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Rodgers not concerned about changes to receiving corps

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The Packers have had one of the strongest receiving corps in recent years.  With two of the biggest names gone, some are concerned that the quality will drop in 2013.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers isn’t among that group.

I still like the guys we got,” Rodgers tells Weston Hodkiewicz of USA Today.  “We have a lot of talent at that position.  I think Randall Cobb is a guy who could be a 100-plus-catch guy every year.  James Jones led the league in touchdown receptions last year.  [And] Jordy [Nelson] has had some real big years for us.”

The question is whether Cobb, Jones, and Nelson — plus whoever else the Packers have — can make up for the loss of Donald Driver to retirement and Greg Jennings to free agency.  Currently, the roster shows five rookie receivers:  Sederrik Cunningham, Kevin Dorsey, Alex Gillett, Charles Johnson, Tyrone Walker, and Myles White.  In all, seven Green Bay wideouts have two years or fewer of NFL experience.

Still, it shouldn’t be a concern for the Packers.  Great quarterbacks make great (or at least pretty good) receivers.  The Packers thrived at the position last year despite chronic injuries to Jennings and Nelson.  Jones, whom Rodgers lobbied the team to keep when free agency nearly took Jones to the Vikings, had 14 touchdown receptions last year, after having a total of 20 before that in five total NFL seasons.

Was that because Jones suddenly became a great receiver?  Or was it because Jones finally got a chance to take extensive reps with arguably the best player currently in the NFL?

Look for Rodgers to help other guys become great receivers this year.  And if/when any of them leave, look for the cycle to continue, for as long as Rodgers is among the league’s elite quarterbacks.

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44 Responses to “Rodgers not concerned about changes to receiving corps”
  1. woodg8 says: May 26, 2013 9:33 AM

    why would he be. Jones, Cobb, Nelson and Finley is still a top 3 receiving corp in the league, and you can make a case to say it’s the best.

    I can’t think of any QB in history who’s walked into a perfect situation like Rodgers

  2. uwsptke says: May 26, 2013 9:38 AM

    I don’t know could be concerned about the loss of Driver, since he was replaced a couple of years ago unofficially with the emergence of Jordy Nelson.

  3. johnnyblood24 says: May 26, 2013 9:46 AM

    Currently, the roster shows five rookie receivers: 1) Sederrik Cunningham,
    2) Kevin Dorsey,
    3) Alex Gillett,
    4) Charles Johnson,
    5) Tyrone Walker,
    6) and Myles White.

    ???

  4. unbiasfan says: May 26, 2013 9:48 AM

    Whether Rodgers admits it or not he’s going to miss Greg Jennings on offense, every packer fan will say they don’t (because he went to the rival Vikings) but he was the packers #1 reciever when they won a Super Bowl and was the most consistent hands on the team that Rodgers could rely on, this is now definitely not a “top 5 WR core team” like it used to be.

  5. kev86 says: May 26, 2013 10:04 AM

    Still has nice targets. I’d take Nicks, Cruz, Randle combo though. Def. would take White, Jones and whoever too.

  6. We need Bud Grant says: May 26, 2013 10:07 AM

    You would think there’d be a drop off with Jennings now on my Vikes and driver, but rodgers is so good, there probably won’t be any at all. Unfortunately for my squad.

  7. greenpackage says: May 26, 2013 10:07 AM

    The Packers are going to be fine.

    Yes, they will miss Jennings at first, but they have enough talent in Cobb/Jones/Nelson/Finley and plenty of young talent behind them.

    This article didn’t list Jarrett Boykin, who is a big physical guy, and actually made the active roster last season. If it wasn’t for Ted mistakenly keeping Driver around for his farewell tour, Boykin would have been a contributor. Plus, Rodgers has already singled him out in a few of his early season interviews, singing his praises.

  8. beerbratscheese says: May 26, 2013 10:26 AM

    The Packers went 6-2 in games where Greg Jennings didn’t play. No doubt he is a talented receiver, a great route runner and would have been an asset on the team, but the Packers have already proven they can win without him.

  9. jhein23 says: May 26, 2013 10:35 AM

    Donald Driver and Greg Jennings barely played last season. It says Jennings played in 8 games but I know 2 more games he was done by halftime. And than Jordy Nelson missed a bunch of games too and still the Packers went 11-5 and Rodgers threw 39 TDs. I’m pretty hight on Jarrett Boykin and the very worst he will be a Ruvell Martin type who has a decent season or 2. And Charles Johnson is very intriguing as well.

