Packers Offense Needs to Operate Fast

 

Last season, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers took an average of 2.95 seconds to throw, according to Next Gen Stats.  Only four quarterbacks took longer.

Buffalo's Josh Allen took longest and he was just bad last year.  Seattle's Russell Wilson and Houston's Deshaun Watson both took 3.01 while Baltimore's Lamar Jackson needed 3.1 seconds per pass.  All three appeared in the postseason.  LA Rams quarterback Jared Goff was slightly quicker than Rodgers at 2.94 seconds and Goff nearly won a Super Bowl.  

Rodgers' time to throw wasn't entirely what doomed the Packers offense in 2018 but it's one sign that the offense needs to operate faster.

There are a lot of factors that go into a quarterback's passing efficiency but the few seasons prior to 2018 show, at least in terms of Green Bay's win/loss record, that when Rodgers throws faster, the team wins more games.

In 2016, Rodgers posted an average of 2.87 seconds and was only at 2.65 seconds when his 2017 season ended after just five games.  

At the speed that today's NFL plays at, the .08 second differential between 2016 and 2018's average time is the difference between a touchdown and a crushing sack.

Head coach Matt LaFleur's offense will look different than the one we've become accustomed to seeing for years.  More importantly, it will look differently than the one Rodgers' has been accustomed to for over a decade.

Better route schemes and quicker options will be available to Rodgers.  The question is whether he'll break the habit of holding the ball and waiting for something bigger to develop or if he'll settle into the new offense quickly.

As mini camps open this week, thus begins the process of the Packers offense getting back on track.  Back to being a focal point of the team's success.

The receivers are largely the same as last season.  Davante Adams brings his elite footwork and quickness.  Rodgers has to get in sync with the star wideout and capitalize on Adams' ability to create early separation.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown and J'Mon Moore enter year two and bring decent speed with them.  Trevor Davis still has very good speed but will he be on the final roster?

That leaves receivers Geronimo Allison and Jake Kumerow as well as tight ends Jimmy Graham, Marcedes Lewis, Robert Tonyan and Jace Sternberger.  None have great speed but most are above-average route runners.

Recently, our own Dusty Evely broke down LaFleur's use of the swing pass.  This will give Rodgers even more to work with when you add the running backs into the equation.

It's time for Rodgers to regain his trust in his receivers so he can process faster and get the ball out.  It's time for the receivers to sift through the trash and catch more contested passes.

In 2018, the Packers offense sputtered its way through and Rodgers often opted to throw it away rather than give his pass catchers a chance.  The path to fixing that issue begins this week.

The gripe about the Packers for years has been that they lack game speed.  While the skill players and subsequent speed are the same, LaFleur and Co. need to find a way to make it all click faster and more efficiently.

 

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (97)

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Coldworld's picture

May 20, 2019 at 06:33 am

Jason, you address half of the answer. It’s true that speed of release depends in part on the ability of the receivers to separate. It’s also true that the routes designated are part of that and were less than optimal last year.

The other part of the answer was the porosity of the O line coupled with Rodger’s reduced mobility. In normal healthy circumstances Rodgers extends plays through mobility, raising average time taken to release.

When lines collapse at the rate ours did last year a QB is either forced into a quick release or throw away or to make time. The double whammy last year was the fact that Rodgers was less able to escape and slower and notably less evasive when he did.

The above of course magnify the challenges for the receivers. Rookies naturally lack the experience to improvise route amendments like Jordy, for example. Add to that MM’s decision to focus on longer developing route trees and away from short yardage and one has both an answer for the decline in time to release and the dysfunction in the O.

In my view, a different system with better use of TEs and short routes, increased run (and RB) emphasis, another year of WR experience coupled with a deeper and more talented O line pool will help enormously. On top of that, hopefully Rodgers will not suffer a repeat of his injury last year.

All of the above greatly impaired our O. We talk a lot about players jumping to the next level. In my view, the above go a long long way to suggesting a better O this year even without factoring in player development since last season.

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Old School's picture

May 20, 2019 at 09:52 am

The people at PFF and Footballoutsiders.com do not share your opinion about the “porosity “ of the offensive line.

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Since'61's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:16 am

49 sacks and 100+ QB hits doesn't exactly suggest solid OL play either.
Thanks, Since '61

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Old School's picture

May 20, 2019 at 11:30 am

I would suggest that if you went back and looked at all of those sacks, you'd see quite a few where he had time and just didn't get rid of the ball.

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Since'61's picture

May 20, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Andy Herman did an excellent article earlier this year (February I believe) in which he reviewed every one of Rodgers 59 throwaways in 2018. His review showed that about 1\3 were due to WRs not being open, another 1\3 due to running for his life and the final 1\3 being overthrown.

Based on watching the games I would apply the same 1\3 ratio to the sacks meaning 1\3 were pass rushers coming through before Rodgers could even set to throw, 1\3 due to receivers failing to get open and 1\3 holding the ball looking to make a play downfield. So if 1\3 of the sacks are on Rodgers, 1\3 of 49 is 16. 16 is much better than 49. Also, let's not forget sacks are better than making bad throws which result in picks.

