Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Rodgers’

George Paton and the Denver Broncos have one of the most talented rosters in Football. Broncos QB Drew Lock has been most specifically NOT the dude since being drafted. Whether he’s not a fit for Pat Shurmur’s quick pass offense or he’s just not starter material, Denver remains in the market for a franchise quarterback. Denver traded for journeyman Teddy Bridgewater who may be more of a fit for Denver’s offense, but hasn’t flashed big game potential since his rookie season. Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will be familar with Teddy from their time in Minnesota (2016-’17), though Teddy was injured for nearly that entire time Shurmur was with the Vikings.

Denver stayed at pick nine and found Ohio State’s Justin Fields and Alabama’s Mac Jones available, two of the draft’s biggest names at quarterback. They chose to draft Patrick Surtain II, and roll with Lock and Bridgewater. Denver will return stud wide receiver Courtland Sutton who missed 15 games last year, who may elevate the offense even with Lock or Bridgewater.

Did Denver have plans to lure Aaron Rodgers out of Green Bay? Are Paton and Elway out of their ***damned minds? If the plan was to draft a passer in 2022, they should have traded down, aggressively so, to get a first rounder next season. Surtain’s a fine value pick, but Denver will just win 6 games next season if they don’t find a way to elevate the passing offense. Trading for Rodgers or Deshaun Watson would be the M. Night Shyamalan twist ending that would keep Elway on staff for another decade, but there is little occurring right now to suggest such a trade will take place. Elway has been heavily criticized on whiffing on QBs in the past like Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch, so while I can appreciate the hesitation to take anyone but a “sure thing” at QB, Elway may not have tons of time left before Mr. Bowlen relieves him of his duties.

It’s still unclear what caused Fields to drop as far as he did. His throwing motion? A couple of bad interviews? The decision to pass on Fields and Jones is even more curious. Denver didn’t even draft a late/mid round quarterback, implying they are confident about their QB room.

The only ending to the story that makes Paton/Elway look smart is getting Aaron Rodgers.

The Aaron Rodgers story feels like a non story that’s dressed up by the Pat McAfees of the world (God bless you Pat McAfee) to fill the hours between the draft and the regular season. Some months ago, Russell Wilson seemed destined to part ways with Seattle after bashing his offensive line and repeatedly saying how many times he’d been sacked as a Seahawk. But apparently that’s all in the past and Wilson and Pete Carroll have kissed and made up. Rodgers reportedly compared Brian Gutekunst to Jerry Krause of the Bulls MJ era. This seems specific enough to be believable, but most people don’t really love their boss. I’ve said much worse than that about my bosses in my past jobs. I appreciate that Packers GM Brian Gutekunst stuck to his guns instead of caving to Rodger’s supposed demands to draft a wide receiver.

*Aaron Rodgers demands trade if Green Bay doesn’t start taking his advice, draft receivers in first round*

Packers Executive: “What do you think Boss? Elijah Moore is available, and he’d be great on this offense!”

Brian Gutekunst: “We’re drafting Eric Stokes.”

Packers Executive: “But what abo-“

Gutekunst: *Throws beer bottle across the room* “WE’RE DRAFTING STOKES!”

Rodgers has since sat out of minicamp, so him sitting out for the season or going to Denver is slightly more likely now. DeShaun Watson has reportedly also expressed interest in being traded to Denver, but he has to prove he can avoid prison first. If Watson wants to get traded anywhere, it should be the Las Vegas Raiders, where prostitution is legal.

In Conclusion:

Drew Lock will probably “put it all together” and have a career year, because that’s what happened with Buffalo’s Swell Guy Josh Allen, and I thought Allen sucked. Jerry Jeudy didn’t quite play up to the level of some of his peers, dropping more passes than expected, and Lock will be getting his best receiver, Courtland Sutton back in ’21. They also drafted Quinn “The Belly” Meinerz (who had a great senior bowl in practice) to compete for their starting center position, where Lloyd Cushenberry has struggled.

Rodgers will probably return to practice with Green Bay at some point, he probably just wants to stay home and get high because he’s a 37 year old millionaire who feels he’s earned it. He’s not publicly demanded a trade like Watson has.

DeShaun Watson will inevitably settle out of court with all of his plaintiffs, the criminal charges will get dropped, and he will get traded to the Eagles or some QB desperate team and as long as he keeps being a star QB, eventually the fans will forget about the lawsuits. Like we did with Tyreek Hill, Ray Lewis, Richie Incognito, etc.

That’s Football.

