Hawk thinks 2011 Packers likely the best

Mike Clemens
April 19, 2017 - 5:21 pm

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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Green Bay, WI - The Packers will sign a one day contract so that linebacker AJ Hawk can retire a Packer. After being released following the NFC Championship loss to the Seahawks in Seattle, Hawk played for one year with the Bengals, near his Ohio hometown. He was also with the Falcons for three weeks last season. 

I spoke to him today during a teleconference and he seemed very much at ease saying farewell to football. Actually he thought his career was over a year ago, and sounded a bit surprised when Atlanta called him in the middle of the regular season last fall. 

The Packers had so many trips to the post season during Hawk's 9 years with the team.  The Packers won Super Bowl XLV in 2010, with a team that placed 15 players on IR, and still managed to get hot in November and ride it all the way to AT&T Stadium, Dallas, to beat the Steelers. I wondered though if Hawk felt that was truly their best roster in his time in Green Bay? Could it have been the 2007 team that went 13-3 in Brett Favre's last season with the Packers? Or 2014, when the Packers won the NFC North with a 12 - 4 record but blew a 16 point lead to the Seahawks to lose 28-22 in overtime in the NFC Championship?

"Wow. That's a good question. Hmmm. I have to think about that," said Hawk. "You know, that was a great team when we won the Super Bowl and everything, but that 2011 team - - I mean, I'm not going to say we were cocky - but I just don't think we thought we could do anything wrong. We went 15 and 1 and some of those games were complete blowouts. Afterwhile you just begin to believe you're unstoppable, and it was almost true." 

Of course the season ended with a shocking one-and-done playoff game at home losing to the New York Giants who went on to defeat the Patriots again in the Super Bowl for the second time under head coach Tom Coughlin. 

Hawk says he knows that when he was the Packers first round pick in 2006, taken 5th overall, he didn't really understand how much that meant to fans, and says it took awhile for him to truly understand what was being expected of him as a Packers first round pick. Having set the team record for most career franchise, I think Hawk fulfilled his duties, even if he wasn't always the flashiest defensive linebacker. 

The now former linebacker talked about becoming friends with Aaron Rodgers when he first arrived in Green Bay, saying the Rodgers, who was the back-up QB to Brett Favre, reached out and showed him around. Hawk also had some great insights on how competitive Favre and Rodgers were, both on the field, and in the classroom. He also had high praise for Clay Matthews' talent, which may have altered his own career spotlight in Green Bay. 

We'll replay some of those conversations with Hawk next week on Sportsradio 105.7 FM The Fan as we preview the 2017 NFL Draft beginning Thursday April 27th.  After 11 NFL seasons, AJ Hawk is finally sharing some insight on why good, or bad, the Packers are always an intriguing story with Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy at the helm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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