The Green Bay Packers enter the 2019 season with more uncertainty than the franchise has faced for over a decade – when Aaron Rodgers took over the reigns at quarterback from Brett Favre in 2008. However, there’s an air of optimism along with that uncertainty in “Titletown.”
After years of reported discontent between the superstar quarterback and head coach Mike McCarthy, McCarthy was dismissed on December 2 after a home loss to Arizona.
Rodgers says that he’s excited about the offense that new head coach Matt LaFleur brings with him. LaFleur showed a knack for running the ball while offensive coordinator in Tennessee, so if the Packers can establish a rushing game, that should mean good things for Rodgers if defenses have to worry about the Pack running and throwing the ball.
The defense should be improved, with coordinator Mike Pettine returning for a second season. The team also spent a combined $19 million on linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, along with safety Adrian Amos. Two first round draft picks were also used on defense – lineman Rashan Gary and safety Darnell Savage.
Ever since a massive overhaul in the last decade, the Packers are consistently making upgrades to historic Lambeau Field. The joke is: if it’s not football season, it’s construction season. One of the major changes is coming to the concourses on the club level. The team hopes a kitchen upgrade will lead to a wider variety of food options and efficient concession stands on the upper floors. Grab-and-go stands (similar to what you see in airports) will also be littered throughout the club level. They were tested last year, and the average checkout time went from 2 minutes to 45 seconds, meaning you won’t miss as much of the game waiting for food.
The Packers will be tested immediately, as they will play the Bears at Soldier Field in the NFL’s opening game of the season. The game was scheduled first to kickoff the league’s 100th season with two of its original franchises. Green Bay will also host the Bears on December 15, and they will play the other NFC North teams (Detroit and Minnesota) both home and away. Teams outside of the North coming to Lambeau are Denver, Philadelphia, Oakland, Carolina, Washington. The Packers’ other road contests will be at Dallas, Kansas City, the Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco, and the New York Giants.