Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

I’ve read a lot of about Aaron Rodgers and “trust” during the last few weeks of this painfully long and more-boring-than-usual Green Bay Packers offseason. Here’s a story about Rodgers trusting Davante Adams more. Here’s a story about what Jeff Janis has to do to gain Rodgers’ trust. Here’s one on what Janis has to do during practice to win the QB’s trust.

I’m not disagreeing with any of these stories and the value of trust between a quarterback and his receivers, but step back for a moment. How fortunate are the Packers that they have such a plethora of talent that they can place such an emphasis on trust? The answer is extremely fortunate.

Most teams don’t have the luxury of not playing guys who struggle or take longer than normal to grasp the playbook or offensive signals. The Packers are so deep at the pass-catching positions that they can hold players like Janis back or give Adams a reduced role as they learn and grow. It’s also a nice test to see if the up-and-coming players truly put in the time to earn the quarterback’s trust and grasp the offense instead of relying solely on their raw ability.

A lot of other teams probably find themselves playing receivers who aren’t quite ready mentally, but they have no choice because they don’t have a roster filled with the likes of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.

On the other hand, I’m not so sure Rodgers should be using the trust talking point too often this offseason. The back-shoulder timing route — the one where Rodgers throws to the sideline, the receiver stops, turns toward the sideline and makes a contested catch — rarely worked in 2014. The receiver often kept running downfield and Rodgers ended up throwing to a large empty space out of bounds.

Rodgers obviously trusted his receivers to make those throws, but something was lost in the line of communication along the way.

In addition to continuing to build trust with his young receivers like Janis and Adams, Rodgers should also spend some time fine-tuning communications with his veteran weapons. The back-shoulder throw has always been a great weapon and I’d like to see Rodgers and company return it to glory in 2015.

Packers News, Notes and Links

  • Aaron Rodgers did a lot of media work this week. My favorite was probably this Pete Dougherty Q & A in the Green Bay Press Gazette.
  • As long as he stays healthy, I see no reason why Eddie Lacy won’t top the 1,100-yard mark again like he has his first two seasons.
  • There are 44 Packers set to appear in Jordy Nelson’s charity softball game. If I were a big-time professional athlete, I’d host a professional wrestling event instead of a softball game for my charity event.
  • Sam Shields says the Packers cornerbacks will be better than last season. Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt says not so fast. My take: The potential is there to be better than last year, but potential and actual ability are two different worlds. We’ll see how the corners stack up after a couple of rough games, injuries and the ups and downs of an entire season.
  • Letroy Guion needs to put down the bong if he wants to stay in the league.

Non Packers links and other Nonsense

  • The wrestling world lost one of the greatest of all time on Thursday when “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes died at the age of 69. Rhodes was one of the greatest promos (interviews) of all time. His “hard times” promo remains an all-time classic. Here’s a 4-hour podcast that covers the entire wrestling career of Rhodes.
  • I’m always a sucker for biographies on American presidents. I just finished “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” and I’d rank it right up there with anything Robert Caro has done on Lyndon Johnson.
  • Ghost is one of my favorite newish bands and they’ve got a new record coming out Aug. 23. Here’s the creepy (and awesome) video for the record’s first single.

0 Comments On “Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived”

  1. If you like presidential biographies, try “Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President” by Candace Millard. I read it about a year ago on my Kindle. Surprisingly interesting, very easy read about a virtually unknown president (Garfield).

    • Marpag – a good recommendation. I have also read it. It was an easy enough read that I read the entire book on one of my outbound flights to Hong Kong. I enjoy history and try to read 3 – 5 books per week. Thanks, Since ’61

      • Oddly, I read mine on the plane as well, except I was traveling to Mozambique, not Hong Kong.

        • You guys sure travel to some interesting places!

