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"We can rebuild him. We have the Technology"

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"We can rebuild him. We have the Technology"

Providing clause as to what's wrong with the Packers' offense is open-ended and truthfully, has a lot of speculation on each end of the spectrum. Is it the receivers? Is it the offensive line? Is Aaron Rodgers hiding an injury?

No. The "receivers aren't getting open" excuse is clichéd and now as we're long removed from the 2015 campaign, not viable. At least on film, the receiving corps are far from attributing to the woes the offensive unit is face-planting into. 

The offensive line would be the first aspect of the passing attack that most would seek to blame. After releasing Josh Sitton post-roster finalization, Lane Taylor was left to start at left guard in his place and thus far, hasn't disappointed, but hasn't stood out to the naked eye yet either. In his first year without Sitton, it's almost expected Rodgers be a little skittish in the pocket and forced to extend plays when they didn't have to be — but we'll get to that.

Highly, highly doubtful Rodgers is hiding an injury when taking into account his mobility on the field. Although he hid a minor knee injury (from over a decade ago) rather sufficiently last season which ultimately ended up needing a small operation at the culmination of the Packers' playoff run, that shouldn't be the case here in September. 

What we may be seeing is a hangover of last year's offensive struggles mixed into a cocktail with the Packers historically starting their season sluggishly. All fused into a concoction that equals wide-spread panic across Packer Land. 

If Rodgers has anything to say about it, you wouldn't even be able hint at his confidence which remains undeterred. 

When asked if there's such a thing as setting the bar too high for himself, he offered a simple answer. "That's a ridiculous question. So, no."

If setting the bar too high ties in with his fundamentals being perfectly intact, Rodgers may be lying through his teeth, despite his slightly snarky retort on Wednesday. 

"I feel pretty good about my fundamentals," Rodgers told reporters. "I'm a two-time USA All-Fundamentals First-Team. I have the medals at the house."

If film could speak, it would say otherwise. 

For years, Rodgers has been praised for his expertise with extending plays and buying more time for his receivers to find open space, whether against man or zone coverage. Now, it seems almost as if Rodgers relies on that strength of his game far too much — more than he should be. Against Minnesota, Rodgers danced in the pocket for seemingly hours before either bailing from his stance or throwing off his back foot. When he doesn't throw off his back foot, he goes through his throwing motion without getting his feet set in the turf. One of the golden rules for a quarterback, in the same area code as throwing across your body.

He also had an evident problem with running through his progressions, receiver-to-receiver. Hence his sudden rolling out and buying himself more time to throw.

These incessant habits that Rodgers has developed over the years are unfortunately beginning to bite him in the rear end now. It doesn't help when the offensive gameplan is as predictable as a gameplan can be, revolving almost entirely around curls, out-routes to the sideline or screen plays — coincidentally, we haven't seen very many screen opportunities from the Packers this year when that was a go-to last season with the lack of separation the receivers were getting.

On film, Rodgers missed a variety of open targets. In fact, he didn't even look their way in their underneath routes. Throws that Rodgers would've made in a dead sleep two years ago went unnoticed as a result of his lack of patience and scanning the field.

The hope is that the running game between Eddie Lacy and James Starks can find its rhythm, as Mike McCarthy said himself, he wanted the Packers to find more of a rushing attack. With a solidified ground game, opposing safeties would need to play up in order to defend said attack, thus, leaving a potential deep shot to Jordy Nelson — a play that has been overly-missed in Green Bay since the 2014 season. Either that or some other awaiting target at various spots on the field. 

Another hope is that Sunday night was the wake-up call the Packers desperately needed. But if recent history is telling — it wasn't. 

Through his last 14 games in which he's averaged an 83.35 rating, 6.23 yards per attempt and 23 touchdowns to nine interceptions, Rodgers failed to record a passer rating over 100 in each of those games. He's been on a spiraling, downward trend that has plagued the Packers' offense in disastrous fashion. Unless something finally clicked in the heads of McCarthy, Edgar Bennett and Alex Van Pelt with utilizing the weaponry the Packers have at receiver, Sunday's home-opener against the visiting Lions may be troublesome to watch.

