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Posts tagged with "Aaron Rodgers"

The new left side of the Packers’ O-line executed cleanly, and selling the run caught the Bears flat-footed

GREEN BAY – With Lane Taylor making the first appearance of his life at left tackle and Lucas Patrick making his first NFL start at left guard – on a short week, no less – rough spots were almost to be expected.

Except Taylor and Patrick looked like they’d been playing next to each other all along, as a couple of snaps in this edition of WYMM will show.

Also, never underestimate the power of play-action. Behind their revamped offensive line, the Packers established the run early, and it paid dividends on a couple of big plays.

Play No. 1: First-and-10 from the Green Bay 24, first quarter, 5:45 left

Result: Incomplete pass

QB Aaron Rodgers isn’t able to connect deep with WR Davante Adams here, but the success Taylor (65) and Patrick (62) have picking up a stunt by the Bears’ pass rushers is a good example of how well they worked in tandem all night. Bears DL Mitch Unrein (98) charges straight ahead trying to occupy both blockers while LB Sam Acho (93) loops around him from the outside. But Patrick smoothly adjusts to Acho’s path while Taylor loses no ground on Unrein, and neither rusher gets close to Rodgers.

***

Play No. 2: First-and-10 from the Chicago 28, third quarter, 8:12 left

Result: 6-yard run by RB Aaron Jones

Perfect execution here of a pulling guard working around his tackle partner. As Taylor turns inside to stymie DL Eddie Goldman (91), Patrick pulls to the outside and runs pretty effective interference on LB Christian Jones (52) as the Packers pick up a solid gain on first down.

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It didn’t take long in 2017 for QB Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s offense to capitalize in a big way

GREEN BAY – It’s no secret why the Packers have been so effective for so long when it comes to harvesting free plays and turning those opportunities into points.

At least, not in Jordy Nelson’s mind.

“Our quarterback,” says the Packers receiver, matter-of-factly.

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense were at it again during Sunday’s 17-9 win over Seattle, cultivating three free-play opportunities off Seahawk penalties in the second half.

Two offside penalties resulted in a simple five extra yards, but the third – a 12-man-on-the-field call on Seahawks linebacker Terence Garvin – was an absolute game-changer.

Driving into Seattle territory, Rodgers had just completed a short pass to Ty Montgomery on second-and-4. The Packers didn’t change their personnel, but briefly huddled in preparation for what was a critical third down with Green Bay clinging to a 7-6 lead at the time.

That’s when the Packers noticed Garvin running to the sideline. Rodgers said the magic word and guys rushed back to the line of scrimmage. With Garvin two steps from the sideline, center Corey Linsley delivered the ball to Rodgers and the flag was thrown.

Nelson, lined up in the slot out of a bunch formation, knifed between the coverage of linebacker Bobby Wagner and safety Earl Thomas to haul in the 32-yard touchdown.

“We just wanted the penalty and then everyone just went crazy. It’s almost recess all over again,” Nelson said. “You try to find an open area and get up there as soon as possible. There wasn’t anything special. I think Randall (Cobb) and I were able to stretch Earl Thomas a little bit and got on him.

“They weren’t obviously prepared and set up the way they want to be set up, so that’s why we do it and we want to keep them on the field as much as possible.”

While Nelson chalks up a bulk of the credit to Rodgers’ awareness and command of the huddle, it’s an area Head Coach Mike McCarthy places an emphasis on during training camp.

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Green Bay opens preseason by downing Philadelphia

GREEN BAY – It’s never perfect in a first game, but the Packers did enough right on Thursday night they felt pretty good about their start to the preseason.

A punt return for a touchdown, a sharp-looking TD pass, and three of four turnovers by the defense all came in the second quarter of Green Bay’s 24-9 victory over Philadelphia at Lambeau Field.Those outweighed some sloppy moments with ball-handling that the Packers will look to shore up before the games begin for real.

“I thought the work tonight was very good for us in all three phases,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “We took a step tonight as a football team.”

With quarterback Aaron Rodgers taking a rest, Brett Hundley was the starter, and he overcame a rocky beginning that included a bobbled opening snap and a Ty Montgomery fumble.

On his third drive, starting in Eagles territory thanks to a turnover, Hundley made a check at the line of scrimmage that produced a pretty 20-yard TD toss to Jeff Janis between two defenders.

