Green Bay Packers Star Sends Bold Message To Rest Of NFL

Preston Smith, Green Bay Packers
Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. / USA TODAY NETWORK

In a matter of months, the Green Bay Packers went from looking like chopped liver to perhaps the hottest young team in the NFL.

When the Packers traded franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets last offseason, it looked like they were in for a long, painful rebuilding process. Jordan Love was promoted to QB1 after three years as Rodgers’ understudy, and many doubted he was worthy of being Rodgers’ heir apparent.

But after a shaky first half of the season, Love excelled down the stretch and took Green Bay to the Divisional Round of the playoffs. All of a sudden, the Packers are being considered worthy challengers for first place in the NFC North and perhaps even Super Bowl contenders.

A lot of the optimism surrounding the Packers has to do with Love and their promising group of young wide receivers. But they also have some potential studs on defense, as well as a new defensive coordinator in Jeff Hafley.

Linebacker Preston Smith gave a message of not just optimism but also chutzpah when talking about Green Bay’s defense.

While Smith, who has been with Green Bay since 2019, is 31 years of age, the team could have some up-and-comers elsewhere in defense.

The Packers made some big moves this offseason

One player who should have promise is safety Xavier McKinney, whom the Packers signed away from the New York Giants in free agency this spring. He had 11 passes defended and three interceptions last year, and Hafley could have big plans for him in his defense.

But indeed, the rest of the league should be very concerned about dealing with the Packers’ offense.

Jayden Reed, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Dontayvion Wicks make up a very attractive and intriguing young wide receiver room. Reed had 793 yards and eight touchdowns while Doubs also scored eight touchdowns last season, and all four have helped Love look like the latest in a smooth succession of star quarterbacks that started with Brett Favre about 30 years ago.

Green Bay also acquired running back Josh Jacobs to essentially replace the outgoing Aaron Jones. Jacobs led the NFL in rushing yards in 2022, and although he had a down year in 2023, he should still make a viable tag-team duo along with AJ Dillon.

The Packers have been very fortunate to not have to totally rebuild for several decades. Now they need to convert that luck into continued improvement this coming season and once again do some damage in the playoffs.

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