Cory's Corner: All That Matters Is He's Here

The first ballot Hall of Famer is in town for minicamp. There are other things as well, but that's all that matters now. 

Aaron Rodgers is in Green Bay. 

The Packers begin their three-day minicamp today as the future first ballot Hall of Famer will begin his 18th NFL season. A lot was made of Rodgers not being around during OTAs, but I don’t think it was that big of a deal. It’s not like Rodgers is the only veteran to not attend OTAs. 

There have also been a lot of questions about Green Bay’s wideouts. Losing arguably the best receiver in the game in Davante Adams along with Marquez Valdes-Scantling is going to be tough.

But, as we all know, the X-factor is going to be Rodgers. 

And if the reports are true that Adams has wanted a trade for the last five years, Rodgers is going to want to come back to Green Bay with a Bay Beach-sized chip on his shoulder. That seems odd, especially since Rodgers is the defending NFL MVP after throwing 37 touchdowns and four picks in leading the Packers to a third-straight 13-win season.

The Packers have a lot of versatility, but what Rodgers is going to miss most will be a lack of dynamic play from the tight end position thanks to Robert Tonyan’s ACL injury.

I could see the Packers winning 12 or 13 regular season games again this season. But in order for that to happen, it’s going to take on a different look than the last three. The running game will be stressed more. Aaron Jones will likely be called on to line up all over the place and AJ Dillon will catch screens, swings and flares in addition to ramming the line of scrimmage on short yardage situations. 

And that doesn’t make sense either right? The Packers have a four-time MVP at quarterback. Just give the ball to him and let him throw it all over the place right? Well, in an offense that is so predicated on bootlegs and the play-action, the running game is very important. Last year, the Packers were 16th in run play percentage at 41.39. 

I would expect them to get into the top 10 this year. And if that happens, more pressure will be taken off of the young wideouts, giving them more room to roam. 

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Rodgers is back in Titletown. He’s going to be throwing darts to Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Sammy Watkins. He’s going to be honest with his assessment of where they are and the expectations of the newest pass catchers.

That trio is going to learn quickly that getting passes from Rodgers is a galaxy different than Jordan Love. Rodgers wants wideouts to run exact routes. He needs them to be in a certain place at a certain time or else he won’t throw the ball. 

The learning curve is steep for that group. It doesn’t really matter if they fail the test in early June. 

All that matters is that Rodgers is back. 

 

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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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3 points

Comments (29)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Turophile's picture

June 07, 2022 at 06:57 am

It's a delicate dance. For every rep Rodgers takes it's one less for Love and we DO need to see what the Packers have in Love and we do need to see it this year. However, the Packers laid a big 38-3 egg, against the Saints (first game last year), which suggest Rodgers needs some practice, hence the delicate dance comment.

Another reason Rodgers should get reps is the influx of new receivers. QB and new receivers need to be on the same page most of the time and that is important if they are going to be relied on for a significant number of targets. If a receiver doesn't do what Rodgers expects, they will quickly learn why from him.

I don't know what the right balance of reps between Rodgers and Love is..............but I hope the Packers can find a solution that gets both of them the reps they need. I would also hope Rodgers gets just a handful more reps in preseason than last year. I don't think he needs that much, but he needs some.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 07, 2022 at 08:27 am

In agreement Turo!

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LLCHESTY's picture

June 07, 2022 at 05:41 pm

I think it's more important that other teams see what they have in Love. The more they can get for him next year the better.

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Pantz_Burp's picture

June 07, 2022 at 06:59 am

Thanks CJJ. "But, as we all know, the X-factor is going to be Rodgers"... hopefully, he isn't the reason for an early X-it in the playoffs.

Go Pack Go!

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stockholder's picture

June 07, 2022 at 07:15 am

YES! All that matters is that Rodgers is back! Exclamation Point! That trio is going to learn quickly that getting passes from Rodgers is a galaxy different than Jordan Love. EXACTLY!

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PatrickGB's picture

June 07, 2022 at 07:38 am

Here is hoping for a drama free season from our QB room. I dislike the incessant parsing of everything Rodgers says and does.

