Roughly halfway into the Packers preseason, there’s really not much to talk about. At this point, fans have already heard who is in the best shape of his life, read pieces from pigskin pundits describing which player is poised to rebound after a disappointing 2015 season, endured canned quotes from dudes who look to be back and better than ever following an injury, and spent way too much time (aka any time) mourning the loss of John Kuhn. Since there’s fuck-all to say about tonight’s preseason matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, let’s avoid adding to the senseless preseason chatter and, instead, break format a bit by assembling an all-time Green Bay Packers fantasy football dream team.
Using the fairly standard league format of one quarterback, two running backs and receivers, a RB/WR flex, a tight end, one defense, and a kicker, here’s the Packers players we’d take to battle on the fictional gridiron. Who are yours?
Quarterback — Brett Favre (1992-2007)
Though Bart Starr led the (real life) Packers to more titles and Aaron Rodgers’ average season stats are better than Favre’s in most categories, we’d still put the Ol’ Gunslinger under center for our fake, multi-generation team. Even if his 286 interceptions as a Packer are the most in team history, Favre also holds the franchise lead in attempts, completions, passing yards, touchdown passes, and literally a dozen of other things. That Hall of Fame career and the fact he never missed a game since getting the starting job makes Favre our choice.
Running Back — Jim Taylor (1958-66)
While in the backfield for nine years of a Packers dynasty, Taylor amassed about six miles of yardage. If the end zone hadn’t stopped him 93 times, it’d surely be a much greater distance. When factoring in that he was splitting carries with Paul Hornung for the entirety of his career—not counting 1963, which Hornung missed on account of a gambling suspension—Taylor’s stats are even more amazing.
Running Back — Ahman Green (2000-06, 2009)
Filling out the formidable fantasy backfield is Ahman Green. Though he narrowly missed the team’s Super Bowl runs in the late ’90s and retired the years before the Pack would get back on top in 2010, Green wedged tons of production into an eight-season window (basically seven: some may not to recall his 41 carries as a third-stringer in 2009). Green’s 8,322 rushing yards he gained in green and gold is the most in team history. His 1,883 yards on the ground in 2003 might never be topped by another Packer. If those rushing rumbers—not to mention his 54 Packers rushing touchdowns—aren’t enough to warrant a starting slot, perhaps Green’s 14 receiving touchdowns, 2,726 receiving yards, and 461 receptions (73 of those in 2000!) in Green Bay will sway owners.
Wide Receiver — Don Hutson (1935-45)
When you’re the guy who inspired the statue sitting outside your team’s Hall Of Fame complex, you know you’re doing something right. The league wasn’t nearly as pass-happy as it is today during Don Hutson’s astounding career. Even so, Hutson racked up 99 career touchdowns (still the most among Packers wideouts). His league lead in receptions for eight seasons and also topping the league in yards for seven seasons proves his was an anomaly of his era. Oh, and Hutson made seven field goals and intercepted 30 passes along the way, which would make your league commissioner’s life a nightmare, but make your team great.
Wide Receiver — Sterling Sharpe (1988-94)
This one is debatable. Some would make Hall Of Famer James Lofton a starting receiver. Others might lean on Donald Drivers’ longevity and steady production. Jordy Nelson, whose career is off to a great start and only seems about half over, would even be worth considering. Still, when looking at the numbers alone, Sterling Sharpe is our pick. In his fairly short career, Sharpe had 65 touchdowns, more than 8,000 yards, and just under 600 receptions. That’s not too shabby for a No. 2 wideout.
Flex — Paul Hornung (1957-62, 1964-66)
Paul Hornung is the epitome of a flex option. The halfback had 50 scores on the ground, not to mention 12 of the receiving variety, as well as 5,191 combined yards in a backfield he, once again, shared with Jim Taylor. On top of those respectable stats, Hornung’s 66 career field goals (six over 50 yards!), 190 extra points, and 383 passing yards (and five passing TDs) make him a perfect player to plug in.
Tight End — Paul Coffman (1979-85)
Who is Paul Coffman? A slightly more productive tight end than Mark Chmura, it turns out. His seven-season stint in green and gold coincided with some of the most unfortunate seasons in Packers history. Coffman fought against the overriding crappiness of the late-’70s and early-’80s teams with 339 receptions, 39 total touchdowns, and more than 4,000 career yards. Not half bad for a guy who had Lynn Dickey and Randy Wright throwing him passes.
Defense/Special Teams — 1996 Packers
Under the leadership of coordinator Fritz Shurmur, the defense of the 1996 Green Bay Packers was instrumental in the team winning the Super Bowl. Featuring Green Bay legends like Reggie White, LeRoy Butler, Gilbert Brown, Sean Jones, Santana Dotson, and Eugene Robinson in its ranks, the squad amassed 26 interceptions (three resulting in TDs), 31 fumble recoveries (one TD), and 37 sacks. When factoring the “special teams” part of this, the ’96 Pack becomes a no-brainer, as Don Beebe returned a kick for a touchdown and Desmond Howard had three regular season punt return touchdowns. That’s not even counting what Howard did in Super Bowl XXXI.
Kicker — Mason Crosby (2007-?)
Sure, there are a few Crosby sweaters out there, but the veteran kicker’s 1,145 points (and counting) in his career puts him squarely in the franchise’s all-time lead. He recently bested Ryan Longwell, who wound up playing for the Vikings and being kind of a dick.
QB — Aaron Rodgers
RB — Ryan Grant
WR —James Lofton
TE — Mark Chmura
D/ST — 2010 Packers
K — Ryan Longwell