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The Packers know they haven’t had the same success as the New England Patriots and they need homefield advantage.

GREEN BAY, WI – NOVEMBER 30: Quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers and Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots shake hands following the NFL game at Lambeau Field on November 30, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Patriots 26-21. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

There are just six teams in the NFL that have active postseason streaks extending two or more seasons.

The Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans have made the playoffs the past two seasons and neither have made it past the divisional round. The Pittsburgh Steelers have reached the playoffs the past three seasons, moving one additional round each season before elimination (wild card in 2014, divisional in 2015, conference championship in 2016). The Seattle Seahawks have made five consecutive postseasons, reaching two Super Bowls with one victory and three divisional round exits.

The New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers are tied for the active lead with eight consecutive postseason appearances, but they’ve gone in vastly different directions. The longest postseason streaks in history are nine consecutive years by the 1975-83 Dallas Cowboys and the 2002-10 Indianapolis Colts.

Green Bay won the Super Bowl in 2010 and lost two additional conference title games in 2014 and 2016 to go with two wild card round exits and three divisional round losses. After losing in the wild card round in 2009 and in the divisional round in 2010, the Patriots have reached six straight conference title games with three Super Bowl appearances.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers knows the Patriots’ success looms large over the collective head of the Packers according to his interview with Monday Morning Quarterback.

“Of course you hear about it,” Rodgers said. “I get asked about it, I got asked about it last week—this idea that the Packers embrace mediocrity. I think what we’ve done the last eight years`making the playoffs, there’s only a couple other teams that have ever done that. New England, actually, currently is on the same streak as us, making the playoff for eight straight years. That’s tough to do, especially with the parity of this league and how they pair up division champions each year to play each other in the same conference. We’ve sustained success, we just haven’t sustained it on the top level. We haven’t won more than one Super Bowl. We’ve also been to three NFC championship games and none of them home. So that’s how we look at it. We’ve got to get one of those at home, because we are tough to beat at home.

“I don’t feel like our window is closing here. I feel like this window is going to be open for a while. And in order for some of that stuff to go away, the outside noise, we’re going to have to win another Super Bowl. It would be disappointing if we were only able to win one in my time here. Hopefully we can get one of those done.”

The Patriots serve as the benchmark for every NFL team over the past twenty seasons and it’s pretty unfair for all of the other successful squads during that time. Not only do they have to face the Patriots on the field, but they also have to compete with them from a legacy standpoint.

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Two players on offense lost weight this season while the defense looks to fix its biggest problem from last season.

Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason was one of reshaping and reimagining for the Green Bay Packers.

While several of the team’s players focused on bulking up and adding muscle this spring and summer — think of defensive linemen Dean Lowry and Kenny Clark, among others — a few players were spending their time slimming down. One such player was rookie wideout DeAngelo Yancey, who had to burn off a few extra pounds that he put on during the grind of traveling and interviewing with teams leading up to the NFL Draft this April.

While that was going on, the Packers’ coaching staff was hard at work trying to fix one of the most significant problems that plagued the team’s defense last season. A goal of all defenses is to limit the number of explosive plays it allows; this is no different for the Packers, and that is the focus for the team this summer. Changing personnel groupings is just one way to do it, and today’s Curds feature a look at one example of the team tweaking the lineup in an effort to limit opposing offenses.

Packers’ defense must take the ‘explosive’ out of ‘explosive gains’ – ESPN
Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt is on a mission to prevent the kind of big plays that crushed the defense last season, and he has a simple mantra for this season: “If the quarterback and cornerbacks play well, we’ll win.”

Damarious Randall seeks redemption as Packers’ ‘star’ cornerback | Packersnews.com
Is Randall the man in the slot because he’s the right man for the job, or is it because he’s being beaten out by Quinten Rollins for a starting job on the outside?

Renewed focus paying dividends for DeAngelo Yancey | Packers.com
Yancey had a quiet spring, but he showed up in a big way on Monday when he caught a deep pass from Aaron Rodgers when playing on the scout team. This came after Yancey slimmed down significantly during the summer, dropping around 10 pounds from 228 to around 218.

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Packers’ preseason opener will carry most weight of anything in camp so far

GREEN BAY — With the first preseason game on the horizon, the assessment of players for roster spots takes on more meaning.

