A new era of Green Bay Packers football has commenced.
When Aaron Rodgers arrived in town this week for the team’s mandatory minicamp, he did so without Davante Adams on the team for the first time since 2013. In fact, it has not yet become clear who Rodgers’ new favorite target will be. That Allen Lazard still has yet to sign his RFA tender and report to the team just adds to the intrigue.
That is where the Packers’ newest acquisitions at the position come into play. Rookies Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Samori Toure have all been looking to gain favor with the four-time MVP and this week’s practices were just the first step. The big work comes in training camp and which rookie will earn Rodgers’ trust the quickest remains to be seen.
Watson on paper might be the favorite to some simply because of his freakish athleticism and that he was the highest drafted of the bunch but don’t rule out Doubs either. He’s more polished than Watson is and could be the biggest contributor early on. Chemistry and rhythm are big with Rodgers and he won’t let draft status dictate who he thinks should get the ball.
Toure is very much a dark horse for getting offensive snaps especially at the start of the season but the longer Lazard stays away, the more Toure’s opportunity grows. It’s still very much an uphill battle but he’s definitely a sleeper to watch heading into training camp.
There’s also the veterans. Randall Cobb returns and Rodgers’ BFF should get his fair share of targets. Same for new addition Sammy Watkins who will look to resuscitate his career in Green Bay. Lazard will be factor too when he presumably signs his tender. These guys might have to carry the load early but don’t rule out a big rookie contribution from the start.
The receiver battle is going to be the story to watch next month when the team convenes for training camp. How it shakes out could ultimately determine how the Packers’ season ends.
At least it won’t be boring.
If Watkins can stay healthy, he could very easily become Green Bay’s WR1 barring any immediate head turning performances from the rookies. Watkins’ familiarity with LaFleur and Rodgers’ belief in his talent could make this a steal for Green Bay.
On the quarterback’s part, Rodgers is preaching patience with the youngsters and tempering expectations of anyone believing Watson can turn into Justin Jefferson. Rodgers also remained hopeful Lazard will eventually report to the team.
Expect to see Amari Rodgers on a lot of roster bubbles as we prepare for training camp. A strong end to minicamp by Toure isn’t helping the former Clemson star’s case as a lock for the 53.
In the eyes of some younger fans, the 1989 team might seem unremarkable but given the two decades of abuse the Packers suffered at the hands of opponents, especially the Chicago Bears, that season was fun. It also turned quarterback Don Majkowski into a legend in Green Bay.
It’s Willy Wonka in real life! No word if Mars actually employs Oompa Loompas.