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NickPerry's picture

June 07, 2022 at 07:44 am

50 Thumbs Up for this comment!!! Thank you PatrickGB, I think a lot of folks feel the same way!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 07, 2022 at 08:28 am

I than am one of the 50!

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Leatherhead's picture

June 07, 2022 at 07:42 am

I’m glad the 2021 season is over. Four months of laying blame and reloading is giving way to our 2022 run.

I think this is one of the very best teams we’ve had in June, going all the way back to the merger.

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NickPerry's picture

June 07, 2022 at 07:46 am

I do too LH. I haven't been this excited about a Packers Defense in years. They have YOUNG studs at every level in the defense. This Defense is going to be great for a while.

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SanLobo's picture

June 07, 2022 at 08:35 am

I think it’s shaping up to be the best defense we’ve seen in a long time. The offense still has a bit of smoke around how it will look. While the RBs look great, what the receiving corps will be able to deliver is still an unknown and there are still open questions about the o-line. I’m optimistic, hopeful and getting excited about the coming season.

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MainePackFan's picture

June 07, 2022 at 09:03 am

I'm excited to watch this team come together. I think we will see some growing pains, especially on the offensive side of the football with our young receivers. Hopefully they are cranking on all cylinders by the time the playoffs start.

It's just a gut feeling, but something tells me Amari Rodgers is going to become a key contributor this year.

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NickPerry's picture

June 07, 2022 at 05:42 pm

I do too MainePackFan... The kid was just too good at Clemson to not be even an average player. I know, I know, it doesn't really mean diddley squat what they did in College. But what I'm hanging onto was a 13 yard run, the only time he carries the ball on offense and I couldn't believe MLF didn't go back to it in the same game let alone the season.

He's built like a brick shithouse and it's rumored he cut a few pounds to get faster, He'll always be thick so I'm not concerned about a few pounds. I think your gut is right on the money!

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MainePackFan's picture

June 07, 2022 at 07:30 pm

I like the kid's attitude. I think he knows the next step requires hard work.

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murf7777's picture

June 07, 2022 at 07:46 am

Wake me up when we have something meaningful to read. It has to be hard to find copy to write this time of the year.

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mrtundra's picture

June 07, 2022 at 08:20 am

I am rooting for Rodgers, as I always do, to lead this team to another Championship. The 4 Time MVP is our best hope of taking another Lombardi Trophy home, to Lambeau Field. I hope our O Line holds up and both Bakh and Jenkins get fully healed. I see bigger roles for our OL rookies in Tom and Rhyan, this season. Tom will give Newman a run for his money at RG and Rhyan, or Van Lanen, could claim the RT spot, especially if Nijman has to cover LT,until Bakh has recovered from his injury. OL is the only real concern for me, at this point. Our Defense should be quite solid and I see improvements in our STs. Our WRs and TEs should be good, as well, especially if Watson, Doubs and Toure deliver on their potential and Tonyan comes back from his injury, ready to play. Our Running game is one of the best in the League with Jones and Dillon carrying the bulk of the load, Hill, when healthy, will be our third RB and until he is ready to play, we can look for Patrick Taylor to be our 3rd RB, with Goodson and Baylor waiting in the wings.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 07, 2022 at 08:38 am

There is much us Packer fans should be thankful for as we get ready for camp this summer. Two comments:

1. I am very thankful for Gutey! What he has done for the Packers in the few years he has been at the helm is outstanding.
2. With Rodgers another year older, the injuries to Bachtiari, Jenkins, Hill, and Tonyan combined with all the rookies at key positions I feel the team was considerably stronger one year ago. However, the defense has the potential to be the strongest we have had in a long time depending on the rookie development. We will see how the team evolves going into the back half of the season. I agree if potential is realized good things may come our way. Lots to be excited about.

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Since'61's picture

June 07, 2022 at 08:42 am

With Rodgers back in town we will begin to find out what we have in our new receivers. There is more like an entire universe between catching passes from Aaron Rodgers than catching passes from Jordan Love. But that will be the beginning of their learning curve which is a good thing. I remember when Brett Favre broke a receiver's hand during TC back in the mid - 90s. Hopefully the same doesn't happen with any of our new receivers.