  10. jaketdogg says: May 26, 2013 10:39 AM

    The GB offensive line is below average and the receiving corp is slightly above average, defense is streaky, makes big plays and gives up a ton of yards. This is the script that half of the teams in the NFL have every year, most are between 7-9 to wildcard exit caliber. But GB is and has been set at QB for going on 3 decades with a top QB, so they will always contend. Its a luxury most fans of most teams will never experience, I hope GB fans realize this someday if they majority can attain a high enough level of deductive reasoning ability. They have been living the good old days since 1992

  11. benniehifive says: May 26, 2013 10:47 AM

    Jennings missed half the year last season, and Driver had been all but phased right out of the offense. I don’t think he really has anything to worry about with the current roster.

  12. c1md6 says: May 26, 2013 10:51 AM

    I would much rather have the roddy white, Julio jones, and tony Gonzales combo

  13. fatchicksunited says: May 26, 2013 10:59 AM

    Huge Tom Brady fan here. You see what Tom does year in and year out with a half of his receiving corps being no-names? Rodgers is better than Tom right now. He’ll do the same thing.

  14. GenXJay says: May 26, 2013 11:12 AM

    Too much pride in #12′s ability. This marks the fall of from grace.

  15. pack15forever says: May 26, 2013 11:36 AM

    Packers will be fine. Jennings has been injured the last 2 years and Driver had become an afterthought. Cobb, Nelson and Jones are solid and look out for rookie Charles Johnson. He is big, strong and very fast.

  16. dd393 says: May 26, 2013 11:43 AM

    After James Jones got no offers during his free agency, he changed his workout regimen to a much more rigorous one and concentrated on improving his hands.

  17. tonyc920 says: May 26, 2013 11:47 AM

    A couple of the WR rookies coming in are from Div 1A, big and physical. We liked Jennings, but he wanted a boatload of money. We had other needs for the money which you now know why, Rodgers and Matthews contracts. Jennings is 30 yrs old and on the backside of a career. Only the Vikings who love ex Packers would pay him 10 mil / yr. I guess that’s a compliment to the Packer organization from the Vikings. It keeps the rivalry spiced up but it’s not Da Bears.

  18. rasalghoul says: May 26, 2013 12:04 PM

    This year is the litmus test, can Rodgers dominate without Jennings and Driver while making Cobb, Nelson, Jones and Finley look like pro bowlers? Also will Jennings be Mr reliable without a top 3 qb throwing to him? Either way I can’t wait until September!

  19. johnnyb216 says: May 26, 2013 12:12 PM

    Why would he be? Driver and Jennings hardly played at all last year and they were fine.

  20. sportsfan18 says: May 26, 2013 12:41 PM

    Some were talking about who the best receiving corps are in the NFL right now.

    To me, it’s going to be either the Falcons or the Broncos this year.

    Last yrs stats for the Falcons:

    Tony Gonzalez – 93 catches – 930 yards and 8 TD’s
    Julio Jones – 79 catches – 1198 yards – 10 TD’s
    Roddy White – 92 catches – 1351 yards – 7 TD’s

    Total 264 catches – 3479 yards – 25 TD’s

    Broncos last year

    Demaryius Thomas – 94 catches – 1434 yards – 10 TD’s

    Eric Decker – 85 catches – 1064 yards – 13 TD’s

    Hard to say as Welker’s stats weren’t with Broncos last year obviously but he’ll be used in the same fashion, in the slot and he’ll be a great 3rd choice of Peyton’s, a possession receiver.

    I’ll go lower than his average the last 5 full yrs with the Patriots in each category.

    Wes Welker – 100 catches – 1200 yards – 5 TD’s

    Totals – 279 catches – 3698 yards – 28 TD’s

    Of course it depends on injuries and such, but if healthy, these two teams will most likely lead the way with respect to passing.

  21. jprcox says: May 26, 2013 1:27 PM

    I really think the main pickup will be Lacy. No question this is still a good WR corps – and with Rodgers, he can make good look great. Even bad would be good with him.

    That said, I really think the Vikings will be a challenge this year in that division. I’m not a fan of either, but I look forward to those games for sure.

