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Aaron Rodgers, Rest of Packers Offense Gets Used to New-Look Receiving Corps

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Aaron Rodgers, Rest of Packers Offense Gets Used to New-Look Receiving Corps

When Randall Cobb entered the NFL, he joined a deep group of wide receivers that included Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, both of whom have already departed Green Bay more than a year ago.

James Jones joined them in leaving the Packers this offseason, and Jermichael Finley's future is still up in the air. Suddenly the receiving corps in Green Bay doesn't look so familiar.

"It's so weird just to think how much has changed in my three years here, going into my fourth year," said Cobb. "But that's part of the business. It's a revolving door, and you've got to take on a new challenge every year. And we've got a challenge in bringing in these new guys and getting them up to speed and trying to help them as much as I can and doing all the things I can with them."

Cobb is just 23 years old, but he's a grizzled veteran, relatively speaking. It's now up to him to take the young wide receivers on the roster under his wing.

In the recent NFL Draft, the Packers took not one, not two but three wide receivers: Davante Adams in the second round, Jared Abbrederis is the fifth and Jeff Janis in the seventh.

And that's not to mention the firepower the Packers added at the tight end position when they grabbed Richard Rodgers in the third round and signed the talented but troubled Colt Lyerla as an undrafted free agent.

Each player brings something a little different and unique to the Packers offense, but there was definitely an effort on the personnel department's behalf to keep quarterback Aaron Rodgers well-stocked with a variety of weapons.

There's obviously a lot of attention on Adams for being a high round draft choice and being a guy expected to fill Jones' shoes.

While there's several similarities between Adams and Jones, most notably their size (both 6' 1" and between 208 and 212 lbs.), Adams' ability to high-point the ball stands out as a unique trait.

"I think that his size definitely brings a different characteristic to our room, his build and his ability to catch the ball," said Cobb. "I think he has great natural hands. Seeing him pluck the ball the way he does out of the air is very big for us."

How quickly Adams can get comfortable in the Packers offense and climb up the team's depth chart will be a development worth charting as the season progresses.

Expectations for the two late round draft picks won't be quite as those for Adams, but both Abbrederis and Janis have the raw tools to offer the Packers exciting athleticism.

"I think Jared is going to be really good," said Cobb. "You look at how fast he's been able to pick up on the system so far and just his ability to get in and out of breaks. He's a really quick, shifty guy. I think he's going to transition well for us. I think Jeff, you look at his speed and being able to get deep, takes the top off some coverages, going to be big for us."

Whereas Abbrederis is praised for his route running and ability to offer added value as a return specialist, Janis is a workout warrior, checking in near the top of every category at the NFL Combine among players at his position, whether it's the 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, three-cone drill or bench press.

But the new look the Packers will have at the receiving position in 2014 doesn't begin and end with the rookies. There's a variety of young players looking for expanded roles.

"We lost James Jones, so we need to add some depth there," said Rodgers. "I'm excited about the guys we brought in. I'm also excited about the possibility of some guys coming back.

"Jarrett (Boykin) came off a season where he really improved, Myles (White) did some really nice things, and Chris Harper showed signs as well during practice for us, without making a lot of plays on the field on offense. But there's going to be a lot of competition and I think some strong consideration about keeping an extra guy there as opposed to season's past."

It's typical for the Packers and most NFL teams to carry five wide receivers on their regular-season roster, but as Rodgers alluded to, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Packers carry six this season.

Cobb, Adams, Boykin and Jordy Nelson seem like locks for the roster. Who exactly will fill the other one or two spots is up in the air.

"There's definitely competition there," said Cobb. "I think that's something that I've always been taught, competition breeds success. So of course I'm going to do everything I can to help them. We're going to have a competitive environment, but we're also going to have a team environment and we know us, as a whole, is the most important thing."

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].

Photo: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers by Larry Radloff Photography.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (32) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

RCPackerFan's picture

I would consider 4 locks to make the roster (cobb, Nelson, Boykins, Adams) and 1 borderline lock (Abbrederis).
That leaves 1 open spot in my eyes. Harper, Dorsey, White, and Janis will likely be fighting for one spot on the 53.
Should make for a good competition. I am really looking forward to seeing how the position develops and actually how their whole 53 man roster develops.

4thand1's picture

Adams is an automatic lock. There's no way the Packers would sit him after drafting him in the 2nd round. I think Abbrederis makes the team too. The rest will have a battle, which is good.

RCPackerFan's picture

Yeah, I think that with Abbrederis and his ability to be a PR as well as offer something at WR, that he will make the 53.

The 5th and 6th WR spots will have to play special teams, and offer something on offense if needed.

