Five Concerns About the Packers Heading Into 2011

By Packers Gab Columnist Billy Needham

Every year, each team in the NFL has its weaknesses and/or concerns. The Packers are no exception for the upcoming 2011 season. I have reviewed the roster, the management, and the upcoming season, and have come up with my top five concerns for our Packers.

1. The September 8th game vs. the New Orleans Saints! This is our first title defense, and against the Super Bowl Champions from two seasons ago. These Saints are coming off what I consider one of the most embarrassing playoff exits in recent history. These guys let the Seahawks carve them up like a Thanksgiving turkey, and then Marshawn Lynch goes all Jim Brown on us, bowling over Saints defenders like they were the local JV high school team. Being from Mississippi, and despising the Saints, I had more fun watching that run over and over, I really got behind on prepping for the Pack playing the Eagles the next day. In all honesty though, the Saints have a All-Pro QB with a good set of receivers, and a underrated defense. Then again, we have a dual threat All-Pro QB with great receivers and a fantastic defense! By the way, their top DE will be suspended for this game for using diuretics like three years ago, so yaaahh for the good guys! 31-21 win, wish it were colder when they visited but a win is a win!!!

2. Linebacker Depth! It has been well documented, how the Packers have let Nick Barnett and Brandon Chillar go in free agency, one due to salary, and one apparently due to a possible lingering injury. I think we all expected Barnett, who gave us seven good years, to go, but our next top backup, Chillar, was a surprise to me. He was touted as a great cover LB, even though the only INT he had all season was a tipped pass against Detroit, but regardless, all of our experience has left the building. Now, if either A.J. Hawk or Desmond Bishop go down, who do we have coming onto the field? Well, we have a young Robert Francois, who had 3 tackles last season, we have our 6th round pick D.J. Smith from Appalachian State, and we have a few undrafted free agents fighting for roster spots, uuuggghhhh! Hawks’s hyperbaric chamber and Bishop’s whatever better hold up because those other options make me want to run and sign my 181 lbs. up, the new CBA is paying good minimum salaries. No injuries, no foul!

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