Larrivee: Packers face Ravens squad in midst of massive change
Ray Rice, Ryan Pickett. Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The Green Bay Packers know what a team in transition can be after a Super Bowl championship.
The Baltimore Ravens, the Packers' opponents Sunday, understand that well right now.
"I don't think I've seen a Super Bowl champ with this many changes of major personnel," explained the voice of the Green Bay Packers, Wayne Larrivee. "The Ravens have anything but the feel of a defending champion."
That's what comes when you have a mass departure of key pieces of a Super Bowl title from 2012.
"You're talking about the exodus of Pro Bowlers like Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbee who left to free agency, Anquan Boldin, Ed Reed, Matt Birk the center who retired, Dennis Pitta the tight end who went down with a season ending hip injury."
Yet, Larrivee says the Packers have done well with additions like Chris Canty and Elvis Dumervil on defense.
"They've done a really good job. I think Ozzie Newsome might be...the best general manager in the league in terms of re-stocking a roster on the fly. He's built two Super Bowl champions, 2000 and last year. He's kept the Ravens competitive every year through, and that's a credit to what they do in their front office."
Quarterback Joe Flacco has endured some big time bad performances this year, with five interceptions in a recent game against the Buffalo Bills.
"My impression of that game (against Buffalo), my thought was, the only two beings around who are allowed to throw five interceptions in an NFL game are Brett Favre and God. That tells you something about Tyrod Taylor, the backup quarterback. Flacco could throw six interceptions and still be in the ball game for John Harbaugh," said Larrivee.
"He's probably never going to have elite numibers, but that doesn't mean he's not an elite quality leader. He did a heck of a job in the postseason with that team."