In the years since Aaron Rodgers became the starting quarterback for the Packers, the team saw several different players come on and off the field but they had a pair of constants in wide receivers Greg Jennings and Donald Driver.
The two receivers have caught 567 passes from Rodgers over the last five years, but they won’t be adding to that total in 2013. Jennings signed with the Vikings as a free agent and Driver called it a career, leaving Rodgers with a different feeling as the team gets set to open up training camp.
“Not having those two and a good friend of mine, Charles Woodson, who I played with for a long time just like those guys — that’s different,” Rodgers said, via Tom Pelissero of USA Today. ”So, we’re a different football team. Lacking a little in the experience part, but making up for it in the talent and the young guys that we brought in.”
The leading faces of the receiving corps aren’t that young. James Jones has been around since 2007, Jordy Nelson and tight end Jermichael Finley joined the team the next year and Randall Cobb is entering his third NFL season, so Rodgers isn’t breaking in a particularly callow group. It’s also the same group that he worked with for the majority of last season as Jennings battled injury and Driver was an afterthought on the offense for the entire season.
The real new faces come in the backfield with rookies Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin primed for major roles. If one or both can give the team a more robust running game than Green Bay has enjoyed in recent years, that would make for a big difference that would make the Packers offense even more potent than in the past.