The term fan is short for “fanatical.” Yes, I admit to being just that for the Green Bay Packers. My fandom stretches 365/24/7. To give the reader some context, know that I rarely will watch a Packers game with anyone other than my family. During the game, all bets are off as to the language I will use throughout the game. In addition, I have two different tattoos that show my beloved team how much I appreciate them. One is the Packer ‘G’ that you could find on my right shoulder and the other is a Vince Lombardi quote on my left pectoral muscle. Yes, I’ve permanently marked my body for the team. Loving the Packers is easy but being a fan causes for an emotional rollercoaster ride that never seems to end. There are highs and there are certainly lows. The following section will bring light to three things that the Packers seem to do (or not do) consistently that drive me nuts.
#1. Wide Receivers rarely gain separation. For what feels like forever or at least during the Favre-Rodgers QB era, the Packers receivers hardly separate themselves from the defenders. Sure, there are splash plays which one could point to that would say they do, but consistently it seems like our quarterbacks have to put the ball in the tightest of windows. Compare our pass catchers with those from other teams for a moment. How about Minnesota and Adam Thielen? I give major props to him for really coming on strong the last couple of seasons. Thielen often seems to run free in the opposing secondary. How does this happen? Is it scheme or is he just really that good? When has a Packers receiver run routes all alone one play after another? Another team that seems to have this figured out is the New England Patriots. Whether it’s Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola or Brandin Cooks, these guys simply get open. Again, is this scheme related, speed related, route-running? In my opinion, we need to find some receivers that can simply turn on the burners. It may be time to invest a first or second round pick on someone who comes with the total package. Easier said than done.
#2. Offense lacks balance. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard Coach McCarthy speak about wanting to create more balance in the offense. It is definitely one thing to say it, but quite another to establish it. I get the Packers having arguably the best quarterback on the planet, however, the Packers may find it far more beneficial to have the defense respect and honor the ground game. The Packers are more equipped to pull this off now more than in recent past. The running backs stable is full with Ty Montgomery returning from his injury next year and the rookie trio of Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Devante Mays. I will admit that McCarthy does ratchet up the running game in December at home when the weather turns but it makes perfect sense to do that from the opening kickoff of week 1. If the defense isn’t pinning its ears back to get to Rodgers knowing he’ll be throwing 40+ passes per game, what would the passing game look like? Can you think of a better quarterback to have in the playaction game?
#3. Offense lacks an athletic tight end. It’s no secret that McCarthy speaks very highly of the tight end position. Ted Thompson unsuccessfully tried to address it this year by bringing in Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks. I think we can all agree that it hasn’t exactly worked out. The Packers need a tight end that can emulate Jermichael Finley’s “better” qualities. Sure, Finley missed blocks at times and he definitely had the drops but he was a player that the other team needed to scheme for. The Packers need a tight end who can stretch the middle of the field and be a presence. Sometimes it’s just having the threat of the deep seem route that can open up a lot on the outside as well as the underneath stuff. The Packers haven’t had that threat in a while and the defenses surely know it. Teams are filling the box and sitting on routes, almost daring the Packers to go over the top or down the middle. It’s high time that they do.
In conclusion, those are three things that drive me nuts in regards to the Packers offense. Do you agree with any or all of these? What drives you nuts as a Packers fan in terms of their offense? Speak up. Be heard. It’s your right as a fanatical follower of the team from 1265 Lombardi Avenue.Robert Martin bleeds green and gold despite living in North Dakota, where many cheer for the purple. He is currently a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @robertmartinPHD.