Packers won’t rein in Aaron Rodgers’ out of pocket plays

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Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said recently that he’d like to remain with the team into his 40s and his play has offered no suggestions that performance will get in the way of making that happen.

Injuries could create an obstacle and last year’s experience with a broken collarbone is a reminder of how plans can be forced to change in a hurry. Rodgers was injured after extending a play by scrambling out of the pocket and then taking a hit from Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr after throwing the ball, but the prospect of an injury isn’t enough to keep Rodgers from trying to make that play again in the future.

That was what Rodgers said on Tuesday and his coaches were on the same page. Quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti called Rodgers the best in the league at “extending plays outside the pocket” and offensive coordinator Joe Philbin also praised Rodgers’ improvisational ability.

“We’d love to be able to have our quarterbacks sit on their back foot, go through their progressions, deliver the ball from the pocket on time, in rhythm, never get hit,” Philbin said, via ESPN.com. “We know that’s not a realistic thing that can happen in the game. And we certainly don’t want to take away, as Mike always talks about, there’s two phases to every pass play: There’s a progression — the pocket phase — and then there’s the out-of-pocket phase. We’ve been beneficiaries of a lot of big plays from Aaron outside the pocket. We don’t want to lose that part of the offense.”

The rewards of having Rodgers in the lineup are great enough that the Packers would be wise to eliminate unnecessary risks. Given the realities that Philbin laid out about offensive football, however, you can’t go totally risk-free unless you’re comfortable removing the rewards as well.

34 responses to “Packers won’t rein in Aaron Rodgers’ out of pocket plays

  1. If the designated players can stay healthy, the running game should be very good and can take some pressure off Rodgers. Thank goodness they’re letting Aaron be Aaron. He’s the best at extending broken plays. Jordy was no longer able to create separation, but was indispensable in coming back for the ball on extended/broken plays. He will be missed most for that reason. He and Rodgers were in-sync on plays like that.

  2. You have to play your game and not worry about injuries. There are little adjustments you can make like running out of bounds instead of trying for an extra yard or sliding instead of taking on a linebacker, but the surest way to get injured is to be overly concerned about getting injured. Rodgers makes so many great plays when he extends the play by getting out of the pocket. I’d love to see him throw the ball away instead of scrambling but the Packers are better off letting him play the way he has been playing throughout his great career.

  3. Injury is possible on every play in every game. Can’t play scared. Hopefully both collarbones on Mr. Rodgers are stronger now since they’ve both been all bolted up…

    GO PACK GO!

  4. campingdude1973 says:
    May 23, 2018 at 11:44 am
    Anthony Barr likes this
    /////////////////////////////

    Anthony Barr plays past the whistle because he’s compensating for no longer being fast enough to arrive at a play on-time. That was exactly the type of play Viking fans whined about after the NFCCG against New Orleans when Favre was getting the snot knocked out of him. Late and unnecessary, unless of course you’re getting paid a bounty, or you’re simply too slow in the first place.

  5. I like that Philbin is back..

    .. but his cast of characters is nothing like what it was when he was here last;

    Jennings, Nelson, Finley, Driver, Cobb… Starks, Ryan Grant…

  6. “then taking a hit from Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr after throwing the ball”

    “then taking a hit from Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr WAY after throwing the ball”

    FTFY

  7. He is an out-of-the-pocket QB and that’s where he does the most damage to a defense. When that stops, so will his career. Will be interesting to see if he still has it, after his most recent injury and advancing age.

  8. Not that’s a funny picture. If you look close you can see Rodgers already starting to cry about the hit. And even more funny Packer fans still have no stopped crying about it.

  9. The Packers don’t care anymore about Rodgers’ health because he is at the end of his career anyway. Plus big Mike has always depended on players making plays instead of creating good plays for his players. This is especially true in Big Mike’s proclaimed year one rebuild.

  10. Rodgers scares the hell out of me when he exits the pocket and buys time — always seems to make big plays when he does. The Barr-related out of pocket injury, which most people are sick of talking about, is very unlikely to happen again.

  11. dragonfly99 says:
    May 23, 2018 at 11:52 am
    Dirty players are still going to make dirty plays.

    ___

    LOL, everyone but crazy people with cheese on the brain have said Barr’s tackle was completely 100% legal and free of any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct. Rewatch and listen again to media accounts and opinions of experts, the only people who think Barr is dirty are those who think the cheeseheads are actually a good team. You have a QB and that is all, your failures are your own to bear.

  12. You’d be foolish to try to limit him on something he is best at. From a liability standpoint he is opening himself to risk/injury. From a statistical stand point he doesn’t get hurt enough to warrant limiting him from doing it again. You could even argue he is more prone to risk staying in a collapsing pocket. Risk is worth the reward.

