The Packers rarely have a bad season and with Aaron Rodgers remaining one of the sport’s premier quarterbacks, it is unlikely they will drop off any time soon. A 4-1 start to the new season has been met with huge approval and although a defeat to the Eagles in game four was a set-back, veteran Tramon Williams summed up their start perfectly.
Speaking after the loss to Philadelphia, Williams told Conley Sport via Forbes: “Hey man, we’re 3-1 and I’ll take 3-1 all day,” said the 36-year-old. “If we go 3-1 every quarter, we’re going to have one heck of a year and I think this team can have one heck of a year.
“We’re just getting started here with a new coach and a lot of new things that go along with that. So I feel great where we’re at.”
He is right to do so. The Packers have rebuilt their defense very intelligently over the last year under Mike Pettine and they have some pieces that are now looking like the perfect fit. These players are not only contributing right now but they can also improve and become franchise stars of the future. Jaire Alexander is one example. The talented cornerback has developed into an elite player and is able to match up well to some of the best in the league — although Amari Cooper did give him a rough time in Week 5. His forced incompletion percentage stands at 33.3% which highlights his ability to break up plays even against some of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
His college career in Louisville was excellent with 77 tackles and seven interceptions for the Cardinals – a team currently with American football odds of +50000 to win the NCAAF Championship – making him stand out to the watching scouts. He chose to forgo his senior year and enter the 2018 NFL draft where he was picked in the first round by the Packers.
Alexander is one of a defensive core, along with Kevin King, who will have a big say in the future success of the Packers as they look to improve on a poor 2018 that saw them fire head coach Mike McCarthy thanks to a record of 4-7-1, eventually finishing 6-9-1.
Rebuilding is never easy but another new talent, rookie Elgton Jenkins, has also impressed after an impressive start. The guard has the respect of his teammates already:
“The moment’s not too big for him,” offensive line coach Adam Stenavich said. “As soon as you throw him in there, you know he’s going to be reliable, he’s going to do the right thing.
“Elgton’s on it. I think he’s earned the respect of the guys in the room just because of how he handles himself.”
No one is getting carried away but Green Bay look to have the beginnings of a bright future, now it is just a case of wait and see as the team is still struggling with consistency on both sides of the football. Either way, this season has gone far better at this point than many had predicted.
If only Billy Turner could be anywhere near as good in pass pro as Jenkins. God Turner is so bad in pass protection
Clearly there are some young players on the team that are performing well. I had some doubts about Gutekunst, but so far he seems to be an improvement over Ted Thompson’s last few years.