Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was so confident his team would beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl that he instructed his players to get measured for their championship rings before the game had even begun.
“I talked to the football team a lot about having real confidence,” McCarthy said yesterday following his team’s 31-25 Super Bowl win over Pittsburgh. “I felt the measurement of the rings would be special. I wish I’d have made a bigger deal out of it.”
It was big enough, and so are the Packers for the first time in more than a decade. And unlike the last time it held the coveted Lombardi Trophy in 1997, Green Bay looks to cash in as the NFL’s next great dynasty.
The Patriots were the last team to repeat as Super Bowl champions earlier this decade, but no NFC team has repeated since the 1993 Cowboys. The Packers seem primed for at least another few runs at the Super Bowl, as running back Ryan Grant and tight end Jermichael Finely return to their deadly offense next season. Plus, they have key young studs like Clay Matthews and Tramon Williams under lengthy contracts.
“I think the core and nucleus of this team is intact to make a run like this for a few years,” said Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers.
Like a Cowboy
The Packers could be the NFC’s first dynasty since the ’90s Cowboys. After all, this Green Bay team looks strikingly similar to those Dallas teams:
1 Both these teams were led by confident, strong-armed QBs in Troy Aikman and Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay’s new gunslinger, though, has more than doubled Aikman’s TD?total through the same point in his career.
2 Dallas was more powered by its ground game than Green Bay, as Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith led the league in rushing all three of its Super Bowl years. Ryan Grant returns from an early-season injury but has plenty of speed to add another dimension to an already lethal offense.
3 While the Packers’ Greg Jennings isn’t nearly as physical as Michael Irvin, he’s just as feared in the open field and red zone.
4 Dallas’ secondary was loaded with playmakers such as Darren Woodson and Deion Sanders. GB isn’t as quick but has ball hawks in Nick Collins and Charles Woodson and a lockdown CB in Tramon Williams.