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Cory's Corner: Give Aaron Rodgers the keys

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Cory's Corner: Give Aaron Rodgers the keys

By now we shouldn’t be surprised by what the Packers give us each week.

This team is the definition of inconsistency because its offense is broken.

The Vikings used that to their advantage in winning their first NFC North title since 2009 and in effect ending the Packers run of division dominance at four straight years with a 20-13 victory on Sunday night.

First of all, what do you do when things are broken?

That’s right, you fix them. And to head coach Mike McCarthy’s credit, that’s what he tried to do when he grabbed the offensive play-calling reins from quarterbacks coach Tom Clements on Dec. 13.

The Packers looked spirited initially. However, getting back-to-back wins against a severely injured and overmatched Dallas team and an Oakland team that is still trying to figure things out isn’t all that special.

That was of course followed by getting sacked nine times in the desert en route to getting utterly embarrassed by the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs before tallying an awful 13 percent third down conversion rate to Minnesota in the season finale.

Frankly, there hasn’t been much of a difference between Clements and McCarthy’s play-calling. Both have said they are staunch believers in the run game, but both have had amnesia during games and quickly turn pass-happy.

Aaron Rodgers, even though he is not blameless in this backwards season, is still the only reason why the Packers move on in the playoffs. And that’s the reason that Rodgers should be given full autonomy to handle the play-calling. Not just a handful of audibles at the line of scrimmage, but the full playbook.

It was Rodgers that engineered the quasi comeback that gave the Packers a beating heart. It was Rodgers that was 14-for-21, including nine straight completions, in the fourth quarter to go along with 169 yards.

“It’s the fourth quarter,” said a dejected Rodgers after Sunday’s loss. “We came out, threw caution into the wind and made some plays.”

And it’s that breakneck 100-meter dash pace that is going to win playoff games. The Packers have proven all year long that they have had trouble winning consistently when they try to take on teams straight up. The receivers cannot get open, Rodgers has pressed and has made some poor throws, the offensive line has resembled a shuffled deck of canasta and Eddie Lacy has looked both very good and very bad.

So the best way to combat all those things is to amp up the pace. Get the defense out of its comfort zone and don’t allow them to make personnel changes. Make them think about how exhausted they are instead of how to defend Randall Cobb, James Jones and Davante Adams.

And with a quick pace, Rodgers needs to be allowed to call all of the plays. Sometimes getting a play in from the sideline has taken too long — which happened at the 5:13 mark of the third quarter this past Sunday. The Packers were facing third-and-2 from the Minnesota 35 and it took too long for the play to come in. After the timeout, there was a holding penalty, followed by a Rodgers fumble and a Vikings scoop and score.

With Rodgers calling the plays, he won’t have to slow down and try to decipher a call from the sideline. Out of the no-huddle, he’ll just survey the defense for a few seconds before making a couple of adjustments and telling the Packers’ engine to go.

Rodgers has appeared nonchalant ever since the play-calling switch and for good reason. On Sunday, McCarthy turned Rodgers into a game manager by barely calling any passes down the field. That’s like asking Hank Aaron to bunt. Rodgers is arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the league and now he’s playing with his arms tied.

It’s time to let Rodgers free. Give him the responsibility and freedom to call the game.

He’s one of the smartest people in the league. Let him prove it. 


Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (107) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

16nprattholt's picture

100 percent agree, I think the 4th quarter rally might induce a spark into this offense... at least I hope so! It's now or never! Go pack

RCPackerFan's picture

We have seen this happen for most of year. Their 4th quarter offense for whatever reason has been the best offense we have had. Rodgers finds his groove and seems to be more into the game. The biggest difference is they are more into the hurry up and Rodgers is calling plays at the LOS.

I think giving more of the offense to Rodgers could be a good thing. It just feels like he hasn't been on the same page with the play callers for most of the season. It feels like there is doubt with him and what is being called and ran. When you listen to his post game comments he has said multiple times that we need to be doing this or that more and using certain players more. Just seems like they can't get on the same page.

Perhaps just letting Rodgers running it more will allow him to feel more in control and will get him in the right mindset.

I don't think it would be a bad thing to have Rodgers feeling good about what they are running.

Tundraboy's picture

You said it. I was about to post some thoughts after reading the article but you said pretty much what I was thinking. Let him drive the car the whole game. He certainly has the game experience and knows the personnel and playbook and almost certainly feels why not me? He is no less than other QBs who do and who get input from the sideline when asked or needed as opposed to being told what to do. This whole offensive coaching committee set up is too much as well and needs to be scrapped entirely. If MM doesn't trust his QB at this point something is really wrong and I have long questioned why MM is calling plays versus keeping his head fully into the game. The scripted shit has to stop. Why would you follow a script so rigidly when the game as others here have pointed out is a chess match. Games swing back and forth and stubbornly sticking to one plan just doesn't make sense. Having a plan is great but pointless if you do not adapt and react to changes. Just like the real world.

RCPackerFan's picture

Whatever the case maybe, I think getting Rodgers comfortable and confident is the biggest thing that needs to happen. If that is letting him go up to the LOS and running no huddle and allowing him to run the offense, then do it.

When you look back at this season, the offense was doing ok-good until the Broncos game. They struggled against the 49ers and Chargers, but the Broncos game is when the book was written on how to slow down/stop this offense. Since that game defenses have pretty much played the same type of defense against the Packers.
Simply put the offense has not adjusted to how defenses are playing them. They are not talented enough to overcome that and they have not done enough schematically to adjust.

Like you said, sticking to one plan doesn't make sense, especially when its not working. Now I will say in this last game their plan to run, worked great on the opening drive. Problem was after that they went away from it.

