Summer is here and another round of OTAs in Green Bay, Wisconsin has passed.
And another promise from head coach Mike McCarthy that the Green Bay running game will be better.
Packers fans remember that ever since McCarthy was hired he has promised a good running game.
And although he has delivered a Super Bowl and is one of the elite coaches in the NFL, he has rarely delivered the kind of running game you sense he has often promised.
Part of that is having Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers and probably the best passing game in the league during that time. And relying too much on whoever it is behind center.
But this year could be different. Ted Thompson drafted Alabama running back Eddie Lacy in the second round and then added fourth round pick Johnathan Franklin, another running back from UCLA.
And the fact remains, when the Packers have a running threat, they are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
Here's the 10 things we learned from OTAs
10. Green Bay was accused of not being tough enough last season. And that toughness took a big hit when the Thompson released inside linebacker Desmond Bishop. Bishop was recovering from a knee injury that sidelined him all of last season and refused to take a pay cut. Thompson has always been good about cutting a player too soon rather than too late, but Dom Caper's defense will definitely miss Bishops' toughness.
9. Aaron Rodgers will not miss Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. The Jennings/Driver era was over. Both were eclipsed last year by Jordy Nelson and James Jones. Randall Cobb has stepped in to the third receiver spot and they have a slew of young receivers ready to step in. Thompson excels at keeping this position stocked.
8. Eddie Lacy looks the part. Of course he does. They were in shorts. No pads. But still, if Eddie Lacy plays anything like he did at Alabama the Packers got a steal.
7. Apparently Graham Harrell has competition as the backup quarterback BJ Coleman who enters his second year. Of course, if it comes to either of these two then something has gone horribly wrong for the Packers
6. Johnny Jolly is back. Jolly has a long way to go but the fact that he's back is encouraging to Thompson and McCarthy who could use as much depth as they can find on the defensive line.
5. More important than Lacy making an impression was the fact that Datone Jones looked the part of a first found choice at defensive end. Jolly and Jones playing well would be huge for the Packers. They would immediately become the biggest threat to San Francisco in the NFC.
4. The offensive line is stable for the most part. This unit has been switched around a lot at OTA's over the years as McCarthy tried to find the right positions and right combos. There was very little of that this year at OTAs. Maybe this means more stability from an inconsistent unit this season?
3. The Packers' young defensive backs made an impression. Between this season and last Thompson has gradually done some rebuilding along the back of the defense. So far so good. They're going to need it. No more Charles Woodson to take care of the secondary.
2. Whoever the running back is, or whoever they are McCarthy is confident about a renewed running game this season. It's way too soon to tell who emerges but third year pro Alex Green, finally healthy, is the number one back coming out of OTAs.
1. The most important thing to watch for the Packers coming out of OTAs could be off the field. Thompson extended the contracts of Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews and then stopped. Several young veterans who were hoping for new contracts did not get one, including BJ Raji. The last time Thompson had this many players heading in to the final season of their contracts Green Bay won the Super Bowl in 2010-11.