McCarthy, Clement & Rodgers need to help the receivers succeed

Ogsponge

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This is not a knee jerk reaction to last night but last night has made it even more obvious than it was. Don't forget that even before last night, the Packers offense, the passing game in particular has really not been that good. The Packers offense relies entirely too much on "backyard football". What I mean by this is that they rely on Rodgers extending plays allowing the receivers to get open and they have done this for good reason. It works most of the time for them. When does it not work? Against good defenses and with an unhealthy receiving corp filled with receivers that A-Rod does not "trust". This whole trust thing is something the coaches and Rodgers need to get over with. I contend the coaches and Rodgers need to help the receivers trust them.

The Packers need to put plays into the offense that help their receivers beat man coverage instead of just expecting them to beat man coverage with their own ability at all times. Our current crop of receivers simply cannot beat good DB's in man to man coverage. Where are the crossing routes? Where are the stacked receiver formations? Where are the trip bunch formations. Where are the natural rub or pick plays? They are nowhere to be seen. It is time to implement these types of plays to help our guys beat man coverage.

That is not to say that Rodgers should not keep doing what he is doing, but with the state of the offense these days, it is time to stop waiting for the magical trust in receivers to miraculously appear and it is time for the Coaches and A-Rod to start creating and using plays to build that trust because without Nelson, this passing offense is floundering and the status quo is simply not working.
 
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PackerfaninCarolina

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Dang it, someone beat me to it, as I was thinking about starting a thread on some observations on Clements.

Now I'll say first off for the record, people who say our offensive scheme is broken are clueless. That has never been the case before, it is not the case now, and even if it may need a few added wrinkles to it, the idea that all the sudden Mike McCarthy's offense doesn't work is utterly stupid and I'm sick of hearing it. No truth to that whatsoever.

Now that being said, I've always thought Mike McCarthy was underrated as a play caller and got bagged on too much by fans who got disenchanted with the losses when he didn't call his most perfect games. Passing off the torch to Clements was a move that may have helped him become a little more involved in better capacities with the team, but I do sometimes feel that at times Clements struggles in some situations with that duty where Mike McCarthy seemed to know better and be more crisp with it. Play calling did not lose us the game last night, but throughout this season so far there have been some bumps in it and Clements may have to change some things up a little bit to get better at it.

I do also agree that coming into this game I was worried about Rodgers's tactic of making defenders miss to make the plays downfield. Ultimately, I think that's who he is as a QB and we may have to live and die with that a little bit as fans because at this stage in his career, he may not change his playing style too much from here on out. However we may need to get back a little bit to a short passing **** and dunk game to gain some confidence. The Pats were willing to do that on Seattle in the superbowl and we may need to be willing to try and do that on some of the better defenses and stay patient with it. But even there, our receivers do have to create separation.

I only hope when Jordy comes back next season he's back to doing his Jordy thing, his versatility of being able to be both a speed slot player in a Wes Welker role, and an outside player who can make back shoulder and sideline grabbing catches certainly has been a driver in this offense and Rodgers's chemistry with him certainly is missed right now. But I do agree I think we could adapt a little to compensate for his loss. I mean, there's not really any way to completely compensate for that, but I think we could adjust some things.
 
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TJV

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That was a good read. Making that change is going to require a different kind of discipline from Rodgers. Not only against Denver but in a couple of other games Rodgers continued to bypass shorter completions for the chance to hit a longer one. In hindsight it's easy to say that should have changed - at least in number - once Jordy went down. Of course 6-0 didn't say 'things need to change'. Going forward Rodgers really has to be satisfied with a lot of "short" completions.
 

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Great article. I would add two things:

1) I know people get sick of hearing about Janis, but I would be in favor of getting him on the field more and start taking some deep shots downfield, because at the moment opposing secondaries have no respect for our deep ball and are able to cheat up. At least try to open things up downfield.

2) Yes, Rodgers needs to worry less about throwing INTs. His TD/turnover ratio is a great thing for us; that said, he needs to start being willing to take some shots and trust his arm to make tight throws that he's perfectly capable of making.
 

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Yes, Rodgers needs to worry less about throwing INTs. His TD/turnover ratio is a great thing for us; that said, he needs to start being willing to take some shots and trust his arm to make tight throws that he's perfectly capable of making.
Yeah, when you are down by a couple of scores, at some point you need a Brett Favre, gunslinger approach.
 
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Yeah, when you are down by a couple of scores, at some point you need a Brett Favre, gunslinger approach.

With the offense struggling I would be fine with Rodgers taking more risks early in the game as well.
 

TJV

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Yes, Rodgers needs to worry less about throwing INTs. His TD/turnover ratio is a great thing for us; that said, he needs to start being willing to take some shots and trust his arm to make tight throws that he's perfectly capable of making.
If they start using a lot of "man-beater" routes instead of isolation routes, I don't think Rodgers will have to sacrifice his TD/INT ratio.
 