          • I believe someone wrote a while back that Marpag is a scout for Ted Thompson and Ted has him going all over the world to strange places. Ted leaves no stone unturned in his quest for the best talent in the world. I believe it was either Marpag, another scout or Ted himself that traveled to The Congo in Africa a few years ago. It was there that someone put him in touch with Andy Mulumba.
            Ted

          • Ted – while it is true that Malumba was born in the Congo, he moved with his family to Quebec when he was12 years old. He attended high school in Quebec and then went on to Eastern Michigan for his college education. While I don’t doubt that TT diligently searches any and all avenues to find the best possible talent I doubt that TT found Malumba on a trip to the Congo. As for Marpag being a scout for TT I am confident that, if in fact true, he would do an excellent job. Thanks, Since ’61

          • LOL. No, TT is far too smart to hire me as a scout. Besides, we play that other kind of football over here on this side. 🙂

          • Understood – I hope to see you over at Cheesehead TV. Thanks, Since ’61

          • Since 61, man I know all about Mulumba and his parents being from Canada. I’m one of the world’s leading authorities on Packers football.

            It was simply a joke to get Marpag to laugh which I did get. The second he mentioned Mozambique was my way to get Ted in his training camp safari hat and Marpag to the Congo. lol

            I love to talk football and I love to have fun and joke around. You never know what you are going to get with me. This was me having fun. Oh, and sometimes I actually do get pissed when people pick on our GM. I don’t know if you noticed Since 61 but I am a Ted Thompson supporter/defender.
            Ted

        • Mozambique!!! Wow, that’s pretty cool. Regrettably my travels have never taken me to anywhere in Africa. I hope that it is safe for you there. Thanks, Since ’61

  2. Adam,

    Good article. The links were almost as interesting as your strong Midwestern accent.

    • Why is everyone picking on my accent lately? Don’t ya know it’s perfectly normal to talk like I do? You betcha it is.

  3. Right Makes Might

    Trust is a nice thing, but if you’re a professional QB, if the coaches trust a guy enough to put him on the field, you should trust him to do his job.

    The previous QB we had in Green Bay had an abiding trust in one WR and would try to force it to him under pressure, ignoring other guys who were open. We all know how that story ended.

    • Right Makes Mights, I agree and have commented in the past that Rodgers obsessive need for ‘trust’ before he’ll throw to a WR has, at times, held this offense back, and I’ve also echoed your sentiment that if the coaches put the players on the field, Rodgers needs to trust that decision and throw the ball to the open man regardless of who it is.

      At times in the past, Rodgers has either held the ball far too long or taken a less productive option because he doesn’t throw the ball to the open guy on the field who he “doesn’t trust” quite yet. It might be one of the only valid criticisms I can find about his game.

      I disagree with your sentiment about “the previous QB”, however. One of the things that WRs loved about Favre was he was always willing to give a WR a chance to go and make a play- regardless if they were fresh off the wire or practice squad or if it was his tried and true favorite target.

      • Oppy – I think that if you and “Right Makes Might” look back you will find plenty of games where both Favre and Rodgers threw to 5,6,7 or more receivers in a game. So I’m not sure if it is accurate to say that they trust only 1 or 2 receivers. I will agree that there are times when it appears that Rodgers is waiting too long for either Jordy or Cobb to come open especially in crunch time situations. However, I believe that is because the Packers offense is missing a serious TE threat which the defense would need to respect and help to open up the coverage on Rodgers other options or the TE in fact would be open and a viable option. We will see if any of the TEs step up in 2015 and help to open up the defense. Thanks, Since ’61

        • ’61,

          My observation comes from watching games where, at times, Rodgers does not go through his full progression when a young WR- particularly a first year player- is on the field and happens to be wide open, Rodgers never looks his way, or he simply chooses to wait for other targets to shake free instead of throwing an younger, open target, and opportunities are lost.

          Since my observation is focused on Rodgers actually overlooking or choosing not to throw at open receivers as opposed to simply reading a stat line that shows a small number of WRs with completions, my observation is not a symptom of the lack of a field-stretching TE (although I fully agree that the Packers offense would benefit from such a player.)

          I’d like to note that I don’t think it is a constant issue. However, there are definitely games, particularly early each season, where Rodgers seemingly does neglect to utilize certain targets.

          • What bothers me is there’s people here that are questioning Aaron Rodgers. Hasn’t Aaron earned that right to not trust certain players especially green rookies? If there’s anyone I trust to make a decision of whether to throw to a guy or not it would be Aaron Rodgers. Aaron does things for a reason. He’s not an idiot, he’s a perfectionist and he demands everyone else be that way too.

            He’s the best qb in NFL history statistically yet why would not throwing to a rookie if he feels he’s not ready or can’t be trusted to either run the proper route or catch the ball be an issue?

