What’s up with the Packers WRs?

Randall Cobb

It’s early, but I’m worried that the Packers might have a problem at wide receiver.

Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are fine (more on them in a minute). The rest of the receiving corp?


Yes, Jarrett Boykin was the sacrificial lamb lined up against Richard Sherman against the Seahawks, but Aaron Rodgers never even bothered looking in his direction. Boykin played well with a rotating stable of quarterbacks in 2013. He deserves a look from Rodgers every now and then.

At the very least, Boykin deserved a shot to line up somewhere else so Nelson or Cobb, the Packers big two receiving threats, could take a crack at Sherman. Perhaps that could have opened up a few more options on offense instead of completely eliminating whatever area of the field Sherman was on against Boykin.

I’m not even sure if Davante Adams was in the stadium on Thursday night. Wait, I take that back. Adams came open on that play where Rodgers hurled it across his body to Nelson downfield (a la Brett Favre), but Rodgers never bothered to look Adams’ way.

A couple weeks Rodgers ago, Rodgers sounded like he didn’t trust his young receivers. They better learn to trust each other soon because locking in on Nelson and Cobb over and over again won’t cut it for an entire season.

Don’t expect the Packers tight ends to pick up the slack. Going from pseudo WR Jermichael Finley to Richard Rodgers/Andrew Quarless is a downgrade in the receiving category.

I’m sure the receivers will improve as the season goes on, but it makes you wonder if Ted Thompson should have considered bringing back James Jones. He didn’t cost that much, Rodgers trusted him and he made plenty of plays in between the occasional case of dropsies.

Nelson and Cobb are without a doubt an upper-tier receiver tandem, but if the Packers are ever going to take the next step and beat teams with bruising defenses like the 49ers or Seahawks, they’re going to have to gain more yards after the catch.

I know Seattle’s defense is good, especially at tackling, but Nelson and Cobb need to make more plays with the ball if the Packers are ever going to beat them.

Cobb’s 5.5 yards-after-catch average against San Francisco in the playoffs last season was the only time either Cobb or Nelson managed to average 5 yards-after-catch in the Packers last four games against the Seakhawks and 49ers.

That’s not going to cut it. The Packers defense is not going to carry this team to victories against the NFL’s elite. It has to be players like Nelson and Cobb who carry the load when Rodgers gets them the ball.

After Thursday’s thumping, there’s room for improvement in almost every area of this Packers team. You might not hear many people talk about it, but one of those areas is at wide receiver.


Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .


34 thoughts on “What’s up with the Packers WRs?

  1. It is not the WR’s that is the problem it is either Rodgers or McCarthy with the play calling and it is definitely TT/MM’s fault for not firing Capers 4 years ago plain and simple! How much longer are they going to use excuses to cover up this mans short comings? Sorry I like Capers but his ideas for defense just do not work. It is time for someone with new/fresh plans to see if they can turn things around, The talent is there but the coaching has failed them all together!

    1. So even when we’re talking about receivers not making plays or gaining yards after the catch, it is clearly the fault of …. Dom Capers.

      Got it.

      1. Of course not brother marpag but the Seahawks did not punt in the first half and the Packers have to score on almost every, if not all, possessions to win a football game.

      2. Where did I sat anything about the receivers not scoring? I said it is not there fault…The blame for the Packers short comings falls on the defense and the man calling the shots there is Capers so before you make a attempt to be sarcastic towards me marpag try reading what is written then come at me with your best shot and we can play dudette!

  2. Would have liked to see in the Seattle game on the first two series at least three passes deep, and I mean deep down the field, to loosen up the defense. Heck they did not go deep once. Sherman is not superman.

    What happened to the high speed, no huddle, offense that night? The Packers were snapping the ball with 5 seconds or less on most plays. May as well huddled up and get their stuff together.

    Nice preparation Mike!

    1. “Would have liked to see in the Seattle game on the first two series at least three passes deep, and I mean deep down the field, to loosen up the defense.”

