For any Green Bay Packers wide receiver, having the confidence of Aaron Rodgers is a must – and we all know that.
Rodgers is very demanding; in part, it’s one of the many things that makes it as great as it is. He expects receivers to know Matt LaFleur’s offense inside and out, which means being able to recognize and make adjustments at the line of scrimmage even when the game clock is about to run. reach zero.
Receivers must also be precise route runners, ending up exactly where they need to be, depending on what the route calls for and how the defense defends them. And, of course, if all of that happens and Rodgers throws the ball, catching it is a requirement.
Earning Rodgers’ trust by doing these things right — as well as the many other aspects that come with playing the receiver job — starts with practice. If Rodgers can’t trust a receiver there, how is he going to trust them at critical time?
However, while the path to earning Rodgers’ trust is somewhat known, it’s not like it’s as easy as snapping your fingers – otherwise everyone would be doing it. But with young receivers, there’s a learning curve, which can lead to ups and downs, and Rodgers avoids throwing in their direction.
Recently, Wendell Ferreira from Cheesehead TV tweeted the Green Bay Packers rookie who has been hosting yards leaders since 2008, when Rodgers took over – and the production is pretty underwhelming.
581 yards – Marquez Valdez-Scantling (2018)
446 yards – Davante Adams (2014)
375 yards – Randall Cobb (2011)
366 yards – Jordy Nelson (2008)
328 yards – Equanimeous St. Brown (2018)
202 yards – Geronimo Allison (2016)
136 yards – Ty Montgomery (2015)
As we all know, the Packers have three receivers they selected in this year’s draft, and at least two of them, Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, should be pretty big contributors this season.
Watson can make an immediate impact as a deep threat, as well as a gimmick player and movement man where engineered plays allow him to get the ball into space. Doubs, meanwhile, has created many big plays himself in Nevada and brings a refined skill set to Green Bay.
While history suggests Watson and Doubs will struggle to get on the same page as Rodgers and earn his trust in the process, the circumstances this season are a bit different than in years past.
With each of these rookie receivers listed above, there has always been at least one, and often two, not only established but very good veteran receivers on this list alongside them.
When Nelson arrived in Green Bay, the Packers had Greg Jennings and Donald Driver to lean on. Over time, Nelson, along with Cobb, became those go-to options for Rodgers, and then eventually Adams.
If a rookie receiver was struggling in practice, whether it was grabbing the offense or just making plays, Rodgers probably didn’t look in his direction much — and truth be told, with the players. just mentioned, he didn’t have to.
However, I’m not so sure luxury exists this season.
Despite being a veteran, Sammy Watkins is still new to the team and has struggled with injuries during his career, only playing a full 16-game slate once, which happened during his career. rookie season.
Cobb may still have his moments, often coming on big last season in high-leverage situations such as third down and in the red zone, but he’s not someone who’s going to carry that passing attack. In the meantime, I believe Allen Lazard’s production could really take off this season, but again, he’s not someone who can do it all on his own.
So unlike previous years, if Watson and Doubs pick up their bits early – which they will do, they’re rookies after all – Rodgers doesn’t necessarily have the ability to look away for an extended period of time.
In fact, in those instances at the start of the season, Rodgers should get back to it pretty quickly. It’s likely that if this Green Bay Packers team is going to have a deep playoff run, they’ll need Watson or Doubs to emerge as a reliable pass-catching option and fix any problems early in the season so that they are better. prepared in December and January should be the preferred approach.
Now, with all that said, earning Rodgers’ trust is still a must, and the high expectations he has for his receivers won’t change. But just because former rookies didn’t have a ton of success right away doesn’t mean Watson and Doubs won’t either – as we just said, the comparison between this year and previous is quite different, given the composition of the large reception hall.