Aaron Rodgers: It’s different without Driver and Jennings


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.

40 responses to “Aaron Rodgers: It’s different without Driver and Jennings

  1. Vikes D will feast on rookie Packer backs with plenty of blitzes this season. So sad for the cheeseheads!

  2. As a Packers fan you have to hope they have a better running game and better offensive line play than last year. I really feel if they were serious about this Lang would be starting at Center and Don Barclay who actually showed he’s a good run blocker would be the starting RG. And the Packers would have cut John Kuhn and signed Vonta Leach.

    QB and receivers wise the Packers are rock solid. QB is 1 of the top 3 or 4 for sure and WR are probably 4th or 5th best group in NFL.

  3. The best point in the article is that Driver and Jennings combined for less than 12% of Rodgers’s completions last year. They’re household names, but the Packers offense has already moved on.

  4. Jennings, Driver, and Woodson may not have made big contributions on the field last year, but they were all great leaders. What effect will that aspect of their absence have on the team? Don’t underestimate the importance of leadership to a team.

  5. Minor point, Josh, but Jennings & Driver have combined for 567 passes over the past 5 (regular) seasons, but not all of them have been thrown by Rodgers. He didn’t play the season finale against Detroit in 2011 and he missed a game the previous season with a concussion. I believe that was also agains Detroit.

  6. Vikings fans first said that Rodgers would miss Jennings production on the field. Less than 12% of his completions? Now they’ll say the Packers will miss that leadership.

    That “rarely on the field, and complaining about everything” leadership from Jennings is going to be noticeable.

  7. Greg Jennings was a leader but not last season. He lets his sister trash his QB on twitter and just looked grumpy all season.

  8. yea Rodgers its different because you have NO #1 WR. all they have is roll players and with that same O-line Rodgers is in trouble and he knows it. Rodgers should have spoke up for Jennings but his mind was on his own pockets. and a running game? please on a team that hasnt had or tried to use a RB in atleast 6 seasons GET REAL!

  9. @rickspielmanlovesmagicians

    That’s a reach, even for you. Jordy, James and JerMichael will step in as leaders. Don’t worry about us. If i were you I’d be more worried about Valencia’s tweets after ponder throws a few into the dirt Jennings way…

  10. Packers better take advantage of having a top QB he’s good for about 2 more seasons then all those hits he been taken and will cont to take cuz the O Line is horrible will Starr taken a toll on Mr Discount Double Check

  11. Love how the Bears and Vikings fans have to grasp on to nonsense for hope to win the division. This is a young man’s game. Look at the teams that stay on top, they don’t keep guys around and kill their cap because they are leaders or where good players two years ago, they look for the next guy to take his spot. This is a game of replacement and if you haven’t learned that by now you are probably a fan who gets excited when your team signs a big free agent thinking he is the player he was last year.

    This is the most complete offense in the league and if the running game gets going they will be unstoppable. If they get someone other than Matthews to pass rush the Lombardi Trophy is coming home.

  12. ____________________
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    ^Vikings Super Bowl Trophy Case

  13. purplengold says:
    Jul 18, 2013 5:25 PM
    Vikes D will feast on rookie Packer backs with plenty of blitzes this season. So sad for the cheeseheads!

    Yes because Rodgers is terrible against the blitz and they give their RBs the ball so frequently.

    Driver and Jennings probably felt similar when Favre wasn’t around any more, but time moves.

  14. Hey Bears and Vikings fans grab a copy of Pro Football Preview written by the knowledgeable Hub Arkush. Has each of you at 7-9 this upcoming season Packers at 11-5. Has Aaron Rodgers ranked as the #1 player in the NFL. How are all these websites and magazines not seeing the mess that is the 2013 Green Bay Packers? How are they not seeing how overrated Aaron Rodgers is? I don’t get it.

  15. I don’t get the love for Rodgers. He is not a top 5 qb maybe top 10. One year doesn’t make a qb. He has had one great amazing year, 2 average, 1 pretty decent, 1 ugly. He can zip it in there for sure but other than that he is just like every other qb. i just dont see how you think he is the man ala brady, mannings, brees for a decade or longer for your team. He reminds me of Fitzpatrick with a little more zip nothing more nothing less. The pack will not win another title under him.

  16. @ filthymcnasty
    thank you for proving my point. any team that thinks it has 3 number 1 WR’s DONT have none. and with that weak O-line how are they going to run the football? McCarthy dont know nothing about a running game. 6 years without a 1000 yard rusher. now all of a sudden the plain is to run …against this schedule? Green bay got problems

  17. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the pack struggle in the first quarter of the season.
    The offense will be a powerhouse as usual. Every team in the N has gained talent. Granted that isn’t always a recepie for victory. But the Pack regardless of age has lost important players in key positions. There will be an adjustment period for a lot of new positions. My guess is slow start, team will unravel McCarthy will be chewing on pencils, scratching his cheesehead. Fans will be calling for Capers head by week 9. Look like 7 – 9 tied with the kitties for last place. Teams terrible!

  18. @ddmcd1974
    Wow, not even a top 5 QB? His being the career leader in passer rating doesn’t say anything? How about 45 TD’s to 6 INT’s 2 years ago which suffered a ‘horrible’ drop off to ONLY 39 and 8 last year. I would like to know when Aaron has had a bad year? His first year as a starter was still well above average and that was his worst year (93.8 passer rating). And who would you take above him? Peyton Manning at 37, still as smart as ever but has no arm strength? Tom Brady (35), a man without his supporting cast who could be easily rattled with some pressure? Drew Brees (34), if you look you will see that his production has declined over the last few years. One of the new comers, Luck, RG3 or Wilson? Kaepernick? Eli Manning? Romo? or the vastly talented Christian Ponder? (yes, that was sarcasm) Not a single QB in the NFL right now can match his combination of arm strength, mobility, intelligence and experience. So if you don’t want the ‘over rated’ Aaron Rodgers, I will be glad to take him.

