It may seem like a tired refrain, but Aaron Rodgers is really good at drawing free plays out of an opposing defense, particularly at Lambeau Field. Whether it is using his hard count to pull linemen offsides or catching opponents in a personnel change with too many men on the field, the free play has become a staple of the Green Bay Packers’ offense — perhaps as core a concept as any particular personnel grouping or formation.
In today’s curds, we learn how Rodgers communicates a strategy for getting a free play to his teammates, which might explain how he is able to have everyone in sync and ready for those situations.
Meanwhile, Martellus Bennett played a ton of snaps on Sunday against the Seahawks, but his fellow tight ends did not join him in carrying a heavy workload. One of today’s curds examines why that might be, and here’s a hint: it has to do with responding to what the Seahawks defense was giving the Packers on offense.
Say the (code) word: Aaron Rodgers keeps burning teams on free plays - ESPN
This is interesting - Rodgers sets a code word each week when he thinks the offense can catch an opposing defense with too many men on the field. That has led to countless free plays in the past several years, and his one touchdown pass against the Seahawks came on one.
Kentrell Brice, Geronimo Allison ready to offer more | Packers.com
Both players had some nice plays in the regular season game against the Falcons last year, and with Allison back on the roster (and Brice playing nearly every snap in the Nitro package) they'll be called upon on Sunday as well.
Packers’ use of Martellus Bennett keeps opponents guessing | Packersnews.com
A review of the film from last Sunday suggests that one of the reasons the Packers used so much of their 3-WR personnel grouping is because the Seahawks stayed in their base 4-3 defense rather than going with an extra defensive back. However, the Packers actually had their most success on offense when they started to use Bennett on the line of scrimmage instead of split out as a fourth wideout.
Former Packers CB LaDarius Gunter claimed by Panthers | Packers Wire
Gunter is headed to Carolina, a team that has had issues at the cornerback position ever since Josh Norman left prior to the 2016 season.
Texans' Brian Cushing suspended 10 games for PEDs - NFL.com
Oops. This is Cushing's second violation of the PED policy -- his first was back in 2010 -- which means the suspension goes out to ten games.
A final bonus curd for today comes from the Packers’ Instagram feed, where they put out the opening credits on the season with a video clearly inspired by 80s sitcoms. It’s even complete with saxophone and synthesizer-heavy music.