I have been saying for a long time that they need to do more schematically and need to be more creative in their play calls/play designs. I maintain that. Right now I think the best thing they can do to help the offense is to mix and match its personnel. Showing different looks, and getting the defense guessing more of what they are going to do.
I understand that we can't trot out Janis for 20+ snaps a game. I'm not asking that. But in drive or 2 in the game couldn't they go into a 5 WR look? How about using both Kuhn and Ripkowski together? We have seen the 2 TE offense, about using 3 TE's? Showing different looks will create confusion on the defense. Confusion on the defense will help the offense.

Tundraboy's picture

Sounds like a plan. Have to think that now that playoffs are here that we will see at least some of that. If not then turnovers from the D are our only hope and that is hoping for too much.

RCPackerFan's picture

I really hope they do open up the play book. If they are going to do it, now is the time to. When defenses aren't really expecting it.

dobber's picture

There are other arguments for why the O plays better in the 4th quarter and from behind than at other times: primarily that the defense is going into a mode where they're playing dime and not necessarily rushing as many (or the defensive looks are simplified). This allows ARod to have more time in the pocket or allows him to roll out and create...his forte. Looking back, though, when the Packers have tried to run the hurry-up earlier, it hasn't necessarily been all that productive.

Many have speculated that there's a rift between the offensive coaches and #12. While there have been times where this has appeared to be true, it's still really just conjecture. If I were a player of ARod's caliber and I was seeing that my team was suffering and it's the offense's fault, I'd likely be acting much the same way he's been acting...and if I were an offensive-minded coach I'd be acting much the same way MM has been acting to the public.

If there IS a rift--or even a behind the scenes power play--between coach and QB, I would argue that the worst thing they could do for the future of this franchise is to give ARod total control of the offensive play calls. In essence, you're emasculating the coaching staff and empowering the other side of the power play. I think this is a dangerous road to go down and can be more destructive in the long run than the possible short term benefits would justify.

Don't get me wrong, the key right now is to win playoff games. If there's no true back-room power plays going on, then I see no problem with an expanded role for #12 in game-planning and in-game calls and corrections. But it's a slippery slope.

Bohj's picture

I agree with you on the defense changing their tune once the opposition gets a lead. But I disagree on the hurry up offense. The Packers have run a no-huddle offense early in games. But rarely a hurry-up offense until late. The no-huddle has the purpose of making the Defense keep their personnel on the field and look for the best matchup to exploit. Our problem is that our receivers can't win the matchups. Jordy's loss was so critical because no one can guard him one on one. Not even Revis. So you had to roll a safety over. This created favorable matchups for all of the other guys.

Now.....the Hurry-up is effective because it keeps the Defense on its heals the whole time. In a sprint, the offense always has the advantage because they know the play. Waiting until the last tick of the playclock lets the defense make adjustments too. I wish we did more hurry-up early. Favre and Rodgers both are the best in the business at this. Forget matchups. Kill em with quickness and moving the chains. Plus, it considerably wears out the big guys on pass rush and will keep our QB alive. Don't give them 35 seconds to rest between snaps.

Bohj's picture

And...added bonus....they'll stop wasting effin timeouts.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I would argue that the worst thing they could do for the future of this franchise is to give ARod total control of the offensive play calls.

100% agreed, he's having big enough problems handling his own responsibilities. Additionally, this article whitewashes the idea that this is even feasible since personnel groups have to be coordinated from the sideline.

Rodgers is just as likely to get 100% play calling authority over the Redskins offense next week. It's not gonna happen, it's just a pipe dream.

pacman's picture

It seems that many times AR is looking downfield for a big gain rather than grab the 10 yards the D is giving. It seems that the coverage has been too good but that is because the WR's are stopping, stuttering and not getting anywhere or faking anyone out.

Put Janis wide and run deep (STRAIGHT) let him draw 2 and have the others run through the middle and cut ONCE. Nodoby should be stopping. I can't believe that someone doesn't get 2-3 steps and then it is on AR to lead them properly. Unfortunately, AR has not been throwing his best this year. It happens. Let's just hope this year is the outlier.

Tundraboy's picture

I'll take the 10 yard plays. Better than the 3 yard or less pass plays and the lack of 3rd down conversions. Loosen up the D and maybe the down field opportunities will open up.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

No way to overcome all of Poor Coaching, Key Injuries, and not enough talent in the 2-6 year veteran group. Thompson's Draft and Develop strategy relies on those guys to take over for older veterans like Collins, Woodson, Bishop, Finley, Jennings (and this season Nelson). All of whom I would argue have not been adequately replaced.

You can look here for yourself .

Mike Daniels is the only probowl/all-pro player out of the group. That group of mediocre talent makes up 2/3rds of the roster.

Since '61's picture

There's nothing wrong with putting the game in the hands of your best player. At this point we have nothing to lose. Our offense can't look any worse than it has the last 2 weeks. They definitely need to change something to develop some rhythm with this offense. Plus they may save some time outs if Rodgers is not standing there waiting for the plays to come from god knows where. Almost never saw Bart Starr use a timeout before the last 2 minutes of a half or a game when he was calling the plays. Go Pack! Thanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

Great point about Starr. Lombardi entrusted Starr and certainly was secure enough to know that he prepared him well enough to run the plays. If he didn't execute that was another matter.

Kyle Graham's picture

When Rodgers and the offense go into no huddle hurry up mode it reminds me of the 90's Bills. I think they could be highly successful with that strategy.

Nick Perry's picture

The 90's Bills??? That team had a Hall of Fame QB, WR, and RB. Right now the Packers have ONE of the Three. While I agree the Packers could benifit from "Hurry Up Mode", their a far cry from the "Run and Gun Bills".

D.D. Driver's picture

Yeah. What this offense seems to need is Aaron Rodgers holding the ball for 8 second before taking a drive ending sack. I'm pretty bearish on Rodgers' decionmaking ability lately.