As for runs versus passes that will be a matter of how well the new receivers come along and which opponent we are facing on any particular week. Regardless our success on offense will primarily be dependent upon the play of our OL. If Bak can't go and Jenkins does not return until the 2nd half of the season the OL will be a huge question mark for the Packers, especially early in the season.

TE will also be a question mark unless and until Tonyan returns 100% ready to go. I'm still hoping that Gutekunst addresses our TE situation rather than let it linger into the season when it may become too late to sign an experienced player.

For the first time since at least 2010 our defense actually has less questions than our offense. If we remain healthy the defense could be dominant.

Now that Rodgers is back does that make him a leader or do the OTAs mean more than the mini-camp and TC? Moving on...

Thanks, Since '61

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

June 07, 2022 at 09:08 am

Funny you should mention the broken hands thing, S61, because I was just thinking about that this morning. I rewatched about five of Watson's games, to focus on his "drops," and these were my main takes:
1. His QBs were terrible passers last year; they were runners who threw off-target, weak passes.
2. Every "drop" I saw (four maybe?) would have been a very good to GREAT catch had Watson made them. He miraculously got both hands on them, so I'm guessing they were counted as drops, but I didn't see fault on his part at ALL.
3. He made a number of really difficult catches, some contested because the QB underthrew him, and on some, he won seriously contested balls (which MVS dropped every time for his first few years).
I suspect Watson is going to have trouble adjusting to the speed of Rodgers' passes, but I have no doubt that he will be a very solid catcher in the near future.

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Since'61's picture

June 07, 2022 at 09:27 am

PackEyedOptimist I agree. I have also been thinking about Watson catching passes from Rodgers. I think that once he gets through the first day or two he is good enough to adjust and he will handle Rodgers throws fine.

However I have some concern due to the quality of QBs he played with in college. We'll see.

Thanks, Since '61

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 07, 2022 at 10:51 am

He caught the rock from Trey Lance for a couple of seasons, so he can deliver. I'm hoping he breaks into the starting lineup.

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Since'61's picture

June 07, 2022 at 05:05 pm

I think that he will. Thanks, Since '61

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EricinGB's picture

June 07, 2022 at 09:24 am

These are lazy puff articles that don't require any journalistic research. For real journalism, read the SI article on Nathaniel Hackett by CONOR ORR SEP 16, 2021. We need more background articles on Packers players and coaches...who they are as people and how they got to where they are, how they coach etc. The puff stuff here is a waste of the readers time by comparison.

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Since'61's picture

June 07, 2022 at 10:41 am

EricinGB we definitely need more background articles on the coaches, specifically on the new hired coaches with the exception of Bisaccia. I think he is pretty well covered up to this point. But we have few new hires in the second coaching level who, speaking for myself, I don't know much about.

Besides it's a topic that would take up at least a few days if not a week of the offseason and simultaneously provide us with some new information about the team prior to the beginning of TC. Thanks, Since '61

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13TimeChamps's picture

June 07, 2022 at 10:55 am

If these lazy puff articles are so beneath your journalistic integrity, why bother coming on here to read them? I'm sure there are other sites more worthy of your loftier standards.

For the most part, I feel the writers on here do a very credible job.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

June 07, 2022 at 11:40 am

I certainly hope Love wants wideouts to run exact routes and needs them to be in a certain place at a certain time. He wouldn’t be on an NFL roster for long if he didn’t!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 07, 2022 at 05:42 pm

Good one Irish & true! Won't even mention the WR coach & LeFleur!

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Packers0808's picture

June 07, 2022 at 12:14 pm

Still have quite a deep concern with all the chances all the new receivers would have been to have had with Rodgers if he didn't play the diva role and got to know the new guys and vice versa. Just that more intense the practices will have to be for them to catch up! Probably just me but always have been a person of organization and do best you can at whatever that may be!

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Packers0808's picture

June 07, 2022 at 12:14 pm

Still have quite a deep concern with all the chances all the new receivers would have been to have had with Rodgers if he didn't play the diva role and got to know the new guys and vice versa. Just that more intense the practices will have to be for them to catch up! Probably just me but always have been a person of organization and do best you can at whatever that may be!

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