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Rodgers Taking Heat For His Play

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Rodgers Taking Heat For His Play

And deservedly so.

From Bob McGinn:

Overtime hasn't been kind to Rodgers. In January, his gaffes led directly to a playoff defeat. On Sunday, he tried to force a post route to Jennings on the second play of OT and was lucky when Hall dropped the ball. On the next series, Rodgers threw a bad ball to Jennings that was behind him and intercepted by Landry. Yes, Rodgers had DT Jeremy Jarmon in his face, but if he hadn't drifted several steps to the right a direct throwing lane would have been available. Two of the four sacks and another knockdown were on Rodgers, either for running into them or holding the ball too long. He wasn't decisive or rhythmic. He putzed around in the pocket instead of just making the decision to scramble and go. It seemed that about one of every four of his passes were bad balls. After a fast start, it was mostly downhill from the mid-second quarter on. Rodgers let his receivers down just as they let him down.

That is downright kind compared to what Cliff Christl and Eric Baranczyk had to say:

After whining about not throwing the ball more last week, Rodgers got the chance to do it Sunday – he put it up 46 times -- and played one of his worst games. Donald Driver didn’t do him any favors by dropping four balls. But Rodgers’ decision-making was certainly questionable, especially late in the game.

The first series of the third quarter, second-and-3, Rodgers hit John Kuhn for 1 yard. Crabtree was wide open for a first down. The second series in the third quarter, on third-and-1 prior to the missed field goal, Rodgers threw to Driver – it was a drop – and they had guys wide open everywhere: Quarless on the seam, Greg Jennings on the hash and James Jones on the numbers.

On the sack in the second quarter before Mason Crosby’s field goal, Jennings was open on a post for six.

Rodgers’ reads seemed to be off and there were balls that weren’t thrown where they needed to be. On the fourth-and-1 pass to Quarles in the end zone, the quarterback needs to put a little air under that ball.

Rodgers can do it all. He can make every throw. He can do things with his feet. But he has to make the right decisions and make the plays to win close games. The Packers gave up 13 points in regulation. Even without Finley, how could Rodgers and that offense not score more than 13 points?

I don't really have too much to add other than to say that the Packers have played 5 games - Rodgers has looked pretty bad in two of them (Eagles, Redskins), had another bad half of football (First half vs. the Bills). On the flip side, he has also turned in one of his best games as a pro (vs. Chicago).

The education of Aaron Rodgers continues.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (37) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Jersey Al's picture

And yet, McCarthy continued to pass, pass, pass...

glorious80s's picture

AR had the playcalling responsibility.

hyperRevue's picture

Aaron - do you think there is anything to Bedard's hypothesis that Rodgers was actually concussed on the QB sneak? The before/after stats are very telling.

hyperRevue's picture

Or, if not concussed, shaken up to some degree?

packeraaron's picture

It's certainly possible.

aussiepacker's picture

The commentators did mention he looked groggy after that play.

Cole's picture

Let's see how much we miss Rodgers when Matt Flynn plays this weekend.

I've been saying it all season, the biggest problem the offense has this season is converting 3rd downs. It's probably stifling Rodgers rhythm that we keep having these really quick drives with no clock being run off. I think it actually would help Rodgers rhythm to run the ball more.

jeremiah's picture

It would absolutely help his rythm by running the ball more.

When we don't he basically has to find TWO rythms. One for 1 and 3 step drops, and one for 5 and 7 step drops.

Same for the OL. My mind is bottled as to why MM did not try to establish the run more.

We ran the ball against philly, and won.

We established a 4 minute offense against detroit, and won.

Chicago and washington we passed all day long. Through 5 games we have yet to see anywhere near a complete game from this offense when the lean so heavily on the pass. It's just stupid.

Brando's picture

Has there been any mention of why he kept crouching down while do his reads/count? Don't recall him ever doing that, especially not that much. Made me wonder if his calfs were cramping in the heat again.

packeraaron's picture

I noticed that too - really weird. I can only guess that he was making sure Wells saw that he was ready for the snap. No idea.

davyjones's picture

He has what, a whopping 35-40 games under his belt? The key statement there is "the education of Aaron Rodgers continues". It is a process and he is going to be up & down. It seems like he's been around forever, but he just doesn't have that much experience when it comes right down to it. Could we have gotten a little spoiled last year?