Also, its not like the Packers aren't throwing down field, its that Rodgers isn't connecting on those passes like we are accustomed to seeing. There were at least two deep balls on Sunday that would have been touchdowns or redzone completions if they weren't underthrown.

Packer_Pete's picture

I agree with you 100% DD! And isn't it ironic that most posters still hold onto the myth that receivers cannot get open, yet want to turn the O completely over to a player who wants to do nothing but throw the ball downfield, hoping that some receivers will get open at some point?
I think #12 is one of the big reasons why this O is not successful, handing over everything to him would be a big mistake. How do we know that he is not changing plays at the LOS all the time? As evidenced by Lang yelling at him???

Jean Mitchell's picture

When #12 is sacked and laying on his back 9 times in a game....he of course is not going to be successful. Against the Vikings it was "only" 5 sacks but when your OL isn't protecting you your success rate is in the dumpster. Rodgers is the smartest guy on the field and he's in the middle of the action - this team is in a funk and it's going to continue to be in a funk on Sunday if the same old, same old is rolled out onto the field. The Packers aren't fooling anyone at this point - a change of strategy (and perhaps play calling) is exactly what's needed for an all or nothing playoff game.

RCPackerFan's picture

'The Packers aren't fooling anyone at this point - a change of strategy (and perhaps play calling) is exactly what's needed for an all or nothing playoff game.'

completely agree with this.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Of course you do, RC...


RCPackerFan's picture

How do you feel about it?

Do you agree or disagree with it?

DrealynWilliams's picture

I gave up @RC

There's evidence of coaches and players doing their job poorly. I can't even remember the last game the Pack showed up for 4 quarters.

All I can do is hope it gets better this week.

lou's picture

The offense has become a joke compared to what it once was, no one would have expected this to be the case. The last couple of days in the Journal Sentinel Up/Down Arrows by Mike Hart included;

When you order Mike McCarthy at Baskin Robbins you get VANILLA.

If the Packers stay at the Watergate Hotel in D.C. and the Redskins bug it they won't find anything new in the offensive game plan.

It has come to that.

Tundraboy's picture

Very funny but a sad joke all the same.

D.D. Driver's picture

Great quarterbacks overcome leaky offensive lines. It makes his job harder, no doubt. There are some occasions where there is literally nothing a QB can do to prevent a sack. But there are lots of occasions where the QB *has* to be able to feel the pressure and get rid of the ball rather than taking a drive killing sack. How many times a game do you yell at the TV "Get rid of the ball! Get rid of the ball! Get ride of the ball!" And how many of those times does Rodgers take a sack?

There is lots of blame to go around. But lots of blame falls on Rodgers shoulders. He is the MVP. He is the future HOFer. His linemen aren't. His receivers aren't. The Packers need Rodgers to be at the *top* of his game and he is playing the *worst* football of his career.

If what were are saying is Rodgers needs to have probowl wideouts just to be an *average* NFL quarterback (he is below-average this year) then we are are arguing that Rodgers was overrated the whole time. I don't think Rodgers is overrated. I think he has a chance at the being the greatest Packer QB of all time. But he isn't playing like it. At all.

Just for a reminder--these are the types of plays Rodgers was making at the beginning of the season:

After the 6-0 start (with essentially the same personnel) he hasn't been making many "wow" plays like this. Note that if we saw this recently it would have been an incompletion or a sack and we would throw up our hands and swear at the receivers who were weren't open enough. When Rodgers is on his game, he can make plays against good coverage and with pressure. He did it all the time.

Packer_Pete's picture

I don't disagree that he is under pressure quite often. But when he is not and still cannot find his open receivers or not throw accurately, then it is hardly the fault of play calling or OL. there were plenty of plays against the Vikings when he had ample time and wildly overthrew the receiver, or missed open ones...

D.D. Driver's picture

Look, Russell Wilson was sacked only one time less than Rodgers and his *best* receiver is Doug Freaking Baldwin. But he completed almost 70% of his passes, threw for more TDs than Rodgers, ran for more yards, and had a passer rating about 20 points higher than Rodgers.

A good QB can still be productive with average wideouts and a leaky line. Rodgers absolutely can win with this group. I get the sense that *he* doesn't think he can. Which is a big problem.

tjm65's picture


Tundraboy's picture

Good point but Seattle's line did not look too leaky against Cardinals. Maybe our Oline guys should watch the tape.

Dan Stodola's picture

More often than not Rodgers had to throw into coverage or try to throw a receiver open. Which is nearly impossible considering how tight the coverage is immediately at the LOS. Every receiver is being pressed at the LOS, which totally disrupts the timing. It all comes down to the fact that the receivers are being disrupted from their routes and not beating the press.

Sames as its been all year. W/o jordy to take the best CB and safety help the rest of the receiver group is pedestrian and not beating the better CB they face.

brewers_rule's picture

I don't have any answer for what cures this team at this point. I was under the impression AR had grown enough heading into that playoff disaster at season's end last year he could call his own plays by now but this year has continually made me question that. Not based on any lack of knowledge on his part but the fact that he seems to micromanage things & get mired in details just like his coach. I think as Packer fans we ARE spoiled in that he's only behind Peyton Manning in how cerebral he is BUT that same ability is what we don't need right now. We need a guy who can go out there & draw up a play in the dirt that's so simple it requires basic skills that accentuate the receivers' abilities.

I've said it before but why not have Janis in 4-8 plays a game & just say 'get off the line, run to the pylon & catch it when I throw it there?' Even if it only works 2-3 times of those 8, it should back the defense off enough to open up the middle of the field for Cobb/Adams/Rodgers/Jones with a committed run game. It's like either MM or AR are so steeped in technique they can't play on that level mentally.

