GREEN BAY, Wis. – Aaron Rodgers expects the Green Bay Packers offense to face a lot of adversity in camp, as they face a much tougher defense.
The star quarterback believes that this situation will be beneficial in the long term.
“I think we need that,” Rodgers said. We are going to face a first-class defense every day and we will have our hands full. »
Rodgers is back for his 18th season with the Packers. And even if he runs again as the reigning NFL MVP, the circumstances are different than in 2021.
Last year, Rodgers reported to camp after going on strike during a mandatory mini-camp due to a disagreement with team management. Both sides finally buried the hatchet. Rodgers said earlier this year that he “definitely” intends to end his career as a member of the Packers.
“We went through a process together and it’s nice to be on this side of these discussions,” Rodgers said. I enjoyed the experience, this conflict, as we wanted to find common ground. I think it was important for our individual friendship. »
Rodgers’ happiness was evident when he reported to camp with a look reminiscent of the character played by Nicolas Cage in the movie “Air convicts” (Con Air).
“It’s easy to take things a little too seriously,” Rodgers said.
There are not any. pic.twitter.com/yLz23xdXDa
— Curve Ball (@curveball) July 26, 2022
The 38-year-old Rodgers will have a lot on his plate during camp following the departure of star receiver Davante Adams, who now plays for the Las Vegas Raiders.
Adams has caught 432 passes for 5,310 yards and 47 touchdowns over the past four seasons, leading the NFL in each of those three categories. Receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling also left Wisconsin for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rodgers won’t have a true star receiver to turn to this season. In addition, veteran Sammy Watkins, hired as a free agent, and rookie Christian Watson, selected in the second round, are currently injured.
“There are guys who will have the opportunity to take over,” Rodgers said.
But concerns about the Packers’ offense go beyond Rodgers’ options on the receiving side.
The team’s top two offensive linemen, tackle David Bakhtiari and guard Elgton Jenkins, are still recovering from knee injuries.
Over the winter, the Packers also lost offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, now Denver Broncos head coach, tight end coach Justin Outten, who accompanied Hackett to Denver, and quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy, named Chicago Bears offensive coordinator.
Rodgers is still confident the offense will be productive.
Head coach Matt Lafleur said Rodgers is there every day to help new players adapt to their environment and grow.
“He has very high standards for himself first and foremost,” LaFleur said. And guys notice that. They are a bit more attentive in the caucus. He is the example to follow. »
One bright spot for Rodgers is the return of Tom Clements as quarterbacks coach. They worked together from 2006 to 2016 and won the Super Bowl together in 2010.