Perspective On The Packers’ 15
The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl with an astounding number of players on the injured reserve list. The names range from stars (Jermichael Finley) to role players (Derrick Martin), but the entire list of 15 players consisted of 7 players who had started a game for the Packers this season. Credit the backups for stepping in and doing their jobs, but save some praise for general manager Ted Thompson, head coach Mike McCarthy, and the countless others in the coaching, scouting, and conditioning departments for assembling and maintaining a Super Bowl champion team.
Looking over the last decade of football provides a bit of perspective on just how much this Packers team was able to overcome. According to Gil Brandt, a longtime executive with the Dallas Cowboys who now works for NFL.com, there have only been four teams since 2000 who have placed 15 players on injured reserve during a season. Three of those teams won fewer than six games. The fourth team, the Green Bay Packers, are world champions. The perseverance of this squad is truly remarkable.
Building up to this spectacular season, the Packers had a plan and nothing was going to get in their way. Thompson and McCarthy drafted talented, high-character players and relied on the coaching staff to mold them into a cohesive group. They rewarded their own players with lucrative contracts and allowed natural leaders to emerge from the group. Despite the adversity this team faced week-in and week-out, they remained focused on the task at hand, and their determination was rewarded on Sunday in Dallas, Texas.