That's what made Favre special & why he could succeed with nobodies at WR for years. This offense doesn't seem to be able to do that whether it's due to stubbornness or design and it's a major reason we're seeing so many issues. If you think about it, it would also explain why MM has had issues with game management in the past as well. If you're obsessed with X's and O's perfection, the second some defense comes along to throw a rock in that pond, you get flustered & can't mentally go back to basics such as pounding the football & basic pass plays like that.

How you fix that? I don't know. Part of me wonders if we truly need a fresh perspective on this team, whether that's promoting TT & elevating Elliot Wolf as I heard suggested on podcast this morning. Or axing all these pseudo coordinator/asst coaches on offense MM promoted for one new guy. Or telling MM it's time to move on to a new coach & perspective altogether. I don't know. The latter is drastic but we need some new blood to inject some life & energy from somewhere asap. The window's closing on this team's SB run opportunities w/each year & while we may never go back to 4-12 years, we NEED to take advantage of our 2nd HOF QB while we can along with the other great players he has around him in their primes.

RCPackerFan's picture

'I've said it before but why not have Janis in 4-8 plays a game & just say 'get off the line, run to the pylon & catch it when I throw it there?' Even if it only works 2-3 times of those 8, it should back the defense off enough to open up the middle of the field for Cobb/Adams/Rodgers/Jones with a committed run game. It's like either MM or AR are so steeped in technique they can't play on that level mentally.'

I have said it too, and I don't really get it.

I'm not saying they have to use Janis 20+ times a game. But can't they find a way to get his speed and play making ability on the field? I have said for a while, that using him on a Jet Sweep could be a huge play.

Tundraboy's picture

If it doesn't happen this week it may never. Then again Janis is on MMs 3 to 4 year plan it seems.

Oppy's picture

Janis will play out his rookie contract at the very least.

His value as a return man and, perhaps more so, as a gunner on special teams ensures it. Even if he never gets on the field at WR, his ST play is strong enough I wouldn't be surprised if the Packers would offer him an extension when his contract comes up if he continues to play ST as he currently does.

What that means is Janis will be given every opportunity to develop into an NFL caliber WR. The Packers can justify their patience with his ST value.

Tundraboy's picture

Now that would be good news.

WKUPackFan's picture

Just because of people like you I wish AR would retire TODAY. Seriously, he has more than enough money and doesn't need to put with all the 8 seconds, prima Donna, and Olivia stuff. Some Packers fans don't deserve him. Why should he continue to endanger himself for a bunch of ingrates?

D.D. Driver's picture

Meh. No one is above criticism. Rodgers certainly doesn't even hesitate to criticize his teammates and coaches.

Packer_Pete's picture

Exactly DD! But let's not forget, had James Jones prepared properly and not played video games, then he would've known that #12 would throw the ball right to Rhodes, and not to the outside pylon. Then it would've been a TD....

brewers_rule's picture

What are you even TALKING ABOUT? I said AR is only next to Peyton Manning in terms of how cerebral he is about the game & how great he IS at that. What I question is how good he (and MM btw, you totally skirted that aspect of the critique) is at breaking out of the mechanical box of scripted, memorized plays & just ad libbing or breaking things down to basic football. How in the world you get I'm attacking him somehow or downgrading makes no sense. I totally disagreed w/Demovsky's implication Munn has anything to do with his performances when it was said, I've never said anything about prima donna stuff, or the like. So where exactly are you finding that in what I said?

I totally believe AR is an amazing QB who is getting more flack than he deserves right now for what's going on in this offense. But I ALSO believe the brain trust is pissing away his HOF abilities just like they did with Favre while playing the Lego 'Everything is Awesome' tune as the #intedwetrust folks run alongside like the mice to the Pied Piper. The ITWT folks who never question if the window's closing or not & shouting down anyone that dares to bring that up because 'good enough' is divisional wins & maybe a playoff birth to them. You want to talk ingrates, talk people who accept the Green Bay Packers sitting on their laurels as a 2nd HOF QB's career isn't maximized.

DrealynWilliams's picture

"I totally believe AR is an amazing QB who is getting more flack than he deserves right now for what's going on in this offense"

Don't start backpedaling now :)

brewers_rule's picture

Where am I backpedaling? All I've said is can AR ad lib more. That's not denouncing him, defaming him, or blaming him for the offense's downfall at all. It's asking a freaking question I don't know the answer to.

DrealynWilliams's picture

He's getting more flack than he deserves? Really? If anything, the majority are pointing fingers at coaching and receivers.

brewers_rule's picture

How many blogs have you read this season? I read this one daily & listen to multiple Packer podcasts weekly. At some point this year almost every one jives with the comments in this very section that also mention the usual 'what's up with Aaron' themes. Those include vague injury theories and some have directly accused him of being a major problem while others have referenced the vague things like the Munn factor Demovsky's pointed to. I don't buy any of it aside from the one thing Rodgers HAS admitted to and that's seeing ghosts in the pocket making him jumpy which makes sense when he's been under more pressure this year than in one's passed.

I agree w/your claim most of the fingers are pointed at the receivers/coaches but the points I made about him being unnecessarily pointed at ARE valid and I'm not backpedaling from anything I've said so I don't know what point you're making here.

DrealynWilliams's picture

I'm on here and every linked Packers blog on daily.

No, your Rodgers blame statement is inaccurate. The proof is all in these blogs. You see the receivers, O-Line, coaches, play calling and running back issues before Rodgers is mentioned. You rarely see Rodgers in the "Bad" or "Cow Chip" section. He's made it recently, but this Offense has been inconsistent since (probably) week 4.

The backpedaling comment was a little joke. I thought I remembered you criticizing Rodgers in previous articles, but here you're lightening up.

