Ranking the Packer Improvements for 2024 season

Thirteen Below

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We were one of the toughest SOS going into post season even finishing at 10-6. We had more of a 11-5 or 12-4 type feel. I tried to tell Chicago fans that but they were stubborn as heck that year. Some I remember even called us “Pretenders”
So... you say you were trying to discuss math with Bear fans, but it didn't go anywhere...

I'll make a note of that in case I feel like trying that after I give up on trying to teach celestial mechanics to my cat.
 
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Thirteen Below

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There are enough 'worst to first' stories to draw any conclusions from looking at SOS of the previous season.

There isn't a team on our schedule this season that scares me.
I agree. If we're seriously claiming to be a threat to win the Super Bowl, we should be able to match up with every single team in the league. There are some teams that concern me more than others, but if there's a team in the NFL we're afraid to face, then we're Super Bowl pretenders - not contenders.
 
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There are enough 'worst to first' stories to draw any conclusions from looking at SOS of the previous season.

There isn't a team on our schedule this season that scares me.
I agree. I do think it works as a good barometer “in-season” though
 
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I agree. If we're seriously claiming to be a threat to win the Super Bowl, we should be able to match up with every single team in the league. There are some teams that concern me more than others, but if there's a team in the NFL we're afraid to face, then we're Super Bowl pretenders - not contenders.
Yeah I agree also -13. This is just my opinion but those postseason teams of 2023 were not strong versions. Some seasons produce some real powerhouse playoff types. 2023 Just seemed pretty middling imo.
Meaning There wasn’t a team in 2023 that made me gulp. I think we matched up very well to Detroit and KC also.
What’s beautiful about that is The Packers were the Roster the farthest from “ceiling potential”. Not surprising when you possess the youngest team leaguewide. Not to mention our QB was a 4th year player and 1st year starter, which is pretty rare in itself in general.
 
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I remember we broke some record for the most 1st/2nd year starters to win a postseason contest. If you consider how many rosters there have been since the merger just to qualify for postseason? Thats a huge number.
We are fast approaching 60 seasons of Postseason qualifiers in both AFC/NFC and we ranked #1. That was a really impressive stat that I think flew under the radar a little bit. If my math is correct it’s in the neighborhood of 750 qualifying playoff teams with ~375 Rosters winning a Playoff game.
We were at or near the least experienced Roster of around ~375 Playoff Winners. Thats a remarkable feat in itself.
I know we witnessed our 2023 players getting lots of applause on our stretch Run and deservingly so, but our Coaches deserve an applause for that. Thats an incredible display of doing something very right.
 
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Oh I saw it now after our regular season finale. Youngest team to make the playoffs since 1974. So the 2nd youngest team (by age) across 50 seasons of Rosters to qualify for a Playoff contest.
Then what they did in that Playoff game on the road was nothing short of impressive. Just a total beatdown in Dallas to the point of pulling starters?
So yeah, I think our optimism is justified or we aren’t wrong for projecting growth from this Roster at all.
 
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Karl Brooks looked really impressive second half of last season. In his film study I saw several plays where he didn’t credit a sack, but he handed one on a silver platter to a teammate. The ? with him was more would his dominant college production from a lower conference translate at the Pro level. That question was answered for me. He might not test Uber athletic, but his skill level and ability to shed blocks, bull rush or separate are all “very good”. I think Karl’s floor is Dean Lowry ish and his ceiling could higher than initially projected.

We got a steal with Karl and he’s just getting warmed up. He’s one to keep an eye on in 2024 imo

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El Guapo

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Mike Wahle does a pretty good podcast. He recently had Karl Brooks on to talk about what he learned in Year 1, how that's shaping up his Year 2, etc. Good conversation and I suspect that Wahle invited him on, because as a former offensive lineman, he really respected Brooks' game.
 
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Even WITH what I’d call a good draft class, I still think our biggest improvement will come from the seasoning across the entirety of our young roster. I don’t think any 1 or 2 drafted players etc.. will come anywhere close to matching the natural progression of increased Productivity from a large group of 2nd-4th year players.
 
