Cory's Corner: Perfection Is Impossible

Green Bay is going to make mistakes. That's the DNA of this young team. Embrace and learn from them. 

Just say the name Aaron Rodgers and you’re going to get a visceral reaction these days.

The Packers are 3-4 and are currently doing the dog paddle trying to stay afloat in the relatively calm waters of the NFC. Yet it’s the Packers quarterback that is making a lot of waves. 

“Got to start cutting some reps,” said Rodgers on Tuesday’s “Pat McAfee Show.” “Maybe guys who aren’t playing, give them a chance. We’re gonna see.”

First of all, I really like that Rodgers has been open and honest. He has usually been transparent about his feelings and that’s something I have really liked about him. Obviously, the easy avenue for a star athlete would be to just give you the microwaved “One game at a time” spiel and move on. But Rodgers doesn’t do that and that is admirable.

OK. So the general manager Brian Gutekunst bended to Rodgers with regards to personnel decisions as evidenced by the Randall Cobb acquisition, but does it also have to do with coaching? Rodgers is a four-time MVP and I still think he is the best passer to ever play in the NFL. Notice, I didn’t say quarterback. He is the best passer.

The reason I say that is because when I say quarterback I’m talking about a position that is the mouthpiece for the team and a position that is bigger than themselves. Rodgers has every physical tool necessary to do the things inside the white lines and throw passes from the pocket, on the run from weird angles and Hail Mary heaves. 

This is where coach Matt LaFleur has to get his team back. I get that Rodgers is struggling and he wants what’s best for this team, but no player wants to hear their quarterback talk about playing time like that. Playing time is the Holy Grail of a professional athlete’s career. A player cannot prove that he truly belongs if he cannot get on the field. 

And if playing time is so sacred, hearing a fellow teammate talk about playing time limitations has to be hard. Even if it’s Allen Lazard or Romeo Doubs, who lead all Packers wideouts with two drops apiece. 

I get it. Rodgers is beyond steamed. The reason why this is so jarring is because this is uncharted territory for this team. The last time the Packers were 3-3, the Packers rattled off four straight wins and then won three road playoff games en route to winning Super Bowl XLV over the Steelers.

But this team is different. There has been too much finger pointing. To be honest, who really cares who’s fault it is? Just fix the problem. The right side of the offensive line isn’t good. We have seen that play out most of the season. So the solution could be to call more quick slants and crossing routes in an effort to get the ball out quicker. 

“I just think you have to get to the root of the truth,” said LaFleur. “And that gives you an opportunity to learn and grow.”

It's so funny that he mentioned learn and grow. My oldest is a perfectionist. I cannot tell you how much homework he has done on our vacation to Orlando already. We keep reminding him that mistakes are how we learn and grow. Mistakes are a good thing, as long as they are followed up with a plan of action on how to correct them.

Being perfect is impossible. That’s something that Rodgers needs to realize. This is going to be a long season, but the thing he needs to understand is that when December rolls around, the Packers need to be ascending. Green Bay can afford to look terrible right now because the NFC is nothing special. Sure, the Eagles made a splashy trade and the Cowboys are turning heads. But the NFC is very wide open. 

Obviously, that is great news because the Packers travel to Buffalo this week and will face the toughest team in the NFL in a nationally televised game.

But pointing fingers is letting other teams know that you really aren’t close to figuring it out. The receivers aren’t getting open consistently, the offensive line has been average at best and even the handoff exchanges have been brutal. 

The Packers have to continue to learn and grow. Use each week as a pseudo preseason game. If the receiver runs the route, tell them what to do and how to do it. Scolding them isn’t going to do anything because all that’s going to do is just make them afraid and cause them to think more — leading to even more mistakes. 

The Packers can still save this sinking ship. But first they have to realize that being perfect is impossible.

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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 (30)

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HarryHodag's picture

October 29, 2022 at 06:34 am

Perfect is impossible, true, but I would settle for 'mostly right' and even that seems far away right now.

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NickPerry's picture

October 29, 2022 at 06:58 am

You beat me to it Harry... I was going to suggest competence would be a welcome sight.

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NickPerry's picture

October 29, 2022 at 07:37 am

Remember a few years back when Jennings and Finley were critical of Rodgers, especially of his leadership skills...Like he didn't have any and WASN'T a leader. He threw McCarthy under the bus and pretty much helped him out the door before the end of the 2018 season.

I never agreed with the way Mike McCarthy was let go. Did I think he needed to go and his offense was stale and predictable? YES, but I always thought they should have waited until the end of the season. I always thought Rodgers did EVERYTHING he could have to expedite the firing.

When McCarthy was fired, this was a comment by dobber in that article. Here's the link if you want to read some EXCELLENT comments by many who still post today.

https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/official-packers-fire-hc-mike-mccarthy-715

dobber

December 02, 2018 at 05:14 pm

I'm just as concerned that this will make #12 truly unreachable.

By all accounts, he was in a spat with the coach, and he won.

