Packers Question of the day - I-So Sick of this Offense: How-to fix it?

This question was asked a couple of weeks ago on what you, the reader, would do to fix the Packers' sputtering offense.

While this is similar in nature, the initial problem that most thought was a major factor behind the struggles was Aaron Rodgers and his off-balanced mechanics. Throwing without setting his feet, not cycling through his reads, etc.

Now, based off of game film, it's starting to seem like the receivers aren't schemed to get open and instead, run isolation routes that are as predictable as they are repetitive. Problem with these is that the Packers' receiving corps don't have the ability most of the time ot isolate themselves on said routes. Thus, leading to Rodgers scanning the field for ultimately nothing and checking down to a suddenly grease-handed James Starks.

Knowing what we know now and that the fault might actually not be all on Rodgers (or maybe it is, up to you), what would you do to engineer an offense that is more accustomed to what we've seen out of Green Bay in the last few years?

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (52)

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Rustyweezee's picture

October 13, 2016 at 09:21 am

Two-pronged: make QB coaching Rodgers a priority in practices & meetings. Not because he's so bad, but to make it clear to him that he's got to get back to near-perfect mechanics that got him to MVP status.

Second, the route schemes MUST be adjusted so that the success of the passing game doesn't solely depend on the WRs ability to beat the defender. DBs are too good for that to be the basis of the team's offense.

And maybe get back to yoga, so the dreaded hamstrings don't come back to haunt them.

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KenEllis's picture

October 13, 2016 at 10:08 am

MM's anger yesterday about being questioned about his O, coupled with his refusal to materially revise his scheme (as opposed to his willingness to change the offensive playcaller, TE coach, RB coach) indicates to me he still believes the problems are all due to players failing to execute and/or his offensive coaches collective failure to get the players to execute.

He may be right, it may be that the players are just not getting it done. Or he could be in denial about the shortcomings of his scheme or it could be a combination of both.

But denying there is and has been a problem is just stupid.

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Chad Lundberg's picture

October 14, 2016 at 02:52 am

I honestly think the Packers refuse to change things up in their offense is for two main reasons. One, they want to keep Eddie Lacy fresh to the latter part of the season. This is smart, but it’s incredibly stupid to refuse to run Eddie when the team really needs on offensive boost, or when Lacy his having a huge day. And two, the Packers honestly think that anything different from what they try to do is nothing more than a cave-man level of thinking, and stubbornly refuse to try it. They would rather lose the game than ever try to do something that they feel makes them look like primates. In other words, in their attempt to not look like idiots, they become the biggest idiots in the NFL.

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dobber's picture

October 13, 2016 at 09:37 am

I think the no-huddle is actually holding this team back as they tend to lock into exactly what you talk about above: that 11 package and isolation routes. Variety in personnel groupings (empty backfield, 12 and 21 personnel, etc.) which lead to more variety in route structure (and the inclusion of more timing routes) has shown some promise in the first halves of each of the last two games, only to be stifled when the no-huddle comes out. Not saying to abandon the no-huddle entirely, but it's not what's working.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 13, 2016 at 10:19 am

Completely agree...

The last 2 games the first halves of each game they changed the personnel packages and got a lot of players involved. In the 2 halves of football where they did this they have scored a combined 48 points. 48 out of their 57 total points in the last 2 games have came where they were mixing up the offense. The proof is there that it is working.

The hurry up, I don't believe is working because they are using the 11 personnel mostly. I don't believe this is our best personnel group especially with Rodgers as the TE. With Cook it could be. Rodgers just isn't a big enough threat as a receiver and he isn't a good enough blocker to be on the field as much as he is.
The running game is more effective with Ripkowski at FB, and the Passing game is more effective when they use 4 WR's. Rodgers is an average TE, but he shouldn't be playing 90% of the offensive snaps. I think that is one spot that is really hurting their hurry up.
I would like to see them go 4 WR sets and run the hurry up.

I wouldn't say abandon the hurry up either. But I think it will be more effective if they use it when they find a matchup they can take advantage of. For example against the Giants, on a 3rd down play the Packers used 4 WR's and the Giants only had 3 CB's. They had a Safety covering Cobb, and the Packers exploited that mismatch. I would like to see them to see that mismatch and get into the hurry up and take advantage of that mismatch.

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Big_Mel_75's picture

October 13, 2016 at 12:02 pm

Completely agree meaning it is coaches not calling plays and formations to have players succeed. Go back to quick passes with multiple personal like we did in the Lions game.. I am over MM play calling....

