As it’s always been in the sports world (in the United States), the period following the Super Bowl until March Madness has been sssllllooowwwwwwwww. Aside from continuously talking about draft prospects – how a couple weeks of workouts change their draft stock which had been built on years of actually playing – is pointless.
Instead let’s recap where each of our teams stand heading into the Madness of March and ultimately Opening Day!
Packers – The NFL Draft is the focal point of building this team (some may say the only method), and it is the best way to do so. I wasn’t a fan of the Julius Peppers signing, at least to $10M per year, and I think the Packers overpaid for Mason Crosby as well. However, because of the way Ted Thompson builds a team/roster there’s still Salary Cap space to be flexible, or at least to not be in trouble (i.e. having to restructure multiple players’ contract ala the Miami Dolphins). There are still a couple decisions to be made on whether bringing Mike Neal or Nick Perry back, even if for depth, or to resign John Kuhn, but either way regardless of word in the media I’d be shocked if Green Bay brings in a high-priced free agent. There’s an opportunity to improve this team by bringing in one or two free agents for depth purposes and continue to build through the draft. There shouldn’t be much to cover/analyze until the draft takes place the last weekend of April, so we have some time yet. Until then, if anything drastic happens I’ll cover it!
Bucks – the trade deadline came and went…and finally the Bucks stood pat. It’s relieving to now watch this young team have a chance to play together and grow. The playoffs are a pipe dream at this point and other than the #1 overall pick (assumed to be Ben Simmons – LSU) this isn’t a great draft. The main goal should be to get Giannis and Jabari as many minutes as possible and have them handle the ball and shoot as often as they can. Greg Monroe apparently has beef with Kris Middleton, considering the Bucks gave both of them quite a bit of $ this could be a problem. If this is the case it’s paramount that team chemistry is strong as it’ll breed confidence and development. The last couple of weeks both Giannis and Jabari have shown vast improvement and potential, hopefully this continues and bleeds to others!
Brewers – as David Stearns (new General Manager) continues to change the makeup of this team and get younger, he also is improving the team. Which is quite funny considering Doug Melvin (previous GM) was trying to win the division and the team kept getting worse and in further trouble. Some things to keep in mind for Spring Training and to watch come Opening Day: the Brewers farm system; Jonathan Lucroy’s rebound from injury; Ryan Braun’s rebound as well; Wily Peralta’s bounce-back from a disappointing season; Jimmy Nelson’s continuing his growth. Just keep in mind, regardless of record at the deadline this team will NOT try to win now. 2019 is the plan for this team to contend, it’ll be much less frustrating for fans once they accept this…for me it’s exciting because the pressure is solely on building the team full of 18-22 year olds, this is fun!
I’ll try to keep it bi-weekly until Opening Day! If you have questions don’t hesitate to reach me on Facebook: Nick Zurich or Twitter: @nickzurich