So Rodgers decisions to hold the ball and take a sack is better than making a bad throw. Early in his career he was influenced by his discussions with Bart Starr about taking a sack versus throwing a pick. Like Rodgers Starr would often take a sack rather than risk a turnover. Of course Starr had a defense that would get the ball back for him while Rodgers has had a defense since 2011 that doesn't get off the field until they give up a score. For Rodgers throwing a pick is tantamount to giving up an easy score to the opponent.

Also in 2018 Rodgers had 2 picks, both off the hands of $10 million dollar Graham. Otherwise Rodgers would have had 0 picks. The same number of NFL QBs who have had 0 picks in a season while making nearly 600 attempts. For that matter the same number of NFL QBs who have had 2 picks in nearly 600 attempts.

Imagine what the posts and articles here would be like if Rodgers had 10 picks like most "average" QBs as you define him. As I have posted before, in spite of everything both accurate and inaccurate Rodgers is still the best player in the team and if everyone else in the roster played as well as Rodgers, even in 2018 we would win the SB eadily. Thanks, Since '61

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 20, 2019 at 12:32 pm

It was the revelation a lot of these Fans needed to clear the hazy vision.
Thanks 61, for the follow up to The great reporting by Andy.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 20, 2019 at 12:34 pm

I thought he attributed 8 sacks on Rodgers?

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Since'61's picture

May 20, 2019 at 06:51 pm

You are probably right about that. Thanks, Since ‘61

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WinUSA's picture

May 20, 2019 at 01:07 pm

You make good point 61....but I had a great concern that on many occasions Rodgers took sacks when he didn't need to. His competitiveness (if there is such a word) is a two edge sword. There were many occasions where I observed that he took unnecessary hits instead of simply throwing the ball out of bounds. I hope that La Fleur pounds that point home... After all Super Stud is the heartbeat of the Packers offense.

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Nick Perry's picture

May 21, 2019 at 04:41 am

"I would apply the same 1\3 ratio to the sacks meaning 1\3 were pass rushers coming through before Rodgers could even set to throw, 1\3 due to receivers failing to get open and 1\3 holding the ball looking to make a play downfield"

If we take a minute to read this, REALLY read what Since '61 posted we'll see just exactly how much the Packers depend on Rodgers. I don't give a damn what PFF or other publications say...They don't tell the whole story all the time. Just like that damn 40 time in spandex at the combine.

Crappy O-Line? Rodgers will escape.

Young ROOKIE WR? Rodgers will hold it till Adams or Cobb (if playing) comes open or the rookie stops running downfield and works back to Rodgers like the WR's before them.

Holding on to the ball to make a play? We shit he couldn't depend on the defense could he?

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Tundraboy's picture

May 21, 2019 at 08:17 am

Only 2 picks is insane. With last year's line no less.

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Coldworld's picture

May 20, 2019 at 05:59 pm

That occurred, and is always going to happen to some extent, but more often the pocket was simply collapsed on Rodgers or worse.

Unless you are advocating for a return of Byron Bell and an injured Lane Taylor I assume you don’t really believe that the O line was adequate last year, so I don’t really see your point Old School.

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Demon's picture

May 20, 2019 at 03:24 pm

I dont think he watches the games coldworld

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Old School's picture

May 20, 2019 at 04:44 pm

Shut up . I watch games. I rewatch them. I watch the all-22 when I have time. So just shut up.

If you have something intelligent to contribute to the conversation, I 'd love to see it for a change.

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dobber's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:17 am

I have students who earn high grades with regularity, but when they fail, they fail spectacularly. In the end, the composite grade doesn't necessarily reflect those spectacular failures.

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Since'61's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:19 am

Cookie! Thanks, Since '61

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porupack's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:30 am

Fully agree with Jason that the speed of Offense has to pick up. Fully agree with Coldworld, that the Oline was the major issue last year, as well as underutilization of RB and TE in the passing Offense.
I hope to see better ball distribution. Once long ago, 9-10 different receivers got the ball. Did the QB have bugs' eyes to see everywhere at once, or was that schemed; assigned a new preferred go-to guy each play to keep the D guessing? This would speed the release time.

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stockholder's picture

May 20, 2019 at 06:55 am

That leaves receivers Geronimo Allison and Jake Kumerow as well as tight ends Jimmy Graham, Marcedes Lewis, Robert Tonyan and Jace Sternberger. None have great speed but most are above-average route runners. Correct!!! So who will EMERGE?? The gripe about the Packers for years has been that they lack game speed. Correct!!! Who spends the draft picks on the skill players. ( The teams that Win every year.) Favoring Wrs to long has been our biggest mistake. Most look at the chemistry. Mediocrity is not what the packers need. Arron Rodgers needs better Wrs. The faster the player can execute, the faster that ball will come out.

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Handsback's picture

May 20, 2019 at 07:42 am

The WCO doesn't need fast receivers but precise route runners. Of course the Packers were running a version of the WCO and not sure how much emphasis they put on fast receivers. Nelson, Jennings, Jones, Finnley, Driver, etc, had better then average speed but not like the rookies from last year. NE has been able to operate w/o ultra fast guys and NO, LA, and Phi don't have a stable of fast guys either. So it is route running and maintaining your speed through your cuts that gets you desperation and can make you a star as long as you catch the ball.

