July 19, 2024

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The offseason program is important for the Packers’ young team

The offseason program is important for the Packers’ young team

At the end of last season, the Packers were playing as well as any team in the league, beating the Super Bowl champion Chiefs in early December and the Cowboys in the playoffs. We were the youngest team in the league, and the youngest team to win a playoff game since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, so it’s easy to assume we’ll be better this year. However, in the NFL, each year stands alone, and nothing is taken seriously. With such a young team, this year’s holiday program is especially important for us. Fortunately, we have had a great attendance for the offseason program so far. We are currently in the third phase of OTAs (Organized Team Activities).

Our nine-week off-season volunteer program began on April 15th. The program is designed to allow players to enjoy football activities and reduce the number of injuries. The first part of the off-season program includes strength and conditioning and meetings. We held a rookie minicamp after the draft and the rookies have been participating in ITAs ever since. We will be holding OTA off-season workouts through June 6, with our mandatory minicamp June 11-13. Then all players will be absent until the start of training camp. Rookies and selected players will be reported on July 17 and veterans on July 21.

Now, to your questions.

I read that the NFLPA is proposing to change the offseason program. What do you think of their proposal?

I’m glad you raised this issue, John. It’s not an official proposal, but NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero recently reported that the NFLPA is finalizing a proposal to change the offseason program, starting in 2025. Pelissero reported that the NFLPA has consulted with medical and performance experts to find a solution to minimize injuries and maximize time Player recovery. Under the potential proposal, meets would be allowed in the spring, but no practices could be held until training camp. NFLPA training camp will begin in late June (instead of mid-to-late July). There will be a significant condensation period that could be beneficial to avoid the soft tissue injuries that some players suffer during training camp.

Any changes to the offseason or training camp program must be negotiated collectively by the NFLPA and the league. As for my opinion on the proposal, I really need to know more details and would like to see research that supports the proposed change. It is interesting to note that the NFL is actually the most unusual in terms of off-season programs when compared to other sports. No other sports hold training in their off-seasons. They have periods of condensation leading up to the season. Football is more physical than baseball or basketball, however, having five to six weeks off before training camp begins is very beneficial for players. This should be a topic you hear a lot about in the coming year.

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Kristen Luedke from Parts Unknown

I’m certainly glad you’re leaving the Packers, because you let green package ticket holders out of the home division game. Double talk about having to give Golden Ticket holders all home division games just because. . . He is a bachelor’s degree. Packer management can distribute those games any way they want. In this case, I told the Green Package season ticket holder for 50 years. Good riddance to you and your management style.

I’m glad you raised this concern, Christine, as I’ve heard similar comments from other Green Package season ticket holders (although not quite as explicit). For years, our policy has been that the Gold Pack will get the second and fifth games at home. I believe this policy has served us well and, over time, has been fair to both Gold and Green ticket holders. If we start giving green ticket holders the second and fifth games, we will open ourselves up to criticism from gold and green ticket holders for favoritism. With the move to 17 matches in 2022, we have decided to alternate the ninth home game between the two packages, starting with the Gold package. We were scheduled to start the 17th match in 2022, but that match was classified as an international match. Since we played that game in London in 2022, this is our first year playing a ninth game at home and as a result, we started the rotation with the Gold Pack. The Green Pack will get seven matches in 2026, unless we are selected to play another international match. Therefore, this year’s Gold Package contains three regular season games and no preseason game. I know you’re upset about our policy and the schedule that is set annually by the NFL, but you have several attractive games, including matchups against the NFC champion 49ers and the rookie Texans.

Paul Miller of Brookfield

The Packers have won the NFL championship 13 times, more than any other team. We will open the season at Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The stadium was a host site for the 2014 World Cup. Brazil is the only country to have played in the finals of all World Cup tournaments. The men’s team has won the World Cup five times, more than any other country in the world. Brazil often wears green and gold when they take the field. I look forward to the tradition of excellence in two different forms of football, while also having the opportunity to connect when the Packers play there.

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The stadium is home to Corinthians. Their archrival is Palmeiras (think Packers vs Bears). Palmeiras wears green. So, there is a law prohibiting wearing green in Arena Corinthians. Given the colors of the Packers and Eagles, there may need to be some discussion about this when the Packers go to Sao Paulo.

Thanks for raising this topic, Paul. I have heard from many others about Corinthians fans’ disdain for the color green. Unfortunately, the match in Brazil is the Eagles’ home match, so they will get to choose the color of the shirt they will wear. Maybe we can convince them to wear their black shirts, so we don’t have to wear green! We look forward to being a part of this historic game, no matter what color of shirt we wear.

Hi Mark, I hope this message finds you and your family well. I don’t mean to bother you with this but I couldn’t find the answer. Scott and I would very much like to attend the shareholders meeting this summer. We did this a few years ago and loved the experience. We would like to travel to Green Bay again this summer. However, I was unable to find the date of the shareholders’ meeting. On the site it says it has not been decided yet. This was a bit surprising but I thought maybe the site hadn’t been updated yet. We would like to work on our travel arrangements now.

Can you tell me when the shareholders meeting is? If I remember correctly it was related to the opening of the training camp. Again, I apologize for bothering you when I can only imagine how busy you are but I appreciate any insight you can offer.

Thanks, Sue. No hassle at all. News flash, our annual shareholders meeting will be held on Monday, July 22nd at 3pm, and the first practice of our training camp will be that morning at 10:30am, and we hope many shareholders will come into town for the weekend and stay to watch the training and attend the meeting. Thank you again. I have very fond memories of your father when he was the athletic director at Clarence Central High School during my years there.

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Mark, As a lifelong Packer fan, I’m of the opinion that most of us would do anything to work for the Packer organization. I’m not beating other NFL teams, but to me there are 31 other teams, and then there’s the Green Bay Packers. As you approach retirement, do you still get that great feeling every time you walk into the building there? From the time I got there until now, the Lambo’s transformation has been unreal, and every addition is really good.

To be the head coach of the Green Bay Packers, you have to feel very good and never become routine. My second question relates to the George Allen story. Was his training really great, and if so, you should have an opinion between great and average training and recognize it when you see it. (By the way, we all used to pay for football in the neighborhood when I was growing up in Watertown and Monroe and we would always choose who we were going to be when we played. That kid was always Mark Murphy. He had a He kept your football card in his room, and the thing is He wasn’t a Washington fan at all, and I knew who you were when I was a little kid.)

As a lifelong packer, I am grateful for the outstanding management you have consistently provided us with the Packers. Just football the right way. I very much hope you have a lot of input for those who come after you. That will be very important.

There’s no doubt, Randy, that the Green Bay Packers are a unique and special organization. Lambeau Field is a big part of what makes the Packers special, and I feel great every time I step onto the field. Regarding George Allen, yes he was a great coach. What really sets him apart is his work ethic and passion for the game. He will do anything to help the team win. (He was a bit old school, though, because he didn’t believe in water breaks. He felt they weakened you. Our coaches would sneak ice cubes in towels to the players.) During my career, I was very fortunate to play under two Pro Football Hall of Fame head coaches – George Allen and Joe Gibbs.