Last season, the average Packers player stood 6.13 feet tall and weighed 242.85 pounds. This season, according to data provided by the league on Thursday, the average Packers player stood 6.13 feet tall and weighed 249.60 pounds.
That's a difference of almost seven pounds. In 2012, the Packers fielded the sixth-lightest team in the NFL. This season, they're fielding the seventh-heaviest team in the league.
"That's good stuff right there. I wasn't aware of that," coach Mike McCarthy said with a smile after Friday's practice before using a favorite phrase of general manager Ted Thompson: "It's just the way it worked out."
The layout of the roster is the big reason. Last season, the Packers took six defensive linemen and seven offensive linemen into the regular season. This season, the Packers have seven defensive linemen (eight including Mike Neal) and eight offensive linemen. Rather than six receivers and 11 defensive backs, the Packers have five receivers and 10 defensive backs.
For a defense striving to be more physical, all that extra bulk certainly paid dividends against San Francisco.
"I think it's kind of the way things worked out," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said on Friday, "but I like our guys up front because we have a combination of guys. We've got our biggest group of outside linebackers that we've had and we've always had two or three big guys up front, but I think we've got more athletic ability up front, too, with the addition of Datone (Jones) and Mike Neal being able to play outside and inside, and Mike Daniels is an athletic guy in there. I like our combination of bigger guys because we can find a role for all of them where you don't have to just leave one of them out there for the whole game."
Beyond the beefy 300-pounders, Eddie Lacy adds heft to the backfield. Jarrett Boykin and Jeremy Ross are power players at receiver. They weigh a combined 433 pounds – a full 60 pounds more than the players they beat out, Tyrone Walker and Myles White. At 324 pounds, undrafted rookie guard Lane Taylor is the heaviest offensive lineman. Another undrafted rookie, outside linebacker Andy Mulumba, checks in at 260 pounds. That's heavier than three outside linebackers no longer on the roster: Frank Zombo (254), Erik Walden (250) and Dezman Moses (249).
About the only position in which bigger wasn't better was tight end, where the Packers released 265-pound tight end Matthew Mulligan. His physicality, which was his calling card with the Jets and Rams, never showed up for the Packers. Instead, the Packers went with 252-pound Andrew Quarless.
Otherwise, the Packers are slightly younger than last season. With an average age of 25.64 years, the Packers have the ninth-youngest team in the league. Their NFC-low five players age 30-plus is the fifth-fewest in the league. Seattle is the youngest team in the NFL and least-experienced team in the conference at 24.98 and 3.02, respectively. San Francisco (25.43, 3.49) is young, as well.
Detroit is the oldest team and most-experienced team in the league, with NFL-leading figures of 27.42 years old, 5.25 years of experience and 16 players age 30-plus.
Minnesota is the tallest team in the NFL with an average height of 6.21 feet.
Interestingly, the AFC and NFC are worlds apart in their rosters. The average AFC player is 246.93 pounds compared to 244.85 for the NFC. The NFC is slightly more experienced, with an average of 4.20 years compared to 4.07 for the AFC.
Here's more tale of the tape, with Green Bay's roster data and accompanying league averages provided by the league:
|200 lbs or less||9||7|
|300 lbs or more||9||12|