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Offline Zero2Cool  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, September 23, 2008 11:32:14 PM(UTC)

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Quote:
[img_r]http://cmsimg.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=U0&Date=20080923&Category=PKR01&ArtNo=80923170&Ref=AR&Profile=1058&MaxW=318&Border=0[/img_r]When the Dallas Cowboys played the Green Bay Packers at Texas Stadium last season, they were so worried about receiver Donald Driver that on several plays, they matched cornerback Terence Newman on him while the rest of the defense played zone.

They feared Driver so much they decided they could never allow their best cornerback leave him.

Teams might have to start treating Greg Jennings that way, too.

Just three games into the season, it has become apparent that Jennings not Driver, not running back Ryan Grant, not anyone else is the Packers best offensive player.

The third-year pro leads the NFL with 373 receiving yards, is tied for third in the NFC with 19 receptions and his 19.6-yard average per catch is better than anyone in the NFLs top 30 in receptions.

Anyone looking for further proof that Jennings is the Packers top target need only realize that for the first time in his three NFL seasons, hes likely to equal or surpass Driver in the number of balls thrown his way.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has targeted Jennings 25 times in three games and Driver 24 times. Thats an unofficial stat and includes plays nullified by penalties. Last season, Driver was targeted 112 times in 15 games (or an average of 8.13 times per game), while Jennings was targeted 84 times in 13 games (or an average of 6.46 times per game).

Last season, Driver was the workhorse who moved the chains, catching 82 passes for 1,048 yards (a 12.8-yard average) and two touchdowns, while Jennings served largely as the big-play receiver with 53 catches for 920 yards (a 17.4-yard average) and 12 touchdowns.

Driver remains a critical part of the offense and has caught 15 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown this season, but Jennings emergence as a do-it-all receiver likely will have teams centering their game plan around stopping the 5-foot-11, 198-pounder.

I dont know that weve necessarily seen that, but I think the more success that he has, the more you can expect teams to try to figure out some way (to defend Jennings), Packers receivers coach Jimmy Robinson said. If hes your biggest producer or one of your biggest producers, most defensive coordinators want to try to do something to negate your biggest producer.

Jennings multi-faceted game has been on display during the first three weeks.

In the season opener against the Vikings, Jennings showed his ability to go deep and make plays in the vertical game by plucking a 56-yard bomb out of the air.

The next week at Detroit, Jennings again went deep for a 62-yard catch in the second quarter and then in the fourth quarter showed his run-after-the-catch ability by taking a quick slant for 60 yards.

Hes just a playmaker, Packers receiver James Jones said. You get the ball in his hands, and what he does is something you cant teach, you know making guys miss and making plays. Thats just God given. Thats what hes doing right now, and hes making the most out of every catch he gets. Im excited to see him keep going.

The slant plays are perhaps where Jennings is at his best. In Mondays loss to the Cowboys, Jennings showed his knack for making defenders miss when in the first quarter, he ducked into traffic to catch a short pass, then cut it to the outside for a 26-yard gain.

Hes pretty complete, Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said of Jennings. Hes a guy that you dont feel like you can win against in man coverage, but you feel like hes smart enough to find an opening in zone (coverage).

Jennings never has been plagued by serious problems with drops he dropped three passes or 3.6 percent of the balls thrown his way last season but Robinson said Jennings has made it a priority to secure the ball better. He has just one drop, coming in Week 2 against the Lions.

Hes catching the ball very consistently, Robinson said. Hes not putting the cart before the horse. I think last year, he probably got into a little bit of a rush at times trying to catch and run with it, and hes doing a better job this year of slowing that process down and just catching it first. Hes still getting a lot out of the run, still getting that same yardage that he did, but not having the downside of the dropped balls.

Jennings emergence will force the Packers to accelerate negotiations on a contract extension for the former second-round draft pick from Western Michigan. He is under contract through next season for minimum base salaries of $445,000 this season and $530,000 next season.

The Packers almost certainly will want to get an extension done this season because the longer they wait, the more the price could go up. Theres incentive for Jennings to do a deal, too, given his initial signing bonus was a relatively modest $1.24 million.

Jennings could be in line for a deal similar to the one the New York Giants gave Plaxico Burress earlier this month. Burress signed a two-year extension that made his total contract worth $35 million over five years. It included $11 million this season. Burress is 31, while Jennings turned 25 on Sunday.

