The Green Bay Packers had nearly perfect attendance at the first week of OTAs in Green Bay. To a man, the players seemed eager to get back to work and to prepare for the 2024 NFL season. There’s still a long way to go until Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles in Brazil, but right now, some veterans seem to have a tinge of regret about the way last season ended.

Packers Eager to Get Back to Work, How Last Season Started

The Packers had a tale of two seasons last year. In the first half, new starting quarterback Jordan Love and the team’s young players on both sides of the ball struggled to adjust to life in the NFL. The Packers got off to an inconsistent start to the season, going 3-6 over their first nine games. They lost games many people expected them to win and struggled at times on both sides of the ball.

Love was having issues with his accuracy, especially on long passes and his decision making wasn’t always great. The young receivers often ran the wrong pattern and weren’t consistent or sharp with their play.  The offensive line also lacked consistency in both run blocking and pass protection.

Defensively, the team struggled to stop the run. Injuries in the secondary and at linebacker also hurt the team as did the passive scheme employed by Joe Barry. On offense, the team was hurt by the limited availability of playmakers like Chrisitan Watson and Aaron Jones.

The Second Half of the Season

But in the second half of the season, the team played better, winning six of their final eight games. Love started to make better reads and more accurate throws. He threw 18 touchdowns and just one interception in the final eight games of the regular season.

The young receivers found their groove and started to make plays. Love and his tight ends and wideouts started to be on the same page when plays broke down and they needed to improvise. The pass protection also got better, giving Love more time to locate his receivers.

The defense played better overall despite some curiously bad games against some very average quarterbacks.

The Packers made the playoffs by winning the season finale against the Bears, surpassing the expectations of most fans and football pundits.

After crushing the Cowboys in the wild card round, the Packers traveled west to face the 49ers in the second round of the playoffs. The Packers outplayed the 49ers for most of the game. The Pack led 21-14 after three quarters but ultimately lost 24-21.

Packers Eager to Get Back to Work, Unfinished Business

Now that OTAs have started and the players had a chance to think about the way they lost to the eventual NFC champions, the players feel the team has unfinished business and they’re using their playoff loss at motivation for the new campaign.

“I feel like we let a team off the hook last year in the playoffs and we know that” kick returner and defensive back Keisean Nixon told reporters at OTAs. “Everybody on this team is here for a mission and we’re ready to win a Super Bowl. We’re all here, locked in and it shows that we ain’t nothing to play with. We’ll be ready.”

Love was on the same page when he looked back at the playoff defeat. “That 49ers game, being that close, a game we had right there and kind of let slip away from us, it’s tough,” he said. “It definitely fueled us. Everybody was hungry in the locker room after and ready to get back to work and ready to get back here. Everybody being here, you can see how hungry guys are to get back to work and get ready for this season.”

Now it’s up to this young team to remain confident, work hard, and prepare to take the next step in 2024. If they use the playoff loss to San Francisco as motivation, that’s fine but they also need to realize they have a lot of work to do just to get back to the postseason and nothing is guaranteed.

For the 2024 Green Bay Packers, the opportunity to take the next step is there for the taking. Now they have to seize the moment.



Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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