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A modest proposal for Aaron Rodgers

You have some obvious flaws in your game that I can help with.

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Green Bay Packers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Dear Aaron Rodgers,

I am writing to you to express my concern over your deep passing. While you seem to be doing fine on short-to-intermediate routes, your struggle with deep routes is troubling. Fortunately, I think I have a solution.

You see, I, a 43-year-old white male who has never before played organized football at any level, but could sling it around the ol’ playground, have discovered several important flaws with your current strategy within the pocket, and your processes while at the line of scrimmage waiting to snap the ball.

While I haven’t ever “played the game” I have read many books on the subject, and discussed football with several high-profile analysts and database experts. What I lack in on-field acumen I more than make up for in knowledge of EPA, DVOA, CPOE, and other impressive-sounding initialisms that related to football and quarterbacking in some way or another.

I think my advice may be exactly what you are looking for. You see, I’m not weighed down by pre-existing notions of proper quarterback footwork or pocket presence, I’m more of a critical thinker, willing to consider ideas from outside of the typical quarterback development and coaching regime. With NFL quarterback coaches making hundreds of thousands of dollars, and even high school quarterback camps raking in huge money, can we really trust that their motives are in the right place? Do their old-school, draconian training techniques really pay off?

I, on the other hand, make a modest freelance writing fee plus some Patreon money, which is only paid by people who really believe in me. Who are you going to trust? Someone with the support of his dedicated fanbase or “big football?”

My style of analysis and advice has me firmly in the crosshairs of the innumerate, who would rather “watch film” than explore actual data on the subject. The “All-22 Mob” is formidable, but I haven’t let myself become intimidated, and have continued to consult with various football professionals, and my friends at Pro Football Talk, a large, well-regarded website with a devoted following.

In any case, I suspect your issues stem from your continued insistence on snapping the ball with one second left, or wasting timeouts, or taking delay penalties. I’ve done quite a bit of my own research on this topic, resulting in over 32 printed pages of data on your wasted timeouts and the poor plays that you tend to run out of those timeouts.

It’s clear that, by giving the opposing defense an advantage in knowing exactly when the snap will occur, you are wasting the best possible long-passing downs that occur on second and short. Moreover, the previous advantage you enjoyed on drawing defenders offsides has essentially dried up. The advantages to waiting to create these opportunities is now far less than it ever was before, and you would do more to slow the pass rush, opening up the opportunity for deep shots, by snapping the ball with 5-10 seconds remaining.

You are also not using the middle of the field nearly enough, possibly because the quarterback-industrial complex has scared you into believing these to be high risk, or that “real men” only pass outside the numbers. Nothing could be further from the truth, and every member of the advanced analytics movement now preaches the efficiency of middle targets. Your insistence on deep outside throws, and refusal to use receivers in the deep middle, is costing you easy yards.

While I have, at no point in my time on earth, called football plays in high school, middle school, Pop Warner, or even in any Madden game released after 2002, I have thought about it very hard, and combined with my spreadsheet work, my findings on this matter represent untainted truth about the game largely ignored by those without podcasts. I’m sort of the Gandhi of this topic, forced to create my own salt to break the empire.

In any case, you currently rank 7th in DVOA, and outside of 2020, that seems to be the norm for you recently.

I’m sure that if we could work together on some simple changes to your game based on creating spreadsheets from publicly available databases, that we can have you top-3 in no time.

Please feel free to reach out to Acme Packing Company, attention to Paul Noonan to set up some time. Together we can get you fully inoculated against all future bad plays, especially over the deep middle.

Sincerely,

Paul T Noonan

Quarterback Expert