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Tundraboy's picture

October 14, 2016 at 08:28 am

"I don't believe this is our best personnel group especially with Rodgers as the TE. With Cook it could be. Rodgers just isn't a big enough threat as a receiver and he isn't a good enough blocker to be on the field as much as he is."

Excellent point RC. That 3 wr with Nelson, Cobb and Adams along with RRodgers is not scary to anyone especially without Lacy. Until Jordy is back to full speed it shouldn't be used much at all. I also think Monty should play TE instead of Rodgers.

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J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

October 14, 2016 at 09:25 pm

"I also think Monty should play TE instead of Rodgers."

10/10 L-O to the f-ing L

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Since'61's picture

October 13, 2016 at 10:03 am

1. Get Rodgers back to basics and figure out why he is not throwing to open receivers.
2. Work with WRs to catch passes that hit their hands, even the difficult catches.
3. Slow down and don't use the no huddle so much. The Packers huddled during their opening drive against the Giants and it was beautiful to watch.
4. Diversify offensive personnel and formations more frequently.
5. Find an RB who can actually play to replace Starks.
6. Find a punter to win the field position battle and give the Packers offense a short field for once. It's difficult to open up the offense when they start many drives inside their own 20.
7. Defense is playing well but getting a few turnovers would help the offense in the field position battle.

Items 1-4 are most critical and also the easiest to implement since they can all be accomplished with existing personnel and with our entourage of coaches doing their jobs. If 5-7 could also happen they would be nice to have. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 13, 2016 at 10:28 am

1. I would like to see them do more of what they did in the Lions game, and that is to do more 3 step drops. Get the ball out faster.

2. they said 6 dropped passes. 2 were for TD's another was inside the 10 which was deflected into a turnover. The ball hits players hands they have to catch it.

3. Definitely slowing it down a bit can be good. Not only did the first drive end in a TD they knocked off like 7-8 minutes off the clock.

4. This is the one that I have been saying for a while. Its probably the easiest for the coaches to control and honestly is probably what will make the offense better. They have really good talent at WR, and they all offer different skills. Why not showcase those.

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Big_Mel_75's picture

October 13, 2016 at 12:04 pm

remember when Rodgers would throw to 8,9,10 different receivers a couple years ago...

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 13, 2016 at 12:41 pm

He did it against the Lions and mostly in the first half.

If they keep doing what they did against the Lions and the first few drives against the Giants for a whole game, I think they will be right on track.

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jh9's picture

October 13, 2016 at 01:04 pm

I agree, RC. Look, all of us watched the Packers move the ball great in the first half of both the Lions and Giants games. We saw how well the variety of formations, personnel, and quick timing passes worked. We also saw Mike McCarthy decide not to employ those same offensive techniques in the second half of each game. Instead, he chose to go with his basic offensive formation and the offense stalled.

If we can see it, the coaches and the players can certainly see it. This isn't rocket science. If Mike McCarthy continues to go back to his Turtle Offense and thinks his team is playing better, than I suggest it's time for the team to leave McCarthy and his Turtle Offense behind.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 13, 2016 at 02:38 pm

Agree. Sick of seeing this team become increasingly boring each year for no damn reason but stubbornness. Injuries, poor drafts, etc are one thing, limiting yourself is another.

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J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

October 14, 2016 at 09:40 pm

#6) Aren't there like 7+ billion people on the planet? Not one of these 7+ billion can consistently (or even once) punt the ball with proper hangtime for more than 35 yds?? c'mon scouting! There isn't some idiot soccer player with a leg? Anywhere in the world?

The punt performance can't get better than what it already is at Lambeau with swirling wind and much colder temps with this kid kicking. Gonna be a long end of Fall/ Winter if he doesn't improve, and improve drastically.

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Razer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 10:02 am

I am surprised that with all the self-scout and post game cleanup MM hasn't been able to address any of these problems. The offense has sputtered for a year and a half and we still boil it down to winning the one-on-ones.

Maybe MM's system isn't very good and/or people have figured it out. Making Aaron Rodgers into a system QB has worked. Rodgers is now an average player in an average system. The results are fairly consistent. Maybe a change of thinking is required if this offense is going to performing at a consistently higher level.

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Mags's picture

October 13, 2016 at 10:18 am

Some say coaches have a shelf life and I think McCarthy's has expired.

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Big_Mel_75's picture

October 13, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Wish I could like 50X

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Razor's picture

October 13, 2016 at 02:41 pm

What does 50X mean?

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Tundraboy's picture

October 13, 2016 at 10:25 am

Stop using the no huddle the majority of the game.
Start using the entire roster,and use it consistently. Monty, Abby, Rip.
Bring back the slant.
Stop going for the big pass play every series.
Find a punter.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 13, 2016 at 10:23 am

Get another RB.