“This will be the first evaluation in live action, so this will definitely carry the most weight of anything we’ve done to date,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said on Tuesday, two days before the Packers’ preseason opener vs. Philadelphia. “We always weigh the games higher than a practice. You take in everything, but this is real football Thursday night.”

General Manager Ted Thompson echoed those sentiments.

“Yes, preseason games are very important,” Thompson said in his weekly media address. “I can speak from experience. When I was a rookie as a player, it helped me get comfortable around the veteran players when I was able to make a tackle on the kickoff team or do something on the punt team.

“It’s a wonderful time to try to make the team, and if you do make it, it’s very special, but you have to earn it, and that’s what all these guys will be trying to do over the course of the next several weeks.”

Based on the practice reps from Monday, it appears starting QB Aaron Rodgers won’t be playing on Thursday. He’s running the scout team this week.

As for whether Rodgers would play any more in the preseason than he did last year, when he played in one game, McCarthy said it’s to be determined. He’s more focused right now on getting opportunities in games for the younger players, and seeing certain combinations of players work together.

A lot of eyes will be on backup QB Brett Hundley, and McCarthy wants to see him “play fast,” as he’s done in the past. Thompson sounded just as eager to see Hundley take the field again after being limited in last year’s preseason due to injury.

“I like to see generalship. I like to see him run the show, take charge, be exact,” Thompson said. “If someone lines up in the wrong spot, I like to see him get him moved, like Aaron would do.”

Veteran CB Davon House missed Monday’s practice with a hamstring injury, and McCarthy categorized him as day-to-day. He has no “long-term concern.”

Assuming House sits out on Thursday, there will be even more reps for the younger cornerbacks looking to establish their place on the depth chart and earn roster spots.

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Rookie receiver focused on conditioning during summer break

GREEN BAY – DeAngelo Yancey did a double-take the first time the Packers rookie receiver noticed his quarterback during an early team period of Monday’s practice at Nitschke Field.

It wasn’t the usual suspects – backups Brett HundleyJoe Callahan and Taysom Hill – under center. No, it was Aaron Rodgers leading the huddle.

And after breaking the huddle, the two-time MVP quarterback was about to air it out in the form of a deep spiral targeted at the rookie fifth-round pick more than 40 yards downfield.

Yancey caught the pass in stride for a big gain.

“I had no idea,” said Yancey of the ball coming his way. “I didn’t even know Aaron was going to be scout-team quarterback.”

The play was reminiscent of Yancey’s final season at Purdue, when he averaged 19.1 yards per catch as a senior en route to finishing second in the Big Ten in receiving yards during the regular season.

However, the importance of this particular catch – and the several other targets Yancey hauled in Monday – may be of even greater importance given the quarterback who was throwing to him.

Practice reps with Rodgers aren’t a given for young receivers this time of year. When Rodgers is on the field, Yancey knows it’s on him to make those snaps count.

As he occasionally does in training camp, Rodgers lined up with the scout-team offense Monday and gave the young receivers a workout with a barrage of deep 50/50 balls.

Working underneath, Yancey also caught a pass from Rodgers on an out route to convert a third-and-short situation and nabbed a zinger from Hundley on a crossing pattern.

“It’s competitive, especially when you’re out there with (Rodgers),” Yancey said. “With him being the guy he is, you want to make sure you make the most of those opportunities because every little thing matters. You keep making those plays for him in scout team, he’s going to remember it in the back of his head.”

The first three months of Yancey’s NFL career have been a master class in performance and preparation. Getting his first taste of life in the pros, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound receiver made a list of goals he wanted to achieve before training camp.

It started with getting back toward that 220-pound mark. By the end of the offseason program, Yancey’s weight was hovering near 228 instead of the preferable 218-220 range.

There’s a science to weight training for receivers. A little extra muscle here and a little less running there, and you risk losing a touch of explosiveness. Prior to moving to running back, Ty Montgomery recently told reporters he faced a similar battle in trying to keep his weight around 215.

Training in Indianapolis, Yancey honed his conditioning and was smarter about his eating. Since reporting back in Green Bay at his listed weight, Yancey has felt more like himself on the field.

“I definitely feel a difference,” Yancey said. “You can see a difference. Really, it all comes down to confidence. When you hop on the scale, it’s like I know I’m eight pounds overweight. It’s just mind games. I know I’m better at 220.”