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John30856's picture

May 20, 2019 at 08:22 am

Send your resume in to the Pack, lol

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Turophile's picture

May 20, 2019 at 03:45 pm

Game speed is fine to have, but just remember that receivers can also win with strength, with guile, with good route running. Jordy ran a 4.51 40 but was fast enough on the field. J'mon Moore ran a 4.48 at his pro day, Valdes-Scantling did a blisteringly fast 4.37 combine time, Equanimeous did a very nice 4.48 there as well. This is at 6'3", 6'4" and 6'5" respectively, which makes those times even more impressive.

Davante is the best receiver, but the slowest (of that group) by some margin (4.56). He wins in a different way. All those Packers drafts of high RAS guys mean the Packers are not lacking speed anywhere now, not like they used to. Packers place more emphasis on high RAS scores than almost any other team in the league and have done for several years.

Even TE Jace Sterberger, whose 4.75 40 at the combine wasn't that fast, plays much faster than he times because of his great route running and smooth style. When the Packers brought him in, they did a timed 40 with him. He ran that at 4.66, very respectable, given the way he plays.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 20, 2019 at 11:30 pm

Smarts win in the NFL.

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stockholder's picture

May 21, 2019 at 12:41 am

It's time you guys understand why so many experts were Mocking a Wr to the packers. Your loyalty to 3 years of regressing Wrs is stupid. Cobb, Gone, Nelson Gone. Finley left, and the door was opened to terrible Te play. Let alone FAs nobody else wanted. You don't want game changers. You want personal favorites. Trust the experts here. If they say the Packers should of drafted a #2 WR. They knew what they were talking about.

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fastmoving's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:09 am

there are no "Teams", who win every year! and AR has one of the best WR groups in the NFL. And not just regarding potential.
None of the teams who wins more than average over the years have better receiving corps than the Pack. None of them…….and its not even close. So if AR has a good year, he will have more help than he may need

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ShanghaiKid's picture

May 20, 2019 at 09:59 am

As it pertains to the WR corps of GB being one of the best. You’re flat out wrong. Adams elevates it but you’re kidding yourself if you think it’s ranked anywhere above 20, and that’s generous.

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Since'61's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:18 am

In 2018 the GB receiving corps after Davante Adams was essentially non-existent. Thanks, Since '61

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Coldworld's picture

May 20, 2019 at 01:06 pm

Let me think if I can think of reasons why other than talent ...

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fastmoving's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:36 am

we have more skills and depth there than most. A lot of height and speed, soft hands as well. Rookies played good if they got a chance and the ball. If AR is back, WR is the least part to worry on the whole team. everything else are just details.
And if one makes a 2nd year jump, we really are one of the better teams. not much kiding there.
wich team is way better at WR? 20 was a joke, I got that. You cant name 10, even without a sophomore jump from one of them. And there is a chance all of them improve.

But ist ok if you cant see it, maybe you will find out later this year.

If you look at the stats from MVS and QSB, they were actually pretty good for the first year and that with an off QB.

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porupack's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:38 am

If you insert "potentially" into; "We have [potentially] more skills and depth there than most", then we're in agreement. I'm betting you would be right regarding the talent top to bottom of 7-8 WRs.

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fastmoving's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:56 am

Like I said, I thought the guys who played last year did it alright. And even it would be "just" potentially it would be a pretty good bet to take.
But hey, if AR its AR the WR wont be a problem at all, thats a safe thing for me.

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ShanghaiKid's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:52 am

Expecting the second year jump out of rookies in a brand new offense is asking a lot. Essentially all the WR’s are back to square one with a new playbook. The stats just don’t agree with your theory the WR’s are the least concern on the team.

WR’s still on the roster not named Adams production in 2018:

Targets - 153
Yards - 1,337
Receptions - 90
TD’s - 5
Catch % - 58

That is less than ideal for a top tier corps of WR’s.

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fastmoving's picture

May 20, 2019 at 11:06 am

I would say that an Off-QB its worse than a new playbook. And learning it together could be a good thing too.
Like I said, not much jump needed, but if you have 3, there is improvment possible. More or less.

Dont think that are bad stats for last years circumstances…..not at all. AR is not the rookiesfriendliest QB on the planet, as we know.

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ShanghaiKid's picture

May 20, 2019 at 12:20 pm

We are just going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

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Old School's picture

May 20, 2019 at 11:32 am

You don't get to get rid of Jordy Nelson and then complain that you don't have enough good WRs.

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dobber's picture

May 20, 2019 at 12:26 pm

All you need is that picture of Sean Bean from Lord of the Rings and you've got yourself a pretty good meme, here!

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Coldworld's picture

May 20, 2019 at 01:15 pm

If I had a youth potion perhaps. For goodness sake, his new team got rid of him and he retired, does that tell you nothing?

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Old School's picture

May 20, 2019 at 04:46 pm

It tells me he's made a lot of money and he's ready to move on with his life.

