Apparently, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers still isn’t playing to his full capabilities.
Even though Rodgers is widely regarded as the odds-on early season favorite to win the NFL MVP award, his own wide receivers are admitting that they are prone to not catching some very, very catchable balls. And what does that mean? Well, it means that Rodgers, who boasts a 122.5 passing rating, 2,037 yards and 19 total touchdowns going into Week 7, should have even better stats.
According to wide receiver James Jones, the Packers have begun to self-medicate their drops ailment by fining one another every single time they drop a catchable ball. Whichever receiver ultimately ends up not catching a ball that they should have caught, has to buy a $100 electronics store gift card for each of the other receivers.
On top of finding a way to incentivize being productive, the wide receivers are also bolstering the struggling American economy.
“We pride ourselves on not dropping the football and being playmakers,” Jones told ESPN reporter, Jason Wilde. “So we just said that if we drop a ball that we should catch, we have to have consequences. So this is what we came up with.”
Unfortunately, while the plan is a good one – it hasn’t actually gotten the guys to stop dropping catchable passes. Or, at least, not to the degree that the team would like to see. As noted by Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin recently, the drops could become a more noticeable problem as the team begins to feel the wear and tear of a long season. Things that don’t have as serious of ramifications in the early going have the potential to turn ugly as the year progresses.
“It’s safe to say when you have 10 drops in two weeks, that’s a concern,” Philbin said. “So we have to get back to catching the football better.”
To be fair, the aerial attack isn’t that big of a concern for Green Bay these days. Sure, the squad would likely be happier if they didn’t have nine dropped passes on the season, but their middle-of-the-bunch ranking in that department is hardly as worrisome as the fact that they’re giving up nearly 300 yards per game to opponents – good for 31st in the league. Fixing the defense should be far higher on the priorities list than tweaking a No. 1 ranked offense in the league that’s currently putting up 32 points per game even with all of the inefficiencies.
But, for the offense, the search for perfection appears to be front and center.
“I think a couple of them early [catches], it was clear that their intentions were good and they wanted to maybe advance the football and make a guy miss and move the chains forward, and I think they maybe just didn’t take care of first things first,” Philbin said. “That’s what it looked like on tape to us.”
For his part, Rodgers isn’t concerned.
“It’s just something that happens from time to time,” Rodgers said. “You play a really windy game (Sunday), the ball’s jumping all over the place, that stuff’s going to happen. So we’ll correct it, we’ll get it better and I’m not too worried about it.”
So in the grand scheme of things, no – nobody on the Packers should really be particularly worried about how many passes are being dropped. The number of drops has been low and drops in general have been largely inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. And going into this week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay should be far more concerned with pass protection than pass receptions.
At the same time, the main job of receivers is to, well, receive. With that in mind, it’s reasonable that they would fret over the matter.
Either way, kudos to the Packers receiving unit for propping up the slowly-dying electronic retail store industry.