  22. ponderthedumpoffking says: May 26, 2013 2:37 PM

    When it’s all said and done, it doesn’t matter WHO has the best receiving corps in the game.

    It matters who has the best QB/WR combination.

    That is Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

  23. larryboodry says: May 26, 2013 2:59 PM

    There is nothing wrong with the GB receiving corps this year, and the addition of Lacy will help a great deal…That said, they still have a below-average defense and offensive line.

    With the upgrades on offense in Chicago (offensive-minded coaches, much-improved o-line, and M. Bennett replacing Kellen Davis), with Detroit adding Bush, and Minnie still riding on AP’s shoulders, the NFC North will likely be much tougher this year, and the Pack may find themselves no longer dominating the division as they have in the past.

    Should be an interesting year, in any case.

  24. vltrophy14 says: May 26, 2013 3:30 PM

    Charles Johnson will likely see very little time this year & IMO will be a dominant force to be dealt w/in a couple yrs at best. Until then the Packers WR core will continue to dominate. Jennings chose money over another ring. Had he been willing to take less he could’ve had another ring. Jennings will one day regret leaving the Packers but won’t admit it. We did great w/o him last yr & that’ll continue this yr.

  25. ddjesus says: May 26, 2013 3:32 PM

    Last year Greg Jennings missed 8 games, and in the 9 games he did play, I think he only caught 1 pass in 5 of those games. So really, the receiving corps shouldn’t miss him TOO much.

  26. axespray says: May 26, 2013 3:33 PM

    When it’s time to praise our QB, people say that, “Rodgers fell into a perfect situation with the best coach ever and best receivers ever.”

    Then when it’s time to praise our coaches/front office for building a talented young roster, people say, “NOpe! It’s all carried by Rodgers!”

    Time to praise our receiving corp for having 4-5 starting caliber receivers and a decent tight end, people say, “NOpe! It’s all rogers! the falcons 2 man corp is betterz!”

    I’m confused… so our coaches/front office aren’t good, our recievers aren’t any good, our QB is a system guy that fell into a good situation…. So, how are we winning all these games (including a superbowl) ?

  27. ddjesus says: May 26, 2013 3:36 PM

    I amend my statement, he had 1 catch in 2 games. So basically he only contributed in 7 games. He was good in those 7, but it’s not like the Packers missed him in the other 10.

  28. chi01town says: May 26, 2013 5:15 PM

    All role players NO #1 WR on that team and it will show. Rodgers made sure he got his own contract he dont care who he has left on the team. but the schedule will expose Greenbay this season

  29. vfan76 says: May 26, 2013 7:15 PM

    He needs to be.

  30. crownofthehelmet says: May 26, 2013 9:39 PM

    No doubt that receivers group is good enough to get them to he Div Rd of the playoffs. We all know what happens next though.

  31. judsonjr says: May 26, 2013 10:57 PM

    It doesn’t really matter how good your #1 is if you are running 4 and 5 wide. What matters is how much better #3-#5 are then the nickle/dime guys that are covering them. It’s basically a game of find the weak link and pick on him.

    I think having a great #1 is needed more with a team that runs lots of 2 WR sets and perhaps using blocking focused TE’s.

    I think the Packer’s crew is fine if they can stay healthy. If they were to lose say Cobb/Nelson to injuries, we’d find out in a hurry if any of the young guys are worthwhile.

  32. jhein23 says: May 26, 2013 11:02 PM

    I like how these commentators say everyone on or involved with the Packers is overrated or not that good. How do they keep winning more games than they lose every year? 66-30 over the past 5 seasons with a SB championship. Than every other team in the NFL must not be that good & filled with overrated players too.

  33. ponderthedumpoffking says: May 26, 2013 11:24 PM

    vfan76 says: May 26, 2013 7:15 PM

    He needs to be.

    —-

    Why is that? He has 6 easy wins in the division yet again, along with 6 or 7 more probably wins.

    The Yikes overachieved last year, like the Lions did the year before.

    You’ll see we’re all right, and you’re all stupid by the end of the year, and then next year you’ll be spouting the same nonsense.

    You’d think you’d get tired of it. Hope hasn’t been very kind to you.

  34. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: May 26, 2013 11:26 PM

    I heard the Packers were going to change into a running team this year because they drafted two all-pro running backs.