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Coldworld's picture

May 20, 2019 at 01:15 pm

ShanghaiKid, Rookies = low numbers. As does a dysfunctional O line, poor scheme, questionable player use and hobbled QB. So yes it was not ideal last year, a conclusion which I doubt any here would doubt, but the individual talent and potential of receivers not named Adams is not the main or even one of the top 5 reasons.

New Coach, upgrade O line and depth, healthy QB, better use of TE’s, better use of RBs, better use of combinations, better design tailored to player strengths ..,. But sadly a lot of thinking rooted in the MM paradigm here. We may not be great, but there is no way on earth we should not be substantially better without touching on second year jumps etc.

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Old School's picture

May 20, 2019 at 07:31 pm

Take a look at New England's WR corps after their main guy. It's not anything special at all. And Gronk didn't have a better year than Graham. But they threw the ball to the backs a lot.

Our WR group is plenty good enough to win with.

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Packerpasty's picture

May 20, 2019 at 12:47 pm

wow...not even close...on proven, the rest unproven...how are they one of the best, what rating system or is it more likely you just "hope" they're one of the best???

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fastmoving's picture

May 21, 2019 at 04:02 am

they always unproven before they become proven. end if you have proven ones, that does not mean they play good in the future. the only sure thing with the proven ones is that they are more expansive.

Gute knows what he had at WRs and everyone should see it too. Its not hard to check out. Dont get that drama queens. AR got a lot open WR last year, he just has to hit them. You can not improve "open", so whats the deal.

Packerpasty, you better stay away from stocks.

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Handsback's picture

May 20, 2019 at 07:32 am

Rodgers threw the ball away more last year than ever in his career. Part of it was lack of receiver separation/stale offense, part was I'm sure of his injury, and part of it was due to his leaking oline. The problem areas on protection were Lane Taylor's injury allowing pressure, right guard wasn't as stable as the year before, and Bulaga's injury. The protection issue should be solved with an influx of new blood. Rodgers is healthy now but protection must keep him that way. We will have to see about the stale offensive schemes, but fixing the oline was a big deal!

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mrtundra's picture

May 20, 2019 at 08:53 am

How about those times when ARod had the ball for 13 seconds, after the snap, before he got rid of it? Was that due to WRs/TEs not being open? Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. ARod always seemed to overlook wide open WRs/TEs, 5-15 yards out, to look deep and then throw deep to a covered guy. You cannot blame Lane Taylor for ARod's woes, either. The entire O Line, in many cases, had to guard their opponents for a far longer period of time, than they normally would have to, if ARod would have gotten rid of the ball to an open receiver, earlier in the play. Many of those open receivers would have moved the chains with a catch underneath the coverage. Let's see how MLF gets ARod to look for the open man underneath.

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Old School's picture

May 20, 2019 at 06:29 pm

Rodgers threw the ball a lot last year.. Only one other season saw him throw more passes or gain more yards.

He had more time to throw than just about anybody,according to the article. That meshes with PFFs and football outsiders. com view of the line.

The title of the article is that the Packers have to play faster. Not “we need to give Rodgers more time”. To me, it’s a no brainer that Rodgers needs to stay in the pocket and get rid of the ball quickly, like Brees and Brady. If he’s trying to extend plays, it’s only a matter of time until he’s broken.

I agree with the author.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 21, 2019 at 02:17 am

Agreed. AR has to play more often within the offensive scheme.

I am still bemused by the swing pass article. AR has not been good at throwing swing passes for a couple of years at least.

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fastmoving's picture

May 20, 2019 at 09:58 am

dont know. for me AR was a big part of the problem one way or another. Sure, all of the things you mentioned factoring in the offence results and flow and we never know to what extent.
But AR did not set the world on fire on a constant basis since 2017 and I dont know if the other top QBs have better o-lines. Maybe better coaching and a better system. But Im sure they dont have better WRs.

He did not play like 20% of the SC, no matter how guys try to spin it. there were a lot of open Wideouts who did not get the ball in most of the games if not all. and how long should the online hold up? 5 plus s?

I like AR really, but he was not brilliant all the time lately and there is no way around. It was not always someone elses fault...….

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Old School's picture

May 20, 2019 at 09:57 am

Suggesting that Aaron Rodgers is in any way part of the problem is a certain way to invite hostility towards you.

From the start of 2015 until now, with the exception of the end of 2016, he’s been much closer to average than elite.

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fastmoving's picture

May 20, 2019 at 11:07 am

yeah, I dont get why is just AR when we play good and if we dont its everyone else. HC, O-line, D or RB. you name it.
WR of course. Adams is at least Jordylike (at Jordys peak) great. And behind that there is a lot of competition with better skilsets than in the years before. We have at least four guys who got the chance to be a number 2 WR and the other guys should be more than ok as well.
Would be nice if we had that many good ones on every other position group.

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porupack's picture

May 20, 2019 at 11:02 am

OS;
I don't think anyone believes Rodgers isn't part of the problem. The question is what is the root causes, and then what do you target in your solutions? The disagreement is regarding the root of the problem.

A number of posters maintain (me included) that Oline (porosity:) )causes Rodgers to panic, understandably so after his injury, and then start developing poor mechanics, or habits, and not see the field, miss outlet receivers, etc; then remedial solutions are; strengthen Oline personnel and schemes, restrict play decisions, scheme receivers, etc.