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So first and foremost our largest improvement is already on board this ship. These are my thoughts/guesses on which areas could see an uptick

#1. Existing Roster Seasoning

2. Safety Room.
While I admit it’s unproven, imo so was our Safety group in 2023. Cmon, I mean Savage leading the charge and guys like Owens and Ford behind him? Thats a pretty underwhelming group. So imo I’d rather have a talented but unproven group than a known grouping of oft unrealized potential. I forgot how bad Owens was until I watched a few games. I believe than a Rookie Anthony Johnson was better than Owens. Ford would make an occasional splash play similar to Savage, but play to play neither were very good players.
FA addition Xavier McKinney, 2nd year Anthony Johnson (1 INT 3PD across 27% D snaps) and 2nd Rounder Javon Bullard backed up by 4th/5th rounders Evan Williams and Kitan Oladapo is a much better scenario
 
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3. LB Corp

Now for me ranking LB as the #3 wasn’t as much because I think Campbell was bad like I’ve seen general sentiment in here. I just think players sometimes have an “off year” but Campbell is not a bad LB either. I still think Devondres Down year was also driven by some poor player utilization. You don’t go from being an All Pro to terrible at that position unless it’s injury or someone helps you (Barry)

As I’ve said before I still can’t believe we got Edgerrin Cooper!! From a thin iLB class at the top you’d probably expect the best one in college to be drafted as at least a “slight reach”. Nobody needed a LB? Weird but I’m thankful it’s almost too good to be true. We REALLY needed a good LB and opponents should be worried about our pair. I see this as very close to 2020 Tampa at ILB. We are very fortunate to draft Edgerrin where he should’ve went naturally. Thats easily the most exciting draft pick for me this year, he fell right into our lap!! This was better for me than Kraft was in RD3 last year, I jumped up n down because I knew he’d break the curse.

We now have not 1, but 2 “very good” LB’s. Add to that it was a little chancy on Hopper later Rd3, but if Ty’ron regains his trajectory and adapts like he should? We’ve got a wrecking crew at LB
 
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Reason #4
DL/OLB

There’s a reason that Brian didn’t pick at DT or DE. It’s been nearly 40 years since The Packers did not pick either position at least once in a draft. 1985 to be exact.
What’s more intriguing is we passed at DT/DE on 11 separate occasions. For myself that tells me that our staff believes our Defensive front is fully stocked.

I’ll be absolutely shocked if we don’t see at least 1 or more players as a heavy riser at DT or DE. It could be Van Ness, it could be Wyatt, it could be Wooden. It might even be an interior guy like TJ, especially now that he’s fully enveloped into the Defensive arena. (TJ was a standout OL who really converted to D later in his career). It might even be someone more unexpected like Brenton Cox (an undrafted) or that other standout kid from FCS ball we brought in (if he makes the cut)

We talk about depth at WR and that’s been a popular focus and rightfully so, but I’m not so sure we couldn’t argue that our DT/DE room isn’t even deeper laden with talent.
 
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Calebs Revenge

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Da North is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL.
Caleb is our most important improvement but the most impactful could be our punter. This is Big 10 country so I know y’all saw some of his highlights. Something like 99 punts and almost a 50 yard average…..it’s unreal.
The field position game is going to be huge bc even if drive stalls out at the 50….. this freakin kid is like prime Tiger dropping the ball between the 5 and the goal line. Hang time, spin or directional kick doesn’t matter. Our defense is going to get a couple chances to pin their ears back and try and go get a safety a couple times a game.
As Bears fans we always say this but this year is gonna be different.
 

Thirteen Below

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Da North is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL.
It sure is now.

Vikings have hiastorically been a good and "almost great" team consistently, and they're still perched on that particular branch of the tree (although I think they make more inexplicably stupid decisions than they can afford to make, but then that's what they always have done.)

The Detroits seem to have finally figured it out, now that they have a woman in charge who seems to know almost what the hell she's doing. But I think they're already close to the top of their trajectory, and will start losing altitude within 2 years - maybe even one. Their personnel and salary cap decisions seem like those of a team who are going all in for a run a year or two early, and I think they'll fall short before they start losing momentum.