For me the biggest unknowns are Harper and Dorsey. We haven't really seen anything from them, but they have had time to learn the playbook, and could possibly take a jump this year.
Janis is very intriguing with his size/speed.

It should be a fun competition to watch, that is for sure.

zerotolerance's picture

IMO I don't think Boykins is a lock.

4thand1's picture

I'd bet money that Boykins makes it. Everyone on the team speaks highly of him and he knows the system.
6-The rest will fight for a special teams spot and practice squad, unless Janis turns a lot of heads. He has speed to stretch the field.

RCPackerFan's picture

Yup, right now for the 6th spot, I think the top candidates might be Harper/Janis. But not much ahead of White & Dorsey.

Its hard for me to pick one right now considering the only 1 of the 4 I have seen play is White.

I think 2 will go to the PS.

Evan's picture

Couldn't disagree more.

He's 24, making only $570,000 and just put up 49 recs, 681 yards and 3 TDs in his first significant playing time. That's not the type of player you cut.

With Jones gone, I expect a big year from him.

PackerAaron's picture

Boykins is absolutely back.

Vrog's picture

There is no s in Boykin

The TKstinator's picture

I think Brandon Bostick has an opportunity too.

MadJam's picture

Brandon Bostick is a tight end not a wide receiver.

The TKstinator's picture

Yes but still part of the receiving corps, no?

Mojo's picture

Sans injury Boykin is a lock. Besides he only makes around $570,000.

White, Gillett, Dorsey and Harper are fighting for one spot. And that's if they go with six. Probably won't be able to stash Abby on the PS. Maybe Janis.

We need to start a petition. No more referencing Lyerla as "troubled but talented". I must have seen it a hundred times already. How about "problematic but proficient".

PackerAaron's picture

I find this comment funny coming from our resident troll about a person you've never met. Many of the regulars here at CHTV have cast the same aspersions your way (or worse) and you've lamented that people don't know you at all.

Apparently that defense only works for anon internt trolls and not professional football players you find beyond redemption, though you have never once met them in person.

Interesting double standard.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Cow, I agree with you 100%. I also think the guy is a P.O.S. , But he's not a Murderer. I think today too much is made of words people say. What white person, if he's Honest, hasn't used the N word. Does that make us all Racists. I don't think so. You can't have an opposite opinion on Gay Rights, without being called a Gay Basher. Blacks have words for whites, & Gay's have words for Straights. It doesn't make all of us bad people. Sometimes people say things , then regret saying them. The whole world is Guilty to some degree of Racism. It doesn't make everyone a bad person. I Hate the guy for, as you say, pouring salt in the wounds of all the parents who lost their children. Only those who have lost a child, knows how that feels. Like it or not, people are given second chances. I don't like the guy anymore than you do, but I'm willing to wait & see what happens going forward. I'm sure at some point he'll have to face this again. Let's hear what he say's. I'll stand with you against everyone on this board, if he doesn't atone for his statements.
It makes No Difference to me whether GB needs a Tight End or not.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

STROH, I thought about it when I wrote it. To answere your question, NO I DON'T. I lost a my son. I know how those people feel. Until I hear something atoning for his words, He's a P.O.S. I'm willing to give him a chance. If he does the right thing, & my aditude doesn't change, then it's a Contradiction. You haven't a clue how those people feel, you only think you do.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

STROH, Once again you only show your ignorance. I condemnd him in the previous sentence. In the following sentence's I was willing to give him the benifit of the doubt. Yes, I was saying actions are bigger than words. Until the actions are there, he accepts the doubt. It's not contradictory, only in your mind. Stand up in front of all those parents, & tell them, "You don't care about a big made for tv public apology". Do you actually think most people on this board agree with you?? One for sure doesn't.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

STROH, Remember what the Black community did to Paula Dean for using the N word 30 years ago. They didn't let her off so easy, did they? How about Sterling in the NBA. He had to sell his own team. I suppose this is different, because that was a Race issue, & these are just little kids? In my opinion, You are wrong. He hasn't convinced anyone of anything yet. That takes more than a few words. As you put it, It Takes Some Actions. I've never met anyone quite like you. Someome who thinks he's right on every possible subject there is. I've been on this site 2 or 3 years now. I've yet to hear you admit to being wrong on anything. You STROH are "A LEGEND IN YOUR OWN MIND!!"

zeke's picture

Not to turn this into a political discussion, but Paula Deen's problems aren't from some innocuous statement from 30 years ago. From her own deposition about an incident in 2007:

"Well what I would really like is a bunch of little niggers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around. Now that would be a true southern wedding, wouldn't it? But we can't do that because the media would be on me about that."

Yes, they would.

Now we can go back to complaining about Justin Harrell.