  19. You don’t see the love for Rodgers. I guess you haven’t really been watching football then. He is one of the most highly rated passers of all time to start things off. And you mean the first year he started he didn’t have an all pro year, man what a scrub. If he had any help from the run game he would be even better then he already is, which is a top 3 qb if not #1

  20. ddmcd1974 perhaps with the single dumbest post I’ve ever seen on PFT. Aaron Rodgers = Ryan Fitzpatrick? Lmao ask people who cover the NFL for a living, players, gms, personel people and coaches in the league. Most of them have Aaron Rodgers as the league’s best player.

    When did Rodgers have an ugly season as a starter? Please show me that year. How has Drew Brees not had ugly seasons throwing over 20 ints 2 or 3 times in his career?

  21. chi01town you keep saying GB has problems. The Bears play basically the exact same schedule. Last time I checked their Oline isn’t much better than the Packers and their QB is no where near the level of Rodgers. Plus they have a first year head coach and maybe the league’s oldest defense.Bears must have problems too especially since they have struggled to beat the Packers since Rodgers took over as starter.

  22. What kills me is all these Viking trolls, so concerned about the Packers all here talking smack about nothing. They have no idea what a broad Jennings is. Greg Jennings needs the Packers offense to be successful, the Packers have proved they don’t need Jennings. I can’t wait to see the look on Jennings face when Ponder either short hops in a pass with that weak noodle arm or puts it high where Jennings gets crushed. Jennings has become a greedy little Prima Donna. Where ya been Greg, no Old Spice commercials? Sponsors tend to drop you when you’re as unproductive and injured as you’ve been the I last few years. Thank God he’s in Minnesota now, Packers are a better team for it and get a comp pick next year from a 4-12 Queens team.

  23. @filthmcnasty……..MM don’t know nothing? Did you really say that? Another of your fellow haters said Rodgers is only a top 10 QB. I grew up in Minnesota and don’t recall anything in the water that causes retardation! Then again, with a name like filthmcnasty maybe you and Ronald McDonald can go hang out. What a piece of work you must be.

  24. Hey purpleandgold…. You do know Rodgers is the highest rated QB in the history of the NFL. Also highest rated QB against the blitz, on 3rd down, and in the red zone. Look it up for yourself. Then come back and tall us how stupid you feel for making comments that can’t be further from the truth. Here’s one for you…Packers, 13 World Championships and 4-1 in Superbowls. Vikings, ZERO Championships and 0-4 in Superbowls!!!!! LMAO

  25. ddmcd1974

    Possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.

    I’m a bears fan and that’s embarrassing to read. He’s great. All around. I’d be worried about losing two of my favorite WRs but have a feeling Rodgers will make it work. Get the rookie RBs going and more consistent line play and they’ll be fine, no doubt.

  26. Carl Gerbschmidt says:Jul 18, 2013 6:40 PM


    That’s a reach, even for you. Jordy, James and JerMichael will step in as leaders. Don’t worry about us. If i were you I’d be more worried about Valencia’s tweets after ponder throws a few into the dirt Jennings way…

    Wow, I can’t wait to see this woman’s tweets, the way you guys keep talking about how awful they are and how they tear the team apart. She must be very powerful to have such a negative effect on a team. How did the Packers ever overcome those tweets to win the division last year? Now that she isn’t tweeting about the Packers anymore, it will be Super Bowl for sure.

  27. Ddmcd… please, please, please, please look up rodgers yearly stats, post them here, and let everyone know which seasons were average, and which was ugly. Thanks.

  28. Hey jhein23…are you referring to the same Hub Arkush that picked the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl last season? If do then like everyone else’s, predictions mean nothing. So while I agree with you that Rodgers is not overrated, lets not start using people’s predictions as substance for an argument.

  29. Holy hooked on phonics batman! How is the education system doing in Chicago? I normally wouldn’t point this out but wow.

  30. I remember seeing similar negative comments about the Packers for the past two years.

    For the person who called Rodgers “Fitzpatrick”!?!? Rodgers has the NFL’s all-time highest quarterback rating for a season AND for his career. He has one of the quickest releases ever, and doesn’t throw interceptions.

    Jennings barely played last year. He contributed when he did play, but both of the NFL’s leader in TD receptions from the past two years (Nelson and Jones) are still there… and they have their receiving yards leader in Cobb.
    What did Jennings lead the NFL or even the Packers in last year? Stupid tweets from sister.

  31. @jhein23
    almost the same BUT Capers cant stop the read option he cant even slow it down. the first game for green bay is in San Francisco then they play the Redskins and both are read option offenses. they have a bye in week 4 so they have NO time for injury recovery in the last part of the season. Green bay cant beat the Giants on the moon and everybody knows that. and in Dec. Atlanta, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Chicago that wont be easy. Green bay got problems

  32. Magician – thanks so much for your concern but Rodgers is a better than good leader. Woodson had everyone’s respect but often “led” in the wrong direction with his freelancing and gambling. Matthews and Burnett have both said they’re ready to step up as leaders this year. Randall Cobb is respected on the team just as much as Jennings ever was. And from what I’ve seen, heard and read, Franklin is going to be a leader as well. Packers will be fine.
    Not going to try to talk to Chi because that’s like debating a bag of doorknobs.

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