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ray nichkee's picture

October 13, 2016 at 11:09 am

He can't, he's washed up, remember?

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J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

October 14, 2016 at 10:40 pm

when all of your offensive skill position players have either regressed (vets) or have played poorly since being but into the starting lineup (last few years), that's a giant red flag. Is it every one of our pass catchers how are the problem? Or is it the one throwing them the ball how needs to show the most improvement?

Hope it isn't both, that's scary. I honestly don't even know what to think. Based on MM's stubborn play/ player selection, it ain't gonna change until he's gone. And that's completely mental.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

October 13, 2016 at 10:28 am

When it takes from 3 to 5 seconds or more to throw a pass something is way off. Is it he has lost confidence in his ability or is it receivers can not get open. What has happened to the slant play it hardly exist any longer. That was money in the bank years ago but maybe a few times in the last several games.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 13, 2016 at 10:44 am

"it's starting to seem like the receivers aren't schemed to get open and instead, run isolation routes that are as predictable as they are repetitive."

This has been a problem for a whole year now.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

October 13, 2016 at 01:16 pm

I've been noticing that too. Especially (can't emphasize this enough) when it comes to Red Zone plays. I know the space to work with is limited down there, but when's the last time we've seen a quick back-shoulder pass in the End Zone? How about a jump ball? Use Adams' leaping ability, Jared Cook's height and athleticism (when he comes back) and Jordy Nelson/Jeff Janis physicality + leaping ability. It's usually Aaron Rodgers buying time and the Defense losing containment, some type of quick rub/pick play play, or that inside-outside pivot move Nelson does so well.

I haven't seen all of the Raiders' games, but I vividly remember a few big plays from 2 games (@Saints & vs. Ravens). Carr to Crabtree in the Red Zone is a beauty to watch. The trust from the coach to the QB and from the QB to the WR is evident.

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TCLAX33's picture

October 13, 2016 at 10:50 am

No creativity to this offense, I live in NE can't stand perfect Pats but I have to say offense is really good. Crossing patterns they run are unstoppable Rodgers is at prime of career please don't waste it get new coach or run that offense west coast offense outdated. Defense is looking pretty good I must say long time fan 1966 they seem to have enough weapons just cant get open.

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Geri's picture

October 13, 2016 at 11:18 am

I am ready to burn my stockholder's certificate in protest. I don't think anything will change as long as we have leaders too stubborn to change. Whose idea was it to get that punter who gives every opponent half the field in yardage every time he punts. McCarthy is stale and ineffective and rather than look at his problems he gets pissed when obvious questions get asked of him. He needs to go. Does Murphy even watch the games? I doubt it or I would think he would do something to make some changes besides smiling all of the time like a dumb ass. What has happened to this organization that was wise enough to get rid of Ray Rhodes after one year of being a screw up but allows Thompson and McCarthy to continue year after year. My guess is that Rodgers' issues stem from his displeasure with the coaching and management staff. If you don't trust what the coaches are doing I guess you will be scared out there playing. Unfortunately the one thing that we all love about Green Bay fans, their loyalty, is helping to perpetuate the problem. As long as we keep filling the stadium and buying tons of gear every year there is no incentive for the organization to make a change. And if I hear one more time about how many years we have made the playoffs, I think I will puke. Let's face it we have done that because up until last year we have had no competition in our division. let's see what happens this year now that Minnesota has gotten it together. It just doesn't work to have the best quarterback in the league paired with the worst GM and the worst coach. Thanks for letting me vent. I have needed to do that for a long time. Just couldn't hold it in anymore.

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Razor's picture

October 13, 2016 at 02:48 pm

Great post. I agree.

I feel that McCarthy is like Favre - you are pretty sure that he is not going to take the team all the way. I don't think Rodgers respects him.

Ted and Mike have had eleven years - enough already!

This is no fun for me anymore.

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Handsback's picture

October 13, 2016 at 11:36 am

The WRs have to catch the ball while running their patterns. The YACs are way down over the past two years. Rodgers has to hit his open receivers. He had plenty of open receivers, but didn't get the ball to them in the Giant game. On the last point, it's not fair to point it out because it happens every game for every QB. IMHO, I bet the past two years will show greater numbers of Rodgers not seeing open receivers vs. the previous few years.

Get those RBs blasting through the line when the defense throws out 6-7 DBs and you'll see a a scary offense.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 11:45 am

Fire Mike McCarthy - I.e captain predictable. Or hire an offensive coordinator next year with the balls, experience and bravado to influence MM in a new direction.

