14

September

Rodgers Is Far From Perfection

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers admits that he is not perfect, but he holds himself to that standard

Aaron Rodgers isn’t perfect.  I’m sure I’ll get at least one argument on that, but we can all agree that no one is and so, I’m merely stating the obvious.  Earlier this week, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was asked about the Packers performance in last week’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers.  Here is the story from Paul Imig at Fox Sports Wisconsin.

Earlier during the offseason and preseason, some of Rodgers’ former teammates seemed to question whether or not Rodgers was a good leader.  Do these thoughts about last week’s game and how Rodgers relates to his teammates sound like a guy who isn’t trying to make those around him, better?  Not to me.

Beyond that is the greater purpose for bringing these remarks by Rodgers to light.  He had a good game last week, throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns against a tough defense.  He was sharp and nearly in mid-season form.  That goes for both his actual play and his mental preparation.  But read what he says and he admits there were areas he could have improved in.  Rodgers sets the bar at “perfection” knowing that he will never get there, but

Few players prepare themselves to play each week like Rodgers does.  Maybe Peyton Manning.  I’m not saying Rodgers is the epitome of being a student of the game, but he clearly strives to be as prepared mentally as he is physically, on Sundays.  It’s one of the reasons why I have a hard time remembering the last time the Packers were truly blown out.  With Rodgers, they are always in contention.

Players who take this more-studious approach to football typically have longer and more successful careers.  With Rodgers yet to turn 30 years old, Packers fans should be encouraged about the Packers immediate future.

 

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on "AllGreenBayPackers.com

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19

August

Cory’s Corner: The Bullseye on Aaron Rodgers’ Back Just Got a Little Bit Bigger

Aaron Rodgers - Bigger Bullseye on his back

Aaron Rodgers has a bigger bullseye on his back

In case you somehow haven’t heard, Donald Driver appeared on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike” last week and tried to clear the air between the offseason schism between Greg Jennings and Rodgers.

“If a guy runs the wrong route, it’s easy for the quarterback to say, ‘Hey, I told him to run that route,’ than the guy to say, ‘Hey, I ran the wrong route.’” Which normally shouldn’t be a big deal until the 14-year Packer and three-time Pro Bowler dropped this bombshell: “Sometimes you ask Aaron to take the pressure off those guys so we don’t look bad. He didn’t want to do that. He felt like if you did something bad, you do it. That’s the difference. You want that leadership. I think sometimes you may not feel like you got it.”

Those are strong words from Driver, who was considered to be the team’s mouthpiece during his final six years in Green Bay. Everyone knows the Driver comeback story. How he lived out of a U-Haul trailer, got picked 213th overall in the 1999 NFL Draft and coupled that into a Packers Hall of Fame bust after finishing with team career highs in receptions (743) and yards (10,137).

Driver doesn’t have an ax to grind here. I completely believe him.

But that’s the point — nobody cares.

Rodgers’ predecessor enjoyed being liked by his teammates. Brett Favre was the kind of guy that loved hanging out with the guys, sharing a beer and a laugh or two.

Rodgers isn’t like that. He demands ultimate perfection each play and when it doesn’t happen he puts on his verbal boxing gloves. If you remember, he even lashed out at coach Mike McCarthy when things weren’t particularly going his way last year.

Of course, the reason no one is really concerned with what Driver said is because Rodgers produces. He is the all-time career leader in passer rating with an absurd 104.9, he won a Super Bowl in his third season as a starter and he’s got a 5-3 playoff record.

Those things trump any beef that receivers may have with their quarterback when things go wrong. I understand that Rodgers needs to own it, and often does, when the offense just cannot get on track at all.

17

August

Aaron Rodgers At The Front Of The Pack

Green Bay Packers Passing Offense

It’s time for the questions about Rodgers and his leadership abilities to stop

At the risk of repeating some of the content that Adam Czech posted earlier, I felt it necessary to weigh in on the continual questioning of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ leadership.  Point blank: it needs to stop.

For this piece, I am going to depart from throwing stats and calculated theories and just speak off the cuff.

What more do we expect from Rodgers?  Yes, it would be nice if the Packers were in a conference championship game and appearing in Super Bowl after Super Bowl, but that’s just not how it works in the NFL.  While the quarterback is the most important position on the field, this is still very much a team game.

I didn’t play on an organized football team until my senior year of high school, which was 20 years ago this year.  I was even more under-sized than I am now and I barely saw the field.  I was, however, fortunate to have a great head coach who is the reason why I became so passionate about the game.

That man happened to be Tim Beck, who is now offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the University of Nebraska.  Beck treated everyone equally and had us doing the most remedial drills in practice.  Some of the starters probably loathed it but to me, it was the best thing that could have happened to me.  I learned that no matter how much talent you have or how good you are at something, if you can’t do the little things right and be accountable, you are letting the team down.

Today, Donald Driver chimed in with his thoughts on what Greg Jennings has been saying about the Packers and Rodgers.  If you haven’t heard or read them, go and check out Adam’s post.  As of this very moment, it has not published so I have no hyperlink yet.  To me, what it boiled down to is that some guys want to benefit from having a stellar quarterback like Rodgers and what he does for them, but they don’t want to be accountable for their missteps.  And somehow because Rodgers doesn’t shoulder the blame for others’ mistakes, his leadership is under review?

28

February

The Packers Should Release Donald Driver

Donald Driver

Donald Driver before playing the Broncos in October.

I hope I am wrong about every single point I make in this post. I hope sometime in the future, a commenter on this site or a blogger on another site uses this post to highlight how big of an idiot I am. I hope at some point next season, I have to warm up a big ‘ol plate of crow and eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then re-heat it for a midnight snack.

NEWSFLASH: Donald Driver to compete on the next “Dancing with the Stars.”

I think the Packers should release Donald Driver. Not re-structure his contract or ask him to take a pay cut. Release him.

It’s time to move on and give more snaps to Randall Cobb or another young player not yet on the active roster.

I just slapped myself for writing that, but I believe it to be true.

I’ve heard several arguments in recent weeks highlighting why the Packers should keep Driver. I want to agree with them, but I cant. Here are some of those arguments and why they’re wrong:

The Packers need Driver’s leadership.
It’d be great to have Driver in the locker room, but here’s the thing about leadership that most fans don’t realize: If the teammates you’re trying to lead sense that you don’t have it any more, your effectiveness as a leader diminishes. It gets worse if teammates feel that you’re taking snaps from a younger, more deserving player, just because of your status as a “leader.” (Also, why can’t Greg Jennings assume that leadership role?)

Driver showed he can still play last season, but he rarely matched up against the other team’s top defensive backs. Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley drew most of the defense’s attention. Is Driver still the Packers best option to exploit mismatches against linebackers or inferior dime backs? Or would Randall Cobb, James Jones or an upstart player not yet on the roster fare better in that role?

The Packers need to go with the latter option.

Driver was the only WR to show up in the playoff loss to the Giants.

That’s true. It’s also true that roster decisions should not be based on one game.