Dangerous team, capable of beating any club on "any gioven Sunday", but a 3 or 4 game winning streak in the postseason? I don't think it's likely. That Goff contract is going to limit their options for assembling a team around him.

Chicago?

Look, you and I have gone around a couple of times regarding the management and the decisions they make on a lot of levels, and we're not going to close that gap between us. I'm really happy for Bears fans like you that you seem to be a better team than Chicago has seen since the Ditka era; I'm genuinely glad for you that y'all seem to have something worth dancing about. You guys deserve that; you've more than earned it.

It's just that when I look at some of management decisions I've seen the upper levels make over the lact couple of years, I'm.... less than impressed. I just don't believe ya'll have the decisionmakers in the office building to really get your team to the next level. You have a really terrifiic group of players, but I'm not convinced you've used them to build a good team. I really think your front office is in over their heads.


As Bears fans we always say this but this year is gonna be different.

This is the first year in your life that you've been justified in saying that. So, yeah.... appreciate it, enjoy it. Live the moment. If your team does well, I'll be happy for you, becasuse you seem like a good guy. It's just that I've seen the Bears being the Bears for way, way too many years.


Caleb is our most important improvement but the most impactful could be our punter. This is Big 10 country so I know y’all saw some of his highlights. Something like 99 punts and almost a 50 yard average…..it’s unreal.
The field position game is going to be huge bc even if drive stalls out at the 50…..

Which may happen an awful lot if Caleb doesn't meet the very lofty (and IMO, overly optimystic) early projections.

This is an example of what I was referring t when I spoke of "the Bears doing 'Bears' stuff" for so many years. My god, the players who were available in so many positions that you guys really needed help with, and you took a freaking punter -when you still needed so many things....

Jesus, it was like someone inheritng $1000 when their dad died, and buying a giant TV because it seemed like a good deal. You're going to spend a valuable pick on that???

I don't care if he's the best punter in the history of punters; that is not how a smart, well-managed club builds a team. Plus the way they pissed away the value Justin Fields had, and a number of similar things... I just think your front office is going to keep finding ways to **** things up and **** away opportunities every chance they get, because that's just what they do.

But, like I said... I'm glad for fans like you that you finally have a good reason to feel excirted about your team. I remember the 70s and 80s for the Packers; I get it. I'm genuinely happy for you. I'm just not worried about it. You'll probably be a lot better and a tougher team to beat - but we've improved even more in this offseason, and will probably continue to pull away from you.
 
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So first and foremost our largest improvement is already on board this ship. These are my thoughts/guesses on which areas could see an uptick

#1. Existing Roster Seasoning

2. Safety Room.
While I admit it’s unproven, imo so was our Safety group in 2023. Cmon, I mean Savage leading the charge and guys like Owens and Ford behind him? Thats a pretty underwhelming group. So imo I’d rather have a talented but unproven group than a known grouping of oft unrealized potential. I forgot how bad Owens was until I watched a few games. I believe than a Rookie Anthony Johnson was better than Owens. Ford would make an occasional splash play similar to Savage, but play to play neither were very good players.
FA addition Xavier McKinney, 2nd year Anthony Johnson (1 INT 3PD across 27% D snaps) and 2nd Rounder Javon Bullard backed up by 4th/5th rounders Evan Williams and Kitan Oladapo is a much better scenario
I like your #1 reason. Should have included in my list.

Don't stop at 4! I want to see where Hafley comes in on your list.
 

Calebs Revenge

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It sure is now.

Vikings have hiastorically been a good and "almost great" team consistently, and they're still perched on that particular branch of the tree (although I think they make more inexplicably stupid decisions than they can afford to make, but then that's what they always have done.)

The Detroits seem to have finally figured it out, now that they have a woman in charge who seems to know almost what the hell she's doing. But I think they're already close to the top of their trajectory, and will start losing altitude within 2 years - maybe even one. Their personnel and salary cap decisions seem like those of a team who are going all in for a run a year or two early, and I think they'll fall short before they start losing momentum.

Dangerous team, capable of beating any club on "any gioven Sunday", but a 3 or 4 game winning streak in the postseason? I don't think it's likely. That Goff contract is going to limit their options for assembling a team around him.

