Green Bay Packers Offensive Issues Emerge

Packers offseason

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Green Bay Packers Offensive Issues Emerge

Aaron RodgersIn a report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is “fed up” with GM Ted Thompson’s “unwillingness to take a chance and reinforce the roster with veteran players.” McCarthy got little help from Thompson in 2015 outside of the five selections in last years NFL draft. According to several sources, McCarthy feels the Packers are lacking talent to contribute.

McCarthy recently called out Eddie Lacy for being too heavy at the end of the year press conference. Lacy had a major drop off from his 2014 season production running for only 758 yards in 15 games.

“Fat Eddie” has since been approached by Tony Horton, the creator of P90X. Apparently, in a publicity stunt to gain press, Horton is offering to help Lacy get in shape for next season. Horton personally worked with Ray Lewis a few years ago, but there’s no telling how Lacy will view Horton’s offer.

Davante Adams is another Packer who was a major let down in 2015. While Adams believes his struggles have helped him become “mentally tough” the Packers fanbase and fantasy football community expected so much more from Adams last season.

Of course, Green Bay will have the services of Jordy Nelson in 2016, who has been running full speed for weeks. The veteran wide receiver and go-to target for Aaron Rodgers was surely missed last season and will be welcomed back with open arms to the Packers WR depth. Although, Nelson is no spring chicken. The 2008 2nd round pick will be turning 31 this May, and there is no guarantee he returns to his elite form for this season.

Personally, I feel that Rodgers became and even better passer dealing with the struggles of having an average at best receiving group running routes for him. Most people will look at Rodgers stats and see the drop off in QB Rating and completion percentage, but the lack of surrounding talent was obvious.

Nevertheless, Green Bay had an excellent season considering the struggles with the running game and young and inexperienced wide receiver group. The 2015 Packers season was not a disappointment, but not addressing the issues on offense would be foolish.

James Jones

Age: 31 | $585,000 UFA

[the_ad id=”58837″]Free agent James Jones hopes to re-sign with the Packers but will be turning 32 this year. Jones caught eight touchdown passes in 2015 but was frequently taken out of games by good cornerback play and would be better utilized in a complementary role.

Jones was a stopgap player that was re-signed after the team lost Jordy Nelson in the Summer. He’s unlikely to be brought back unless he takes a minimum contract offer.

Fans who have fallen in love with Jeff Janis and his big play performance from the post-season matchup against the Arizona Cardinals will connect the dots here, Janis only had 2 receptions all season but showed promise in the playoffs.

James Starks

Age: 29 |  $1,837,500 UFA

James StarksJames Starks said he is looking for an “opportunity” to be a starter next season. “Opportunity is all I need,” Starks said. “Could I be a starter? Yeah. Can I handle it? Yeah.” Starks later said he’s after another shot at a ring, but it’s clear Starks is aiming for a starting job.

With Lacy overweight and Starks ready to test free agency, the Packers could be in need of a running back quickly. The perfect scenario is locking Starks up long-term and getting Lacy into far better shape, but the alternative of having to bring in a RB through the draft or free agency shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Packers are comfortably sitting 14th in the NFL with available cap space according to spotrac.com. The team isn’t in a bad spot but do have players that have contracts that need to be addressed.

To my surprise, ProFootball Focus ranked the Packers with the 4th best offensive line in 2015, although they admittedly confessed that “it almost feels odd that Green Bay would rank so high, given some of the struggles..”

The Packers offensive line ranked

  • 24th in Penalties
  • 17th in Run-blocking
  • 5th in Pass-blocking.

With Mike McCarthy speaking out about the obvious struggles with depth of skilled players in 2015, the pressure is now on general manger Ted Thompson to deliver.

An upgrade of weapons for the up-coming season is needed to take the next step. The Packers hold the 27th pick in the NFL draft and have some tough decisions to make with James Starks, James Jones and even Eddie Lacy. It should be an interesting offseason for fantasy football fans that have Rodgers stock.

 

What would you do? Who would you bring in or cut… leave a comment below

5 thoughts on “Green Bay Packers Offensive Issues Emerge”

  1. Everyone wants the Green Bay Packers to be Super Bowl Bound. Well it realistically wont’ happen every year. Not in 2015-16. Offensive Line Struggled, Wide Receivers didn’t step up, running backs didn’t find the holes,etc, etc. it’s a team game, played by team men.

    For this group to want to be in next year Super Bowl they have to say, my job next year will be to, pass block better, run my routes better, gain more yards per down, have less drop passes, block better, etc, etc.

    We’ve been to the Super Bowl, its one block better, one catch better, one tackle better. One take a way better, one less interception. The total team concept. They can do, because they have done it before. This is a good team, with good coaches, good fundamentals. Let’s gear up, draft it up for the 2016 -2017 season.

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  2. I think everyone wanting to examine what Seattle does, should become a bandwagon fan. Rodgers was off, maybe it was because of the interceptions, or maybe it was because he lacked confidence in the receiving corp. I think fans are just disgruntled because Rodgers didnt have high numbers this year.. I see a team that did an extraordinary job with what they had. I feel that number one priority should be resigning mason Crosby, and not trying to get rid of people just because they didn’t have the season that we wanted them to have.

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  3. Good analysis. But I do think people over-excuse Rodgers’s mediocre play by noting the lack of receiving talent and injuries, as you say. Watching his play all year, his throwing was definitely off, which I think was attributable to a drop off of his mental toughness (gets frustrated more than he used to) and a lack of working with and leading his receiving core.

    By contrast, look at the passing improvement Russel Wilson made in Seattle, with an unmatched passer rating in the NFL at 132 I think. He lost Jimmy Graham and Ricardo Lockett to injury, and Lynch as well. Instead of losing production as Rodgers did, Wilson adapted by upping his game somehow, utilizing Doug Baldwin, rookie Tyler Lockett, and mid-tier receiver Kearse, all of whom way overperformed.

    Recruiting and trades are an issue for GB. I can understand why McCarthy is frustrated. But again, look at Seattle for clues, they hold an example for all in how they choose AND develop. They probably lead the league in undrafted free agents who are starters, and how well they perform. Tyler Lockett, Baldwin, Kearse, Thomas Rawls, and Michael Bennett. Heck, Kam Chancellor was picked 132nd overall and is probably the best strong safety the game has ever seen.

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    • Thanks John, and I agree with you about Rodgers. Although Seattle’s running game did take pressure off Wilson. Lacy and Starks struggled to gain early down yardage to help with the down and distances. Overall, I feel added weapons are needed. I also think Lacy could be on thin ice. He has bust written all over him. This offseason is critical.

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  4. I would cut devante Adam and pick up a veteran receiver like kearse,or alson if possible.i would also cut Richard Rodgers and get a better tight end in the draft,or keep Rodgers and trade both of his backup and get some type of compensation for them

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