  35. bowmanj35 says: May 27, 2013 12:12 AM

    So a guy that was older than dirt and didn’t play, and another that missed half the season anyhow are gone and people are acting like its the end of the world? I personally think the WR are excellent and Finley is due to try and earn a big contract. What most people are missing is the enormous amount of cap room this frees up for all the linemen on both sides and the upgraded defensive players. Thanks Greg, but its well worth the wave goodbye.

  36. fourthandafoot says: May 27, 2013 1:45 AM

    Charles Johnson has the most talent of that group but after watching his college team play a number of games he’ll need some time before he’s NFL ready. Green Bay might be wise to limited his playbook and polish him up on just a few routes to get him on the field quicker.

  37. hansenbrothers says: May 27, 2013 10:16 AM

    The media is over blowing this. Driver rarely played last year, & Jennings was hurt for most of the season. The turnover in Packers WR’s is pretty insignificant.

  38. sonny113006 says: May 27, 2013 6:25 PM

    So we’ll miss Jennings? We played most of last season without him and 6 games with Nelson AND Jennings and still did alright. The packers wen 11-5 when playing without these starters all missing part or all of season, Bishop, DL Smith, Benson, Woodson, Shields, Jennings, Bulaga, Nelson, and Perry. Al of these players missed AT LEAST 6 GAMES EACH. if I was a fan of another team I’d be crapping bricks. Go ahead, play that 2 deep safety now withLacy and Franklin, we’ll run for 200 yards a game. Then like always, teams will bring the safety down and Rodgers will burn you. The scariest part is this, Cobb is only entering his THIRD SEASON and only SECOND off season. Man it’s great to be a packers fan!!!!!!!!

  39. kmartinson says: May 27, 2013 10:19 PM

    Greg Jennings….see Bernard Berrian….love the guy but he’s going to have Billy Joe Tolliver throwing to him now…not A-Rod.

  40. jwcarlson says: May 28, 2013 9:16 AM

    unbiasfan says:
    May 26, 2013 9:48 AM
    Whether Rodgers admits it or not he’s going to miss Greg Jennings on offense, every packer fan will say they don’t (because he went to the rival Vikings) but he was the packers #1 reciever when they won a Super Bowl and was the most consistent hands on the team that Rodgers could rely on, this is now definitely not a “top 5 WR core team” like it used to be.
    ————————————-

    In the past two years the Packers have lost six games in the regular season. .812 winning percentage. Jennings has only played in 65% of those games and was playing healthy in probably only around 50%.

    I think the Packers will be fine loosing a 360 yard receiver from last year. The Vikings are getting a great WR, however. He’s a little bit “old” by NFL standards but it isn’t like Ponder can throw it much farther than 10 yards downfield anyway.

  41. packerbadger says: May 28, 2013 9:20 AM

    Is it me, or does Minnesota seem to take most of our castaways? They love to hate us so much, but yet they’re open mouth breathing over getting our ex-players. Funny.

  42. Norseman says: May 28, 2013 12:14 PM

    Rodgers makes a group of slightly above average receivers look better than they are.

    Jennings was the best of the group when he was healthy, but is gone. Nelson is on the downside, Jones is more of a timing route/possession receiver, rather than a downfield or open field threat. That leaves Cobb, who I expect to be the most explosive of the 3, but still more potential than reality at this point.

    I expect the Packers expect to get more out of Finley and the running game this year, but the big play potential of the Packer offense has definitely taken another step backward.

    Rodgers will get his completions, and Cobb may get some YAC from time to time, but this isn’t an offense to beat you over the top anymore.

  43. larryboodry says: May 28, 2013 1:11 PM

    Delusional Packer Fan says:

    “Why is that? He has 6 easy wins in the division yet again, along with 6 or 7 more probably wins.”

    Uh-huh…Yet you let MN beat you in Week 17, thus choking away the #2 seed in the playoffs and forcing your over-achieving team to play at SF two weeks later, where you got spanked.

    So actually (correct me if I’m wrong) you went 5-1 in the division last year, then beat the Vikes in Round 1 of the playoffs, then were humiliated by the 49ers.

    This year both the Bears and Lions have made roster upgrades, and the Vikes still have AP…Your precious team might very well go 3-3 in the division, and with 6 ‘probably’ wins added on you would be 9-7.

  44. coreyray2013 says: May 31, 2013 9:37 AM

    ya but what were forgetting is how inconsistant finly is.

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