coverage for Stokes. This defense will be at it’s best when everyone’s strengths are maximized — man coverage is, perhaps, Stokes’ greatest strength.
Hopefully he comes out against the Raiders on October 9th completely healthy!
Three biggest questions on the team:
1 – The safety position
Is it somehow going to be better than it looks on paper? Will Darnell Savage finally become who it seemed like he was going to become? Can Rudy Ford be counted on play-in and play-out? Losing Adrian Amos may be one of the biggest hurdles for this team to jump over… and this is a team that lost one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history and the best kicker in team history.
This position group will likely take some creativity from the coaching staff to get the most out of them. Rasul Douglas is a cornerback, but his instinctive playing style goes down the road of a Charles Woodson type (he isn’t Woodson, that’s not what we’re saying). But Woodson found success moving to a hybrid role and even at safety. We really think Douglas could start to dabble in a similar trajectory at some point — especially if this position group collectively falters and Eric Stokes stays healthy.
2- Is Love the guy?
We were hesitant to include this question, but honestly, the entire plan that Brian Gutekunst has been working on for years hinges on this. Is Love for real? We won’t know right away, but it feels like by Thanksgiving we’ll have a pretty good idea. Even then we won’t know every answer (that will takes a few years), but we’ll likely know enough.
Man, just imagine if he is. Bears fans won’t know what to do with themselves.
This question could have been called, “What will life be like without Aaron Rodgers?” Really, it’s the same question. We have a feeling that although he’ll undoubtedly be missed at times, that life is going to be just fine.
We’ve long said that all-time greats almost always leave the Packers and life goes on.
3- Will the rookie kicker cost this team wins?
We honestly don’t think enough is being made about how important the kicker position is in the modern NFL. As you know many, many games come down to the final play — when accuracy means everything. And honestly, Anders Carlson has almost equally as big of shoes to fill as Jordan Love. Love’s predecessor took over in 2008, Carlson’s took over in 2007.
Will a missed kick (or a few) cost this team a victory (or a few) in 2023? We would say that yeah, it’s probably likely that will happen.
Unfortunately, we give it an 80% chance
Such is life though, we were blessed at kicker for 16 years. Although you never know, Carlson could be here for another 16. Unlikely, sure, but we just don’t know.
Three players that could conceivably lose their starting roles:
1- Josh Myers
We hope not, but it is possible. He hasn’t run away with the starting role like it seemed like he would as a rookie. He simply lacks consistency. Hopefully another offseason has him in position to be the guy they need touching the ball on every play. The physical tools are there, it’s the rest he needs to improve upon. When it comes the center and quarterback relationship, consistency is everything. If Myers can be Love’s center for the foreseeable future, this year will go a long way in laying that foundation.
2- Darnell Savage
We’ve talked about him a few times now… and for good reason. Will he hold onto his spot? Will Anthony Johnson, Jr. take a run at the starting lineup? Will Savage possibly move into the slot? Like we just mentioned, could Rasul Douglas actually move to safety? We don’t necessarily think so, but it is possible despite the refutes that have come out of 1265 Lombardi Avenue. You just never know.
His speed can’t be questioned, but his career is obviously at a crossroads.
3- Anders Carlson
If Carlson is replaced, he’ll be replaced by someone coming off the street. So, you’ll know he had a horrendous rookie season if that happens. Losing the reliability of Mason Crosby is no joke. He was so good for so long and if Carlson struggles with accuracy for all of September and October, there could be a new kid (or veteran, I suppose) kicking for the Packers come November. And Carlson wouldn’t just lose his starting role, he’d lose his job.
Three players that could conceivably end up on the trading block come October 31st:
1- David Bakhtiari
This offseason was a goofy one when it came to Bakhtiari and the Packers. Some of his comments had a questionable tone, especially early on. That said, he’s one of the absolute best left tackles in football, which happens to be one of the most important positions in football. His comments this week suggest that he’s fully bought in and excited about this team — which is refreshing.
But the Packers have shown they are going the way of youth and youthful, in the context of the 2023 Packers (or the 2024 Packers), Bakhtiari doesn’t fit that bill. Could he be moved? Maybe.
2- Yosh Nijman
If Rasheed Walker continues to impress and answer the call all year and the rest of the offensive line stays healthy, Nijman could find himself on another team at some point in 2023. Especially if there’s a bad injury at left tackle to a contending team that’s willing to part with a solid draft pick.
Nijman has talent and size and we think a team could take a chance on him if the situation arose and the Packers stayed healthy at offensive tackle.
3- Aaron Jones
This one hurts to even bring up. We sure as hell hope not!
Jones is one of our favorite players we’ve ever watched play for the Packers. But again, this team is going youth everywhere. And Jones, who will turn 29 this December, isn’t the youngest back in the league. Again, that whole youth movement thing is real.
We think the only way this happens is if the season goes spectacularly wrong and the front office immediately looks to a brighter future.
We don’t think this will happen, by the way. In fact, there might not be any trades during the season out of Green Bay. But you just never know…
And that’s the fun part, no one knows anything!
All we have to do this year is sit and watch this team, drink a beverage or two and eat some good food. Don’t live and die with every snap this year, Packers fans. This will be a process with many ups and downs.
No matter how you look at it, the 2023 Green Bay Packers are going to be incredibly fun to watch. Because there is so much new, so much youth, and so much potential to start building something really special. But the valleys will follow the peaks.
It’s not often a team gets so dramatically young so fast, but also still has the framework of a very competitive roster. The 2023 Packers weren’t stripped down to the studs, but they did go as far as they could while keeping the team competitive.
It speaks to Gute’s plan. Now it’s up to Matt LaFleur to turn potential into productivity and for Jordan Love to show progress along the way. Then in 2024 and beyond we can really start talking about potentially bringing the Lombardi Trophy home again.
But first we have to get through this season, which will be a season of development and growth (and finding out what this team really has).
It’s going to be so much fun!
Again, if the Packers become a contender soon, this season will go a long way in establishing that foundation and identity. So soak it up, even if their record isn’t as great as your wildest dreams suggested.
The 2023 Green Bay Packers are the youngest team many fans have ever watched. We think they’re going to start building something special this fall.
Are you excited?
Go Pack Go!