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.