Nick Perry's picture

Cow you've made your feelings known over, and over, and over again. We've all got it, you think Lyerla is a no good so & so and you have a right to your opinion. But I don't believe it's right for you to suggest we'd all feel the same way if the Packers didn't need a TE. Some of us believe in second chances, the basic good in people, and to include us in your ramblings is wrong. At this point that's what they sound like, ramblings from some obsessed lunatic. The Packers needing a TE has nothing to do with my support for Lyerla, especially after drafting one in the 3rd round. He's there, he's getting a shot, under a microscope mind you and surrounded by professionals who are equipped to help this young man. Let them decide what to do with him. Who knows, perhaps he becomes a model citizen one day and ends up helping many others. Especially those young kids that grew up like him.

Nick Perry's picture

That sentence was followed by SOME of us believe in 2nd chances. Personally I'm a huge believer in 2nd chances. Over 20 years ago I couldn't stay clean and sober if my life depended on it, I was Colt Lyerla. Today my life is totally different because of a second chance. I'm a business owner and respected member of my community. His comments were horrible, I agree and also think you're entitled to a opinion. I just feel at some point it's time to give it a rest is all. Your comments are just really hateful, takes a lot of energy. I'll leave it at that.

4thand1's picture

WTF!??, 20 dislikes for Nick Perry getting clean and sober? Dislike me too, I cleaned up my act 20 years ago too, you pricks.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

I may be the fringe user here, but I don't really mind COW. Yes, he is way over the top, and pretty much hates life in general. I think we all fall victim to lamenting players and situations that we really know nothing about. It's natural when you're passionate. I rarely agree, although once in awhile COW makes a valid point somewhere in there.

That said, he has been a long time contributing member to the site, and is part of the greater demographic that make up a great Packer site. I do applaud him for bringing the needed vitriol.

I appreciate that COW appreciates having a great place to spew whatever he wants about the Packers.

I'd much rather have that, than a guy who bitches about a FREE site that brings this kind of discussion to people off the backs of the writers that work so hard here, for literally nothing. Like we get here all the time.

Every great site has a great troll/nemesis/devils advocate.

You'd miss COW if he left.

zeke's picture

"You'd miss COW if he left."

I'm willing to give it a shot.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

Haha, fair enough. I laughed.

Mojo's picture

As I've said before, isn't it possible Lyerla actually believed the government conspiracy theory? He may have believed the whole thing was staged. If that's the case his intent would not have been to pour salt in the wound. And It appears that may have been what he was thinking, especially when he called the parents liars. I know it sounds ridiculous, but some people are that gullible. The key, once again, is what was his intent in making those statements.

If he meant to just add to their misery, then yes, he was an asshat.

4thand1's picture

How's the negative attention meter going? You must be in 7th heaven lately, posting at 4:36 A.M. to get your fix. it must really suck to get your jollies this way. You need a hobby or maybe even a girlfriend (maybe boyfriend), whatever your preference. Anyway, hang in there, maybe the Packers will lose the North this year and you'll get your rocks off in here.
PS, If I was a coach, I'd fine any player who posted something dumb with the social media. As soon as a player posts something its out there forever for everyone to see and make a mountain out of a mole hill.

Mojo's picture

Cow - my only purpose to posting on the SH situation and Lyerla's comments was to make those who prejudge here(especially you) understand the importance of INTENT.

As I've said before, it's entirely possible, Lyerla believed the whole thing was a hoax. It's possible, in his mind, that he was exposing a lie. Nothing devious intended. As you probably already know, intent counts a great deal in the criminality of defendants in all types of situations. It often is everything in deciding a matter!

Was it stupid. Definitely! Should he have said nothing? I wouldn't have, even if I believed it to be true. At least on this matter Lyerla acted idiotic, but I still don't know if it was malicious or just plain stupid. And despite your holier-than-thou ranting neither do you.

I don't expect you to change your viewpoint on this matter - so whatever. Do I know what his intent was? No, only he does.This is more for the posters here who are a little more open-minded than yourself.

Clay Zombo's picture

COW is the reason we need an ignore poser button on this site.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I'm sick of him too. I clicked on the link to read about the Packers new receivers only to see another discussion highjacked by COW.

So here are directions to create a button to remove COW's comments and direct responses to him.

BTW - it might only work right if you are logged in.

4thand1's picture

As far as receivers go, Jermichael Finley's agent Blake Barartz told Fox sports 1, Finley has the ability to collect on a 10 million dollar insure claim "if" he decides not to play again. So I'm assuming if he signs a contract , he'd piss away 10 mil. He's currently listed as the #1 veteran FA by Fox sports 1 that can sign with any team after June 1st. All he could possibly hope for is a one year "prove it" deal. Do the Packers sign him? I think not.

MarkinMadison's picture

Thank you Captain Obvious!

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