Count receivers coach Luke Getsy among those who have noticed a difference in Yancey’s game in training camp, but it goes further than just weight. He’s also made strides in the mental aspect of the game.

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The fire burns in this secondary

Ben from Denver, CO

To Ron from Waukesha. So when House left a couple years ago, we “let him leave in free agency.” But when Hyde left this year, we “lost him to free agency.” You can’t have it both ways. House is back in a system where he enjoyed enough success that a team like the Jaguars gave him a nice contract. Give the guy a chance before you say he won’t be good for us. I, for one, love that he’s back.

It’s a perfect fit. House was born in this defense, his play style fits this defense and now he has the opportunity to show he belongs in this defense. I expect the fire to burn brightly for House this season and the entire secondary.

Dave from Kaukauna, WI

Jahri Evans is in his 12th season. Most offensive lineman learn more than one position. Many guards play center. Does Evans? Has he played center in college or in preseason or regular-season NFL games? Because he has to learn all the plays, are all his reps at guard? I want to know if he’s already had reps at center for the Pack.

Evans has started his entire career at right guard. You get those privileges when you’ve been selected to six Pro Bowls. To the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t worked at center before. Prior to the NFL, Evans was the starting left tackle for Bloomsburg (Pa.) University. He’ll continue to work as a right guard in Green Bay.

Justin from Normal, IL

Will the coaches ever ask Aaron Rodgers to pick on a particular matchup during practice to better evaluate that DB? Or is it all about making sure the offense makes the proper read and executes?

It’s probably more the latter, but Rodgers and a lot of the best quarterbacks in the NFL have been known to test their younger defensive backs to see how they react. This secondary gets to practice against one of the best to ever do it on a daily basis. What better way to prepare for Sunday?

Bob from Park City, UT

Aaron has mentioned several times in interviews the importance and knowledge regarding nutrition on his health and potential ability to play plenty more years. We know Aaron gave up dairy, but can you tell us what books or sources Aaron uses for his nutrition guidelines?

I don’t know the specifics, but he and the Packers have a ton of resources. I’ve lost count of how many players have credited Packers director of performance nutrition, Adam Korzun, for helping structure their offseason diet.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

The Packers score a TD. A two-point conversion ties the game. It is early in the third quarter. Would you go for two in the season opener? The playoffs?

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Plus a couple of memorable postgame scenes

Dillon from Minneapolis, MN

Call me cocky, but if Jared Cook doesn’t catch the pass at the end of the playoff game against the Cowboys, I would bet Rodgers would have thrown a Hail Mary TD with no time left which would have also won them “Play of the Year.”

Would’ve been one heckuva throw with the Packers on their own 32-yard line. That’s 7 yards farther than Detroit, which was as high and far as I’ve ever seen someone toss a football. Be that as it may, congrats to the Packers on their three ESPYs, and to the fans for their part in the voting process. Another awards show done, another day closer to the season.

Denise from Bloomer, WI

If memories make us so rich, how come I forgot where I hid my winning Lotto ticket? Seriously though, if you do a trio picture, Aaron Rodgers HAS to photobomb it.

We’re not worthy.

Mark from Houghton, MI

What are the rules for a QB’s cadence? Could Rodgers say something comical, catch the D off-guard and perhaps with uncontrollable laughter? Or, state the name of a business, or person? I can see the potential for a lot of abuse, illegal payoffs, etc., so there must be something in the rule books. Payton Manning had his “Omaha.” I was waiting for his “Papa John” play.

Rodgers got a lot of attention for “New York bozo” a few years ago, but I don’t know if he’s ever resurrected it.

Greg from Cuenca, Ecuador

Insiders, if the Packer faithful believe in yin and yang, or karma, the Packers’ success with Hail Mary passes since the “Fail Mary” fiasco has evened the scales (at least somewhat) in the grand scheme of things. Don’t you think Vic would see it in this rather “whimsical” way?

Maybe. I’ve always looked at the “Fail Mary” and its aftermath as one of the reasons the Packers went 10-2 over their next 12 games that year.

Tyler from La Crosse, WI

With everyone talking about the “Fail Mary” and how much composure Mike McCarthy had, could you ever imagine how hard it was for the 11 players that had to go onto the field for the extra point? It’s amazing the players had the composure and respect for the game to go out there and put salt in their wound.

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