Looking back today is there a more true statement or observation? 12 IS unreachable. He's a "Complicated Fella" who's backed by the man who is more responsible for this Packers team and the rebuild ahead than anyone...Mark Murphy.

Rodgers has the Packers by the balls and KNOWS it and THAT'S on Mark Murphy. Not only is 12 unreachable, he's untradeable, uncoachable, and unwilling to look in the mirror and acknowledge he's the bigger problem. Rodgers isn't a leader. He never was. Cory's right, he's the best passer of a football ever. But if he had even a smidgen of the leadership skills Brady has, the Packers would be 16 time World Champions, 7 time SB Champions right now.

Trust and Believe this is just starting. It's going to get much worse before it gets better. And it may not start getting better until Rodgers is GONE!

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Guam's picture

October 29, 2022 at 08:05 am

Given Rodgers contract, it won't get better until awhile AFTER he is gone. The dead money this contract and other contracts have are going to cripple the Packer's salary cap for a couple of years past his retirement, whenever that is.

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EnemyTerritory's picture

October 29, 2022 at 09:02 am

You are absolutely correct. That’s why I call for mitigating the damage now by selling pieces. Aaron Jones is a stud with a huge cap hit next year. He’s going to be gone anyhow. Trade him to a contender. He could walk off the field Sunday and go to the home locker room. Bahk is done and a huge hit. Time to try out new PK now and save a few on Crosby. Will it hurt? Absolutely. It just may not hurt as long.

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LLCHESTY's picture

October 29, 2022 at 11:43 pm

They don't have enough cap room to trade Jones after redoing it this offseason.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 29, 2022 at 10:38 am

Guam, Overthecap has an excellent summary of what happens if Rodgers retires. Essentially, we’re on the hook for $40 million and we can spread it over two years.

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Coldworld's picture

October 29, 2022 at 08:10 am

That thread was interesting to revisit. Dobber’s comment was prescient, but so were those casting doubt on the role and wisdom of Mark Murphy.

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NickPerry's picture

October 29, 2022 at 11:21 am

You and I are on the same page with Murphy, Rodgers, and MLF though it took a minute for me to come around on MLF.

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dobber's picture

October 29, 2022 at 11:56 am

There's a flash from the past...

...I'll have to check with Al to see if there's a rights fee to collect on that... ;)

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Tundraboy's picture

October 29, 2022 at 10:47 pm

Thought you might appreciate this article.

https://nypost.com/2022/10/29/packers-aaron-rodgers-playing-blame-game-s...

Be sure to read comments. Will be an interesting week.

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NickPerry's picture

October 30, 2022 at 06:59 am

Thanks, TB, I appreciated that one. The comments were good too. Interesting takes from those who AREN'T Packers fans.

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stockholder's picture

October 29, 2022 at 07:58 am

Too much Time has gone into development. And Not perfection. I only have to point at Love.
Then there's a coach who thought Hanson was the next Patrick. And the thinking Newman could be Jenkins and Turner, all in one.
But there's No hurry. We got the division; on paper. And as the window shrinks for the Team, and Rodgers.
We're suppose to forget the mind blowing crap, this coaching staff keeps coming up with. It's Outrageous they don't use Jones more.
My recommendations is to trade every pick after Rd. 3. They're going to sit the bench anyways. And forget the snap Counts.
Let's just go after vets. 1 year loaners or not. It's not impossible to send the right message to the NFL. The packers are about winning now. And the odds of our draft picks making a impact, are declining. BECAUSE perfection doesn't exist in the NFL.

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Coldworld's picture

October 29, 2022 at 08:33 am

Couldn’t disagree more. We went into this season knowing our rookies would have to contribute on O once we paid the enormous amount to Rodgers. Yet those of us who watch preseason closely noticed and discussed that not only Rodgers did not bend over backwards but LaFleur did nothing to tailor their preparation and to foster time catching passes from Rodgers.

We can blame Rodgers all we like, and I think with some justification, but ultimately, what is a head coach for if not to plan take and prepare his assets to the fullest extent and make sure that given effect every practice?

I think we are better off roster wise than we were when McCarthy was fired and much much worse as an off field organization. Having wasted the two recent MVP seasons, I think we are now seeing that they resulted in hubris of huge proportions in Murphy and Rodgers that led to each making nonsensical decisions: to come back and to bring back.

The prime beneficiary of all this has been LaFleur who had his utter lack of actual talent obscured. Ironically, Rodgers is a loser. I believe that a competent coach has us get to one Super Bowl. To Dobber’s point way back when, Murphy set him up giving him what he wanted with MM, giving him a buddy not a coach and finally again this year.

Murphy killed MM by letting Ball act as surrogate GM for three years and make our roster a threadbare patchwork of holes. In retrospect he then killed Rodgers chances by imposing LaFleur. Kharma perhaps for Rodgers, but he also has now screwed this franchise for this Rodgers and rookies C movie. The plot was predictable to all, it’s just exposed LaFleur and Murphy beyond redemption in the process. Any who chose to cover their eyes at this point do so to avoid the obvious. The chaos and dissension is only just starting.

