Garbage time in a Monday night game between the Rams and Packers involved a conversation between members of the broadcast booth that was anything but.
On Tuesday, Packers coach Matt LaFleuer vaguely confirmed the accuracy of comments made on air by ESPN’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.
They said Lafleur told them things began to change when the crime started by watching a training movie together, rather than in individual groups. A LaFleur reporter asked about it.
“Yeah, that’s something just thinking about the previous years, we did that, most of the time together and then after that first year, again we had a veteran group of bad guys and we let it be, just from a competency standpoint and a detail standpoint, Site groups were allowed to meet independently of each other in some casesLafleur said, via Calais Kaller of TheAthletic.com. “Now, I would say, I can’t remember what week it was, but we decided to start watching . . . every practice together as a whole unit.”
Asked why it took so long, Lafleur said, “That’s just the way it happened.”
This directly contributed to the slump the season was going through.
The practice of watching the movie as an offensive unit, Buck said, via Kahler, helped establish a late connection between quarterback Aaron Rodgers and rookie receivers Christian Watson and Romeo Dobbs.
It changed, Lafleur said, when we all started watching tape of our practices on Wednesdays and Thursdays together as a group, so we could talk and Aaron could hear what Christian Watson and Romeo Dobbs were thinking, and not only that but getting to know them as the people who maybe humanized him and took the pressure off a bit. Buck said.
Aikman replied, “When Lafleur said that, I was shocked that they hadn’t met all the time.” “I’ve been on both sides, I’ve had it [offensive coordinators] Who had where you always met your one-on-one coach and not as a group and I’ve had others where he met every offense, except for the line, the better. I think that’s the way to go and I think Lafleur will do it that way the rest of his time as head coach. . . . The more time you spend with skilled players, the more you can be in the room to watch practices together and even movie the opponent, the better, especially when you’re talking about junior wide receivers like Watson and Romeo Dobbs. “
He is clearly right. Surprisingly, Rodgers didn’t insist on it – or (if it’s true) that he was fighting back.
But no one should be surprised. It was Rodgers who walked away from the offseason program, but for a great appearance in regards to the mandatory mini camp. And it was Rodgers who didn’t gather his new corps of receivers for casual workouts, as many quarterbacks do on a yearly basis.
As smart as Rodgers is (or at least he pretends to be), it’s surprising he didn’t realize that young players who grew up watching his exploits (Watson was only 11 when Rodgers won the Super Bowl, Dobbs was only 10) needed to get to know him. Before he feels comfortable around him. Instead, by all appearances, Rodgers chose to be absent-minded, distant, and perhaps even flabby in the early days of his NFL experience.
Then training camp began, Rodgers showed up with an Arthur Shelby haircut, and Watson and Dobbs had to try and perform while also being naturally in awe of their new quarterback – and he might as well have been a little (or a little more) afraid and even afraid of him. Especially after he started calling them out in general for making mistakes or not going above and beyond the call of duty and acting when they weren’t at work.
It’s Rodgers’ glaring failure to either understand the importance of establishing real human contact with his new teammates or take steps to improve on a situation he already knows will make it difficult for Watson and Doubs to feel as comfortable, and therefore effective, as they can be.
The good news is that it finally works. So, better late than never. Unless it’s too late that they won’t make it to the playoffs this season.
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