Song of the Post is Flow State (Spoken word with Elena Brower) – Above and Beyond

Saturday, April 23rd, 2005. The 2005 NFL draft was moved to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. Paul Tagliabue¬†hadn’t yet retired from his service as commissioner. San Francisco, the once proud NFC red-and-gold franchise humbly started off the draft with a glaring need at quarterback and the first overall selection. Aaron Rodgers, Jason Campbell, and Alex Smith had each finished terrific seasons at their respective schools as Quarterbacks, but Smith’s statistics stood out the most. Smith in particular had come off a royal torching of Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl, winning 35-7. Smith dismantled Pitt’s defense throwing four touchdowns and accounting for nearly 400 yards of total offense. He displayed dazzling talent as a passer and deceptive athleticism. San Francisco looked forward to the future taking the California native who looked a little like a former 49er who also played at a Utah school, Steve Young.

Unfortunately for Smith, San Francisco did not provide an environment where young passers can excel. Teams that draft first overall rarely do. In 2005, the ‘Niner’s top receiver was a young, sometimes impressive and sometimes inconsistent Brandon Lloyd. Rookie Frank Gore split time with veteran Kevan Barlow for playing time at running back. Pass rushers Bryant Young and Julian Peterson held together a shaky defense. Smith finished his rookie season completing barely more than half of his passes with one touchdown and eleven interceptions. Not until 2011 with the arrival of Jim Harbaugh did Alex Smith truly shed the label of ‘bust’ so hastily assigned to first round picks who fail to materialize into star quarterbacks the moment they’re thrown onto the field. Coaches Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary drafted important pieces on the 49ers roster, but failed to recapture the NFC West during their time. Harbaugh came into San Francisco and saw Smith had potential, but would never reach it the way the offense had been structured in the past.

Instead of tasking Smith to win every game on his shoulders, Harbaugh built a strong defense and paired it with an already strong running game. Instead of asking Smith to do more, Harbaugh simplified the game for Smith. Smith’s new responsibilities were to keep the hashes moving with the fastest Tight End in football and the sure-handed Michael Crabtree. On 3rd and long situations, Smith would now throw a screen pass allowing for a solid punt putting the defense in better field position. This ultimately gave the team more momentum than trying to force a bad pass into coverage that would hopefully not get intercepted.

Alex Smith still carries the tag of ‘game manager’ because of his role in Kansas City as the custodian of the football. Despite his success in the playoffs and against strong teams such as New Orleans, Green Bay, and his recent four touchdown performance against Indianapolis that saw KC’s defense collapse, Smith’s still a ‘game manager.’

Contrast Alex Smith and his situation in San Francisco with Aaron Rodgers and his environment in Green Bay. Rodgers wasn’t asked to lead the team until his fourth season. And until that time, he sat and watched the legendary Brett Favre lead an NFL offense. Smith was thrown into a fire and expected to fix the team around him all with his own play. Rodgers was tutored for three seasons and surrounded by a cast of quality talent before being asked to lead the team.

Would Rodgers have developed into just as good a passer were he to be drafted by San Francisco and thrust into a starting role like Alex Smith was? It’s impossible to tell, but history suggests Rodgers may not have had the same success in Smith’s situation than in the situation he came up in.

Quarterbacks are asked to win now. Cam Newton set nearly impossible standards by throwing for over 4,000 yards and producing over thirty touchdowns as a rookie on a struggling Carolina team. Looking at the Aaron Rodgers experiment suggests that throwing a QB into the fray week one may not be the best recipe for success at developing a passer, that Cam Newton may be the exception to the rule, not the new rule.

Some qb’s rise naturally to the top. Russell Wilson straight out won the starting job in Seattle. Matt Flynn couldn’t compete with the two-sport athlete and backed Wilson up. Wilson seems to have developed fine, though in an environment that limits what he’s asked to do.

It makes little sense to start your veteran when the rookie gives you the best chance to win. But if you’re an NFL GM out there, and you have a veteran at QB maybe Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or Drew Brees. Take a look at the QB’s available in the draft BEFORE you need a new one. Brock Osweiler, Ryan Mallett and Luke McCown don’t inspire the same confidence as their starters if a sudden injury or retirement were to elevate their position to starter. Jimmy Garoppolo or Aaron Murray may not grab as many headlines as other “first round” but left in the “QB oven” for a few seasons behind a solid starter and they have a chance to come out golden brown ready to lead an offense.

Before you have a baby, you go out and buy a crib, you take time off work, you buy baby food, and you baby proof the house so your offspring doesn’t eat the rusty nails in your basement. Before that special young lady comes over for dinner you clean the kitchen, you vacuum the carpet, you practice your finest hygiene skills in order to best NOT look like a homeless man and in order to persuade her to come back. Before you draft a young quarterback, give him some time to learn the game. Give him a defense that will make his job doable. Give him a mentor who’s been there, done that, and loves to play football. Give him a chance.