Chicago?

Look, you and I have gone around a couple of times regarding the management and the decisions they make on a lot of levels, and we're not going to close that gap between us. I'm really happy for Bears fans like you that you seem to be a better team than Chicago has seen since the Ditka era; I'm genuinely glad for you that y'all seem to have something worth dancing about. You guys deserve that; you've more than earned it.

It's just that when I look at some of management decisions I've seen the upper levels make over the lact couple of years, I'm.... less than impressed. I just don't believe ya'll have the decisionmakers in the office building to really get your team to the next level. You have a really terrifiic group of players, but I'm not convinced you've used them to build a good team. I really think your front office is in over their heads.




This is the first year in your life that you've been justified in saying that. So, yeah.... appreciate it, enjoy it. Live the moment. If your team does well, I'll be happy for you, becasuse you seem like a good guy. It's just that I've seen the Bears being the Bears for way, way too many years.




Which may happen an awful lot if Caleb doesn't meet the very lofty (and IMO, overly optimystic) early projections.

This is an example of what I was referring t when I spoke of "the Bears doing 'Bears' stuff" for so many years. My god, the players who were available in so many positions that you guys really needed help with, and you took a freaking punter -when you still needed so many things....

Jesus, it was like someone inheritng $1000 when their dad died, and buying a giant TV because it seemed like a good deal. You're going to spend a valuable pick on that???

I don't care if he's the best punter in the history of punters; that is not how a smart, well-managed club builds a team. Plus the way they pissed away the value Justin Fields had, and a number of similar things... I just think your front office is going to keep finding ways to **** things up and **** away opportunities every chance they get, because that's just what they do.

But, like I said... I'm glad for fans like you that you finally have a good reason to feel excirted about your team. I remember the 70s and 80s for the Packers; I get it. I'm genuinely happy for you. I'm just not worried about it. You'll probably be a lot better and a tougher team to beat - but we've improved even more in this offseason, and will probably continue to pull away from you.
I get you but I don’t think you are seeing the big picture of how the punter can affect the game. How many times does a linebacker or a defensive back touch the ball in a game? I look at the pick of Tori Taylor like getting an offensive lineman with the seventh overall pick. It’s not ****. It’s not going to be flashy very little highlight reel material but a good offensive lineman is going to be a positive influence on every offensive play you run. I think because of this kids talent, one out of three or four punts is going to get down inside the five maybe at two or one. That puts your defense in a really good spot to go get a touchdown, safety or turnover. Even if that doesn’t happen, if their punter is punning from in the end zone, you get the ball at midfield. We will have plenty of time to talk about this in the future, but I will go out on a limb and say that he might be the best fourth round pick, we’ve ever had.
 
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Da North is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL.
Caleb is our most important improvement but the most impactful could be our punter. This is Big 10 country so I know y’all saw some of his highlights. Something like 99 punts and almost a 50 yard average…..it’s unreal.
The field position game is going to be huge bc even if drive stalls out at the 50….. this freakin kid is like prime Tiger dropping the ball between the 5 and the goal line. Hang time, spin or directional kick doesn’t matter. Our defense is going to get a couple chances to pin their ears back and try and go get a safety a couple times a game.
As Bears fans we always say this but this year is gonna be different.
It’s good to be excited and you should be @Calebs Revenge. Really it’s not hard to get an upgrade from Justin Fields.

You guys have some really great receiving weapons in Moore, Allen and Odunze, Kmet and Everett and now I’ll add Swift (even though Philly didn’t use him in that capacity very well)
That said it’s hard to expect your #1 overall QB to go full throttle in a Rookie season, so even with that high grade arsenal there’s a learning curve. Ask The Jaguars about that. That said Caleb is walking into a very good scenario with lots of great weapons.

To keep things in perspective. The Chicago Defense isn’t playing at Playoff levels though. Thats gotta be fixed for them to be considered a contender. That and your OL is still a little suspect
 
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Thirteen Below

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I get you but I don’t think you are seeing the big picture of how the punter can affect the game.
I used to be a punter. Not at the NFL level, of course, or even major college, but I do have a grasp of how important a punter is. I just think y'all had more important holes to fill.

