Who’s Playing Favorites: Rodgers, McCarthy or Both?
Remember the abundance of talent the Green Bay Packers had at receiver – so much that the team kept 10 receivers, seven wide receivers and three tight ends, on the 53-man roster?
Where are they now? Jared Abbrederis, Trevor Davis, Jeff Janis, Ty Montgomery and Justin Perillo combined for a total of zero catches and, yes, zero targets against the New York Giants. You might as well throw in Jared Cook, who, with 53 receiving yards, was largely left out of the passing attack prior to being injured in his third game with the team that was so high on him.
A few of these players – all of whom have showed talent and potential when briefly given opportunities – actually had some offensive snaps against the Giants. It looked for a moment like the team was finally going to give its young players some game experience and a chance to prove their worth.
Did Aaron Rodgers – who has said on many occasions that he needs to have trust in his receivers – simply ignore all the subs, and instead look to those he trusts: Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and Richard Rodgers? Or, did Mike McCarthy simply use them as decoys, while the intended receivers all along were Rodgers’ fab four?
So, the Packers have four receivers meeting Rodgers’ and/or McCarthy’s approval and five outcasts. In fact, the ratio might soon be three and six, as Richard Rodgers has but five catches for 40 yards on the season. On Sunday Richard Rodgers was targeted five times and amassed a whopping six receiving yards on his one catch. One of these was a perfectly-thrown Aaron Rodgers’ pass that went through his hands in the end zone. With seven minutes to go in the game, a catch there would have clinched the win.
Despite all of McCarthy’s preseason talk about the importance of tight end play and exploiting the middle of the field, Green Bay’s tight end production after four games stands at 14 catches for 125 yards, an average of 31 yards per game. That’s bad coaching.
Whether Rodgers, McCarthy or both are responsible for this misuse of personnel, McCarthy is the one who needs to be held accountable for squandering the talents of his five young receivers. The Packers are known as the prototypical draft-and-develop team.
What happened to the “develop” part?