Packer_Pete's picture

"Rodgers HAS admitted to and that's seeing ghosts in the pocket making him jumpy which makes sense when he's been under more pressure this year than in one's passed."
If you claim something, at least make sure you are accurate. NOT THE CASE.
He was sacked 46 times this season. He had a QBR of 92.7, completion % of 60.7, 31 TDs to 8 INTs
During the 2012 season, he was sacked 51 times. Yet he had a QBR of 108 (his 3rd best ever!), a completion percentage of 67.2, and 39 TDs to 8 INTs.

So even though he was under more pressure in 2012 than during this season, his numbers were significantly better. Simply put, in the past he could deal with so-so receivers and a leaky OL. Now he cannot anymore.

And just to tell you, Wilson was sacked once less (45 times) this season, and certainly took more shots when running. Yet his QBR was 110.

Fact is, Rodgers was undoubtedly great the past few seasons. He was able to overcome most odds, and his OLs were never better than average. Yet he delivered week for week, almost ever week. He might have been the best QB to ever play the game, if you consider the seasons 2010 (postseason) - 2014. But his magic ran out this year. He has not played to that level this season. I don't understand how one does not see how his performance severely regressed this season.

And another thought: Since becoming a starter, he never finished worse than 6th in QBR among all starting QBs. And the 6th place was during his first starting season, he was 5th once, and otherwise always top 3. He is 15th (!!!) this season. And I bet if you check that after game 6, he is far worse than that. His diminished play is a main reason for the O struggles. I really don't care who the WRs are, if your starting QB goes from a top 3, elite QB in the NFL to an average guy, your offense will suffer. You can blame whoever you want to, OL, WR, play caller, whoever. But if you watch film, and you see the throws during the past few games when he had ample time and was not under pressure, and see him widely overthrow WRs who are open, see that throw directly to Rhodes instead to a wide open James Jones, see throws fly 8 yards over the heads of WRs, and still blame any- and everything else for his bad performances other than himself, then I really don't know what games you are watching...

dschwalm's picture

A very well thought-out post including lots of research to support your thesis, P.P. You certainly opened my eyes. I think Rodgers and all the coaches see it that way as well. Let's see if they can right the ship, at least in time for next fall. Next season will be the key to Rodgers' legacy.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Woah...woah...woah... @WKU

Tundraboy's picture

"If you think about it, it would also explain why MM has had issues with game management in the past as well. If you're obsessed with X's and O's perfection, the second some defense comes along to throw a rock in that pond, you get flustered & can't mentally go back to basics such as pounding the football & basic pass plays like that."

That could explain a lot about MM and why it turns into Sandlot football. It's the only thing that seems to work lately. Rodgers is flustered, frustrated or both.

Big T's picture

Letting the waterboy call the plays at this point would be a huge improvement.

DrealynWilliams's picture

On one hand there's people saying Rodgers is going rogue and on the other hand people are saying Rodgers should probably have complete control.


Hematite's picture

A lot of good comments here and good points made all around.
This has me wavering like a corn stalk in the wind.
In the end after much thought about how this season has played out and the fact that this could be our last game, I'm going wit RC and Since 61.
Step outside the box, hand the keys to Rodgers , let er rip and let the chips fall where they may.
McCarthy's ridged planning isn't working.

DrealynWilliams's picture

It sounds good, but is this the time to try that? I'd like that idea in a regular season game (especially after we clinched a playoff berth).

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

There is no doubt its broke, whats worse is will it continue into next year. Might be the most the worse season with such promise.

croatpackfan's picture

I'm the one of those who "blame" Aaron for this years problem with offense. Not only Aaron, but mostly. Aaron has bad year. So what? EVerybody has at least one! The problem is when one of the WR has the bad year, you replace him and everthing is OK. You can not replace Aaron, or you may, but you have tzo prepare plan for that change... Why? Becuase, QB is the one who carry offense. QB ability is the basic around which you are making your game plan. If you are thinking of replacing Aaron in any game, you need to have at least some type of back up plan, I'm not sure Packers have. I think Aaron will be offended with practicing some back up plans...
I think that you'll see new level in way how will Aaron plays next year. And people will explaining that as return of jedi, sorry of Jordy. No, it will be product of this bad Aaron's season. We all know how perfectionist he is. We learned how intelligent he is. He will understand his problems and he will solve it. When that happens, others will be just to set that stage for the best QB ever...
But this year, this year Aaron is responsible for lot of offensive problems Packers have...

zoellner25's picture

I said to myself early in the 3rd quarter, why don't we go hurry up, no huddle? we are so much better when we hurry up, run shotgun and wing it around. The slow, plodding, jumbo packages might work to gain time of possession, but not to score points. it's about scoring points. But ARod has to get rid of the ball

Bohj's picture

As evidenced by most of the games we've lost this year. Our biggest strength seems to be the two minute drill. Well, let's just run that every drive.
Arguments against:
1) Makes the drive too short and D is back on the field and tired. Well.....three and outs do that anyways.
2) Can't make substitutions. Well......just use the same personnel for that drive.

Arguments for:
1) Only thing that seems to work for us this year.
2) I bet there's a stat out there that says we've amassed 80% of our first downs and yardage utilizing this.
3) Wears down defensive backs and Defensive ends.
4) Rodgers is phenomenal at it
5) Defense can't make adjustments
6) Defense can't make substitutions
7) We don't waste time outs
8) We most likely muster up more points than 3 in a half.
9) More chances that one of their guys is out of position
10) Nothing else is not

DrealynWilliams's picture

"2) Can't make substitutions. Well......just use the same personnel for that drive."

This is what helps and hurts drives.

2 RBs in the back field for example...
Best running formation for us, right?

Well, when we no huddle with that personnel and want to pass for some damn reason (I get irked every time I think about it) Kuhn is sent out wide

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

Also Rodgers very predictably runs the play clock to near zero when it's a pass play and almost never runs the clock down for run plays. Pretty easy for a defense (NOT spelled defence, unless you're British) to key in on that.

