Point of Veau: Get Janis, Bostick and Harris One Touch Each Per Game

We're not talking about overhauling the Packers offense. It's time to give these home-run hitters just a small role rather than no role.

Jeff Janis, Brandon Bostick and DuJuan Harris—arguably the fastest players at their respective positions on the Green Bay Packers roster—are wasting away on the Green Bay Packers sidelines.

Consider this a challenge issued to the Packers coaching staff: Make it a point to get these three players one touch each per game on offense.

This shouldn't be difficult for the Packers coaches. After all, they made a concerted effort to make Derek Sherrod part of their game plan at Miami last Sunday with six snaps as a jumbo tight end, and Sherrod certainly doesn't appear to be the type of difference maker these three skill-position players can be.

By no means should this be considered an overhaul of the Packers offense. Instead, it's simply becoming more diverse and—at the same time—adding more pop.

Currently, the Packers only have six players on their roster with more than two receptions. And while it's not a necessity to have a dozen players catching passes every game, they're pushing the limits with just five players catching passes in the win against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Certainly there are reasons the Packers have been hesitant to make Janis, Bostick and Harris a bigger part of their offense.

Janis is just a rookie from a Division II football program, needing time to pick up the offense and figuring out what it takes to play with the big boys.

Bostick had a broken fibula suffered during the preseason that slowed any progress he was making. And even when healthy, he's not the type of player that's going to factor as a blocker.

Harris doesn't have the power of either Eddie Lacy or James Starks, can be tackled easier and can't hold up in pass protection like they can.

All these players, however, have the ability to take the ball to the house with one touch of the football.

It's that home-run hitting ability that's the biggest reason to get them involved, while it's their relative weaknesses that should simply prevent them from being a starter or a focal point of the offense.

The approach the Packers have taken with Janis has been great, making him active for the first time first time in Week 4 in Chicago, playing almost exclusively special teams to finally giving him some exposure on offense in mop-up duty in Week 5 against Minnesota to finally allowing him to play meaningful snaps on offense in Miami. It was just three snaps, but they all came when the outcome of the game was still in question. He's just waiting to take the next step.

Since coming back from injury, the Packers have made Bostick a bigger part of their special teams but have yet to find a role for him on offense despite the lack of a tight end that can threaten the middle of the field and stretch the seam.

And even though Harris has played sparingly on offense, he has just four rushes and one reception through six games. In Weeks 4 and 5 he didn't play on offense at all.

Obviously the Packers can't just put these players in for one play a game and force feed them the football. Defenses will pick up on that really quick.

And it makes it even tougher when the Packers are trying to run the no-huddle and don't want to make substitutions at the expense of slowing the offense down.

But the time has come to break down these invisible barriers to entry and get these players involved.

Janis is getting more experienced every week. Bostick is getting healthier every week. And Harris continues to be ready, willing and able.

Mike McCarthy, Tom Clements and the rest of the Packers offensive coaches should be able to handle this. It's not rocket science, brain surgery or splitting an atom.

It's incorporating talented players into the team's schemes and systems. The impact will be a more explosive offense. What's not to like?

 

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

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Comments (19)

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DrealynWilliams's picture

October 14, 2014 at 10:49 pm

1) I'm not eager to see Janis on offense just yet. More passes for Nelson/Cobb/Adams. Boykin will turn it around soon.

2) You all know I'm a big fan of D. Harris,but I think the lack of offensive snaps are due to his poor ST play/decision making.

3) I think if Bostick can be a good or just decent blocker (assuming his play-making ability picks back up) the no-huddle will take another step forward.

Scenario: 2 WRs + 2 TEs [Bostick playing H-Back] + 1 RB

Defenses would be in base,right? Passing should be easy pickings.But Bostick will have to show he's able to run-block efficiently when called upon to do so.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 14, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Bostick is a mystery.

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Mojo's picture

October 14, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Bostick is a mystery to me. If he's still injured, why is he playing ST's? Not like there isn't any contact in that role. And if he's healthy, why not in the lineup.

Before he got hurt, it seemed like it was all systems go. After three years, I'm supposed to believe he's regressed in learning his assignments. And it's not as if our other TE's are blowing anyone away blocking either.

Ron Wolf said in preseason he should be in on every play. I'd settle for at least a couple each game right now.

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lucky953's picture

October 14, 2014 at 11:21 pm

McCarthy made it clear he wanted fewer personnel changes at running back. Harris will wait until an injury to Lacy or Starks. The game is too fast for Janis at this point. He needs a whole season to pick up the speed of on-field decision making. Bostick, as the man said, is a mystery.

