Packers clean out lockers, reflect on moves after 7-9 season
GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- As the Green Bay Packers cleaned up their lockers for the final team this season, the talk was about quickly putting this 7-9 campaign where it belongs.
"When you've got to win ball games, you've got to win the games you're promised to win," safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix said. "Can't wait until week 15, 16 to figure out what do we have to do to win ball games around here. The most important thing is winning ball games and when you don't do that everything gets glorified into the light."
After a bright start led to a dim finish, the Packers brass shocked many with big moves. Ted Thompson will move on from his role as general manager to a senior advisor role, while Dom Capers has reportedly been fired as the team's defensive coordinator.
Thompson and Capers are two key figureheads which gave many of these Green Bay players their chance to live out their dreams.
"I just think back to when I was drafted," linebacker Blake Martinez said. "He was the one that pulled the trigger. Believed in me. I'll just thank him until the day I die for giving me this opportunity."
"Hats off to them and I just want to pay my respects to Ted because if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be talking to you guys right now," cornerback Damarious Randall said.
"And just for Dom and everything he's done. He's a well, well, well respected coach. Sorry things had to end the way they did. "
"It was tough to see him (Ted Thompson) step down, obviously I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him," left guard Lane Taylor said. "Glad he's still around."
While Green Bay was technically in the playoff hunt through week 15, the Packers' season really ended in week 6 with quarterback Aaron Rodgers' broken right collarbone.
A necessary wake-up call for a team which relied heavily on the talent's of their two-time MVP to mask several other of the team's weaknesses across the field.
"Having Aaron go down, it opens up eyes and you don't take things for granted," receiver Davante Adams said. "Brett (Hundley) stepped in and did what he could. Having the best quarterback in the game taken away from you kind of exposes and lets' you see a lot of things. It made us all grow a little bit."
"I think we all know 7-9 isn't the standard," Taylor said. "Not making the playoffs isn't the standard. Super Bowl is the goal and to come up short isn't good enough. Each and every year it's harder to win games, so we have to take advantage of every season."
On a cold early January morning, it was out with the old and in with the new at Lambeau Field. The team hoping next year to have some hardware worth holding on to.
"There's a standard, precedent in Green Bay," linebacker Vince Biegel said. "We have the pieces to make a Super Bowl team, I truly mean that."
"We're looking at what we can do from 2017 to better in 2018 and that's what's obviously happening here," kicker Mason Crosby said.