Tundraboy's picture

Great point. Between the vanilla plays, personnel groups that Telegraph plays such as Cobb lined up in the backfield, it's a miracle if we ever surprise the opposing team.

dschwalm's picture

Unless your British ......Or Canadian, but I wouldn't expect to know that.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

They tried that already and results where not very good.

DrealynWilliams's picture

What are you talking about?

guzzi2000's picture

I agree with a lot of the points that have been made in the responses posted. An observation I made after watching replays is the apparent lack of effort by the receivers in creating some type of separation from the defender in man to man coverage, it's like watching a practice walk - through.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Said the same thing many many weeks ago. Especially with Adams.

Bearmeat's picture

At this point the season is all but over. The offense won't fix itself. I fully expect Washington will beat us and the fine defensive effort this year to be wasted.

MM and AR need to get whatever issues there is between them fixed. Stat.

Without a doubt the offensive injuries to Jordy, every member of the OL, Lacy, Cobb, Ty and Abby have been devastating. That said, when young guys don't step up, TT's model of draft and develop doesn't work. This happened to the defense in 2008, 2012 and 2013. It happened to the offense this year.

While that's never acceptable for a professional franchise (it's a bottom line business) - it's even more frustrating for a unit that features a future HOF QB. Everyone has egg on their faces here. Everyone.

That said, MM has 10 years of the highest of highs and a good amount of success to demonstrate that he'll get this right. TT will do his work in the draft and double down his efforts at WR/TE and youth at OT and OG.

The haters will say that this is a decline. That doesn't make any sense. There is a lot of good quality youth on this team - and with ARod, who won't play like this again, the team will be back to being in the discussion as a potential super bowl team again next year. Winning the division will be a no-brainer.

This year sucked, but with the guys we have the future is still bright.

dschwalm's picture

I usually agree with your realistic arguments, Bearmeat, but not this one. IMO, they don't have the talent after Rodgers. We can't count on Jordy returning to his former performance after ACL surgery, and after those two, maybe Daniels, the talent drops off significantly. None of our recent #1 draft choices have panned out being beyond being adequate, and CM has his best years behind him. I think it will be a number of seasons before we begin to challenge for the Division Title again. Moreover, both Chicago and Detroit will be breathing down our neck with their new resources. Hell, we couldn't handle lowly old Detroit this year!

ray nichkee's picture

I can agree with the article and most posters here but cory says AR is the only reason they are in the playoffs. He has something to do with it but i think the truth is they have been mostly riding the defense.

I love the idea of going no huddle and i think it is the best chance for success. My next thought is other than 5 OL and AR who are the other 5 guys on the field? Then who do you substitute to keep fresh legs on the next drive? Please share your opinions guys because i cant come up with much.

brewers_rule's picture

Personally, I don't believe no huddle would work at all right now. We already have guys that don't know where they're supposed to be constantly even after timeouts are taken to get them on the same page. All no huddle would do is speed the 3 and outs and make the beatings worse in my view. No huddle worked previously when the players knew where to be and got open, which we don't have right now.

My take has always been we need to slow DOWN. MM needs to come out of every game running the ball a LOT in the 1st half, no matter the results. Lacy's career shows 20+ carries is typically a Packer win, especially when the 3rd/4th quarters come & he wears down defenses. Throw screens to back the pass rush off as well. Then mix in Janis deep to move them back and/or take advantage of the eventual creep ups. If that works, the other guys should naturally find openings that flow out of that, I'd think.

Once those baby steps are taken, guys' confidence can return & the passing game could flow nice enough to get us through 2016 if the defense holds those 13-20pt efforts. We don't need 40pts/game, more like 25-30pts to win these days. But, I'll be the first to admit, I know nothing of X's and O's so this is all just arm chair guesstimations on my feeble part. You & Corey seem to have a better handle on that than me.

Razer's picture

Aaron Rodgers has been as much a part of the problem as anyone else on this offense. His lack of accuracy and indecision are at all time highs. Letting him play Brett Favre is not a road that we need to go down.

I do agree with many of you that we need to change it up here. If our O-line is healthy this weekend we need to march out some 4 and 5 WR sets. If teams are going to cover then make them cover a lot. MM is the key to this weekend. If he has us pound, pound, pass then we will probably be out of our misery come next week. Let's see what we have under the hood.

Tundraboy's picture

I agree. MM is the key. He has to come up with something different or we all will be venting next week.

Dan Stodola's picture

You'll be venting next week win or lose. Nothing wrong with the team that getting healthy, Jordy back next year and Lacy dropping 15 lbs won't cure. Problem is that wont happen till after this season ends.

So vent you will.

brewers_rule's picture

I just don't see what 4 and 5 WR sets is going to do when the majority of those 4 and 5 WR's have already been proven guys who can't get off the line in the first place? All it's going to do is have Aaron running for his life again & throwing check downs or incomplete to Adams 20+ times like in the Lions game, isn't it? How is that changing it up? Changing it up IS pounding it like the Dallas game because MM hasn't been doing that all year & maybe if he did, the passing game would naturally come out of its shell from it?

Razer's picture

Our Jones/Adams/Cobb set has been so successful - yeah, let's stick with that. Why not throw Abby and Janis into the fray and force teams to choke on their man to man coverage. Let the horses run.

PaulRosik's picture

No one has said that the play call should be "everyone run around until Rodgers throws it on two". But the playcalling against Minnesota was really vanilla and bland. They need to open it up more and take more chances. If they were just trying to keep Rodgers healthy for the playoffs well now its the playoffs and time to go.