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Brian Lee's picture

October 14, 2014 at 11:28 pm

I'd say get Janis two touches a game. It would be kind of interesting to line him up in the backfield just to throw something different at the defense. The more things the defense has to prepare for the better. And with Nelson, Cobb and Adams on the field how much attention could they pay to Janis anyways???

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saltandpeppers's picture

October 15, 2014 at 12:43 am

If Harris isn't going to get snaps in backfield then deactivate him and let Janis return kicks.

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denniseckersley's picture

October 15, 2014 at 01:16 am

How about:

Get Janis 3 touches this week

Get Bostick 3 touches next week

Get Harris 3 touches the following week.

This averages to 1 touch per week, but it also lets each player get into a little bit of a groove.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

October 15, 2014 at 10:46 am

LMAO!!!

Sorry...

But,what groove???

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Kid Culi's picture

October 15, 2014 at 01:34 am

I'm sorry, but there's no way that Richard Rodgers is more deserving of playing time than Bostick. Rodgers consistently gets blown up in both run blocking and pass protection, and he hasn't offered enough in the passing game to offset his lack of blocking ability. McCarthy called Bostick the team's best blocking tight end this offseason, and we've all seen what he can do in the passing game. Please gain the coaches' confidence Brandon. Until then, I'm guessing we'll see more and more Kuhn and less and less Rodgers as the season progresses

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zeke's picture

October 15, 2014 at 03:14 am

Don't know that this is why they aren't playing, but if 12 doesn't trust Janis or Bostick to be where they're supposed to be he's not going to go there anyway and then they're just taking up space in the huddle. Likewise, if you put them on the field three or four times with plays specifically designed for them, the opposing DC will figure that out pretty much instantly. It also might be a little early to label them "home run hitters."

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MarkinMadison's picture

October 15, 2014 at 05:49 am

"Don't know that this is why they aren't playing, but if 12 doesn't trust Janis or Bostick to be where they're supposed to be he's not going to go there anyway and then they're just taking up space in the huddle."

This is most likely the problem for Janis, but if Bostick still doesn't know where to be after all of this time then he needs to find a new team or a new line of work.

The used car salesman confuses me more. This is a guy that the Packers were ready to make their featured back last year, but this year he can't get on offense? And with the way Lacy has struggled most of the season? I'm definitely ready to see more Harris.

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zeke's picture

October 15, 2014 at 05:56 am

LaMichael James he's not.

(Can't help it. That joke will always be funny).

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packsmack's picture

October 15, 2014 at 10:19 am

I'm with you 100% on Janis. Get the guy the ball. He likely has the same problem as Patterson in Minnesota though. He just can't run the route tree, because in college he probably only ran 3 or 4 routes. I just think Janis is a field-flipper. He's one of our fastest players, something that can be deadly in an offense that already scores a ton.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 15, 2014 at 04:47 pm

Yes!!!!! I want to see him as slot receiver and some returns.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 17, 2014 at 07:14 pm

Since the first game i felt we really missed another tall receiver without Finley. Hoped it would Bostic. Janis is too intriguing not to use.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 15, 2014 at 04:44 pm

After wondeting why MM has not played certain players O or D. Dorsey on ST?

Two thoughts came to mind. First was. Is the reason speciall teams bad to poor, because it's a proving ground for rookies.? Too much transiton. No continuity.

Second. . MM said his decision to play rookies is partly what position they play and how close they would be to the ball?

Doesn't sound right. Afraid they might f up if they touch it.? Geez.

Conclusion :Something can not be right with Bostic

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pooch's picture

October 15, 2014 at 05:14 pm

This why he is known as Mashed Potatoe Mike

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pooch's picture

October 15, 2014 at 05:15 pm

And Rodgers can pass block,NOT.....

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Bohj's picture

October 16, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Pretty okay with our gameplan.
1. Eddie, Starks and oline need to hit their rhythm going into the colder months. Why interfere with that at this juncture. Harris will get his snaps to spell the other guys when the running game is needed more. We will sub more when we have sizeable leads and run less of the no huddle.

2. Bostick? Meh. We have been running mostly three receiver sets with one tight end. Quarless has earned his spot. (game winner anyone??) Rodgers is the second tight end when we are running the two TE set, which seems to be less. But I would rather have more receivers on the field when 12 is our QB. End of story. Bostick will earn his reps.....when he EARNS them.

3. Janis. Great talent. Great speed. Underdeveloped. I'm ok with playing the game ready Adams now. Janis is getting reps. So what's the big deal.

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