GREEN BAY, Erase. – Tear them up one day, meet them the next. Those were the last two days in the life of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers getting a young group of receivers ready for the fast-approaching start of the regular season.
A day after Rodgers expressed his frustration with the group, they were ordered to report to the quarterback’s conference room at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday. When they arrived, they found all three quarterbacks plus key members of the offensive coaching staff working directly on the passing game in the room.
Rodgers did not call the meeting but, according to several participants, spoke at length.
“It just gave us real advice,” said rookie receiver Samori Toure. “Basically, letting us know that the Green Bay receiving corps has always been held to a super high standard. All the legends that have lived here. It’s about continuing and elevating that standard.”
Toure, a seventh-round pick, continued with arguably his best practice of the camp, not only catching a 50-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Love in a two-minute drill, but the drill- winning 2-point conversion to complete two days of joint practice with the New Orleans Saints.
“Aaron talked to us about what he likes or what isn’t just based on concepts or what he sees,” said rookie receiver Romeo Doubs, who also had a touchdown catch on Wednesday. “He just wants us to see what he sees so that we can react faster that way, play faster and just dominate and stay who we are.”
Tuesday marked the first time Rodgers has spoken publicly about the group attempting to replace All-Pro Davante Adams, who was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders in March.
Calling for more consistency, Rodgers complained about “a lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, driving on the wrong route” and said, “We need to get better in that area.”
“He just wants us to see what he sees,” said Doubs, a fourth-round pick. “So that way we can react faster, play faster and just dominate and stay who we are.”
Experienced curators Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard also spoke at the meeting.
“Both Randall and Allen have been playing with 12 for quite some time, so certain things that we do, that we can make a mistake, just from experience they’ve also gone through that same stage,” Doubs said. “Just having them pick up the young guys on these dog camp days was a huge blessing and great advice.”
Asked if players like Rodgers’ approach, Cobb said: “It doesn’t matter if they like it or not. This is the way we do things here. It’s either you deal with it or you go out of the room and we’ll find someone else to come on board with what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Rodgers was not only upset by mistakes in practice, but he also reiterated that the three interceptions Love threw in the preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers last week were largely the result of mistakes by the passcatchers: a dropped ball from tight end Tyler Davis, a weak route and catch by Doubs and a wrong route by sophomore receiver Amari Rodgers.
This wasn’t the first time Rodgers and the recipients have shared a meeting room. Early on in camp, Rodgers entered the reception room to explain a concept.
“I’m trying to repeat the same message as he is, just to get everyone on the same page,” Love said. “But yeah, I think it’s a little different to come from Aaron, the way he demands it. They look up to Aaron a little differently. He obviously has a lot of experience and a lot more knowledge than I do. But I think that we all demand the same thing. The recipients know what to do and everyone is on the same page.”