The 70s are here but with a cap straight jacket. There’s no FA influx coming this time. That was sealed when Rodgers was extended with no coach and no premier receivers and rookies and we marched in oblivious into the season. Blind in our own delusions.

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stockholder's picture

October 29, 2022 at 11:20 am

I can agree to some of what you wrote. But this is what I'm avoiding in my comment. "The chaos and dissension is only just starting." There wouldn't be any talk of Buying! I say Buy to get the failures off this club. Would we be after Wrs? How about a RT? A PR? I get we can't afford big names. But any additions would be a tremendous improvement.

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PackyCheese500's picture

October 29, 2022 at 09:37 am

I understand what you are saying, and I think that the answer will lie in how we perform against the Bills on Sunday. If we are able to keep it competitive and possibly pull off the upset, then I would agree, If the Packers get their doors blown off (which is what I’m expecting), then it is rebuild time, and Gutey will know it. I’m hoping he will sell and sell big on Monday.

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BAMABADGER's picture

October 29, 2022 at 09:23 am

At this point, mediocre would be an improvement. Unfortunately, I don't think the Pack will achieve mediocre against the Bills.

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ricky's picture

October 29, 2022 at 09:32 am

Perfect is not attainable. But how about a high level of competence? How about each player doing their job at a high level? What about making adjustments during the game? As of now, other teams have figured out how to stop the Packers offense. But rather than fixing blame, how about fixing the problem? LaFleur is supposed to be a first class offensive mind. Rodgers is still a top five QB in the league. The OL, after some additions and subtractions, played substantially better last week. That is a step in the right direction. That it took seven games to address this indicates where the problem may lie. We'll see.

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PackyCheese500's picture

October 29, 2022 at 10:08 am

After the Bills game, I think we should start Jordan Love - see what he’s got. Rodgers is not the future, and I don’t see him being with the team after this season. Love may be raw, but the potential is there. MLF will likely also be gone, and if we get the right new HC, Love could develop into the next franchise QB. The Rodgers era is over, let the Love era begin

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Leatherhead's picture

October 29, 2022 at 11:23 am

In Lombardi’s first address to the team, he said they would “relentlessly chase perfection” , and that in the process, they would “catch excellence “. Right now, the Packers are making too many mistakes to catch anything. They’re like Wiley Coyote chasing the Roadrunner.

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Johnblood27's picture

October 29, 2022 at 12:22 pm

...LH, and all the ACME packages being delivered will NOT help!

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Johnblood27's picture

October 29, 2022 at 12:09 pm

You wrote "Use each week as a pseudo preseason game."

I couldn't agree more.

Rodgers should NOT PLAY. Start Jordan Love.

I have seen and heard enough.

IT
IS
TIME

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Coldworld's picture

October 29, 2022 at 12:51 pm

This game could be the end. If we trot out the same O, can’t defend the pass, it could be the shellacking that forces changes. I don’t have much hope that the Board will do anything, but a functional one would be at that point.

One last chance to show some guts, heart and imagination. Win or lose, go out and pull no punches in taking it to them in all phases. No more caution, just go for it. That’s the last hope of avoiding the cliff edge.

Play them like the Bears and Jets played us.

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Johnblood27's picture

October 29, 2022 at 02:28 pm

you mean like a football team should play?

fat chance of that under this regime.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 29, 2022 at 04:36 pm

“……can’t defend the pass”. That’s an odd critique of the league’s top rated pass defense.

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LeotisHarris's picture

October 29, 2022 at 08:28 pm

How did this all get so bended?

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LLCHESTY's picture

October 29, 2022 at 11:50 pm

The NFL version of Peyronie's disease?

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rodgersrules's picture

October 29, 2022 at 08:48 pm

Personally, I think the fact that Amari Rodgers is still on this team, handing out points to the opposition at almost every opportunity is driving 12 nuts. If there's a player who obviously is killing the team, and has been since he's been here, why is he still there? Because Gute traded up to get him? Its about the only explanation at this point.

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LLCHESTY's picture

October 29, 2022 at 11:51 pm

Hey now, give him a chance. Sure he's fumbled 7 times but he's only lost one!

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TarynsEyes's picture

November 01, 2022 at 11:26 am

“Being perfect is impossible. That’s something that Rodgers needs to realize.”

I remember when Rodgers' pursuit of 'perfection' was all the rave, with unlimited support for his 'trust' program.

To be fair, though, the team had legit depth at WR to support such thinking during most of the seasons. This season, however, we don't have a starting group worthy of real praise.

The Packers are in the Shane Falco 'quicksand' mindset. Everything they do seems to sink them, and everything they don't do, sinks them still. They're searching for a solid footing that isn't in the quicksand, nor is the branch that a trade some believe will supply. The way out is to focus on executing better with what you have and be ready to take advantage when it happens.

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