  13. It was last year. Barr is a dirty player and successfully helped the Vikings by injuring Rodgers on a dirty hit. Its football. But anyone who actually reads the rulebook knows it was a dirty hit by a dirty player. That too is part of football – which cant return soon enough.

    ARTICLE 9. ROUGHING THE PASSER
    The Referee will be guided by the following principles:

    Roughing will be called if, in the Referee’s judgment, a pass rusher clearly should have known that the ball had already left the passer’s hand before contact was made; pass rushers are responsible for being aware of the position of the ball in passing situations; the Referee will use the release of the ball from the passer’s hand as his guideline that the passer is now fully protected; once a pass has been released by a passer, a rushing defender may make direct contact with the passer only up through the rusher’s first step after such release (prior to second step hitting the ground); thereafter the rusher must be making an attempt to avoid contact and must not continue to “drive through” or otherwise forcibly contact the passer; incidental or inadvertent contact by a player who is easing up or being blocked into the passer will not be considered significant.

  14. StellerPerformance

    That was exactly the type of play Viking fans whined about after the NFCCG against New Orleans when Favre was getting the snot knocked out of him. Late and unnecessary, unless of course you’re getting paid a bounty, or you’re simply too slow in the first place.

    Farve was getting hit high by one defender and low by another which is a penalty. Nice try though

  15. stellarperformance says:

    May 23, 2018 at 11:58 am

    campingdude1973 says:
    May 23, 2018 at 11:44 am
    Anthony Barr likes this
    /////////////////////////////

    Anthony Barr plays past the whistle because he’s compensating for no longer being fast enough to arrive at a play on-time. That was exactly the type of play Viking fans whined about after the NFCCG against New Orleans when Favre was getting the snot knocked out of him. Late and unnecessary, unless of course you’re getting paid a bounty, or you’re simply too slow in the first place.

    ————

    I agree the play was unnecessary. For sure, but those kinds of plays happen all the time, just no one makes a big deal out of it unless it’s a Aaron Rodgers type player. It’s a part of football. Us Vikings fans have had to deal with injuries to our QB’s every year, so be thankful if this just happens one year. There have been countless unnecessary “border line” dirty hits by Clay Mathews on our Qb’s over the years to. Unnecessary or not, the hit was legal, and was within the rules. Your allowed to hit within 5 seconds of release of the ball. Sure it probably shouldn’t have happened, but it’s spilled milk at this point. Most of us Vikings fans don’t want Rodgers to get hurt because than if we win all we hear is “this wouldn’t have happened if 12 was playing”. It’s more fun when we win fair and square.

    Provided that Aaron’s arm is the same, he should play the same. You can’t play scared and I doubt a injury like this will happen again. The only way he should adjust his game to something else, is if the arm isn’t the same after the injury.

  16. johngaltwho says:
    May 23, 2018 at 12:30 pm
    It was last year. Barr is a dirty player and successfully helped the Vikings by injuring Rodgers on a dirty hit. Its football. But anyone who actually reads the rulebook knows it was a dirty hit by a dirty player. That too is part of football – which cant return soon enough.

    ARTICLE 9. ROUGHING THE PASSER
    The Referee will be guided by the following principles:

    “Roughing will be called if, in the Referee’s judgment, a pass rusher clearly should have known that the ball had already left the passer’s hand before contact was made”

    ****

    I can’t remember, did the referee call the penalty?

  17. Big Ben is also know for extending the play. Brees and Brady throw the ball away to avoid injury. There is a balance between extending the play and avoiding injury. AR needs to recognize that.

  18. He’s gonna get crushed again. If Rodgers rolls out Anthony Barr will be there to greet him, simple as that. Clean hit, broke Karen, simple as that. No disputes.
    People that are saying Barr is slow. You’re a MORON!! Dudes fast as a cheetah. Simple as that.
    Can’t wait for week 2. Packers get chippy and the Vikings end him again, this time in Green Bay.

  19. 13worldchampioinships says:
    May 23, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    I can’t remember, did the referee call the penalty?

    —————————————————–

    Im surprised that you dont remember that. No, he didnt. I was just sharing what the rule actually is as written. I totally agree that the NFL does not tend to enforce it that way but it remains the rule. Some players manage to be aggressive and play to the whistle, others like Barr, Suh, Burfict play through it and routinely deliver late and/or unnecessary hits. It is what it is. Good luck to the Vikings this year. Hopefully both teams stay relatively healthy and they have a fierce competition. The NFL North looks very competitive.

  20. cheeseisfattening says:
    May 23, 2018 at 12:03 pm
    Not that’s a funny picture. If you look close you can see Rodgers already starting to cry about the hit. And even more funny Packer fans still have no stopped crying about it
    ——————
    That’s because viking fans still have not stopped bragging about it. Some of them act like it’s the proudest moment in the history of their franchise. Some of them mount that “funny” photo of it on their wall. Some of them change their screen names on this website to memorialize the moment.