Tundraboy's picture

This sure has been a humbling year. Started off with thinking we would atone for last year and now when I see our logo in the playoff brackets, it takes me back to the 80s,and being happy to be there. Then I snap out of it and realize we do have the talent to win, at least one game,not just compete.

CallingIt's picture

Not a bad idea in theory. Not so good practically. Communication with the sideline is one way. Getting the right personnel packages in for what he may want to run would be the issue.

He really is the best one to feel what he needs and can do best at any given time. Hard to execute logistically without some extensive practice doing it. Too radical this late in the season. Good idea though.

CallingIt's picture

Any word on Bahk-T yet?

rajahking's picture

Like everyone, I'm pretty pessimistic about this week. I think the only way we beat the Washington Racial Slurs is to pop them in the mouth, immediately - so maybe Cory's idea is the right idea. Let Rodgers whip it around, spread it out. DBs is Wash's weakness, so go at them.

We need a lead early in this game, b/c that crowd is going to hopped up on a traditionally crummy team getting a home game, and us going down early will be tough. Hard to see us winning a 17-13 of game. I think we can win if we get in the mid-20s, and we aren't doing that with a half-hearted commitment to the run game and screen passes.

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

I read that Washington's biggest weakness is stopping the run. I'd personally game plan to run it more than pass against the Redskins. Also, with how borderline terrible Rodger's passes have been all season, passing early more than likely puts us behind early.

brewers_rule's picture

You know what's hilarious about that? I thought the Redskins were, like, 30th against the run. But I just watched the NFL video preview of this game and MJD says "Washington is TOUGH against the run." I literally said, 'Whaaaaattt?'

AngryPackersFan's picture

Instead of changing their nickname, just mentally change their logo to red potatoes. Then the name is no longer offensive.

Duke Divine's picture

I believe that the biggest change that has effected this team, yet goes mostly unnoticed, is the change at WR coach and OC. By putting Bennett at OC and doubling duties of Van Pelt with WR coach and QB coach the WRs are not getting the coaching and individual position attention that they have had in the past under Edgar! I feel Van PElt is spending most of his time with the QBs and the WRs are getting neglected. Bennett had thse guys playing well and visibly coached them up non-stop on the sidelines during games and this year I see receivers on the bench by themselves while Van Pelt spends all his time with Arodge and Tolzien. IF there are any coaching changes in the off season I hope it's Bennett or someone working exclusively with the receivers in 2016-17.

CallingIt's picture

Agree on the WR coach Duke. We need a specific guy who can get these guys better on their one-on-one moves.

Tundraboy's picture

Yes it's not working . Too many voices and a classic case of fixing something that wasn't broken. I wouldn't mind a new OC, maybe Philbin again and Edgar goes back to WR. Clements to QB or Van Pelt.

CallingIt's picture

If Philbin comes in, Clements will have to go. Will be too much acid there if he doesn't. Demoting a coordinator doesn't go over with players well if they like him, and if they don't its probably worse. Tough call either way. Depends on how ticked off MM gets, if we lose at Washington bad...??

Tundraboy's picture

Would not be distraught if we lost Clements to get Philbin. Maybe coincidence but we were at a peak with Philbin.

Razer's picture

I too would like to see coaching specialists coach their position. It is very noble to cross-train coaches but only if they can contribute to the improved play of the players. We have moved backwards on WRs, TEs, RBs and QBs. You don't see that happening on the defense and we have improved each year. Time to cut the bullshit and get some results.

I would also like to see us get a real OC who has a creative approach to offense and playcalling. We are about to waste the remaining years of a good quarterback running Clydesdale plays. I am not talking about sprinkling in trick plays. I want to see some speed and attacks that make defenses work. We are so predictable and yet we can't add new guys because they don't know the system that everyone in the NFL has figured out.

That's my 50 cents

TommyG's picture

I don't agree. If we put everything in his shoulders he is going to try and carry the team. He does this. How many runs did you see it that fourth quarter comeback, any of them. Very few and that's because AR is a competitor who believes he can win a game. Is he going to willingly call a 2 TE wishbone play? No way! He is going no to put as many receivers on the field as possible and go for completions. That hated out route to RR last game is an example of this. AR saw that as a completion. Sometimes I think AR sees the completion and not the play which follows. I think he likes those long deep routes with the same affection as MM because that means he is making that bomb big play happen. Not in a selfish way, not padding stats, but because he thinks he has to get huge plays in order to win. Any way. That's just my $0.02

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

I just pray that Rodgers and MM look to get 1st downs on 3rd down passing plays. Rodgers has been using 3rd and 3-8 yards as the time to throw the long ball this year instead of converting 3rd downs. I'd like to see them convert 3rd downs at a percentage rate over the mid-teens (last week). Not too many long balls have been caught, not too many 3rd downs have been converted. Also, with the offense sputtering in the red zone, kick the damn field goals once in a while, MM!

Tundraboy's picture

Hard to believe we have come to wanting MM to go for FGs.

DrealynWilliams's picture

I don't recall MM going for it too many times in the red zone. In the cases that he did, I can't blame him for it. We all know if it comes down to it his Offense can't be fully relied upon.

Tundraboy's picture

I'm pretty sure he did it on 2nd and 2 last week, going for the end zone when he could have run for a first down. Drove me crazy because we didn't convert on 3rd down.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Ohh, I thought he meant running plays on 4th down. I misunderstood. My bad...

nostradanus's picture

That is a fine idea Cory, you are a very insightful lad indeed. Sometimes Packers Coach Big Mike McCarthy is stubborn to a fault, a trait that has sometimes served him well and at times like these it works to his detriment. I am totally onboard with this idea, let Aaron Rodgers just "put the petal to the metal" to steal a modern cliche' Here's hoping Stubborn Mike is feeling the same way! Go Pack !! NostraDANus the optimistic Packers mystic says: Packers 27-Redskins 7
"come on in boys the waters fine"

Oppy's picture

Let me get this straight-

Every odd-numbered Packers fan on the freakin' planet has been roasting MM's/TC's playcalling/gameplanning for the entire second half of the season because he/they are supposedly "TOO STUBBORN" to adjust the offense to the fact they do not have any personnel who can pose a legitimate deep threat, yet he/they supposedly kept on neglecting to call runs and shorter routes to compensate and keep the offense moving... It was ALL MM,TC,EB just calling deep ball plays that was flushing the 2015 Packers offense down the shitter...