      This is what the run game from the start along with a no huddle/hurry up was to help allow.But,Sea was ready for our run game and coupling that with having the slow Boykin on Sherman was self defeating.
      I’m sure many think there is a slew of pass plays in a game book for the Packers,but slicing off half the field ‘willingly’ takes away more than half the plays in the playbook.
      I haven’t seen the All-22 but it will be interesting to see how deep and out of the picture Boykin got Sherman to make it worth while thinking of a game plan..from the view on TV,it didn’t work.Perhaps if Janis was just running go’s it would have commanded a safety to run with Sherman for possible help…thrown to or not via a pump fake..if Rodgers had time to do so. 🙂

      1. Not testing Sherman did more than cut the field in half. It allowed the safeties to focus on the left half of the field. Wnd collapse the half field even further. Which really hurt.

        Rodgers was also not playing his best. His stellar reputation seems to be slipping into the past a bit, i hope he can get back to his elite ways. He was jumpy behind his line even when it was solid. He made some poor choices and poor throws. I thought it was more Rodgers than the recievers.

        I agree with the idea of just continously running Janis on Go route all night on Sherman, through in Adams to keep fresh legs going and get the young guys experience. Boykin is a good blocker but Sherman basically got a night off.

      2. The thought of having Janis line up against Sherman and running go routes each down is just awesome. Not sure if it would have amounted to anything production wise, but it’s a great thought regardless.

  3. After 1 game, especially against Seattle, I’m not ready to say there is anything wrong with the Packers WRs. This is one the strongest position groups on the Packers. First, let’s give credit to the Seattle defense for holding down the Packer offense for most of the game, especially after the 1st Qtr. It’s not the fault of the WRs that the Packers did not throw to Sherman’s side of the field for the whole game. Seattle defenders did a good job in coverage and they stopped the Packers running game especially when Bulaga went down. To me a turning point at least in the 1st half was the Packers held a 7-3 lead and they had Seattle with a 1st and 20 at their own 10. Packer defense holds there they should get good field position and maybe another score. But instead Seattle drives 90 yards for a go ahead TD. This is a recurring theme from last season. Whenever the Packers score the defense cannot get off the field and get the ball back for the offense. Would the Packers have defeated Seattle regardless? We’ll never know but it could have been a closer game. In any case the issues to focus on are the Packers DL, the ILBs and the poor tackling overall. If those areas don’t improve the offense won’t have the ball enough for Rodgers and the WRs to make a difference. Another issue to consider for this team is that there is still no leader on defense and on offense Rodgers (the leader) didn’t make any plays. He had a shot to run for a 1st down but decided to make a bad throw, which even if caught would not have resulted in a gain much more than if he ran. Is he worried about being injured again? If yes, we have a problem. In any case this team has plenty of other issues to focus on than their WR group. Sorry Adam. Thanks, Since ’61

    1. Since ’61

      Great observations, especially about 1st and 20 on their own 10 yard line. If I recall it was Lynch for 11 yards on the next play. That has been the theme, as you say, for the last several years. Not only can’t the D get of the field but even after a penalty or a negative play the Packers D allows long yardage first downs to be made. Quite a lot.!

      Bye Bye Capers!! Please!

    1. The problem is Rodgers only hires guys that know what they are doing before they start the job.

  4. The key statement IMO is about the Packer defense. When they won the SB 4 years ago they were second in the league in points allowed and only 10th in they league in points scored. If they don’t try something different on defense, yes that means a new DC, then they will be the Chargers of the early 1980s. Entertaining on offense, awful on defense, and no more championships. They have changed players now they need to change leadership.

    1. Excellent point Mark. I’ll bet the Chargers wished they did something, anything different to fix that defense. Capers entire coaching career is like his stay in Green Bay, effective years 1 and 2, downhill after that. For whatever reason the Packers just keep coming back for more. He’s coached for 30 years, it’s a pattern. The Packers got their 2 good years from him in 2009 and 2010. He should have been gone after 2011.

  5. In 2011, we Driver, Jennings, Nelson, Jones and Cobb, plus Finley and Quarless. This year, we have Nelson, Cobb, Boykin, two rookie WR’s, and a ton of inexperienced TE’s.

    You can’t possibly tell me that we have the same passing threat as before, it’s not even close IMO. We have a better run game no doubt, but Rodgers is simply invincible with that many WR’s.

    No one even seems to even talk about the possibility of the Packers resigning Finley.

      1. Same injury as Sean Richardson, he’s still playing. Other teams have given him a look and we’re interested, they just doesn’t deal over financial disagreement.

        I’m sick of Finley too, but damn, Rodgers deserves all the weapons they can get him, bottom line. He’s the NFL MVP when he has that many weapons.