Hes young, and hes got many good years ahead of him, Robinson said. But hes done a nice job, and hes off to a real good start.
Offline bigfog  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 12:41:44 AM(UTC)

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TT needs to get him wrapped up long term, pronto.

The best young player on the roster right now, imo.
Offline gbpfan  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2008 11:41:47 AM(UTC)

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he is an outstanding person and i hope t.t gives him a good deal
Offline zombieslayer  
#4 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 6:05:19 PM(UTC)

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The only thing I find disturbing is we're not getting the TDs from any of our WRs right now. Only 4 TD passes in 3 games, and Gregorious has a big zero in his first 3 games. What happened?

My guess is we're too conservative - not aggressive enough. 373 yards in 3 games but zero TDs?

The other thing is if you watch those 2 bombs to Gregorious this year, both were put in an area where he can be tackled. The bombs last year were put in a way that he can catch them in stride, which for Gregorious meant TDs.
Offline mi_keys  
#5 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 6:13:12 PM(UTC)

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" said: Go to Quoted Post
The only thing I find disturbing is we're not getting the TDs from any of our WRs right now. Only 4 TD passes in 3 games, and Gregorious has a big zero in his first 3 games. What happened?

My guess is we're too conservative - not aggressive enough. 373 yards in 3 games but zero TDs?

The other thing is if you watch those 2 bombs to Gregorious this year, both were put in an area where he can be tackled. The bombs last year were put in a way that he can catch them in stride, which for Gregorious meant TDs.


We did have one td called back from an illegal man downfield. Also, last year a number of bombs Greg Jennings caught last year he had to jump up with the defender and then break away from them (like against Oakland) and sometimes they were underthrown and picked off (Washington for example). Also, thus far Rodgers has hit Jennings perfectly against Minnesota and underthrew one against Detroit. His deep ball will only improve though as he gets more game experience and chemistry with Jennings and the touchdowns will come. I'm also happy to see Driver a little more involved in the scoring.
Offline Zero2Cool  
#6 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 7:10:39 PM(UTC)

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I think we need to do some shake routes for Greg, do a little pump fake action and when you see the CB creep up, chuck it deep and let Greg yank it down.

Hell, it works in Madden! hah
Offline zombieslayer  
#7 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 7:37:19 PM(UTC)

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" said: Go to Quoted Post


We did have one td called back from an illegal man downfield. Also, last year a number of bombs Greg Jennings caught last year he had to jump up with the defender and then break away from them (like against Oakland) and sometimes they were underthrown and picked off (Washington for example). Also, thus far Rodgers has hit Jennings perfectly against Minnesota and underthrew one against Detroit. His deep ball will only improve though as he gets more game experience and chemistry with Jennings and the touchdowns will come. I'm also happy to see Driver a little more involved in the scoring.


Well, not wanting this to degenerate into a QB comparison argument, but I'm just saying this because I'm hoping Aaron Rodgers starts doing this. When BF was throwing bombs last year, he was placing the ball where the receiver can catch it in stride. It makes a big difference.

I'm hoping Aaron Rodgers gets it, and starts hitting GJ in stride. If he does, GJ won't only be leading the NFL in receiving yards, he'll have some deep TDs to go along with it.

This is a timing issue that needs to be addressed. We start connecting on some deep TD passes, the D has to gameplan for it, and it opens up the TE up the middle, another thing we saw a lot of last year that we're not seeing at all this year. Right now, it's "who's Donald Lee?"

EDIT: Ah yes, good call. I forgot about that one that was called back. That was just bad luck on our part.
Offline mi_keys  
#8 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2008 8:13:30 PM(UTC)

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" said: Go to Quoted Post
" said: Go to Quoted Post


We did have one td called back from an illegal man downfield. Also, last year a number of bombs Greg Jennings caught last year he had to jump up with the defender and then break away from them (like against Oakland) and sometimes they were underthrown and picked off (Washington for example). Also, thus far Rodgers has hit Jennings perfectly against Minnesota and underthrew one against Detroit. His deep ball will only improve though as he gets more game experience and chemistry with Jennings and the touchdowns will come. I'm also happy to see Driver a little more involved in the scoring.


Well, not wanting this to degenerate into a QB comparison argument, but I'm just saying this because I'm hoping Aaron Rodgers starts doing this. When BF was throwing bombs last year, he was placing the ball where the receiver can catch it in stride. It makes a big difference.