Not only has Rodgers seemed visibly irritable in interviews, but there were instances last Sunday night where he blatantly shrugged off McCarthy or avoided to even glance his way during unheard conversations on the sideline. 

Rodgers, McCarthy at a crossroads on the sideline at USA Bank Stadium in Minnesota

There could be a strain between the quarterback and head coach relationship, a  potential strain that will likely work through the kinks and be booted aside for the team's overall betterment. 

Rodgers' aggravation, however, is something that would divide a locker room. He offered a quote in the same aforementioned interview that Jim Mora himself would beam proudly upon.

"You guys don't know what plays we're running. You don't know what the execution is. You don't know where the flaws in the execution lie... We're not worried about those (outside) opinions."

Pair his tone in this interview with the body language displayed on the field, and there's an argument to be made that Jay Cutler's been giving the Chico native lessons in moodiness. Rodgers could either be prepping for the biggest bounce-back of his career, or a free-fall from grace. If there's anything we've learned from watching this quarterback, who is still widely viewed as the head honcho at the position, it's to never doubt him. His performance and connection with his receivers on Sunday may be a major stepping stone in avoiding the fourth 1-2 start in five consecutive seasons.


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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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (31) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I think he needs to eat some cheese.

Just sayin.

Zachary Jacobson's picture

I think it's safe to assume the big reason for his struggles is the lack of dairy in his diet. He isn't a true Packer quarterback anymore. Everything makes sense now.

lecko's picture

not possible. I heared he is on the diet that includes no milk products :-)

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Yes, that was the joke :p

NashvilleCheesehead's picture

Captain Obvious to the rescue!!!

dobber's picture

Who doesn't?

mrj007's picture

Rodgers is acting like a prima Dona. Maybe just "do your job". He sucked last week and seems to over think everything. He needs discipline. If he can get back to the basics I think it will benefit the whole team. Hell, the Patriots win no matter who the QB is. Put in Hundley and force Rodgers to pull his head out of his ass

guzzi2000's picture

Always have been a Rodgers fan, unfortunately I think he is going for the come back player of year award. Not
this year, maybe next and maybe with another team.

Jersey Al's picture

another team? Delusional...

croatpackfan's picture

Zachary, thanks for this very objective and honest article... As time passing and more I read about Aaron and problems we see on the field, something come out to me.
When you go to 2008 and watched all games he played for Packers till last season, you will see guy who extremly enjoy in playing football. He was not working on the field, he was playing like child in childish fascination for the game. He was not bothered with OL, RB, TE or WR. He was doing whatever he needed to do and nothing was hard for him. Watching him play was the best simphony of movements, execution and football intelligence. It was almost perfect.
Last season 2 things happened. First, Jordy was injured and he was so depressed about that fact that he started to work on the field, not to play. Second, not less important was that his mentor and best friend among coaches, Tom Clements get play calling job. Depressed Aaron influenced Tom that hard that Mike McCarthy had to take over play calling duties.
Aaron was still depressed and I think Mike McCarthy did not recognized how Aaron felt at that moment. He started to be afraid of injury (look at Jordy), and OL problems just make that fear deeper. Than we start to hear about WR who were playing PC games rather than study play book and prepare themselves for games. We started to hear from Aaron lot of criticism towards his colleagues. Still, his smile on face dissapeared when he was on the filed. He was working. We know that he had 2 moments of great joy he took from the field - 2 Hail Mary throws.
This season is the same. Aaron continues to come on Sundays to work, not to play. And while he will doing that, there will be no return to the person and QB we all love and support...
This is my last review "what is wrong with Aaron Rodgers". I really, really want him back to Aaron we were watching 8 years in the row, who were playing football and playing with opponents!
Aaron, please, come back...

bleedsgreen's picture

Totally agree. It pays to think about it like he's gone.
And likely, not coming back for a little while.
He wants to, but he doesn't know the way. . . .

Frankly, he needs a little help from his friends.

Horse's picture

"You guys don't know what plays we're running. You don't know what the execution is. You don't know where the flaws in the execution lie." Try reading this again, because it's true.

barutanseijin's picture

Until last week Packer fans and media were treating #12 like they did Favre: denying that he played poorly or excusing it (no Jordy) or blaming it on someone else like MM or #17. I wonder how long Aaron will want to stick around now that it's become acceptable to criticize his play. If he doesn't turn it around, things could get ugly.