    It’s pretty pathetic when something like that was the highlight of your season, but then again, what do you expect from fans of a team that is among the most inept teams in the history of professional sports? Not one single championship in nearly 60 years and counting. I guess there really is nothing else to celebrate in that state other than taking out the qb of the team you envy the most.

  21. Ball released, Barr takes 2 steps, Barr hits AR, Barr remains grappled onto AR, Barr lands on AR. To all of the “WHERE IS HE SUPPOSED TO LAND???!?!?!!” folks out there, the answer is: there is no need to leave your feet when you know the ball is out.

  22. vikings28 says:
    May 23, 2018 at 12:53 pm
    He’s gonna get crushed again. If Rodgers rolls out Anthony Barr will be there to greet him, simple as that. Clean hit, broke Karen, simple as that. No disputes.
    People that are saying Barr is slow. You’re a MORON!! Dudes fast as a cheetah. Simple as that.
    Can’t wait for week 2. Packers get chippy and the Vikings end him again, this time in Green Bay.
    _______________________________________________________________________
    It’s pretty sad when there are “fans” out there that wish injury on another player. I would think that beating the Packers with Rodgers playing would mean more to a Vikings fan than if he was not playing. Simple thinking for a simple fan base.

  23. eaststsfb says:

    May 23, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    vikings28 says:
    May 23, 2018 at 12:53 pm
    He’s gonna get crushed again. If Rodgers rolls out Anthony Barr will be there to greet him, simple as that. Clean hit, broke Karen, simple as that. No disputes.
    People that are saying Barr is slow. You’re a MORON!! Dudes fast as a cheetah. Simple as that.
    Can’t wait for week 2. Packers get chippy and the Vikings end him again, this time in Green Bay.
    _______________________________________________________________________
    It’s pretty sad when there are “fans” out there that wish injury on another player. I would think that beating the Packers with Rodgers playing would mean more to a Vikings fan than if he was not playing. Simple thinking for a simple fan base.

    ——————-

    Most of us Vikings fans didn’t want to see him get injured. We enjoy it more when it’s a fierce competition. The Packers are not even close to that with out #12.

  24. John Galt…

    “Roughing will be called if, in the Referee’s judgment”

    I guess you didn’t read the part about the Referee’s “judgment”….

    And as already noted, Rodgers was outside the pocket. Once a QB leaves the pocket, he no longer is protected to the same degree.

    Knowledgeable football fans understand this, which explains why the NFL issued no fine or suspension.

    Only those with green and gold glasses failed to see what actually happened on that play – a perfectly legal hit.

  25. Rodgers is well known for his little pump-fake trick to get pursuers to pull up, then he lobs the ball downfield. Barr didn’t fall for it and Aaron got crushed as a ball carrier/runner, not a QB in the pocket. No penalty, end of play.

    He keeps pulling that stunt, he’ll get creamed again. You pays your money and you takes your chances.

  26. No sense bringing up late hits against Favre anymore, I guess. Apparently they were all “legal.” Why? Because they weren’t called. Here’s a newspaper headline the next morning:

    “If New Orleans’ game plan last Sunday was to crush Brett Favre, they came close. The late hits were brutal, and not only uncalled for but uncalled by officials. Favre complained early at the strategy, then gave up and took the hits, 17 of them at last count.”

    Maybe video of that game is how Barr learned to “win.” Uncalled doesn’t mean it wasn’t uneccesary and uncalled for. Even Viking fans should know that.

  27. stellarperformance says:

    May 24, 2018 at 5:50 am

    No sense bringing up late hits against Favre anymore, I guess. Apparently they were all “legal.” Why? Because they weren’t called. Here’s a newspaper headline the next morning:

    “If New Orleans’ game plan last Sunday was to crush Brett Favre, they came close. The late hits were brutal, and not only uncalled for but uncalled by officials. Favre complained early at the strategy, then gave up and took the hits, 17 of them at last count.”

    Maybe video of that game is how Barr learned to “win.” Uncalled doesn’t mean it wasn’t uneccesary and uncalled for. Even Viking fans should know that.

    ——————-

    I think the level of hits on Favre were way different so you can’t even compare it to the Barr hit. If it weren’t for being a bit late, the hit was 100% in legal form. The only reason Rodgers got hurt is because he landed on it strange. Favre got hit a ton, many were way more dirty hits.

    Besides all that, at the end of the day the Vikings blew that game regardless of the hits. Favre through an interception, AP fumbled multiple times. A lot of Vikings just use the bounty gate as a way to hate the Saints, for the fact that we just lost that game.

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