Better, worse or the same? Packers’ response to QB even with or without Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers blog


GREEN BAY, Wisconsin – Better, worse, or the same? Where do the Green Bay Packers sit on that subjective scale given they return 20 of 22 starters from last year’s 13-3 team that reached the NFC title game?

Of course, this 20 includes Aaron Rodgers.

Rather than picking one of these three options for the entire list, a more telling answer comes from a job-by-job breakdown.

So here’s a look at each group on offense with an answer to that question, starting, of course, with the quarterback where there is still some angst and uncertainty:

Quarterbacks

Additions: Blake Bortles, Kurt Benkert, Jake Dolegala

Losses: Tim Boyle

Turners: Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love

Better, worse or the same? Worst

Even if Rodgers comes back and is kind, there is irreparable damage. On the one hand, he missed a whole offseason of meetings, training and practice. He doesn’t need training reps, but the meeting time is invaluable. Last year, they spent hours coming together (via Zoom) to refine coach Matt LaFleur’s offense, adding what worked and removing what didn’t. Rodgers was not one of those conversations this year. They’re also worse without Boyle, who signed with the Detroit Lions. He and Rodgers have developed a close relationship. And if Rodgers doesn’t come back, it’s a lot worse.

Receivers

Additions: Amari Rodgers, Devin Funchess, DeAndre Thompkins, Chris Blair, Bailey Gaither

Losses: Nothing

Turners: Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Equanimeous St. Brown, Malik Taylor, Reggie Begelton, Juwann Winfree

Better, worse or the same? Better

Amari Rodgers, a third-round pick, gives the Packers a real slots receiver they haven’t had since Randall Cobb. Funchess took the COVID-19 opt-out option last year and hasn’t played since week 1 of the 2019 season, but he gives the Packers another important goal (6ft 4in, 225lb) he’s got he can stay healthy. Adams and Valdes-Scantling are both in contract years. While Adams has nothing to prove, MVS does and the Packers could benefit from him knowing he needs a big year.

Ball carriers

Additions: Kylin Hill

Losses: Jamaal Williams, Tyler Ervin

Turners: Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Dexter Williams, Patrick Taylor

Better, worse or the same? The same

Dillon will replace Williams, who signed with the Lions in free agency. He’s a more dynamic runner than Williams, but he still has a long way to go in the passing game, including protection. The Packers may have flown Hill, who has the ability to catch up and run out of the backfield. He could have been a much higher pick than the 7th round if he had come out a year earlier.

Tight ends

Additions: Bronson Kaufusi

Losses: John Lovett

Turners: Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara, Jace Sternberger, Dominique Dafney, Isaac Nauta,

Better, worse or the same? The same

Sternberger is suspended the first two games of the season for breaking NFL drug addiction policy, and Deguara is returning from a torn ACL in Week 4 last year. But Dafney arrived at the end of the year as a surprise. Lewis is back for his 16e NFL, and Tonyan is an aspiring star who caught 11 touchdown passes last season and is in contract year.

to play

1:07

Stephen A. Smith explains why Aaron Rodgers owed his teammates nothing if he had already told them he wanted to leave Green Bay.

Offensive linemen

Additions: Josh Myers, Royce Newman, Cole Van Lanen, Coy Cronk, Jon Dietzen, Jacob Capra

Losses: Corey Linsley, Lane Taylor

Turners: David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Lucas Patrick, Billy Turner, Jon Runyan, Simon Stepaniak, Jake Hanson, Yosh Nijman

Better, worse or the same? Worst

You don’t lose an All-Pro (Linsley) center and you get better. But at least GM Brian Gutekunst tackled it when drafting Myers in the second round. Gutekunst has picked six offensive linemen in the last two combined draft, so he’s built up some depth. There’s also a good chance they’ll start the season without their other All-Pro lineman Bakhtiari, who will only have nine months of ACL surgery withdrawal at the start of the regular season.


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