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vbjunkie's picture

October 13, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Give the ball to Ripkowski on 3rd down. They knew it was coming and couldn't stop it. The man is a wrecking ball. That gives you 2 previous downs to fool around with.

13 yards a crack will likely get you a first down even if we've lost a few yards on the other downs. If you don't have your first down after that... go for it on 4th down.
Let's say that running the ball this way cuts down the average possession per game from 12 to 10. That's still 70 points per game.

Offense issue solved.
Punting issue solved.
Defense issue solved... they don't have to hold onto an interception... they just have to stop 2 drives.

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Lphill's picture

October 13, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Just catch the damn ball ,if not for 3 key drops it would have been a laugher against the Giants.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 14, 2016 at 06:47 am

Catch the ball... Its what WR's are paid to do.

Also the DB's need to catch the ball as well. If Burnett holds onto that interception the Giants never score that TD. The last 2 games they have dropped at least 4 interceptions. If they want to become an elite defense, they can't drop those.

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egbertsouse's picture

October 13, 2016 at 01:36 pm

ietI heard a former coach say that the reason Brady is so good is that if you are open, he gets you the ball. It doesn't matter whether he likes you, or you're not the best guy, or whether it's someone else's turn to catch a pass; if you're open he gets it to you.

Anybody know a QB who will only throw to a receiver that he "trusts" whether he is open or not?

Also, Brady will take what the D gives him. If they give him a 5 yd out, he will throw it 10 times in a row and not get impatient or worry about his stats.

Anybody know a QB who will throw a couple short gimme passes but then has to force a 40 yd back shoulder fade to his favorite receiver who is not open?

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Razor's picture

October 13, 2016 at 02:51 pm

Four games in and SURPRISE - lots of issues, questions and problems.

Not enough talent?

Weak coaching?

Too much RELAXING?

Whatever!

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Bohj's picture

October 13, 2016 at 03:56 pm

I thought this was a post about how to make the offense better. Instead we get neg mail. "AR washed up. Fire everyone. Get Brady. No balls. Burn the stock. This isn't fun. Pray for miracles."
None of these things are helpful or insightful. Are some of you even fans? Just don't understand how the fantastic game of football could be so polarizing and inflaming for people. The analysis on this site is great. But I have to wonder if there are people posing as Packer fans to create a calamity or if people are this depressing when it comes to a sport. At 3-1 you'd think we were benching Gabbert for Kaepernick. In response to the question:
- slants
- 5 yard passes
- run, run, and run some more
We have the Oline to do it. So do it.
- forget the homeruns for now and make the defenses stack the box every game.
- then unleash the Jordy, Janis, Davis trio

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Graham Crackah's picture

October 13, 2016 at 05:56 pm

I think the negativity stems from two things:
1) our offense isn't the juggernaut it used to be which isn't nearly as exciting to watch...and that's frustrating
2) the fear that we won't get back to a Championship level and that the prime of yet another HOF QB hasn't been fully taken advantage of

I try to stay positive but also recognize how easy it is to slip into that dark place. I think it comes with having high standards for some...my two cents.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 06:53 pm

It comes from watching year after year what Belichick has done with a HOF QB and what Mike McCarthy has failed to do, which is win the big games and do it consistently. MM has amassed a failed playoff resume that has few counterparts in the history of the NFL. With the exception of Marv Levy.

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Geri's picture

October 14, 2016 at 12:27 am

Our comments might not be fun but how much fun has it been watching the Packers play for most of the last season and a half. I get a headache with every game. You have great suggestions for how to improve but there is only one problem. I don't think MM will take your suggestions.

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Bohj's picture

October 14, 2016 at 03:39 pm

But that's really all this forum is. A bunch of suggestions and opinions that no one will use. This is just a place for fans to do some armchair GMing. An old saying goes something like this: "Complaining about something adds to the problem. Suggesting intelligent alternatives becomes more fruitful." I don't mind naysayers so much. I just mind the incessant naysaying but not offering a reasonable solution. Firing everybody and trading everybody isn't an answer. I charge all of the "fire and get rid of everyone" crowd to:
1) After firing TT. Name a realistic GM to take over immediately. (Elliot Wolf is already being groomed, so he doesn't count)
2) Name a head coach on the market that is ready to step in next year immediately.
3) Name a defensive coordinator that will leave their job tomorrow to take this one.
4) Name a starting QB to replace Rodger's stat line.
5) Name three free agents to start at WR (one's that can get better "separation".
6) Name a running back that will be more productive than 6.6 yards per carry that's hanging from the FA tree
I suspect many of you will come back with answers. Great!!!!!! That's where the conversation should go. I invite that type of positive analytical dissection.