JacobInFlorida

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If they start using a lot of "man-beater" routes instead of isolation routes, I don't think Rodgers will have to sacrifice his TD/INT ratio.

Agree. Our tight man beater scheme is horrible. It has been for a while now you just don't see many teams capable of playing it the whole game. We have no short drag routes out of bunch formations. It's always comebacks, inside outs and quick screens. Sometimes they have a slow tight end short cross but it's very rare that you get a great matchup with that.
 

Curly Calhoun

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This is not a knee jerk reaction to last night but last night has made it even more obvious than it was. Don't forget that even before last night, the Packers offense, the passing game in particular has really not been that good. The Packers offense relies entirely too much on "backyard football". What I mean by this is that they rely on Rodgers extending plays allowing the receivers to get open and they have done this for good reason. It works most of the time for them. When does it not work? Against good defenses and with an unhealthy receiving corp filled with receivers that A-Rod does not "trust". This whole trust thing is something the coaches and Rodgers need to get over with. I contend the coaches and Rodgers need to help the receivers trust them.

The Packers need to put plays into the offense that help their receivers beat man coverage instead of just expecting them to beat man coverage with their own ability at all times. Our current crop of receivers simply cannot beat good DB's in man to man coverage. Where are the crossing routes? Where are the stacked receiver formations? Where are the trip bunch formations. Where are the natural rub or pick plays? They are nowhere to be seen. It is time to implement these types of plays to help our guys beat man coverage.

That is not to say that Rodgers should not keep doing what he is doing, but with the state of the offense these days, it is time to stop waiting for the magical trust in receivers to miraculously appear and it is time for the Coaches and A-Rod to start creating and using plays to build that trust because without Nelson, this passing offense is floundering and the status quo is simply not working.


I agree with all of that. I would also add sometimes its okay to check down, especially when you have Eddie lacy/James Starks. Not every completion needs to be 20 yards downfield, dump it to your backs once in a while and let them break a couple of tackles (especially in the early downs). Eventually the safeties will start creeping up, loosening up some of those intermediate routes.

There's a lot that can be done, and I have confidence they'll figure it out.
 

longtimefan

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Watch those Def backs from Denver... They played the best they could

That and their Def line was the perfect storm.

The sky is falling
 

adambr2

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Watch those Def backs from Denver... They played the best they could

That and their Def line was the perfect storm.

Sounds like you are saying we are not Super Bowl contenders and should not expect to compete against a team with that much talent.
 

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Nice article, makes a great deal of sense to an amateur like me.

I will only add one thing to this discussion: I do not care for Rodgers' attitude in this (or what seems to be his attitude). I won't call it arrogant, but there seems to be an absence of self-criticism. Perhaps it is true that the receivers are not getting open, but to lay the blame on their doorstep and not on his own/the coaches play-calling and decision-making is a mistake for several reasons.

There is at the very least the perception that Rodgers is so concerned about throwing a pick that he refuses to take certain risks, preferring instead to scramble out of it and create a big-play possibility. I know it's difficult to evaluate, but the contrast with Brady, Brees, and Rivers is night and day. Those guys throw the ball, get it out quick, take risks and yes, do throw INTs (although Brady doesn't since he is the master of the short passing game), but they make things happen.

This offense is stagnant right now, and if Rodgers doesn't change some things, it may not change either.
 

longtimefan

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Sounds like you are saying we are not Super Bowl contenders and should not expect to compete against a team with that talent.

Not at all...nice try in twisting my words

I said played best they could..

And

he term "perfect storm" is nearly synonymous with "worst-case scenario", although the latter carries more of a hypothetical connotation.

So my post meant to say Denver played perfect.. I wouldn't expect it to happen as easy again
 

TJV

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I will only add one thing to this discussion: I do not care for Rodgers' attitude in this (or what seems to be his attitude). I won't call it arrogant, but there seems to be an absence of self-criticism. Perhaps it is true that the receivers are not getting open, but to lay the blame on their doorstep and not on his own/the coaches play-calling and decision-making is a mistake for several reasons.
I also see an absence of self-criticism. I'm sure the receivers weren't getting open but I remember one occasion Rodgers rolled right out of the pocket and there was a receiver open in the middle of the field and he didn't throw it. Risky? Sure but I thought it was a risk worth taking. And how about the pass he threw at Lacy's feet? He motioned to him that he should have turned up field, but that's still no excuse not to get the ball to him. He also missed a wide open Cobb by throwing it over his head. He's a fantastic (IMO) HOF QB but he's not perfect on the field or off and I think he should be shouldering some of the blame.
 

longtimefan

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I also see an absence of self-criticism. I'm sure the receivers weren't getting open but I remember one occasion Rodgers rolled right out of the pocket and there was a receiver open in the middle of the field and he didn't throw it. Risky? Sure but I thought it was a risk worth taking. And how about the pass he threw at Lacy's feet? He motioned to him that he should have turned up field, but that's still no excuse not to get the ball to him. He also missed a wide open Cobb by throwing it over his head. He's a fantastic (IMO) HOF QB but he's not perfect on the field or off and I think he should be shouldering some of the blame.