        1. Not the same injury. Jermichael has injury on the very weak spot of the neck (between 3rd & 4th vertebra), while Sean had injury down the neck (between 5th & 6th vertebra). That place is much more protected and fusion between 5th & 6th vertebre does not stress to much the mobility of the neck. Jermicheal injury and fusion of his 2 vertebrae has huge impact on neck mobility and stresses a lot conection between 2nd & 3rd, as well as 4th & 5th vertebra. That connections are now exposed to even not so huge force to be damaged, consequently with posswible lethal ending…

    1. You’re wrong about Rodgers being invincible with those receivers. Ever since the playoff loss against the Giants in the 2011 season, they’ve struggle to score against good defenses.

      Even in the 2010 season, when they won the Super Bowl, the Packers could barely move the ball against the Jets and Bears, which were the best defenses they played. The Packers offense scored 9 against the Jets. Against the Bears, the offense scored 10 & 14 in their last two meetings. That’s just not good enough.

      Great defenses have figured out how to stop the Packers offense, and I’m losing faith that McCarthy can gameplan against them.

  6. As long as Jordy and Cobb stay healthy, I’m not worried at all. Boykin will be fine in Jones’ role. Bostick will be fine in Finley’s role. That will give Adams and Janis time to develop.

    The season will rise and fall on Lacy running it down people’s throats and whether or not the run D can get fixed.

  7. On an unrelated note, I can say that watching the Bears play the Bills today cheered me up a little bit…

    1. Cheered me up as well. Just goes to show before you troll. Make sure you’re not doing from a glass house in a rock yard.

      The game plan should have been the pass to set up the run in this case. This game would have been a lot closer at least with out all the mental errors. Something must be done with the middle of the defense. It’s soft and speeches are not going to get it done. Nor will great quarterbacks not challenging the entire field of defense.

      1. I disagree, I think they just had Lacy’s number and the Pack should have gone to Starks and Harris. Only veterans caught passes out there, all the rookies were basically useless, there was almost no chance that we could have used the pass to set up the run. And don’t forget that Bulaga’s injury made a significant difference. The offense was moving until he went down.

        1. Bulaga did not go down until the second quarter, The Hawks played a lot of one high safety. Their game plan was to take away Lacy and make us one dimensional. By attacking their strength with deeper routes using Nelson and Janis on the outside and Cobb at the slot. It opens the run game and shorter routes become more effective. This of course was at the start of the game. Things no doubt change with Bulaga going down. I agree with you that we were moving the ball before the injuries. The biggest problems were mental errors and the soft middle of our defense. With that said it’s all speculation and a mute point at this juncture, Let’s just hope that our boys learn from their mistakes and improve in the next game. Good Luck fellow Packer Fan and may your days be Blessed.

            1. Should have been . Boykin was a decoy with no speed . Janis at least would have been believable. The NFL is about match ups

  8. I think that Packers plan was to predictable. When Carroll saw that Aaron will not throw in the direction of Sherman, he close the gates and it was just one way road. I think, Sherman is very good player, but he is not superhuman. With few backhand throws in his direction, field would stay open. Chancellor would not be able to operate on just half of the field to help cover Jordy and Randall. I do not understand why Packers tried to run around the OL when that was not successful. Better to go through middle for gains of 3 – 4 yards. That would, also, make pass game easier.

    Does anybody consider possibility that MM just sink this game with wish not to show early to much of the game plan, as Seahawks are, really, well balanced team and we can say, the top elite team. Is there is slight possibility that we did not see our D because there is so much things we are hiding for the rematch in possible play off? I mean 1 negative score of possible 16 does not mean nothing if this is the plan…

    1. MM’s two best ideas – keeping Dom Capers and his no mas offensive game plan. Really? This guy’s a mental midget. Get a new HC now!

  9. Capers does suck, but remember he’s got Hawk, B Jones And Burnett he’s gotta start because Uncle Teddy saw fit to drop big $ on all three of these losers. Starts with TT and trickles down to crappy coaching!

    1. I don’t buy the fact that TT is forcing MM to play guys that aren’t producing. I agree that these are bad contracts (though Hawk’s base pay was cut last year), but MM is under no obligation to play them if there are guys on the roster that are better.

      Let’s see how this plays out over the season. It’s possible that HHCD replaces Burnett and that Lattimore and/or Barrington end up starting in the middle.

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