August 25, 2013

Packer pass-catchers have talent, but leadership?

By: Shane Arman

The consensus is clear among fans, media and the Green Bay PackersGreg Jennings is expendable. Young talent waiting in the wings, the Packers let their number one WR leave in free agency and will now build their offense around Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Jermichael Finley.

Is James Jones ready to be a #1 WR? 
Talent isn't the question with this group; they've all proven to be play makers for moments in time. But perhaps the unexplored story-line is if this group maintain continuity and consistency wi
thout their ring leader and veteran play maker. Don’t think the Green Bay Packers are merely losing an “injury-prone” 29-year-old WR whose biggest strength is route running.

For all of Jennings’ superb play-making abilities he has an equally impressive character, engaging personality and innate leadership mentality.

As a Green Bay Packer, Jennings always said the right thing (unlike his very vocal off-season this year) and was praised for his mentorship of younger WRs. Hence why Leslie Frazier and the Minnesota Vikings saw Jennings as a perfect fit on a team that desperately needs a “father figure” to teach its young WRs and QB how to succeed. It’s a tall order considering how unproven and raw Minnesota’s next three WRs are; plus patience is beginning to dwindle with starting QB Christian Ponder.
Will Jennings help balance the Vikings offense?


But if anyone is willing and able to elevate a group’s play just by his demeanor and presence, Jennings just might be the guy. Time will tell whether the Packers underestimated this quality in Jennings. The performance of the Packers WRs this year will certainly help us understand Jennings' value.

Green Bay’s trio of WRs are 24, 25 and 26 years young respectively, and Finley is 25. So who steps up and takes the reigns as a vocal leader?  The problem is you could make the case for any of the four. Each has the potential to be the #1 option. Everyone can argue that it doesn't matter who is or isn’t the #1 WR, but it’s certainly a conversation that will bubble up if injuries sideline one or more Packers WR and if one WR doesn't separate himself as Aaron Rodgers' new go-to.

When the number one WR leaves, the next logical question is who replaces him? Everyone assumes Randall Cobb will step up; but don’t think the jump from good to great is easy or that it happens in one season. Cobb is a special talent, but he’s under a flurry of pressure to produce big, early in his career. I’m not saying he won’t rise to the occasion, I’m just saying that raw talent doesn’t always translate into greatness in the span of three years.

3 comments:

  1. I like the topic. It's interesting and is a big question mark in terms of our offense. Will we be able to get away with playing poor defense and just out shooting teams? Or do we not have the same fire power? Interesting to see how it will play out.

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  2. Agreed. Packers won't have time to figure things out in the first three weeks of the season. The schedule is tough early. Very tough.

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  3. Randall Randall!! The epitome of a Green Bay Packer. The guy has the mind of a quarterback. Him and Rodgers are in sync not just a he is a special talent, but a cerebral beast. The blue collar lunch pail mentality was passed down from Donald Driver and Randall is the one to carry the torch.

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