He has in the past

http://www.packers.com/news-and-eve...-recover/a3d3ae84-1efe-4644-a7dd-1b7f244c205a

Rodgers followed McCarthy to the podium and he bared his soul to the media. Rodgers stood tall and pointed the finger right at himself. He left no doubt as to whom he assigns blame for this loss.

“We didn’t throw it as well as we had,” Rodgers said.

He said he “played poorly” and blamed himself for not making the tackle on the Johnathan Franklin
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fumble the Bengals returned for a touchdown and, ultimately, the win.

http://totalpackers.com/2014/12/17/aaron-rodgers-taking-blame-turd/

t was just disappointing because I missed a few of them by more than I wanted to, but I felt good about the ball coming off,” he said. “It was just a little bit off. It was one of those days.

“As an offense we were a little out of sync, and then obviously it didn’t help some of the throws I made, but we had some opportunities. We had some opportunities to convert some third downs, to make some plays, and we didn’t do it. So we all look squarely in the mirror, and we’re very self-critical — myself as much as anybody.”
 

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That MMQB argument just stated something that I have been griping about for years. The Packers ISO spread passing attack tends to flop against top flight competition. No it's not all on Rodgers, you can scheme to limit the effectiveness of bump and run coverage why we don't do it more has left me shaking my head in painful losses to San Fran NY and Seattle.
 

adambr2

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Not at all...nice try in twisting my words

I said played best they could..

And

he term "perfect storm" is nearly synonymous with "worst-case scenario", although the latter carries more of a hypothetical connotation.

So my post meant to say Denver played perfect.. I wouldn't expect it to happen as easy again

I wasn't trying to twist your words, you said look at those Denver D backs, thought you meant 'we' saying 'did the best they could.'
 

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The Packers keep appointing people who never played WR to the WR Coach position. For years it was Edgar Bennett a former RB and now it's Van Pelt a former QB. Doesn't seem like they know enough about the WR position.
 

JacobInFlorida

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Nice article, makes a great deal of sense to an amateur like me.

I will only add one thing to this discussion: I do not care for Rodgers' attitude in this (or what seems to be his attitude). I won't call it arrogant, but there seems to be an absence of self-criticism. Perhaps it is true that the receivers are not getting open, but to lay the blame on their doorstep and not on his own/the coaches play-calling and decision-making is a mistake for several reasons.

There is at the very least the perception that Rodgers is so concerned about throwing a pick that he refuses to take certain risks, preferring instead to scramble out of it and create a big-play possibility. I know it's difficult to evaluate, but the contrast with Brady, Brees, and Rivers is night and day. Those guys throw the ball, get it out quick, take risks and yes, do throw INTs (although Brady doesn't since he is the master of the short passing game), but they make things happen.

This offense is stagnant right now, and if Rodgers doesn't change some things, it may not change either.

I don't think he says "the receivers need to get open" necessarily from a personal point of view. I think he's talking about the scheme and running plays that will result in guys getting open.

Rodgers takes care of the ball. It's one of his greatest attributes. It's one of those things that is hard to measure as far as how much it hurts or helps the team. I certainly think it helps way more than it hurts but it's hard to quantify. I definitely wish we had a scheme that was more tailored to play against tight man coverage teams or at least elements that we can go to when there's the problem presented. The article was spot on but lets not pretend that the spread iso concepts are not very effective, even against elite teams. Rodgers is by far IMO the best thrower of the football in the NFL. There's no one else that can make some of the throws he can and that scheme takes advantage of that. I would just like to see us more versatile. You can very easily run the bunch formations and the mesh plays and the pick routes while staying true to who you are and I think McCarthy would if given another chance against the Broncos. He is just a bit stubborn sometimes.
 
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I agree with all of that. I would also add sometimes its okay to check down, especially when you have Eddie lacy/James Starks. Not every completion needs to be 20 yards downfield, dump it to your backs once in a while and let them break a couple of tackles (especially in the early downs). Eventually the safeties will start creeping up, loosening up some of those intermediate routes.

Starks is a work in progress catching the ball. With opponents not having to respect the deep ball safeties are already creeping up making it tougher to complete short to intermediate passes.
 
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The Packers keep appointing people who never played WR to the WR Coach position. For years it was Edgar Bennett a former RB and now it's Van Pelt a former QB. Doesn't seem like they know enough about the WR position.

Jordy Nelson. Randall Cobb. James Jones. And you think they don't know WRs???
Really ???

We lost the game, the world isn't falling apart.
 

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