The numbers tell the story. Rodgers won 11 games last year, including 7-1 down the stretch, when the offensive line's problems were resolved and he sped up his internal clock. Quarterbacks earn their money in the red zone and on third down, and that's where Rodgers was nothing short of brilliant. In the red zone, Rodgers threw 17 touchdown passes (and rushed for five more) with no interceptions and a fourth-ranked passer rating of 107.7. On third down, Rodgers threw 14 touchdowns with no interceptions and a passer rating of 133.5. His 1,710 passing yards on third down were the most since the NFL began tracking that stat in 1991, and his passer rating on third down was the highest since Kurt Warner in 1999. If your quarterback doesn't lose games, that's half the battle sometimes. The consistent and consistently well-prepared Rodgers had a franchise-record 12 games with no interceptions. He also put his team in position to win, with a fifth-ranked fourth-quarter passer rating of 104.9 and a second-ranked 39 completions of 25-plus yards. In case of emergency, Flynn might not have a ton of talent but he's a gamer. Quarterbacks coach Tom Clements said Flynn "has the talent to be a starter." Harrell, the former Texas Tech phenom, will be vying for a spot on the practice squad.
Rodgers: "It's my sixth year but my fifth in the same system. Mike (McCarthy) continues to give me a little more input here and there, and I appreciate it. Obviously, he has the final veto power but I think we've put in some good concepts and they work really hard in the offseason to come up with some new wrinkles that are going to help us out in the upcoming season. It's a matter of studying those new things, adding your own tweaks to them and trying to implement them in OTAs and see what looks good, what you might want to throw out and what change you might want to make."
Could be better
Well, not really. Born in 1983, Rodgers is the youngest of the NFL's top quarterbacks. Of the top 15 in the NFL in terms of passer rating last year, only 13th-ranked Joe Flacco (1985) is younger.
Could be worse
If Rodgers had gone No. 1 overall to San Francisco in 2005, would Alex Smith have tumbled all the way to No. 24 and would the Packers have bitten? Smith's career numbers are 37 touchdowns and 43 interceptions with the 49ers. Or, heaven forbid, the Packers had counted on Brian Brohm (second round, 2008) to be the heir to Brett Favre.
On a scale of 1 to 10 ...
Sure, it would be nice if the Packers had a proven commodity to be Rodgers' backup. But in today's NFL, half of the teams don't like their starters. It's not like there's a glut of experienced, talented quarterbacks on the unemployment line.
TE Jermichael Finley
Paul Connors/AP Images
What a quantum leap Finley made last season. Remember his rookie season? You probably don't remember his six catches for 74 yards and one touchdown as much as you remember him ripping his quarterback and the play-calling. Last year, despite missing three full games and most of a fourth with a knee sprain, Finley caught 55 passes for 676 yards and five touchdowns. Upon his return from injury, Finley's 37 receptions over the final seven games ranked third among the NFL's tight ends. He was unstoppable at times, especially in the playoff loss at Arizona, when he riddled the Cardinals for six catches and 159 yards. So, who will be the heir to Donald Driver as the go-to guy? Perhaps Finley. A deep group got deeper with the addition of fifth-rounder Quarless. Lee is coming off two subpar seasons in a row, especially last year with six drops and practically nothing after the catch, but he's a respected leader in an inexperienced position group. Havner, the converted linebacker, came up huge when Finley was injured by scoring all four of his touchdowns. A broken collarbone suffered in an offseason motorcycle accident kept him out of all of the offseason practices. Quarless emerged from Joe Paterno's doghouse to become Penn State's career and single-season leader in receptions among tight ends. He's a better athlete than Lee and potentially the best blocker of the bunch.
Tight ends coach Ben McAdoo on Finley: "I've never had an issue with Jermichael (as far as) the way he plays the game. I think he loves the game, I think he plays it that way, I think he practices that way. He's got a lot of bounce in his step, he brings a lot of energy to the team, to the offense. From what I've seen from him so far this year, he's even trying to step that up a little bit. It's encouraging."
Could be better
Last year, the answer would have been Dustin Keller. The Packers moved out of the first round in 2008, with the Jets moving up to take Keller. In two season, Keller has 93 catches and five touchdowns and the Jets made a great deal to get him. Fast forward a year, and it's had to imagine a better trio of tight ends in the NFL than Green Bay's, no matter which of the three make the roster.
Could be worse
Finley was the seventh tight end drafted in 2008. First-rounder Keller had 45 catches last year. The second-rounders were John Carlson of Seattle (51 catches, seven touchdowns last year), Fred Davis of Washington (48 and six) and Martellus Bennett of Dallas (15 and zero). The third-rounders taken before Finley were Brad Cottam of Kansas City (nine and zero) and Craig Stevens of Tennessee (no catches). While the second-rounders certainly have produced, Finley is the only one who looks like a dominant force for the next several years.
On a scale of 1 to 10 ...
With a 10 being Charles Woodson against anybody, a 5 being Mason Crosby from 45 yards and the ball on the right hash and a 1 being Allen Barbre against anybody, this position group rates a 9.5.
If you want to nitpick, it would be nice to have a dominant blocker who could keep defenses honest by having decent hands. This group doesn't have that, but all of the veterans are at least decent blockers, and Finley (and even Havner) provides flexibility by being able to split out like a wide receiver. Finley was unstoppable in the playoff game when lined up wide.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.