Wednesday, October 5 2022

Three weeks into training camp, and the Green Bay Packers are still very much working out the kinks with their revamped personnel on offense.

The defection of All-Pro wideout Davante Adams and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett at the beginning of the offseason raised major questions. Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers is still looking for answers. 

On Tuesday, the all-world quarterback expressed serious concern about the team’s offense, just a few weeks shy of the season opener.

“The young guys, especially young receivers, we’ve got to be way more consistent,” Rodgers said. “A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route. We’ve got to get better in that area.”

Allen Lazard is Green Bay’s most tenured starting wide receiver. Randall Cobb, now a 31-year-old reserve, is in his second stint with the franchise and coming off a 28-catch campaign. Tight end Robert Tonyan, who tore his ACL midway through last season, was activated off the PUP list this week. The only other notable returning receiver is Amari Rodgers, whom the Packers traded up to select with the No. 85 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He had just four receptions in his rookie season.

The Packers are also banking on contributions from veteran Sammy Watkins, who’s playing for his third team in as many years, and rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs

Said experience — or inexperience — can be pivotal, as Aaron Rodgers reminds it’s a matter of “trust” with who he’s throwing the ball to.

“We’re going to play our best guys when the season starts,” Rodgers said. “And whoever those guys are, those guys are going to get the reps. It’s the guys I trust the most and the guys the coaches trust the most. A lot of it is just the simple responsibility in the offense. Way before body positioning and movement and throw, and all that stuff, are you in the right spot at the right time? Are you running the right route?”

Third-year quarterback Jordan Love has received minimal NFL time, totaling six appearances and one start. He got the starting nod in Green Bay’s Week 1 preseason matchup with the San Francisco 49ers. That opportunity spawned mixed results, as Love finished with 176 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and three interceptions.

For Rodgers, the picks reaffirmed the shortcomings of the receiving corps.   He referred to Love’s first interception as a dropped pass by tight end Tyler Davis, the second as “not a great route, not a great finish” by Doubs, and the third as “a contested ball [to] a guy who’s running the wrong route” in Amari Rodgers.

The veteran signal-caller made it clear that if someone keeps “dropping the ball,” they’re “not going to be out there.”

“It’s going to be the most reliable guys that are out there,” Rodgers said. “The preparation and the job responsibility is most important. There’s going to be physical mistakes, like we’ve talked about, but if you’re going out there and dropping the ball and somebody else behind you is in the right spot all the time and catching the ball, that guy’s going to play.”

Furthermore, Rodgers said that the team’s rookies haven’t been “good enough” and they’re going to be held to a “standard.”

Green Bay’s standard has been 13 wins for the past three seasons, two of which included trips to the NFC title game. Can the Packers make another deep playoff run with their current cast?


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