Last summer, in my post of 7/26, I made this argument:
“For many years, the Packers had few speedy or shifty receivers. But now they have five such players – all of whom have had some success at returning kickoffs or punts. As part of their offensive sets, the Packers need to get these guys – Jordy Nelson, Jeff Janis, Ty Montgomery, Randall Cobb, and Trevor Davis – in open field situations and let them ramble. How? End-arounds, reverses, and double reverses.”
In a 10/13 post, I had this to say:
Of all the comments made on Total Packers, I think the most often-repeated gripe is that the offense play calling is predictable and uncreative. So what kind of plays might be added to the playbook? Men in motion/end-around… These plays call for a speedy (or shifty) wide receiver – the Packers have six of them (sorry Davante), with Trevor Davis and Jeff Janis being perfect fits.
In my 10/30 post, I was driven to try sarcasm:
“Mike McCarthy must be shrewdly sticking with his dozen or so vanilla offensive plays, so he can save up all the good ones for down the road. It ought to be some show the Packers offense will put on in December against the Seahawks and Vikings! … when we come out with some end-arounds and naked bootlegs – and don’t be surprised if McCarthy throws in a hook-and-ladder or statue-of-liberty play or two.”
And Then it Happened – Twice!
Others on this site have also repeatedly made the case for more creative play calling. So when the Packers had Jeff Janis sweep left on an end-around play against the Texans on December 4, I celebrated in my post on 12/6:
[The end-around is] a play the Packers almost never do. Almost never. To everyone’s amazement, Mike McCarthy called an end-around (some called it a jet sweep) against the Texans. It’s the first such play I can remember the Packers using in at least three years. Receiver Jeff Janis backtracked to take Rodgers’ handoff and he had clear sailing around the left side. The 19-yard romp led to a two-yard score by Aaron Ripkowski on the next play.
Wonder of wonders, just when the Packers were starting to sit on their big second-half lead over the Seahawks on Sunday, McCarthy did it again: same play, same runner, same direction, same part of the field, and same result – another 19-yard gain, and this time for a touchdown!
Bottom line: the Packers need to call more plays designed to take advantage of the speed of their fastest players. It works. Let’s stop trying to make play calling more difficult and challenging than it need be.