The Green Bay Packers have made the playoffs every year since David Bakhtiari entered the league in 2013, including two NFC Championship Game appearances in the 2014 and 2016 seasons.
For most NFL players, that’s a good start to a career. For the Packers offensive lineman, it’s nowhere near good enough.
“It’s starting to [tick] me off a little bit,” Bakhtiari said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “You’re not guaranteed another year. Keep getting close and not making it is stressful. We’ve got to collectively — we’ve got to do more. … The Green Bay Packers — I mean, the trophy is the Lombardi Trophy. We have to get back there and win it.”
While Bakhtiari is probably being a little hard on himself, expecting rings and not relishing the feat that he and his teammates have accomplished thus far in his short career, his comments reflect some quiet hand-wringing that has to be going on in Green Bay.
The Packers have one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Yet there’s only one Super Bowl ring to show for Aaron Rodgers’ sterling career so far. The team has also won the NFC North five out of the past six years, but has only advanced out of the divisional round of the playoffs twice in those seasons.
With Rodgers slated to turn 34 during the 2017 season, there’s certainly more pressure to add more Super Bowls before Father Time catches up to the All-Pro. As Bakhtiari points out, the anxiety level is only going to continue to rise as long as the Packers only have that one ring — and several disappointing playoff finishes — to show for all of Rodgers’ team’s flare the past decade.