Cory's Corner: Competition Is Winning In Camp

The Packers offense isn't backing down in a year that was supposed to be defined by the defense. 

This Packers training camp may have a lot of new faces, but there is a certain retro vibe to it. 

And that certain something is raw, unfiltered competition. 

Green Bay’s first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback looks like he’s Brett Favre’s backup as he’s treating practice snaps like the fourth quarter in the Super Bowl. The Packers have been practicing for less than a week and Rodgers already looks like he is in post-Thanksgiving form. 

Twenty-four-year-old AJ Dillon calls the 38-year-old Rodgers the “cool uncle.” That’s a pretty good description. Unlike Favre, who had a hard time relating to the young bucks, Rodgers is still making the next generation raise their eyebrows and look at him in awe. 

“Everytime you get out there, you impress him, make sure you’re doing the right thing,” Dillon said with a smile.

Rodgers knew when he arrived in camp, a la Cameron Poe from the 1997 movie, “Con Air,” that he would be well behind. The defense, which was already very good, gained two more valuable pieces in Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt. 

And as we all know, Davante Adams is gone, meaning on paper, this is a transition year. This is the year that Rodgers is supposed to lean on the running game as the offense downshifts from its high scoring and dynamic ways. 

Then training camp happened. He threw dimes to Allen Lazard and Romeo Doubs and all of a sudden the offense started to believe that there was something more. And this is all happening with the return of Tom Clements to the coaching staff. A person credited with helping Rodgers throw for over 4,000 yards in his first two years as a starting quarterback — the only time that has happened in NFL history. 

“Tom doesn’t realize, when I was a young player, I wanted nothing more than to make Tom Clements happy,” Rodgers said. “And it was incredible motivation for me because I would have great games in my opinion. I would have a 100 quarterback rating, three touchdowns and Tom would give me a minus performance.”

Obviously, we haven’t seen anyone do anything with pads on and just throwing passes to receivers in shorts is a far cry from what wideouts will see in the regular season. Heck, it’s a far cry from what pass catchers will see in the preseason. 

But I absolutely love the competition on this team. I love Rodgers talking junk to a defense that came into camp thinking they were the top dogs. And I love seeing the offense scream at the top of their lungs as they watch the defense struggle to keep up. 

It’s early, but competition is getting a victory. 

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (11)

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Rarescope's picture

July 30, 2022 at 07:10 am

In case you needed a reminder that we are in the off-season of exuberance period, Cory’s gotcha covered lol!

Love hearing this stuff though and after watching Romeo’s tape both my dad and I thought he had a real shot at lighting it up his rookie season. It’s encouraging to hear that he’s causing people to step up and take notice but my expectations will be tampered until the season opener.

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NashvilleCheesehead's picture

July 30, 2022 at 07:18 am

Addition by subtraction. Things got too comfortable for the offense. Go Pack Go!!

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Coldworld's picture

July 30, 2022 at 08:04 am

Thus far there has been no intentional “Live Contact” which the CBA defines as including “bump and run” along with more obvious things like tackling. At this point therefore, defenders are at a considerable disadvantage even under todays rules. Thus if a catcher runs decent routes and the QB throws accurately, the O should be on top. The running game isn’t worth evaluating about in shorts.

The good signs are firstly that Doubs and Winfree are apparent consistently showing that they can run good routes and make difficult catches. We knew Lazard and Cobb can. That’s 4 receivers showing capability from the outset and Watkins is now back and should add to that. A good start to the competition.

Secondly, Love has seemingly shown consistent accuracy and more conviction and velocity in making difficult throws. Obviously there is no true rush threat at this point, but that is a positive sign for him and a help to the younger receivers trying to impress.

Finally, no known injuries and a steady flow of returnees. Long may health favor us. A positive first week. Let’s hope that it has set a tone for the rest of the preseason.

On a related note, I looked at the candidates to return kicks/punts. My first thought was it’s really exciting to see some real speed and talent in that group and that we might actually have good alternative in season options for once.

Starting to seem as if Gafford is as a true ST gunner/return prospect in the eyes of RB and perhaps a core of 3/4 special team depth types who could make this roster and not diminish us elsewhere—we will see how real that is as pads going on and the likes of Leavitt, Nixon, Carpenter, Davis, Gafford actually have to defend . Pleased to see Wilborn get some real opportunities at ILB, among the less heralded, too.