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TXCHEESE's picture

October 13, 2016 at 04:36 pm

Just a reminder, it's only 4 games in to the season. Rogers played little during preseason and Jordy didn't play at all. I'm tired of reading the whiney posts that sound like a bunch of middle school girls complaining. The early bye didn't help as far as building continuity for the offense. If they have to lean on their defense for bit, so be it.

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lou's picture

October 13, 2016 at 07:08 pm

Here is what we know/don't know in some cases;

1. We do not know how the working arrangement between the head coach, associate head coach offense and the offensive co-ordinator. That is essential to a top/down examination of preparation and game time executtion ressponsibilities.

2. We do know we have a top 10 offensive line.

3. We should finally realize we have a below average WR group (it took this long because in the past we always had one of the top groups). Jordy can't expected to be Jordy until mid-season at best, Cobb is still effected because Jordy is not 100%, Adams is a marginal starter with no deep speed, Montgomery is coming off a serious injury and no on knows yet where Abby fits.

4. Richard Rogers has great hands, plays hard but has very limited mobility and is a below average blocker. Our presumed starter and field stretcher has the dreaded high ankle sprain.

5. Our top flight QB is frustrated which has led to poor mechanics at times and he has been unusually inaccurate but still talented enough to win Super Bowls. Per Al Micheals during the Sunday night game when asked about the issues he told Al "we lacked speed last year", his first real comments in that regard to date.

6. No matter how heavy Lacey is he is the best back since Ahman Green and Starks has produced before, depth is a huge issue right now.

7. The 3 receiver 1 TE set with below average speed in an age of microscope review allows teams to shrink the field adding to Rodgers frustration level. Injuries to Janis and Davis being so green to the NFL has led the team to stay with the "old scheme".

8. Field position due to poor punting and limited return yards further impacts the offenses ability to score.

That is what I thought should have come out of the teams bye week "self scouting" analysis.

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gbpackerowner's picture

October 13, 2016 at 07:41 pm

Where is Abby?

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Point-Packer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 08:51 pm

Wasting a roster spot not playing. Classic MM.

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al bundy's picture

October 14, 2016 at 10:07 pm

Where is Janis. His speed ain't doing us any good on the bench and jordy has lost a step at least. Why not barn burners on both ends Mikey poo?

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dobber's picture

October 15, 2016 at 06:40 am

Janis played 13 offensive snaps against the Giants on Sunday, more than any other WR not named Nelson, Cobb or Adams. First game without a club on that broken hand? That's not a small number.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 16, 2016 at 03:32 am

3 of Janis' snaps came on kneel downs. but I can't remember which game.

1 Rec on 1 Target, 20 Snaps: Abby (14 snaps wk 1, 6 wk 2)
0 Rec on 2 Targets, 1 Drop, 24 Snaps: Davis (5 snaps wk 2; 12 wk 3)
0 Rec on 0 Targets, 17 snaps - Monty (11 snaps week one)
0 Rec on 0 Targets, 16 snaps - Janis

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Point-Packer's picture

October 13, 2016 at 08:52 pm

At this point, I'd put Mike McCarthy in the bottom 1/3 of coaches in the league. Maybe bottom 1/4. He has squandered more talent in his tenure than any coach in the NFL. Guy is a joke. Fire MM now.

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cuervo's picture

October 14, 2016 at 07:24 am

I have to agree with Point Packer, if you ever want to see this offense change/get better, the only way to do that is to get rid of McCarthy. The offense will not change as long as he is here. The problems that the offense has are the same as they have been for well over 1 year, and he has done nothing but talk about fundamentals.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 14, 2016 at 09:45 am

Has MM with his offensive schemes been reliant on having a GOAT QB type talent for years? IDK. I didn't use to think so. Still, now that AR has been struggling (for him) a bit, the offense goes to hell (too harsh? How about purgatory for we Catholics), despite having superior talent on the OL, at RB in Lacy, and IMO decent (or at least more than adequate) talent in Nelson, Cobb, Cook and even the back ups as receivers. Nobody thinks MM has much responsibility for the D, so I don't give MM too much credit (or blame) for the D's performance over the years.

Am I just frustrated? I do think that our offense has way too much talent to be mediocre. I think TT has given MM enough offensive talent, so....

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al bundy's picture

October 14, 2016 at 10:04 pm

The route running as others mentioned is scheme based and defenses know it well. Cobb and jordy are reliable but again D's know this too. So you have no tight end who can separate and a davante Adams who catches half the passes.
This has to effect Rogers ability, his two guys are covered and the other two are in reliable.

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