Favre got sloppy in his later years but he still seemed to like playing the game. The media stayed on Favre's side because he might say anything in an interview and because his style of play could still be entertaining. Rodgers doesn't have Favre's warmth or charm. People are already comparing him to Cutler. If he continues to play like Jay, he will be treated like Cutler.

Nick Perry's picture

Rodgers response to questioning his fundamentals was about what I'd expect. Who really cares about your trophies you have at home? At the present time you look as though you've developed some problems which comes back to the question, have you become unteachable?

At the same time, a game vs the Lions might just be what the doctor ordered. Rodgers might just start taking what the defense gives him, taking the shorter OPEN underneath routes and actually allowing your WR's do the rest. Afterall, that's always been a staple of the Packers offense...YAC

Wouldn't mind seeing that giant chip growing on his shoulder start being chipped away starting Sunday.

Bearmeat's picture

I'd prefer for he (and MM) to eat a slice of humble pie.

Everyone screws up. It's part of being human. But to act like your S#!T doesn't stink is really obnoxious and rubs EVERYONE the wrong way.

Own it Aaron.

Spud Rapids's picture

“I didn't play as well as I wanted to last week, and I turned the ball over twice, and I can't do that if we're going to win the game. So I've got to play better, and I've got to play more efficiently on offense.”

How is that not owning it?

Packer_Pete's picture

"You guys don't know what plays we're running." - that's alright, neither do you, Aaron...

Savage57's picture

"Any strength taken to an extreme becomes a weakness"

- someone.

AR needs to get on rhythm with the play design and the offense. He, and his hero-boy shuffle, is the problem. Packers coaches need to have LOUD hand-held air horns. Every drop back in practice that exceeds 3 seconds, he gets blasted with the horns and the admonition, "that's not what we're looking for here, Aaron."

dobber's picture

If the cutting of Sitton was, in part, to send a message of replaceability, this would certainly send a message of accountability.

al bundy's picture

Cutting of sitton wasa major error. The message is clear, not hidden, ted aint spending the hig bucks.

The TKstinator's picture

By that logic, then:

"Any weakness taken to an extreme becomes a strength"

-another someone
-known as The TKstinator

Handsback's picture

This week, take care of the Lions, and each week after concentrate on getting the next win. It's what will be preached to the players. They know they can win a SB. They know how, and now they just need to concentrate on getting the next win.

Patrick Helms's picture

"You guys don't know what plays we're running. You don't know what the execution is. You don't know where the flaws in the execution lie..."

Unfortunately, the other teams do :(

lecko's picture

I wish they fix the ofense fast. But I also have doubs. Lets say the ofense keeps producing similar numbers and QB1 play does not improve and he is stil in the bottom 25 % of all QBs in rating. When do the Packer dare to approach him and ask about salary adjustment ? After all there are trying to resign many players and som eadditiona million in cap space would help a lot.

John30856's picture

OH MY GOD guys. Most of you really don't have any idea what you're talking about

RCPackerFan's picture

Apparently don't know how to spell either.

al bundy's picture

Rogers is just avg passing against man coverage. We have zero crossi g patterns or quick slants, passing out of the backfield is non existant, so his only hope is for someone to get open somewhere. That aint happening so he has no where to go with the ball.
Mike, just run lacy until your pea brain figures it out.

Rossonero's picture

I'm glad the media is trying to hold Rodgers accountable. He is not above being criticized. Just the same as when Favre would throw picks in big games. There's always something to improve on.

What worries me more is the coaching. The Patriots are 3-0 and can be penciled in as a Super Bowl team already. They've done it without Brady too! Now that is superb coaching, game planning and preparation. We also need McCarthy and Co. to step up too.

Tarynfor12's picture

Practice builds confidence and confidence builds trust.
Apparently Rodgers wanted no part of any step this off season and especially training camp for his offensive contingent much less himself.

Spud Rapids's picture

What does this even mean?

Tarynfor12's picture

I'm sure you can figure it isn't that's been mentioned by many others in many ways.

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