To me, it's just one more questionable decision by Poles. You've got a pretty good team on paper, but I think your GM sucks. He's made poor management decision after poor management decision for years, and one of them is Matt Eberflus - a bottom 1//3, maybe even bottom 1/4 head coach.

And I think Poles will continue to make naive and ill-considered decsions, and refrain from making correct ones, such as replacing Eberflus would have been. All the punters in the world can't fix a crappy coach and a GM who's in over his head.

The Bears will win games, but not as many as they should with the personnel they have. They'll be a factor in the North, but your GM and coach will always hold you back. That's why I keep singing the same song over and over again every time we talk about this - no matter how many smart moves Chicago makes, the Bears just seem to keep finding new ways to be the Bears.

You guys are legitimately making a move, but the problem is, you picked a period of time in which every other NFC North team is improving as well.

As I recall, Chicago went 2-4 in the division in 23, splitting with Minnesota and the Detroits and going 0-fer with Green Bay. The magic 8-ball assures me that the Packers will be significantly better this year, and the Lions will probably be less improved than Green Bay but still significantly better. I think Chicago will improve more this year than Minnesota, but I'm not sure it will be enough to do better than .500 in the North (Caleb is a wild card; it all depends on how he adapts and how quickly).

Eberflus is in his final year. If Chicago does poorly, does Poles double down anyway and extend him? Or start fresh with another new coach, just as your messiah QB is trying to hit his stride and figure out how to do his job?

Again, I just see a pattern of organizationl mediocrity and instability extending indefinitely into the future.
 

Calebs Revenge

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I’m hearing ol’ Bahktiari (sp?) maybe headed to Chi to mentor our young Bucks and be a swing T bc let’s face it….everyone uses a swing T at some point during the season.

What a kick in da biscuits. Pay a guy 90 some mill for 25 games over 4 yrs then your nemesis is able to sign him for peanuts. i’d give him 5 million a year just to drive you guys crazy. Let’s get this shiite started.
 

Calebs Revenge

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And ppl talk about our Front Office being garbage and they are 100% right……up until Matt Nagy was fired.
Ryan pace was fired.
Ted Phillips retired.
Now that Ryan Poles is the GM, Eberflus is still going to have to prove himself to me.

I think he will and the arrow is pointing up and our new president will not only get us a new stadium but our organization has had some incredibly good luck. We know and everyone knows we tanked the season three years ago and it was a calculated risk to get $80 million off of our books. We ended up with the number one overall pic and today are going into a season with Caleb Williams as our quarterback with Rome Odunze as a first round number one wide receiver, who doesn’t even have to play the number one wide receiver spot. Our front office now is not the front office that let LaDanian Tomlinson walk for $250,000. We are all about to find out who the best team in the division is.
 

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For Chicago, the number one thing is, of course, how Williams plays. He has some good receivers to help him out so the question is will he have the time. Things will be going a lot faster in the Pros. Unless he has a good line (which I have read is improved), he may be trying to thread the needle more than is good for him. And they will have to have some kind of running game. I think those things will probably be more important than the D. For one thing, I think Chicago will have a very difficult time stopping The Pack.
 
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And ppl talk about our Front Office being garbage and they are 100% right……up until Matt Nagy was fired.
Ryan pace was fired.
Ted Phillips retired.
Now that Ryan Poles is the GM, Eberflus is still going to have to prove himself to me.

I think he will and the arrow is pointing up and our new president will not only get us a new stadium but our organization has had some incredibly good luck. We know and everyone knows we tanked the season three years ago and it was a calculated risk to get $80 million off of our books. We ended up with the number one overall pic and today are going into a season with Caleb Williams as our quarterback with Rome Odunze as a first round number one wide receiver, who doesn’t even have to play the number one wide receiver spot. Our front office now is not the front office that let LaDanian Tomlinson walk for $250,000. We are all about to find out who the best team in the division is.
I just think it’s hard to be too confident this early. It reminds me of the Packers D on paper. We should’ve been a Top 5 Defense and here we are struggling to crack the top 10 in scoring. So having talent and putting it all together are different things.
 

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