Let's Talk Football: Aaron Rodgers Needs To Start Attacking the Middle of the Field Again

Aaron Nagler illustrates some of the issues Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has had when it comes to attacking the middle of the field in the passing game.

4 points

Comments (15)

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

August 09, 2020 at 09:27 pm

Man, it's great to see someone else bring this up. The data has been out there for years. Rodgers started neglecting the middle of the field sometime around 2016 and has become more of an issue every year since.

Protecting the ball is a good thing, but Rodgers actually limits the offense due to his fear of the middle of the field.

I've been talking about this for 4 years, and been told I don't know what I'm talking about. I believe Al has mentioned it here and there over the years. Everyone wants to ignore it.

+ REPLY
12 points
14
2
BadgerMan's picture

August 09, 2020 at 11:19 pm

No doubt the proof is in the films. Aaron reads the field better than most QB's, he just needs to but more pressure on other teams by using that play more often. Of course it would be nice if other players other than Adams would became dominate over the middle ( more than one would be nice) .

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
PeteK's picture

August 10, 2020 at 09:55 am

Sternberger could be that player.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
nstewart1's picture

August 09, 2020 at 11:27 pm

Looked like LBs could have been able to interfere with a couple of those examples, but your point is well taken.
My Pet Peeves are not taking what the defense gives you and his way to frequent fall-away throwing motion.
But you're right, Rogers can be great!

+ REPLY
3 points
4
1
marpag1's picture

August 10, 2020 at 02:55 am

I generally agree with your first comment... it's not always easy for us to know or see what is "open" from the QBs perspective. For example, I didn't look at it very carefully, but I wonder if there was really a good throwing lane for ARod to complete the pass in the second example that Nagler showed.

Any QB - even a little guy like Doug Flutie - can throw over the top of the D-linemen if he is heaving a 40 yard bomb. But here we are talking about throws to the SHORT MIDDLE of the field. On these throws to the short middle, you can't throw over big D-linemen. You need to throw through the passing lanes. So even if a receiver has two steps on the defender 8 yards downfield, if there is a huge DL between the QB and the WR then you can't make the connection.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
PeteK's picture

August 10, 2020 at 09:47 am

Yes, for example will occasionally pass on the dump off to Jones and try for the bigger play that's not open.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
marpag1's picture

August 10, 2020 at 03:02 am

First of all… Nags, it’s good to be discussing some straight up FOOTBALL. Love it.

I AGREE with the premise that ARod has neglected open thows to the middle of the field. (I don’t think it’s always quite as clear and obvious as some other people do, but whatever). But even when it is blatant, I think we need to include some other guys in the conversation. Over the past handful of years, those guys have been: a broken-down, can’t-gain-separation Randall Cobb. The likes of Martellus Bennett, Richard Rodgers, Jimmy Graham, Lance Kendricks and Geronimo Allison. Toss in one or two others, like “I’m afraid to catch a football so for the love of God don’t throw it to me” MVS, and you’ve got a real problem – the problem being that most of the people who are working the middle of the field for you… you know, kinda suck. And it’s been this way for a long time.

I believe there is a cumulative effect to deficiencies like this. It gets into your head, so that you don’t believe your eyes. If you are not used to seeing your teammates win in the middle of the field, then you don’t expect it to happen, and you’ll probably be shocked as hell when it actually does. So when it does happen, you hesitate in the crucial moment, and by the time you have resolved to throw, the moment is gone.

I agree with those who say, “There is no huge loss of talent in ARod’s arm. The real problems are in his head with his level of confidence, and in his chemistry with other players.”

So yeah, ARod needs to get back to attacking the middle, but he needs some help with that from other players. And frankly, I don’t know who is going to step up and become ARod’s reliable target over the middle. Sternberger? Deguaro?? Um, OK….

+ REPLY
5 points
7
2
NickPerry's picture

August 10, 2020 at 04:29 am

Excellent comment marpeg1 because as oppy said above this has been something that's been becoming more and more of an issue. As the talent in the WR room has fallen off, so has the plays like Tampa 27 (Rodgers to Jennings in the SB on the first TD and the HUGE 3rd down conversion in the 4th quarter).

BUT Rodgers has GOT to trust someone other than Davante Adams. Now to Rodgers credit last season he did start to throw some slants to Lazard towards the end of the season, but who cares if he throws 4 interceptions in 2 years when he leaves so, so, much on the field each game.

Personally I think this is something MLF has spoken with Rodgers about last year...A LOT. Hopefully Rodgers starts making some changes and playing more within the offense and the way it's designed. How much longer he plays in GB might depend on it.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
PackEyedOptimist's picture

August 10, 2020 at 07:48 am

Excellent comments Marpag! (Saves me from saying the same things!)

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Oppy's picture

August 10, 2020 at 08:45 pm

During the "Cobb can't get open" years, there was piles and piles of gametape of Randall running free over the short to medium depth middle of the field, waving his arm high above his head trying to get Aaron's attention, and the ball simply would not come out. Rodgers would hold it, tuck it, scramble around until his pocket completely collapsed, looking for the deep shot to Jordy, and ultimately throw it away instead of moving the sticks.

While everyone was complaining nobody could get open but Nelson, I challenged people to go back and watch the previous year's tape and focus on Cobb. A few did, and they confirmed what I reported. He was open often, and ignored, because he was working the middle of the field.

+ REPLY
-1 points
0
1
HenryCrabtree's picture

August 10, 2020 at 04:30 am

yes, Aaron Rodgers need to start attracting again, I am a huge fan of Aaron Rodgers and I copy all his style.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
PeteK's picture

August 10, 2020 at 09:42 am

Put some socks on, stinky- LOL

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
PackEyedOptimist's picture

August 10, 2020 at 07:52 am

My personal hope is that ESB becomes the trusted big slot--he was getting there before his injury, and Adams and Lazard cement the WR positions. Add in a TE who can be relied on to catch what is thrown at him, and maybe Rodgers regains trust in his ability to not create a turnover when he throws in the middle of the field.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
PeteK's picture

August 10, 2020 at 01:00 pm

My favorite for that position is Ervin. His dual ability as a WR and RB could pose a problem for opposing defenses.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
mbpacker's picture

August 10, 2020 at 12:21 pm

Have you heard from Aaron after this tutorial yet?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.