As long as he keeps learning...and he gives no indications that he isn't capable of that.

RickyBobby's picture

in my mind, Rodgers possesses characteristics very similar to the one's held be his entire team...

talented
inconsistent
"identity-less"
"anti-clutch"

this team is so over-rated it's ridiculous.

i got lambasted a couple weeks back for calling this an 8-8 team.

how's my prediction looking now?

find 5 more wins.
i can't.

WoodyG's picture

Nor can I find 6 more losses ...... It goes both ways.

Ct Sharpe Cheddar's picture

The Packers have more wins than the 49ers,Vikings and Cowboys put together.Please stop it .The bottom line if Mason kicks from a foot closer we are 4 in one.You have to pay attention to the rest of the leage.

WoodyG's picture

It's called being myopic ..... How many teams are in the NFL? .... Answer --- 2 --- The GB Packers & whoever they play ...... Some never get the full picture.

RickyBobby's picture

my bad.
you guys are right.
the Packers are good.
no problems here.
probably win the rest of our games.

PkrNboro's picture

I'm sorry you were lambasted.
I know the feeling.
Difference of opinion should be tolerated and argued -- but without personal attack.

I see a team that lacks urgency, particularly on offense.

With the exception of Matthews, and surprisingly the DL -- the same applies on defense, but with injuries to the secondary and linebackers I can understand.

Also, I think it's a byproduct of play-calling. Not enough time for offense to shake off the bench/get-warmed-up -- which leads to more snaps for an increasingly fatigued defense.

Erich's picture

Want a quick fix for the passing game? Bench clifton. watch the game again and see how after the 1st quarter clifton started getting manhandled. then production dropped along with dropped passes as well.

PiedmontPackerfan's picture

This article implies a problem that I view as immaterial. So what that Rodgers has played less than perfectly? that happens. I'll take Rodgers at 50% rather than most NFL qb's at 100%, especially with the human character attributes that no. 4 never demonstrated! Rodgers is a consummate Packer. We stick by him; he sticks by us.

WoodyG's picture

No doubt AR is struggling ...... The playbook is too involved & needs to be pared down ...... Way too many adjustments at the line of scrimmage ...... The Packer 'O' has gotten so technically sophisticated that the basics (running, passing, blocking) have become a secondary emphasis ...... Give AR less to think about & start winning the 'one-on-one' battles again ......

Oppy's picture

I don't see where the offense is any more complicated or sophisticated that the one Rodgers executed to near perfection for the last 7 games of the 2009 season.

WoodyG's picture

Handing the ball off to R. Grant 20 times a game made his job as QB much less complicated .... Not so today.

zub_a_dub's picture

Truth is that 25 NFL teams would trade enough picks and players to make the Cutler trade look cheap to have a QB like Rodgers.

I believe MM is the common denominator for the majority of the problems on this team, Rodgers is not the only player having issues.

We need a leader in a head coach to bring this team together, once that happens things will take care of themselves.

It was Rodgers that realized we had 12 men on the field, not MM or the coaching staff, thats says a lot to me, somewhere in that telling situation lies the truth to the Packer's problems.

Oppy's picture

Regardless if that says anything about the coaching staff, It says a whole lot about the fact we have a QB who actually pays attention to the team when he's not on the field, and takes such an interest in the game going on around him that he's counting heads. Natural born leader.

And yes, right on- ALOT of teams would ask the Packers to just name their price for a crack at Rodgers.

zub_a_dub's picture

Oppy, you don't think its significant that MM or one of the coaches were not counting players?

Oppy's picture

That's not what I said. I was just pointing out other facets of your observation.

NoWayJose's picture

Says a lot about Slocum, who should be waking up in the morning and going to bed at night thinking about how to reduce penalties on special teams...

More importantly to me, the play was another example of a McCarthy's poor instincts. Call the timeout! You could see Rodgers saying "timeout" but old stoneface just sat there indecisively. Derrick Martin BARELY made it off the field. MM had no way to know that was going to happen.

If the Redskins just snap the ball, they get a first, and possibly win right there.

It was not worth it to save the timeout in that situation. McCarthy needs to stop exhibiting such poor judgment in the heat of battle.

Cole's picture

Drew Brees sure hasn't played like his normal self. I wonder if he is getting grilled as well?

fish's picture

Brees, Brady and Rodgers all don't seem the same this year. Don't they practice or discuss QB improvements together during the offseason?