Secondly, redress the mechanics/habits.

If Injury; then cure.

If scheme; then new OC or playbook. (I'm on this bus too).

If rapport/synchrony with receivers; then experience and plan and coach a 2nd year leap.

If routes, route tree and lack of separation, then new WR talent, or diversify skill sets; bring in better route runners, or physical size, or speed.

If QB aptitude, skill, or physical condition is not reparable, or attitude tanked, then new QB.

Non of those scenarios denies that Rodgers was part of the problem, perhaps the largest part; just that it doesn't really address the root of problem, or what would you do to fix it.

It seems evident by the new HC, and the offseason that Ball, Gute and LaFreur are betting on their plan to correct the Offense, and with some 'win-now' urgency suggests they have a lot of confidence that they are betting on Rodgers with new scheme. Clearly, they have confidence in the current offense weapons at WR, TE and RB.

But if you maintain that Rodgers is irreparable and he is the sole cause in isolation....well, maybe that explains what you take as hostility

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Old School's picture

May 20, 2019 at 11:36 am

Porupak…..I think Rodgers is a good QB. Good enough to win with. But I'm not under the illusion that he's an elite QB anymore.

If I'm wrong, and he plays great this year, I'll eat all the crow I'm served and ask for a second helping. I don't think that's going to happen, and when it doesn't, we'll get all the same excuses.

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Coldworld's picture

May 20, 2019 at 01:20 pm

You may be right, but let’s not forget that Rodgers was injured. Let’s also not forget the schematic issues or roster decline without replacement in the years preceding and pretend that there aren’t some very significant factors that contributed to the cluster that was the O last year.

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Old School's picture

May 20, 2019 at 03:16 pm

Whereas nobody else in the league was injured, nobody else had to deal with a declining roster, or anything else.

It is what it is. Life is 10% of what happens and 90% of how you deal with it.

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Coldworld's picture

May 20, 2019 at 06:08 pm

Id argue that the decline in the quality of depth in GB was somewhat singular. That’s not to say there aren’t rosters that have been consistently poor.

I am not making a point about injuries generally, but about that suffered by Rodgers. I’d also say that the Packers were perhaps more focused on Rodgers than most teams because of the complexity and rigidity of the system and large amount of mental input delegated to and improvisation assumed on the part of the QB.

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Old School's picture

May 20, 2019 at 07:40 pm

Here's my point about Rodgers' injury.

He got hurt in the first game. It could have been a helluva lot worse and we really dodged a bullet, but he couldn't practice for a couple of weeks.

Unlike the Ironman who preceded him, Rodgers does get hurt. He's had some concussions, he broke his foot his second year, he's broken his collarbone twice, and he had last year's leg injury. And he's 36.

When he left the game in the opener, we put Kizer in and the guy was a disaster. You'd think we would learn, but we didn't. I think that Gutekunst has made a substantial mistake by not getting a QB on this roster behind Rodgers that we could win a game with if needed.

We do put a lot on Rodgers. Too much, IMO. If I were running the show, we'd hand off more, throw to the backs more. Keep Rodgers from taking all those hits so he can help us during the stretch run and playoffs. There's no point in getting him broken in the opener by trying to extend a play.

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porupack's picture

May 20, 2019 at 09:59 pm

OS,
Again, you are saying he is not elite, but you don't go to the root cause. Is it that his body is worn out? He can't see? He can't learn? He can't what? And why? If coach, scheme, receivers, routes, cartilage, training, etc were improved or changed, would he, could he be elite again? No one knows until variables are tried and eliminated. So most optimists see these root causes as to why Rodgers wasn't elite in 2018, and see changes are in the making, and the assumption until proven otherwise; that takes care of the problems with de-elite-ness. Pessimists just rant about de-elite-ness for whatever reason.

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Old School's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:34 pm

Why did Dan Marino stop being elite? Peyton Manning? Brett Favre?

Sooner or later, it happens to everyone. That split second starts to work against you more than it works for you.

You’re hoping for everything to be perfect; I’m assuming it won’t be.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 21, 2019 at 03:17 am

Dear OS,

AR's 2014 season was probably his 2nd or 3rd best season overall. I truly believe that in large part it was due to his injury which compelled him to play more within the offense. Yes, we'd have advanced further in the playoffs if AR, while still playing within the offense, had been able to scramble for the TD on a couple of plays.

What level of QB GB can expect? Not sure if he's still top 3, but top 6 or so seems very reasonable. PFF rated him the #5 QB last season and just short of Elite.

Marino retired after a 62-7 shellacking in the playoffs, which got Jimmy Johnson fired. I gather he had offers to continue to play. Marino hadn't been an elite QB for at least his last three seasons. Miami actually had a good defense which they rode for the ensuing Jay Fiedler years, which included playoff appearances. Marino retired in 1999 and Miami lost in the divisional round in 2000. Bizarrely, Miami drafted a QB in 1992 and again in 2007. There was no drafting QBs to replace Marino, or heck, even to back him up.

Peyton Manning lost his arm. Favre was at the least still very good in his penultimate season. He was bad in his last, sustained a concussion and still couldn't clear the concussion protocol two weeks later at the end of the season. He retired after the next day.

