In the first part of an ongoing series, each Green Bay positional grouping will be looked at in a three-question format, trying to analyze the most pressing concerns of each group while trying to shed light on why the group looks like it is, how it may change before the season begins and what type of realistic expectations can be perceived.
First up, is the room of quarterbacks that currently reside on the roster, which currently sits at four. The other-world player that is Aaron Rodgers leads this group into his 15th season, looking to make the 2018 season a thing of the past.
Incumbent DeShone Kizer will look to hold off preseason darling Tim Boyle, who truly impressed his way into the hearts of Packer fans and the coaching staff last season. Coming from a smaller school, the undrafted product is looking to challenge Kizer for the backup role.
Manny Wilkins, another undrafted player, comes from Arizona State and has already impressed both Rodgers and the staff in drill work, but mostly resembles a camp body to take snaps.
How will the new offensive system help/hinder Rodgers and his talent?
While a loaded question up front, the new offensive system that first-year head coach Matt LaFleur is looking to implement will be one that will absolutely play to the strengths of Rodgers. While understanding that tailoring an offense to one player can spell trouble for certain teams, LaFleur and his offensive staff have a plan in place to make sure that Rodgers is able to fluidly go through reads, motions, audibles, and defensive reads while mastering the new playbook.
Specifically, the usage of running backs in the passing game and the outside zone running concepts will open up massive opportunities for Rodgers to set the league ablaze. Letting an older stallion run free in a new pasture is always a good idea, but it is an even greater idea if that horse knows where the good spots are for grass; meaning that to put Rodgers in a new offensive scheme is all great and dandy, but to be able to give him the keys to run the offense the way it needs to be, that is the true key in unlocking the true horse.
Getting away from horse conversations, Rodgers will have growing pains with this new staff and play calling, which is expected and encouraged. Being able to work through the kinks on the fly will be imperative to how well this team succeeds in the long run.
How can the Rodgers – Adams relationship be taken to the next level?
Rodgers, in an open-media session, spoke openly about his desire to get Davante Adams more involved in the offense, speaking specifically about wanting to target him more. While in theory, this is easy to accomplish, knowing that Adams already has been the team’s first target makes it a bit more difficult to accentuate that.
The post/wheel/drag routes seem to be some of the staples in the LaFleur playbook, which means that Adams will be asked to wear the hats of multiple route-running extraordinaires, which is perfect for his skill set. Already one of the league’s best in line-of-scrimmage breaks and man-coverage disengagement, Adams is well on his way to improving his stock even farther for this team.
For Rodgers, the way to improve that connection seems simple – work the route tree to Adams’ favor, using LaFleur’s experience and the QB’s knowledge to help make this work.
Back-up situation: is there enough pressure on Kizer to perform?
In a situation that no Packer fan wants to relive, Kizer was forced into action in the first game of the 2018 season when Rodger went down with what looked to be a season-ending leg injury. In that relief duty, Kizer only managed to completely crumble under the constant pressure from the Chicago Bears defense, looking like a ragdoll being chased around by Khalil Mack.
For Kizer, his time in Cleveland as a Brown was enough to show him how not to win, although his play was not the focal reason for that happening. While in Green Bay, learning under the tutelage of Rodgers is enough to (hopefully) produce a more finished product.
Boyle has looked somewhat the part of an NFL-caliber quarterback, but his level of play is just not on the same level of Kizer yet. In a heated training camp competition, maybe Boyle shows up and takes the place of Kizer on this roster, which would represent a major disappointment in investing in a player.
Kizer has the role now, Boyle is in a position to challenge for it, and hopefully, Wilkins makes enough of an impression to get stored on an NFL squad.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23