PackRat's picture

It's the O-line, the O-line, the O-line.

We've looked great two years in a row in the preseason when teams don't blitz/pressure our beloved QB. From the first snap this year, AR has been dancing, shifting, moving and trying to buy time for 10 yard pass plays. Did you really think that our aging tackles went from barely serviceable to all-world over the winter? Wells (who I man-love) was unseated last year and now is an All-Pro center? College? Don't you remember how we killed his play. Now when he doesn't get burned we credit him with a pancake block!!!

Rogers is dancing for his life out there, calculating the pressure for what seems like hours before each snap, making the decision on throws way before he should have to. HE IS GREAT. But if TT refuses to bring in playoff caliber OLmen then we need to just put in Buluga, Newhouse and Lang and grow, hopefully making the playoffs by years end.

BTW, this board's new-found love affair with Brandon Jackson is almost funny. I get the wunderlust for Edgar Bennett and Dorsey Levels. But BJ is a marginal NFL back whose only positive is that he knows our system and is a check-down option after at least 5 reads. He cannot take the pressure of AR because he will not be taken seriously by any defensive coordinator in gameplanning. Let him have his 74.5 yards. If he were cut, he would not be picked up by anyone (see Najeh Davenportm Vernand Morency and Tyrell Sutton). We missed out by cutting Lumpkin and Wynn (I know, potential unrealized) or for not trading for Lynch. But hey, the argument is we may get another Finley, Burnett, James Jones or..... Aaron Rouse. Next year.

Oppy's picture

"If he were cut, he would not be picked up by anyone (see Najeh Davenportm Vernand Morency and Tyrell Sutton)"

Najeh Devenport and Tyrell Sutton were both scooped up immediately after being cut by the Packers. Only Morency's career has ended post-packers.

Just sayin'.

WoodyG's picture

Oppy

You're using facts again ..... It's unfair to counter one's unvalidated opinion with reality ......

PkrNboro's picture

The Clifton experiment should end. Always excused for not being a run-blocking lineman (which I never understood), he was lauded for his pass-blocking. But I'm not seeing it any more.

Colledge can't play with leverage; he's always on his heels. He can't/won't bend his body to utilize strength in his legs, which is a must against heavier opponents -- he is off balance, and cedes ground to the QB. He also does not use his hands effectively, or seemingly at all. Contrast his play with Sitton -- who will latch on, dig in, and stop someone.

Tauscher's reflexes seem off this year -- it's like his body can't sync up with his mind.

Bulaga/Lang/Wells/Sitton/Newhouse would suit me fine -- I don't care about our record, 'cuz we're not going anywhere the way we are.

I agree with your thoughts on BJAX. He's not nimble or quick IMO -- as you might think of a player that weighs around 210. He plays like he is 10-15lbs heavier -- but he's not, so he's easily tackled.

Kyle's picture

Is it at all possible that the offensive line is stuggling because of a lack of a running game...or even a lack of trying to run the ball? Maybe if we started the game trying to establish a running game and let the O-line get off their heels, rather than immediately step back into pass protection. I know offensive linemen would much rather lunge forward and hit someone than have to always step back and protect.

Just a thought.

yogamon's picture

Here is my solution regarding the Packers' problems with too many men on the field: Immediately after the prior play the team forms a huddle with a particular configuration or shape that only works with 11 players e.g., a four-sided polygon consisting of three sides of four players and one side of three players. If a 12th player tries to squeeze in, the correct shape of the huddle will be impossible to duplicate and the players themselves will notice the problem and presumably rectify it before it becomes a penalty.

yard dog's picture

Beside the passing problems I was disappointed with Aaron's decisions during two of his scrambles. One was in the fourth quarter when the packers faced third and long. Aaron scrambled to within 3 or 4 yards of the first down and then slid. From the views available it looks like he had a chance for the first down. He would have taken a hit but it was a critical drive that ended there.
The other one was in the two minute drive. Instead of stepping out of bounds he ran for about two more yards, took a hit and left the clock running.
There is some talk that perhaps Aaron had received the head injury earlier in the game so I'm giving him a pass. But the effort needs to be better if the packers expect to win a championship with Aaron.

PackRat's picture

You're right. I should have said "would not have turned out as any kind of loss becasue the team that picked them up would have relatively nothing to show for it." Name the team where BJax is the second string HB.

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