He did miss more open receivers than usual, but it is hard to tell if the receiver ran it more flat than expected, etc. He actually practiced bad mechanics. AR was a QB that still helped his team win as opposed to being a QB a team could win with if it had a good to excellent roster. I still that that is AR's floor for 2019, but only time will tell.

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PatrickGB's picture

May 20, 2019 at 08:16 am

“It's time for Rodgers to regain his trust in his receivers so he can process faster and get the ball out. It's time for the receivers to sift through the trash and catch more contested passes.” Damn, that’s IT in a nutshell. Spot on Jason! As many have noted, I think the line will be better and the offense less predictable. But what you wrote is still key.

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PackfanNY's picture

May 20, 2019 at 08:45 am

Like others have already stated the o-line is a huge factor. It seems Gutekunst agreed since we drafted Jenkins, added Turner and also will see if Madison can add something.
My guess is we will have one and possibly two new starters on the line and increased depth at least at the start of the season. You don’t use those kind of resources at a position if you are happy with the way things went last season.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 21, 2019 at 03:38 am

Madison's decision to not report is interesting. Had he done so AND been promising, GB might have saved the 4 year, $28M contract or the 2nd round pick on Jenkins.

I never read much about GB's decision to take Jenkins instead of McCoy. I think McCoy will be the better center and better guard, but he can't play OT. I don't think Jenkins can play OT, either, but some think it is a possibility. I think GB took the lesser player in their unending quest for versatility. McCoy played very well in a zone blocking scheme already. McCoy was selected 46th while GB took Jenkins with the 44th pick.

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 20, 2019 at 08:54 am

Some of the problem last year with Rodgers holding the ball was simply due to having so many young receivers on the field. Also Graham coming over they hadn't really built any chemistry yet. They let Nelson go in the offseason. Cobb and Allison getting hurt really hurt the offense. Meaning that he only had 1 veteran that he had built any comfort with. Also McCarthy's style of offense had gone stale.

Things that will help the offense will include a new scheme. Teams won't exactly know what is coming. There will be more of an emphasis on the run game. Not only on actually running the ball, but also the play action. There will also be more presnap motion. Something that hasn't happened in a while.

Something that may help Rodgers with his lack of trust in receivers is having a new scheme. In the last scheme Rodgers essentially was a coach of it. He called plays, and knew the scheme inside and out. For any player to get even close to his level in understanding the scheme it took 2-3 years at least. Now with a new scheme Rodgers will be closer to the same level as all the receivers. Meaning he should be more on the same page with all of them. That should make a big difference in his trust in them.

I'm ready for the fresh new look of the Packers offense.

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Coldworld's picture

May 20, 2019 at 01:24 pm

It was an open secret that opponents felt they could often guess what the Packers were going to do. Heck, many of us could per our statements here. That was worse because MM had his theory of just beat your opponent. It would be very surprising if we didn’t have tight coverage and equally surprising if we don’t see somewhat less anticipatory advantage to our opponents in a modern system and one which exploits roster talent rather than attempting to bend it to the scheme in place.

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4thand1's picture

May 20, 2019 at 09:08 am

Lets put 2018 behind us. It started bad with AR getting hurt the 1st game to the BS calls on Clay. It went downhill with play calling, the non use of A Jones and the firing of McCarthy. The Packers have the luxury of having a very smart QB who will be able to adapt to a new system IMO. The question is, can the rest of the team (on Offence) adapt? Jimmy G has played under a lot of different systems and will learning a new one, Devante should be on the same page with AR. The 2nd year WR's are going to need a little time. Lets hope they play in pre season with AR to get on the same page. Trouble is pre season is always so vanilla.

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Since'61's picture

May 20, 2019 at 09:23 am

4th - good post. As I keep saying it the rest of our team plays as well as Rodgers we won't have anything to worry about. Thanks, Since '61

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4thand1's picture

May 20, 2019 at 09:36 am

right on Since 61.

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Since'61's picture

May 20, 2019 at 09:21 am

It's difficult to release the ball quickly when your WRs are not open, add in the porous interior OL, plus Rodgers injuries and you have a longer time with the ball.

Also overlooked is not snapping the ball until the last second of the play clock, which virtually allows the defense to expect the timing of the snap and time to read the offensive formation and protection.

Yet another factor is playing for penalties. Either trying to draw the defense off sides or trying to catch 12 men on the field or looking for defensive holding or throwing deep hoping for a DPI if not a completion.

I hope that in the MLF offense the Packers come to the LOS and snap the ball quickly rather than run the clock down on every play. If the Packers are playing with a 2 score + lead in the second half they run the clock down. Otherwise they should play at a quicker pace and try to keep the defense on their heels. Thanks, Since '61

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 20, 2019 at 09:28 am

"It's difficult to release the ball quickly when your WRs are not open"

And if your WR's are not in the right spot, or the spot you expect them to be.

Sometimes we see WR's open and wonder why Rodgers didn't throw the ball. Some of that maybe due to them not being where they are supposed to be which creates hesitation on throwing to them.

