Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has reported to minicamp as expected. News outlets around the country will now spend the next two weeks discussing this and overanalyzing it. What does it really mean, and what is next for the QB1?
Rodgers absence from mandatory minicamp last season was highly covered by every sports media outlet in the country. Nearly every pundit and blue check mark proclaimed the end to both Green Bay’s success, and 12’s time in Green and Gold. To paraphrase Mark Twain “Reports of (the Packers) death (were) greatly exaggerated,”
Now that the fearless leader is back for the start of mandatory minicamp, what’s next?
Building a connection between Rodgers and the new pass catchers is a top priority with the roster turnover in the wide receivers room. It is well known the emphasis 12 places on trust. One of the many reasons we saw Davante Adams targeted so many times was the high level of trust placed in him. While this is obvious with someone as talented as Adams, we’ve seen this with far lesser-known talents as well. Targets such as Jake Kumerow, and Jeff Janis were both well-documented favorites of Rodgers.
New faces in the locker room include FA signee Sammy Watkins, and draft picks Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs.
Watkins enters the season as a low-risk, high-reward signing by GM Brian Gutekunst. The former pro bowl receiver is coming off injury-plagued seasons, as well as trying to learn four systems in the last four years. A familiar face at WR Coach in Jason Vrable may be a big help in the latter factor. Vrable was on staff with the Buffalo Bills at the same time Watkins was drafted by Buffalo. Now it’s time for Rodgers to build the report with Watkins that his WR Coach and passing game coordinator has.
Once the Packers traded up for North Dakoda State WR Christian Watson, Packers fans immediately rejoiced. Many have fallen in love with the skills and talent he brings to the table, but raise concerns over the competition he played against in college. The prevailing theory prior to the draft was that he was more of a project pick, as opposed to an immediate impact player. That is now being questioned with the HOFer throwing the ball to him. If these two can get on the same page early, the upside for Watson is tremendous.
While Romeo Doubs doesn’t enter camp with the fanfare and the expectations of Watson, he is certainly somebody to keep an eye on. As MVS now calls Kansas City home, there is an opportunity for Doubs to break through as the deep threat option for Rodgers. With speed to separate from defenders on deep routes, and quality linear route running ability, the skillset is there.
Last offseason was a headache for every Packers fan. The media circus around Rodgers’ absence was enough to drive every cheesehead crazy. As well, it’s not far-fetched to say that the Packers opening week blowout loss was partially a result of the lack of preparation from the offense from the offseason. With Green Bay taking a trip to Minnesota in Week 1 this season, no Packers fan wants to see a repeat of last season’s opening week effort.
Zach has been a lifelong Packers fan since his earliest memories of Brett Favre\\\'s Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XXXII. A proud shareholder of the team, he bleeds Green and Gold despite being born and raised in New Jersey. You can follow him on twitter at @RapMasterZach.
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