Aaron Rodgers puts 'championship or bust' label on Packers in what's presumably his final season with team

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CBS Sports 27 August, 2021 - 07:50am 39 views

Is Devin Funchess out for the season?

Funchess signed with the Packers in 2020 and returned in 2021, but it appears he will never appear in a regular-season game for the team. Funchess, a second-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2015, suffered a collarbone injury in 2019 and then opted out of the 2020 season. Packers WirePackers place WR Devin Funchess on season-ending injured reserve

If the 2021 season is the final year Aaron Rodgers puts on the Green Bay Packers uniform, only a championship will suffice for the future Hall of Fame quarterback. Rodgers stated the obvious for a team that has won 26 games and reached the NFC Championship Game in back-to-back years.

The expectations are championship or bust for Green Bay, one of the top teams in the league. 

"I think we all know what's at stake," Rodgers said Thursday, via Pro Football Talk. "I talked about that a little bit the other day about perspective and how important that perspective is to focus on this season and enjoy the most out of this season, because there are a lot of unknowns."

"They jumped through some hoops to get under the cap this year. Obviously, the cap is expected to go back up next year but you never know. So we're just going to enjoy this season. It's Titletown. It's championship or disappointment."

Rodgers isn't thinking about his future in Green Bay as the season approaches. Even though a divorce from the only NFL team he's played for appears to be imminent, the Packers quarterback wants to deliver the franchise another Super Bowl before he departs. Not only will another title add to Rodgers' legacy in Green Bay, but it would add to the conversation about whether he's the greatest quarterback in franchise history. 

Rodgers will never reach the championships Bart Starr has (five), but he'd have the same number of Super Bowl championships as Starr (two). Brett Favre is Green Bay's all-time leader in passing yards (61,655) and touchdowns (442), but Rodgers can surpass him in passing touchdowns if he gets at least 31 this year (Rodgers is currently at 412). A second Super Bowl title would ignite the conversation about whether Rodgers or Favre was the better quarterback in Green Bay. 

There's plenty at stake for Rodgers as he enters what is expected to be his final season with the Packers. 

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Inbox: This Packers offense has a lot of pieces to build with 

Packers.com 27 August, 2021 - 08:30am

Without giving too much away, have you noticed many new wrinkles in the offense during practices? There seemed to be a huge jump from Year 1 to Year 2 in the offense in regard to utilizing personnel, movement, formations, checks at the LOS, etc., and it was a lot of fun to watch.

A lot of talk this summer about the improvement of Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Thus far in his career, he's never had a catch rate above 55%. A guy like Davante Adams is consistently in the 65-70% range. I imagine other top receivers are similar. Does MVS have it in him to get up into that range, or will he always be more of a deep route specialist?

Regarding Matt LaFleur's comments the two guard spots have come down to a battle among Royce Newman, Lucas Patrick, and Jon Runyan. It is a little crazy to consider the fact that, barring injuries to others, one of those two who "win" that battle will get bumped to the bench once David Bakhtiari comes back. (Or maybe they will play so well that it will push Billy Turner to the bench with Elgton Jenkins moving to RT). Is there any other NFL team with as deep an OL room as the Packers?

Could you explain the difference between being put on IR in the preseason vs. regular season? One you can return and one you are done for the season? Why the difference if there is one?

Wes, there is much to like with the young secondary guys looking to make the 53: Christian Uphoff, Innis Gaines, Henry Black and Vernon Scott. A strong case can be made for each. Will this be sorted out only after Buffalo, or do you believe the pecking order is already pretty much set?

Because Jace Sternberger will be suspended the first two games, does he have to make the initial 53?

Hi Insiders. Are practice-squad contracts individually negotiated with variable compensation schemes, or are they uniform due to provisions of the CBA?

After watching the Kevin King video, I can't imagine a team with two more introspective starting corners than Green Bay. In your time interviewing cornerbacks, do you find them to be generally more forgiving of themselves because their misplays are so obvious, especially in the pass-happy NFL?

With two weeks between the final preseason game and the first game of the season, how does the next week look from a practice standpoint? Will it be like a bye week or more like a continuation of training camp? Or will practices be modeled similar to a regular season week of practice?

Mike, you got me thinking with your answer on Josh Myers and stats on Corey Linsley with the All-Pro versus Pro Bowl. What's a greater honor, to be picked to the Pro Bowl or named to the All-Pro list? To me, I think it's the All-Pro. Popularity and entertainment are certainly a consideration with Pro Bowl selections, and between the Super Bowl teams' players being out automatically and so many players saying thanks but no thanks to playing in it, the All-Pro list seems more exclusive and elite.

With the Packers cutting Kamal Martin, is there a plan to bring in another linebacker?

Good morning. Who will be Hunter Bradley's backup at the long-snapper position on the final 53? Thanks.

While watching practices this summer, who has stood out to you in regard to their contributions on special teams? So far this preseason, it's been a little less "special" than I'm sure we'd all hope to see heading into the beginning of the season.

The Green Bay Packers continued training-camp practice on Ray Nitschke Field on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021.

I stumbled upon a Barstool Sports podcast on YouTube called "Bussin' With The Boys," and they have an episode with Big Bob Tonyan and George Kittle that I think everyone should watch. Even if you aren't a Packers fan, you will walk away from that episode as a huge fan of Robert Tonyan. They discuss football, motivation, gratitude, awareness, and a bunch of other topics that will make your life better and more enjoyable. I have a new respect and admiration for our tight end, and life in general.

I truly believe that if the Packers can at least match their record from last year that Coach LaFleur should absolutely win Coach of the Year in the NFC; in the AFC, Brian Flores for the same reasons. Do you agree or am I missing something that the voters look for other than regular season records?

Do you guys get to travel with the team this year?

When I see cuts that seem surprising, I don't believe it must be an indictment on the player's performance per se, but more that the GM has a lot of difficult decisions to make and often must split hairs to arrive at a conclusion in his evaluations. Some are looking for specific reasons Martin was cut, but my guess is it was a lot more subtle than that. The talent disparity in the professional ranks is razor thin. Skill, potential, mental acuity, durability, chemistry, etc., all play a role.

Packers: Power ranking NFC North by position groups in 2021

Lombardi Ave 26 August, 2021 - 11:50am

Green Bay Packers, Randall Cobb (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Two weeks away from the start of the regular season, it’s almost time for the Green Bay Packers to begin their NFC North title defense.

They have dominated the division in two seasons under head coach Matt LaFleur, winning 11 of their 12 games against NFC North rivals, while also taking home the division title both years.

It’s a new season and the Packers won’t have it easy retaining their division crown. How does Green Bay’s roster stack up against the rest of the NFC North?

We’ll go position by position and rank the NFC North for each, starting with the QBs.

Only one winner here. The reigning MVP of the league plays in Green Bay and he ensures the Packers have an advantage at QB over their rivals. Second-year Jordan Love is promoted to the backup spot, and he looked good in his preseason debut a couple of weeks ago.

Justin Fields could be the future in Chicago. Even if he doesn’t start right away, the Bears have a capable starter in Andy Dalton. To have Super Bowl winner Nick Foles as their third-string QB gives the Bears strong depth at the most important position.

Kirk Cousins is a decent starter for the Vikings, but there are concerns at the backup spot. In two preseason games without Cousins on the field, Minnesota’s offense hasn’t scored a touchdown. If he misses any time in the regular season, the Vikings could be in trouble.

The Lions are unlikely to be competitive this season, especially after trading Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff, but they do have a solid backup in Tim Boyle, as Packers fans know.

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