The clock strikes all zeroes and the Packers are now the NFC Champions. The finished product is seen, but did anyone see the overwhelming obstacles they overcame?
When the Packers began the season, did anyone recognize who OLB Erik Walden, ILB Desmond Bishop, TE Andrew Quarles or CB Sam Shields were? I know I didn't. The regular starters like TE Jermichael Finley, RB Ryan Grant and ILB Nick Barnett suffered serious, season-ending injuries to their knee, wrist and ankle respectively this year. The Packers had lost more players to season-ending injuries this year than any other team in the NFL. The preseason pick for a lot of people for the Super Bowl was looking like a doctor's office. But instead of Green Bay licking their wounds, they began to fight.
The Packers slowly but surely began to replace all the injured players with mostly rookies or castoffs from other teams. Many people had never even heard of James Starks, Erik Walden or Desmond Bishop before the season and now these guys are starring for this team. They slowly began to mold into the championship-caliber team that a lot of people thought they were.
The credit for all this success goes to one man, GM and President for the Packers, Ted Thompson. He who got rid of QB Brett Farve for QB Aaron Rodgers when it wasn't the popular move. He who brought in a head coach in Mike McCarthy when he wasn't the sexy choice for the new coach. He who brought in CB Charles Woodson when people said he was done. Without Thompson, none of this would be possible and all Packer fans should thank him for his vision. Now the Packers have an abundance of talent and guys that fit their system and look like a team that could be around for a long time.