            I said it earlier but there’s a reason Aaron Rodgers is the all time leader in not throwing interceptions while his former buddy Favre was the all time leader. Aaron Rodgers hates interceptions. Most of his int’s are not his fault and are a result of the receiver effn up. Most of those tend to be rookies or green 2nd year guys like Janis.

            Let’s just be honest here. Jeff Janis probably isn’t the brightest guy in the room, just a guess. All the talent in the world but right now he’s Gomer Pyle. Eventually Sgt Carter(Rodgers) will set him straight. Would any of you trust Gomer Pyle to not screw up with the game on the line? How about Brandon Bostick? Look what happened when Slocum decided to “trust” Bostick?

            Yes, I know we would all love to see Gomer on the field but if Aaron Rodgers doesn’t want him on the field yet, I don’t question it. Why would I? You trust in Rodgers period end of story. Questioning Aaron Rodgers is absurd and simply nitpicking. Amazing how Brett Favre got away with murder and nobody said anything but Rodgers is the whipping boy for being the greatest ever.
            Ted

          • I can only SMH and LOL in response!

          • Not a fan of Gomer Pyle?
            Ted

      • Spot on, Oppy. Best rookie WRs in the last 25 years? James Jones (2007 – 676 Yards), and Greg Jennings (2006 – 632 yards), both with Favre as QB. To find better rookie years, you would have to go back to Sterling Sharpe, Walter Stanley and James Lofton in the 70s and 80s. The best rookie year with Rodgers as QB is Davante Adams.

        In fairness, Rodgers has always had a lot of established talent at WR, whereas Favre had far less talented WR. I mean, Bill Schroeder was the #2 WR for 3 years.

    • Last year, the coaches DIDNT put Janis on the field.

      Which may be why he is still ‘earning trust’ this offseason.

      Adams, on the other hand, learned to run the routes the QB wanted when the QB wanted them and became a major weapon in several games. I’m thinking especially vs. Miami and new England.

      • If Janis can become a competent NFL-caliber route runner, he could be very dangerous.

        I think that’s the only thing that was holding him back. As drafted, he was a pretty sloppy route runner.

    • The previous QB has TD/INT ratio around what? Maybe here you’ll find the answer about trust…

      • Croat, it too me 1000 words to say what you said in only a few. I agree 100%. It’s all about interceptions.

      • Rodgers’ regular season stats: 226 TDs to 57 Ints = 3.96 TDs for every interception. As you wrote, Croat, Favre ratio is 1.51 TDs for every interception.

        Don’t think anyone is suggesting that Favre threw so many INTs because his WRs ran bad routes. Favre threw a lot of INTs because it was in his nature to do that.

        • I did not suggesting that Favre WR group was running bad routes. I tried to indicate that Favre didn’t care about trust. He was just throwing the ball around. He was not pay attention who will catch the ball. Aaron pay attention on that particular detail and that detail is important to him. And that is, probably, main reason why Aaron has that ratio the best in the league…

          Also, if Packers paying that much to their (and our) QB, I support his idea to play on safe side and to develop trust into his teammates. This is important as football is team sport, and that is why colleagues from the team needs to have trust in each other… It is simple as that!

          I see Brett Favre exactly how Right Makes Mights described him. “I’m paid to throw the ball and I will do it. I do not care what will happen with the action!” And it is simple as that!

  4. My Father bought season tickets at Milwaukee County Stadium in 1958. When the Packers moved all their home games to GB, he kept them and was rewarded with amazing seats for Gold Package Games. He met my Mother and moved to Alabama in 1963, where I was born a year later. From the time I understood the game well enough, we have gone to the 2 home games almost every one of them. My Father is now 84, and we plan to go this year too. I have been blessed by his continued good health. You may see me walking through the concourse, like Kramer leading a Packer sweep, protecting my Father. I take it very seriously.
    Through some of my teen years, football was about the only thing we could talk about and enjoy. Thanks Packers and fine people of Wisconsin. I now have several friends there, and a great relationship with my Father. The reason I know the year is because he recently called to make sure he had all papers in order for the tickets to go to me in his will. The lady said he was the longest tenured season ticket holder she had ever spoken to. Thank you Dad, most of all!

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