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4thand1's picture

May 20, 2019 at 09:38 am

Timing and same page go together.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 20, 2019 at 12:48 pm

The fans see a guy wide open, but is a safety/CB lurking in the weeds? Rodgers has seen it all. Get the best five on the field in front of him and make sure the talent responds at WR. If they slump bring in a veteran via trade or the waiver wire. Play to win in 2019.

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Coldworld's picture

May 20, 2019 at 01:28 pm

Your point about waiting to the last second to snap is a good one. A hungry offense has to be held back, this one seemed more about managing the clock at times. I have wondered whether this was a symptom of wanting to keep the D off the field even if the O couldn’t extend drives.

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dobber's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:15 am

"I hope that in the MLF offense the Packers come to the LOS and snap the ball quickly rather than run the clock down on every play. "

I'm not so convinced that this was how the Packers perceived they were executing ball control. If you have a porous defense, you aren't very good at running the ball, and you have a high-end QB, this puts the ball in the hands of your strength and keeps it away from your weaknesses. It worked well in 2016 during the 'run the table' stretch, and I don't think it ever got out of MMs mindset.

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Since'61's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:28 am

Excellent point Dobber. In 2016 we still had Jordy and Cobb with an improving Adams as our WR corps. Also our OL played more effectively.

But you are correct, MM probably remained myopically focused on the 2016 "run the table"' which was mostly Aaron Rodgers. MM did little if anything to adjust the offense when Rodgers went down in 2017 and again in 2018 when the WR corps lost Cobb and Allison to injuries. If course this is at least some of the reason why he is gone. Thanks, Since '61

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Coldworld's picture

May 20, 2019 at 01:32 pm

MM seemed to get stuck into a number of mental ruts in later years. The flexibility of his early years turned into a highly rigid mindset. I just don’t think he had people around him who could challenge his assumptions.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 20, 2019 at 04:44 pm

Its called a third contract.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 21, 2019 at 03:42 am

Dobber, waiting until the last second to snap the ball is all on AR, who has talked about the "cat and mouse" game: he is scanning the defense to get them to commit so he knows where to go with the ball. IDK, maybe he knew where to go with the ball but the receivers didn't wander in those directions. We shall see, but I don't blame MM for the late snaps (and I am willing to blame a lot on MM).

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porupack's picture

May 20, 2019 at 11:11 am

>>Also overlooked is not snapping the ball until the last second of the play clock<<<

Astute comments as usual, 61. Clearly one of those subtle details of the game and lead to a few ounces of advantage to the opposing defense.

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Packerpasty's picture

May 20, 2019 at 09:43 am

im not sure Rodgers was holding the ball waiting for something bigger to happen or just waiting for anything to happen with the stale routes the WR's were running...and when they were running the correct route at all....

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Pack n IA's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:55 am

Nothing do with stale routes just A-ROD holding the ball 4ever 2 throw it out of bounds.

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Pack n IA's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:53 am

I just want to know what happened after the second half of week 1 Rodgers got hurt and came back in after halftime like Superman quick accurate throws no problems with the offensive line and he was hobbling around but still rallied us back for the win. Remember little 5 yard pass to Cobb took it all the way for a 75 yard TD though. Why couldn't Rodgers throw like that in the Seattle game it was there all game. All this complaining about the O-line but Rodgers sat in that pocket 4ever last year just to throw the ball away. Then by time the 4th quarter came around the O-line was tired.

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porupack's picture

May 20, 2019 at 11:23 am

PnIA,
I don't think anyone disagrees that Rodgers held the ball; as Jason stated how Rodger's ranked in hold time. The debate is why? And how do you change this? Just tell him to release quicker? Stop practice targets to the sideline teammates? Why was he not seeing the open receivers that TV cameras could see?

The debate is essentially 2 camps; 1) Rodgers regressed, got egostical, stubborn, or whatever.., this is all about Rodgers and he needs to 'get his act together'.

2) other issues have negative impact upon Rodgers and his play, thus he plays way below his otherwise still high potential. (QB injury, protection issues, route concepts and scheme, inexperienced or talent levels of WRs).

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Old School's picture

May 20, 2019 at 05:05 pm

A sack is preferable to an interception, but not by a lot. Interceptions kill drives, and so do sacks....plus you risk a QB injury on that. There's a difference in how much yardage the average INT costs you vs. a sack.

Usually, older QBs can get rid of the ball. The "old" QBs in the league last year.....Brady, Brees, Roethlisberger,....didn't take nearly as many sacks. Manning took quite a few.

According to footballoutsiders.com, the Packers offensively were 16th with 2.08 points/drive. 20 fewer sacks would have resulted in another 42 points.

We got a better starting RG in Turner. We got a better backup in Jenkins. Running more double TE sets will help, as will keeping in an extra blocker and only putting 4 in the pattern. But ultimately, it falls to the triggerman to get rid of the ball. Rodgers has been much better at this in the past.

We all saw numerous examples last year of Rodgers hanging onto the rock and looking downfield instead of checking down to the safety valve. That's going to have to stop.

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porupack's picture

May 20, 2019 at 10:16 pm

Yes, almost everyone would agree Rodgers has to get rid of the ball quicker.

