With the departure of Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers lost his security blanket. He hasn’t found a new one easily so far in camp.
Rodgers vented his frustrations with the Packers’ young wide receivers following practice on Tuesday, telling reporters “we’ve got to be way more consistent.”
“A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route,” Rodgers explained. “We’ve got to get better in that area.
“(The regular season is) coming up. Yeah, it’s coming up. It really is. We’re going to play our best guys when the season starts. And whoever those guys are, those guys are going to get the reps. It’s the guys I trust the most and the guys the coaches trust the most.
“A lot of it is just the simple responsibility in the offense. Way before body positioning and movement and throw, and all that stuff, are you in the right spot at the right time? Are you running the right route?”
The frustration is understandable coming from a quarterback of Rodgers’ caliber and experience. He knows he doesn’t have the time left in his career to wait for his teammates to get up to the level of excellence he expects from his pass-catchers, so the only option he’s left with is to push them by verbally expressing his thoughts with the hopes they’ll use it as motivation to improve.
It sounds as if they took it in stride.
“It was just really giving us advice,” rookie receiver Samori Toure said Wednesday, via ESPN. “Basically, letting us know that the Green Bay receiving corps has always been held to a super-high standard. All the legends who have been through here. It’s just about us carrying on that standard and stepping up.”
Fellow rookie Romeo Doubs echoed Toure on Wednesday.
“He just wants us to see what he sees,” the fourth-round pick said. “So then that way we can be able to react faster, play faster and just be able to dominate and continue to be who we are.”
Ultimately, it’s best to view Rodgers’ words as constructive criticism. The Packers have experienced options at receiver in Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins and Allen Lazard, who Rodgers spoke highly of on Tuesday. They don’t need to solely rely on the likes of Doubs, Toure, Christian Watson and second-year wideout Amari Rodgers.
“I appreciate this about Aaron, the urgency to get some of this stuff corrected,” coach Matt LaFleur said, via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.
In the end, the Packers want to be as prepared as possible with plenty of options to move the ball through the air. Rodgers knows he can no longer rely on Adams to get the job done on a weekly basis. He’ll hope the rest of the remaining group can fill the void and help the Packers finally get over the hump into the Super Bowl.
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