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Rodgers and Jennings Need A Sit Down

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Rodgers and Jennings Need A Sit Down

The miscommunication between Jennings and Rodgers during Sunday's game were readily apparent to anyone who watched the game. It continues a trend that has developed over the season - for whatever reason, Jennings and Rodgers have had some serious problem getting on the same page. The worst case this past Sunday, of course, was the called run play where Rodgers thought Jennings would be expecting a pass. It's a play Favre and Jennings made several times last year. McCarthy has indicated in the past that there is a system that the receiver and quarterback have, dictated by what the defensive back shows, to know whether or not they can run the quick slant or back-shoulder play. Rodgers was visibly upset after he had to throw the ball away and looked at Jennings and barked something at him. It definitely didn't look complimentary.

Less obvious was the 3rd down play where Rodgers threw the ball into the dirt at the feet of Ruvell Martin. On the opposite side, Jennings beats his man on an inside move and if Rodgers just looks to the right, he would have had Jennings wide open for a touchdown. Instead, Rodgers looks only at Martin and when he doesn't have him right away, he throws the ball into the ground at Martin's feet. I understand he's being careful - an incompletion is a thousand times better than an interception. And I also understand he's taken a lot of criticism (justifiably so) for holding the ball too long. But if you watch the replay, Jennings is non-plussed and it's not hard to understand why. Later in the game, Rodgers goes to Martin on a slant route when Jennings is open on the opposite side and it's eerily similar to a play in the Seattle game when Rodgers tried (unsuccessfully) to hit Martin on a slant in the face of a Seahawk blitz. On the opposite side, Jennings is running a 'Go' from the slot and is WIDE open. After he watches Rodgers throw at a quite covered Martin, Jennings can be seen jumping up and down in a rare exhibition of diva-like frustration.

It's a telling moment.

I have no doubt Jennings is a tad frustrated at Rodgers continually looking at his self-described best friend on the team when Jennings is the unquestioned best receiver on the field and open more often than not on the plays in question. (I also have no doubt that Jennings is finding it hard to be patient with Rodgers when just last season he had a quarterback that could read defenses like the POV shot from the robot in a Terminator movie...) He has a legitimate gripe here. He is the number one receiver. He should not only get the majority of the looks, but he should not be playing second fiddle to Ruvell Martin. Ever.

(On a side note: Perhaps Tundra Vision was on to something... ;) )

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

Dave's picture

Yeah, Brett never missed an open receiver or miscommunicated with anyone. Give me a break. You do actually remember when Brett was here, right?

packeraaron's picture

Dave - why so brusque? Or are you new to the site? I am a huge Rodgers fan, as anyone who reads the site knows. But he had a bad game on Sunday (McCarthy has said as much)and his communication problems with Jennings aren't exactly a secret. Of course Favre had off-reads. Off course Favre had bad days. But he didn't make it a habit of finding his best friend at the expense of his #1 receiver (luckily they were the same guy the last few years in Driver) - and when he did have communication issues with guys, he sat down and talked to them (There was a great article last season on how he and Jennings grew to trust each other over the last two years over at ESPN:

Again - not sure why you're so incredulous. I never said "Oh - things were so much better with Brett here" - I simply stated that Favre and Jennings had connected on the called-running-play throws a number of times. We never saw anything like what we saw last Sunday at the Titan 5 yard line when Rodgers was waiting to throw to Jennings and Jennings was completely oblivious. That's 'not-on-the-same-page' in my book and they need to sit down and talk. That's all I'm saying.

Dave's picture

I don't have an issue with your analysis that Jennings and Rodgers could work on their communication. I agree in some respects, though I think that will come through time and repetition rather than becoming BFFs. That being said, my issues are as follows:

1) On every play Rodgers has progressions that he follows. The order of those progressions is determined by the person who designed the play, not Rodgers. He's not going to see Jennings out there and say "forget him, I like Ruvell better". If you want some sort of "Greg ratio" maybe we can get Mike Tice to come in.

2) Jennings has the second most receiving yards in the NFL. He must be getting his share of looks. He's certainly not playing second-fiddle to Martin. Some games Ruvell isn't even playing fiddle.

3) I detected a hint of "I miss the Brett days when every pass was complete and we won every game" that I see so often in the comments on the packer news sites. I guess my patience has just run out for that kind of selective-memory viewpoint. Perhaps that was not what you intended.

I apologize if I was curt. That wasn't my intention. I guess a Packer, Badger and fantasy football loss can do that to a guy ;)

packeraaron's picture

1 - McCarthy even said that the play at Martins feet was not Rodgers first read. Rodgers, in his post game presser, even said he didn't look 'playside' on that play. That would indicate that he was supposed to be looking elsewhere. My hunch is it was supposed to be Jennings, as his inside route from the slot was almost identical to the one that Driver ran for a TD earlier in the game.

2 - Agree, just think there have been times when Rodgers has forced it to Martin, though I could very well be wrong.

3 - Oh my goodness. Nothing could be further from the truth. When Favre was first traded, everyone here in NY asked me "Hey - how do you feel about the Favre trade?" and I would always respond - It's great! Now, when he throws a soul-crushing, game-killing interception, I can laugh and say "Oh Brett" rather than bang my head against the wall and say "Brett!" Trust me - I was veeerrryyy happy when Brett was traded.

Sorry for your rough weekend. :(

Oscar's picture

I think this is a bit much and insults Rodgers' intelligence. I've read there are running jokes between the players and coaches about Aaron always throwing the first ball to his buddy Ruvell in practice, but that's where it stops. If you listen to Aaron's numerous interviews on, you'll hear Aaron constantly saying that opposing defenses will have to "pick their poison" - Driver or Jennings. He knows they are both Pro-Bowl caliber receivers and will use them to his advantage. No doubt in the Titans game the communication between Rodgers and Jennings was off, but I think that can be attributed to Aaron's lack of practice time since injuring his shoulder over a month ago.

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