But getting rid of the ball quicker;
is better protection, and a calmer and less panicky QB, more open passing lanes. Please click yes.

is coaching and schemes that are expected of Rodgers. Please click yes.

is better schemes and route running by WRs, more experience, more speed and size, and all results in more separation, and being where Rodgers expects. Please click yes.

is stronger TE and RB options, and designs. More distribution by design. Click yes.

is better game and clock management, faster pace, and not hiking at the last second of play clock.

So yeah, we agree.....get rid of the ball faster. Oh, and give Rodgers more time in the pocket too.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 20, 2019 at 12:52 pm

I believe its called the hurry-up offense. McCarthy actually started calling WCO plays and they moved the ball via Adams, Cobb and Allison (veterans).

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Lphill's picture

May 20, 2019 at 11:22 am

Rodgers seemed to be more successful with the hurry up no huddle but did not utilize it as much as in the past last season.

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Coldworld's picture

May 20, 2019 at 01:36 pm

Partly injury to Rodgers, but more so the lack of Cobb and Allison forced rookies in. No huddle takes a great deal of comfort with all aspects of the scheme and with each other and that comes from time on the field together.

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Coldworld's picture

May 20, 2019 at 03:12 pm

duplicate deleted

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IceBowl's picture

May 20, 2019 at 11:59 am

The Packers have to execute.

If they do, they can control the tempo of the game by going as fast or slow on a play as is best in the moment. Keeps the D guessing.

And ARod has to throw to open receivers. They are on the field, so he has to use them and trust them. That he doesn't trust them is not what matters and should not be accepted. He has to throw to open WR's, they have to catch.

WR's need to know their routes, timing, and spacing. Catching is also good, but expected, if they are on the field.

OL's (and RB's) have to block their assignments and play to the whistle. That will keep ARod alive.

Execute the play, the ball comes out in 2-5 seconds, and the Pack scores 35 pts. a game.

Yes, I know it is not always a perfect world, but execution gets it as close as possible, and at our pace.

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wildbill's picture

May 20, 2019 at 11:59 am

Rodgers hates to throw interceptions, therefore he will not force a throw to anyone not named Adams. Without proper separation he holds and waits and would rather just throw the ball away. I could not figure out why he would ignore his checkdowns on many occasions, maybe he didn’t have confidence in the backs. The offense was so stale it was embarrassing. I know people won’t believe me but I could call run/pass with over 90% accuracy and I don’t break down game film. It’s going to be refreshing to see our receivers schemed open rather than “win their one on ones”. Can’t wait for the season to start! GPG!

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sam1's picture

May 20, 2019 at 08:25 pm

Face AR is getting older, injured more thus he is just getting worse with age and the great days have passed him by! He will be good, but great again, doubt it!

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sam1's picture

May 20, 2019 at 08:25 pm

Face AR is getting older, injured more thus he is just getting worse with age and the great days have passed him by! He will be good, but great again, doubt it!

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sam1's picture

May 20, 2019 at 08:25 pm

Face AR is getting older, injured more thus he is just getting worse with age and the great days have passed him by! He will be good, but great again, doubt it!

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sam1's picture

May 20, 2019 at 08:25 pm

Face AR is getting older, injured more thus he is just getting worse with age and the great days have passed him by! He will be good, but great again, doubt it!

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sam1's picture

May 20, 2019 at 08:26 pm

ops wasn't working then gives 4 responses!

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Cheezdik's picture

May 20, 2019 at 09:41 pm

Packers need to do what the Patriots do. Take the pressure off of Rodgers by having a running back who can catch to dump the ball of to. This takes away the sack and gives the Packers high percentage easy yards. The Pats have done it for years and basically won a Super Bowl with short, precise passes. Nothing fancy, just have to find a RB who won't fumble the ball after catching the ball and running it up the field a few yards. This guy put of Notre Dame may be their answer. Jake Kumerow will surprise also. If the Packers off coord can fighter out how to use him right, then he could be a great weapon.

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Cheezdik's picture

May 20, 2019 at 09:43 pm

There were four or five teams that wanted Jordy Nelson. Why again didn't the Packers resign him when they need a slot receiver? The Patriots wanted to sign Jordy and we all know that they don't sign washed up receivers. Packers just being hard headed. Stupid decision not to sign him.

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Adorabelle's picture

May 21, 2019 at 10:22 pm

You can't put anything on stats from 2018. If this same stat applies to previous seasons then it is a stat to report. But all we have heard about 2018 was how the Packers offense was stale and nonexistent and how receivers had to decide to do the play sent in from the sideline or the one the quarterback told them to run instead. The 2018 offense was for Mr. Rodgers to run around and make a big play since the offense was way too bad to have long drives. The real question is what new wrinkles and route combinations will be put into the new offense to allow an offense that looks like it has more of a plan than it has recently.

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IceBowl's picture

May 21, 2019 at 10:38 pm

Adorabelle,

You are right 2018 is behind us, and so is Mr Rodgers play.

The real question, as you say, is paraphrasing, "what new wrinkles will be put in play."

I don't know the answer to that (I hope no one does now), but I am glad we have ARod to lead the way. So many other teams can only gauck,

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