Yes, it was indeed a down year in "Titletown." For the Green Bay Packers, it was the failure to reach the playoffs for a ninth consecutive year. And not surprisingly, numerous factors went into the club finishing with a losing record for the first time since 2008. The loss of Aaron Rodgers for a total of nine games combined with another year of defensive inefficiency doomed Mike Mccarthy’s club. As we know, there have already been significant changes to the hierarchy of the club.

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Brian Gutekunst is the new general manager and defensive coordinator Dom Capers has been replaced by Mike Pettine [VIDEO]. And Joe Philbin has returned as the team’s offensive coordinator.

The veteran coach will have some new toys to play with this season in the form of two performers who showed their stuff as rookies in 2017.

Impressive haul in April

While Thompson spent the early part of April’s draft on the defensive side of the ball, the Green Bay Packers wound up drafting three running backs in the final four rounds. And two of those rookies certainly made an impression as Jamaal Williams (556) and Aaron Jones (448) combined for 1,004 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. The former added 25 caught for 262 yards and two scores and ended the year with 818 yards from scrimmage. The fourth-round pick from BYU played in all 16 games and made seven starts. Jones, a fifth-round selection from UTEP, wound up playing in only 12 contests but did start four times. Meanwhile, Ty Montgomery finished third on the club with 273 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

It’s also worth noting that the Packers added a third running back in the draft in Devante Mays, a seventh-round selection from Utah State. He played in only eight games and totaled only four carries for one yard. So could we see more of him in 2018?

What to expect

So Philbin, back with the organization [VIDEO] for the first time since leaving for the Miami Dolphins after the 2011 season, not only has a young stable of running backs to work with this offseason, a healthier Aaron Rodgers will be returning as well. The Green Bay Packers’ receiving corps is as good as any in the league, but this quarterback and passing attack could be even better with a more consistent ground game. The team will also need better play from the offensive line. But there is a lot of potentials when it comes to this area of McCarthy’s club. And it is one reason for optimism when it comes to the Packers and their potential to bounce back from a very forgettable 2017 campaign.