I'm hoping Aaron Rodgers gets it, and starts hitting GJ in stride. If he does, GJ won't only be leading the NFL in receiving yards, he'll have some deep TDs to go along with it.

This is a timing issue that needs to be addressed. We start connecting on some deep TD passes, the D has to gameplan for it, and it opens up the TE up the middle, another thing we saw a lot of last year that we're not seeing at all this year. Right now, it's "who's Donald Lee?"

EDIT: Ah yes, good call. I forgot about that one that was called back. That was just bad luck on our part.


Yeah I don't want a comparison either, I'm just saying even last year it didn't happen all the time (and when does it). Hopefully, Aaron does get just a bit more accurate and GJ will be scoring at will.
Offline agopackgo4  
#9 Posted : Friday, September 26, 2008 12:54:38 AM(UTC)

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He is our #1 without a doubt IMO
Offline MassPackersFan  
#10 Posted : Friday, September 26, 2008 12:04:59 PM(UTC)

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" said: Go to Quoted Post
Well, not wanting this to degenerate into a QB comparison argument, but I'm just saying this because I'm hoping Aaron Rodgers starts doing this. When BF was throwing bombs last year, he was placing the ball where the receiver can catch it in stride. It makes a big difference.

I'm hoping Aaron Rodgers gets it, and starts hitting GJ in stride. If he does, GJ won't only be leading the NFL in receiving yards, he'll have some deep TDs to go along with it.

This is a timing issue that needs to be addressed. We start connecting on some deep TD passes, the D has to gameplan for it, and it opens up the TE up the middle, another thing we saw a lot of last year that we're not seeing at all this year. Right now, it's "who's Donald Lee?"

EDIT: Ah yes, good call. I forgot about that one that was called back. That was just bad luck on our part.


Hmmm.... I know you're thinking of the Chiefs and Broncos game (who wouldn't??) but it's not necessarily accurate to say Favre was catching our WR's in stride on bombs and that's why they got TD's. Vs. Oakland Jennings came back and schooled the CB on an underthrown bomb -> TD. Vs. Detroit (I think?) Favre hung one up against a blitz where Jennings had to wait about 3 seconds for it -> TD.

It will happen. Rodgers has caught guys in stride a lot this year and they were just caught before they could get to the goalline. Dallas' dime package really shut down our passing game on a short field so no TD's there, and I blame that on the coaches. You can't run a 2-3 receiver max protect pattern against 6 DB's and expect to get into the endzone. Otherwise we'd be on pace for 30 TD passes.
Offline zombieslayer  
#11 Posted : Friday, September 26, 2008 1:27:00 PM(UTC)

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" said: Go to Quoted Post

Hmmm.... I know you're thinking of the Chiefs and Broncos game (who wouldn't??) but it's not necessarily accurate to say Favre was catching our WR's in stride on bombs and that's why they got TD's. Vs. Oakland Jennings came back and schooled the CB on an underthrown bomb -> TD. Vs. Detroit (I think?) Favre hung one up against a blitz where Jennings had to wait about 3 seconds for it -> TD.

It will happen. Rodgers has caught guys in stride a lot this year and they were just caught before they could get to the goalline. Dallas' dime package really shut down our passing game on a short field so no TD's there, and I blame that on the coaches. You can't run a 2-3 receiver max protect pattern against 6 DB's and expect to get into the endzone. Otherwise we'd be on pace for 30 TD passes.


Yeah, against the Cows, Aaron Rodgers simply didn't have time to hit the deep ones. He had someone in his face within 3 seconds and can't exactly throw off his back leg 60+ yards. I think there's only one man in the NFL who can make that throw. Not at all a knock on Aaron Rodgers , but rather a compliment to a genetic freak who we probably won't see another like him for awhile.

I'm hoping we're practicing the deep routes in practice. Like I said earlier, we need to get Donald Lee more involved. If you start hitting a few deep TDs, you open up the middle for Donald Lee and as you've seen last year, Donald Lee often sheds the first tackler, and the man can book once his motor reaches top speed.
Offline MassPackersFan  
#12 Posted : Friday, September 26, 2008 1:48:34 PM(UTC)

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I love Donald Lee in the open field. Defenders have to chip away at his speed before they can finally bring him down. He just keeps rolling.
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