Cory's Corner: Aaron Rodgers Leading From Past Experiences

The veteran quarterback wants everyone to care about training camp — just like he did 17 years ago. 

Aaron Rodgers had to know that training camp was going to be like this. What is the No. 1 issue for young players in the NFL? Without a doubt it’s consistency. 

“Repeat mistakes are a problem,” Rodgers said earlier this week. “The young guys, especially the young receivers, we got to be way more consistent. A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route.”

Now, I don’t have a problem with Rodgers saying this because it puts the onus back on the wideouts. They need to figure it out. If Rodgers can look in the mirror and say to himself that he is doing all he can to help and support that group, then he needs to make them aware of what is expected. 

Wide receivers love playing with Rodgers because he can put the ball exactly where it needs to be. There is also a caveat to that. You need to know what you’re doing out there. Just because you have a quarterback that is more accurate than your car GPS doesn’t mean you don’t have to work. 

“This is the way that we do things here,” said Packers receiver Randall Cobb. “It’s either you get with it or you get out the room and we’ll find someone else that’s going to get on board with what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Between Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Amari Rodgers, Juwann Winfree, Danny Davis and Samouri Toure, there is a grand total of 12 NFL receptions. That’s a small number of catches for a group of six wideouts that will be asked to have a good-sized role in the offense. 

Aaron Rodgers didn’t say those things to be pompous or to avoid criticism. He said those things to get that crew of wideouts to realize how important this time is right now. He did that to help them focus better in an effort to get the offense pulling in one direction. 

After four weeks of training camp, the defense is much better than the offense. I think many people expected that, but what wasn’t expected were the silly mistakes.

Remember when Aaron Rodgers was a rookie? The one comment that veterans kept saying about him was how serious he took training camp. Here was a youngster leading the backups and he was treating it like a Super Bowl ring was on the line. Granted, some veterans probably thought the excessive energy was cute, but they quickly realized that he was for real when he was doing the same thing in training camp the following year. Typically, you’re not supposed to care that much about practice. It’s mundane, it’s repetitive and you’re playing alongside guys that likely won’t make the roster. 

But Aaron Rodgers’ energy was what stuck with a lot of those guys and now he’s trying to pass that same dedication to a new crop of wideouts. He may not have had a voice back then but he’s got one now and he isn’t afraid to use it. 

“You keep dropping the ball, you’re not going to be out there,” said Aaron Rodgers. 

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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4 points

Comments (17)

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Savage57's picture

August 20, 2022 at 06:33 am

Sometimes you need a pat on the back, while other times you earn a kick in the ass. That Rodgers seems to have found the balance between the two speaks to his maturity, growth and investment in the success of the team. He used to become visibly frustrated by what players did wrong but the difference now is he expands his counsel to include the 'coach 'em up' insights both on and off the field.

Smart aspirants to the team will absorb those lessons. Those who don't do so at their own peril and will play themselves out of further consideration.

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Since'61's picture

August 20, 2022 at 08:47 am

Good post Savage57. I agree completely. Thanks, Since '61

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croatpackfan's picture

August 20, 2022 at 07:23 am

Again, I have no doubts that that additional meeting with WR/TE/RB group was necessary and positive (no matter what kind of expression was used in it! Rude or nice). Sometimes you need to make noise to people understand what they were said previously in more calmer way.

Again I believe that the meeting was the only place for that kind of arguments. It was unnecessary to threaten young player publicly with their jobs. I believe it was enough to say something like this - they are still young rookies, but drops like that are not acceptable (or are not the standard in this team). Everybody who follows football knows what is the meaning of statement I just wrote in this paragraf.

Contrary to that, you may start the close door meeting with warning them about how unsecure are their job if they not change their attitude to the practice.

So, yes. Great plus for the meeting and minus for publicly expressing what was clear to almost everyone who follows football.

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Fubared's picture

August 20, 2022 at 08:01 am

I would have said Gentlemen 854 players will be out of a job in three weeks. If you keep playing the way you are you may be one of them. If that ain't incentive don't know what is.

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LLCHESTY's picture

August 20, 2022 at 08:08 am

Or if you keep playing like that you could end up on the Vikings. Even more incentive.

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stockholder's picture

August 20, 2022 at 08:07 am

Amari Rodgers - I'm just not seeing it. And Winfree doesn't seem like he's on the same page after all this time. Danny Davis pushes off. The Idea; is predicting which one can be a better NFL WR. Rodgers is only trying to speed up the process.

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LLCHESTY's picture

August 20, 2022 at 08:11 am

You on the cheeba? D. Davis didn't even play. Winfree had a nice night.

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stockholder's picture

August 20, 2022 at 08:27 am

No he didn't. Why did you make that assumption?

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Coldworld's picture

August 20, 2022 at 08:51 am

Winfree is remarkably consistent and makes tough plays. He was good last night again. I don’t understand that thought at all. He may not be a number 1 level talent, but he’s a tough, reliable guy who gets it done regularly. Every team needs one of those.

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Johnblood27's picture

August 20, 2022 at 10:10 am

he reminds me of Geronimo Allison in his approach and consistency.

He did drop the ball last year when given his opportunity...

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Coldworld's picture

August 20, 2022 at 12:42 pm

Allison was less athletic and had less catch radius or leap.

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stockholder's picture

August 20, 2022 at 11:35 am

Last nights game had a mistake between Winfree and Love. They weren't on the same page. Winfree got blamed for running the wrong route. Why? He's been here. He Knows the system.

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barutanseijin's picture

August 20, 2022 at 12:55 pm

I dunno, CW, maybe instead they need a slow midget with bad hands and worse judgment — especially if the midget can consistently return the ball to the 9.

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ricky's picture

August 20, 2022 at 11:24 am

Right now, there seems to be a lot of people focusing on Doubs. His potential to be a deep threat, to make "splash" plays- and, of course, his drops. Too many drops. But the Packers had the same problem earlier with James Jones, who would make a spectacular catch and look great one play, and bobble an easy pitch and catch the next. More recently, it was MVS, who took a bit of time to get more settled into his role. But then again, the rookies are getting a lot piled on their plates. They have to recognize coverages, know how to block, be precise in their routes- and, of course, after spending time analyzing and thinking about all this, because it's all new, and at a much higher level of skill, they need to be able to concentrate and catch the ball, and hopefully get some YAC. Maybe that's why it usually takes at least two years to adjust and start becoming a more reliable target (just ask Davante Adams). But since the window is closing on Rodgers' career, and Love is still an unknown, this is a team primed to compete and win now. So the rookies have to get up to speed more quickly, and contribute earlier than usual. Will it happen? With Rodgers, and if the OL and running game can help him out, yes. But it will also require some patience and tolerance.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

August 20, 2022 at 05:44 pm

Jordy also had drops as did Cobb and Adams at points in their careers.

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GregC's picture

August 20, 2022 at 11:53 am

"...but what wasn’t expected were the silly mistakes." From what I'm hearing and seeing, these have been entirely typical mistakes by young players. I wouldn't call them "silly." And I don't see what is gained by Aaron Rodgers reprimanding the young receivers when he's interviewed. I don't think it's a big deal, and at least he didn't mention any of them by name. I just think it's not a good look.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 20, 2022 at 12:42 pm

Rodgers spoke the truth and I don't have any issues with that.

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