For once I fully agree with you Cory. There looks to be a much greater level of position wide competition this year and that is very encouraging. I think there might be a few surprises come cut down this year and I think we have a chance to be much improved depth wise.

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HarryHodag's picture

July 30, 2022 at 07:58 am

Rodgers probably wants to get as much work in as possible during camp practices as he's likely to see little action in the pre-season games. What is encouraging are reports that he's throwing accurately, something that starts to wane as age advances. To hear Sammy Watkins say Rodgers' passes are better than Patrick Mahomes(who he recently caught passes from) says something.

Aaron Rodgers is ready to cash it in for a Super Bowl shot. That alleviates my biggest fear: that he was going to take the money and glide into retirement.

All reports also say Love has shown improvement. I'm not that concerned anymore if Rodgers goes down(God forbid). Love knows the offense.

My chief concern is the offensive line. The old ball coach would get close to the offensive linemen and utter, "it all starts with the offensive line". Lets hope that gets resolved.

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EnemyTerritory's picture

July 31, 2022 at 07:08 pm

Well, since Tua is more accurate than Mahomes according to a now Dolphin WR, to say that Rodgers throws a better ball is not saying much. The real question is if he is better than Tua….

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TarynsEyes's picture

July 30, 2022 at 08:20 am

AAh, the no-contact training camp. I'll wait until Aug 12 when the choreographed no-contact and mostly team-friendly-contact ends.

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Since'61's picture

July 30, 2022 at 08:28 am

Hype season is in full swing. But it is better to have strong competition throughout TC. With Adams gone receivers probably feel that they have a better shot at making the roster than in previous seasons.

With Bak and Jenkins out for now OLs have a better shot as well. Should be fun. Need to remain injury free.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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NickPerry's picture

July 30, 2022 at 10:38 am

I like Doubs, liked his production in college too. Granted, he didn't go to Georgia or Alabama but what he did show was good hands, and the ability to catch the ball. He tracks the ball really well on deep balls and is more than fast enough. Every once in a while a rookie WR drafted in the 3rd round or later has a pretty damn good rookie season.

James Jones, Stephan Diggs, and Keenan Allen all enjoyed good to even great rookie seasons. Why not Doubs? One thing is certain, the opportunity is there. Obviously, the pads haven't come on yet but this Doubs kid seems different. Everything I read or listen to says the same thing. Whatever happened on the previous play, he's ALL ABOUT the next play. Great attitude and he's HUMBLE! He just wants to keep getting better.

I'm anxious to see how Love looks this preseason with Tom Clements as his QB coach. From what I've read on Love this week he's looking better. Throwing darts all over the field and is much more confident. His rookie season was washed due to COVID so I kinda look at this as his 2nd season. Hope Clements helps this kid like he helped Rodgers.

With Bakhtiari out until God knows when, does Gute bring in a veteran tackle? I think Zack Tom could play Tackle in the NFL but he needs more weight on him IMO. I thought Sean Rhyan would be tried at Tackle but it seems MLF and the coaching staff see him as a guard. All in all the competition on the O-Line, WR, and even for the 3rd RB spot is going to be fierce. Gotta love it!

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Coldworld's picture

July 30, 2022 at 11:02 am

I’m surprised that Rhyan has yet to have a shot at T. One possibility though is that Tom is supposed to have excellent technique whereas they may want to work on Rhyan’s. Another is that they see Rhyan as more ready to get snaps as a guard and want him to get consistent snaps settled at that position.

Like you, I have doubts about whether Tom will hold up once pads go on and power comes into play. Bakh managed (though it was his weakness early on), but despite a similar build, he had more strength. At this point, my suspicion is that Rhyan will get more snaps this year than Tom absent injuries forcing things.

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PatrickGB's picture

July 30, 2022 at 11:41 am

I look at Rhyan and see guard. Draft pundants thought the same. Yet he did play tackle and played it well. Perhaps the team will sort it out when the pads come on.

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Slim11's picture

July 30, 2022 at 12:13 pm

Tom has the frame to add some weight. According to the roster, he 304 and Bahktiari is 310. I don’t think Tom needs to add much more. I would really like him to play like Elton Jenkins (v.2?).

What I read about Rhyan is that he’s projected at guard before OT.

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