But now, Aaron Rodgers says he likes to play it fast and loose and throw the ball down field, that's the ticket, and suddenly now, TC/MM/EB were stifling the QB, smothering the offense with their overly cautious short yardage game plans, and the answer, of course, is let Rodgers just do whatever he wants?

Really hard not to drop an F-bomb right now. This is a joke, right? Have you actually watched the Packers this season? Rodgers has been playing it fast and loose with the playcalls all season, he's clearly been looking over the shorter routes and holding the ball looking for the deep play more than he ought, and I suspect a good deal of running plays have been checked out to favor a deep shot throughout the season... Results: A shitty offense that stalls too often, has zero consistency, and a QB who's getting battered because he won't get the ball out of his hands in under 4 seconds way too frequently.

I can't even believe this article. Sorry, it's lunacy... This is not a year like any other. Rodgers has not shown the ability to run no-huddle effectively all season. His reads, decisions, and throws have all been far below his standard.

Samson's picture

No one is running the WC offense in GB. --- That is the problem. (just one of many problems)

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

You and TommyG above have it right, imo. This idea is lunacy. The only counterargument I've seen for which I have any sympathy is the "there is nothing left to lose by trying this" argument. Washington's weakness is run defense. I am having difficulty envisioning us pound the run if AR is calling the plays.

nostradanus's picture

I do feel your frustration as we all do, but I have not given up hope.
Packers 27-Redskins 7
Go Pack!

Samson's picture

Gotta love all the varied analysis. --- The Pack can or the Pack can't because of this , that & the other thing.

It's really pretty simple. The Pack lack impact players & depth. -- This is on TT. He's failed to create the best 53-man roster he can under NFL rules. -- I, for many, will be thrilled when TT goes home & Eliot Wolf starts a new era in GB. -- It may actually salvage the last few years of AR's career.

The Pack can defeat Washington this weekend but that's about it for season 2015. Seattle, Arizona & even Carolina are good bets to stomp the Pack. --- The Pack can't possibly win 4 to secure another Lombardi.

croatpackfan's picture

Well I did not read all your comments, but I will give my thoughts to Cory's article...
Lot of you here, and Cory as well thinks Aaron is solution, not a problem. I think opposite. I think Aaron is the problem, not solution.
I might be wrong, but...
For at least 50% of taken hits and sacks only one who had to be blamed is Aaron. He keeps ball to long in his arms. Looking just in one direction. Several times it was obvious that he does not scan the field, just looking into one direction. There was more than enough situations when he throw ball away while there was open receiver on the other part of the field. He obviously changing the plays on the line of scrimmage (remember Lang reaction?) He was raping Davante Adams with throwing to him ball after ball after ball... And, then, comes 4th quarter, large deficit and suddenly plays had to come more automatic, less time to think about. And packers offense starts to work... So, when Aaron has not time to think to much about plays, offense starts to work, not vice versa. When things starts to direct using trained plays, packers offense starts to be more efficient. That tells me opposite of what you are telling here... Also, Aaron by himself told us that he can not call the plays from the game, because he is not the person who can decide who will be in the game, and that communication would slow down pace of the attack, not make the pace faster...
Everyone has bad season, privately, professionally so why people here can not accept that this season is the season when Aaron is not on the top of the game. I still thinks he is one of the greatest QB, if not the best in the league ever, but has the right to have one season down!
I hope that game plan will be fast pace and forcing Aaron to play trained plays, not the plays he would like to play!
Sorry, I know I'm still learning a lot about football, but I have enough experience with other parts of the life to be able to recognize where is the problem...
The best example of that problem was the last interception throw in the end zone against Vikings. There was no brainier throw. Aaron throw the ball 8 to 10 yards of the target. You want to tell me that he had not open WR for that throw?

Lphill's picture

The Chiefs and Seahawks flipped a switch and starting playing good with no real changes in players, it would be pretty funny if the Packers flip the switch and get hot and make it the Super bowl , stranger things have happened.

Ima fubar's picture

They took the keys away for a reason, the recievers can't get open, Rogers has nowhere to go with ball, and is getting killed out there so lacy left, lacy right is the only thing saving Rogers from a beat down.
Mike is tying to save Rogers life and hoping like hell the defense can win the games for them because Lacy left, lacy right produced a whopping three points.

Tundraboy's picture

They got open in the 4th Quarter. It's not all on the receivers.

PaulRosik's picture

Something certainly has to change in the approach. Last week the game plan was amazingly bland and tilted to the run. Now none of us here get paid millions of dollars to game plan a football team but most of us would probably not have made the main plan to put your injured and beat up out of shape running back behind your terribly beat up and reshuffled offensive line and try to run the ball a lot. But last week the Packers did and I am sure most of us were screaming at them to cut it out by the end of the third quarter - the run wasn't working it wasn't going to start working and they needed to move on.

Again this week the practice reports show there is not a single offensive linemen who is practicing in full this week. To expect that beat up unit to create holes even against the 24th ranked running defense in the NFL seems a bit unwise. As Kevin Greene would say "it is time" for the leaders to step up and that means Rodgers. They have to make it go through him. He is the point guard and every play needs to go through him this week. If they lose at least they can say they put it in the hands of their best guy.

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