Posted on: August 26, 2009 2:30 pm

Best Wide Reciever Corp in NFL?

I have been watching a lot of film from the 2007 and 2008 seasons of the Green Bay Packers. As a Packer fan I knew we had a good group of receivers, but when I really started analyzing them I realized that we have the best top to bottom receiving corp in all football.  The names include Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones, Ruvell Martin, Jordy Nelson as the top five.  Let's look at a few reasons why most would not think that this is the best receiving corp.

First of all, you may be thinking if you're not a Packer fan that you have never even heard of the last three or at least one or two of the last three. Well, just because you have never heard of them or they are not big names arcross the NFL doesn't mean they aren't good.

Secondly, not a single one of these guys finished in the top five of any of the major receiving categories last year. Only Greg Jennings finished in the top ten in a few of them.  He finished 6th in receiving yards, 9th in average yards a catch, 8th in touchdowns, and 8th in yards per game. Once again in 2007 Jennings was the only to finish in the top ten in any category. He finished 4th in average yards a catch and 4th in touchdowns.

So now you are wondering then why I think this group of receivers is the best in the league. Well, the reason none of these guys have finished in the top ten in any category the last two years except Jennings is this: because they are each so good at what they do Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers have found it easy to spread the ball around to all five receivers as well as to tight ends Donald Lee and Bubba Franks.  Because the Packers use the five receiver set so often the opportunities for one guy to compile league leading stats greatly diminishes.

Let us also just consider the two starters Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. Both of these guys finished with over 1,000 receiving yards in 2008. Therefore the two of them alone accounting for over half of Aarond Rodgers' passing yards. Driver finished with 74 receptions and Jennings with 80 receptions which means that nearly half the competions Rodgers threw were to these two men.

Now let us also consider that they have vastly improved in the turnover category. In 2007 they lost six fumbles, but in 2008 Jennings was the only one to lose a fumble and he did only once.

However, I could keep giving you stat after stat, but to truly see why these five guys are the best group in the business you'll have to go back and watch their performances the last two years. The yards after the catch and the fact that they are very difficult to bring down. These guys are tough in fact you rarely see Driver fall backwards when being tackled. He is always pushing and falling forward for that extra yard or two. Coach McCarthy even said that all five can line up in any spot on the line and play it well. Each one of them can play the slot and the wide out which makes the possiblities for the coaching staff endless.

No these guys aren't singularly the top elite receivers with Larry Fitzgerald or Randy Moss (although Jennings is close), but as a group they are undoubtedly in my (call it bias if you want) mind the best wide receiver corp in the National Football League.
Posted on: July 21, 2009 10:37 pm

Let's Talk Rodgers

I posted this on the Green Bay Packers Fanatics fan page, but thought for my first blog that I would post it here too. Feel free to comment.

As a die-hard Green Bay Packer fan, I love Brett Favre and what he did while he was our quarterback, but he is gone. I wish him the best whether he becomes a Viking or stays retired. Although, if he becomes a Viking it will leave a "bad taste" in the mouth as some of you have put it, he will always be a hero to true Packer fans everywhere. He took this team from nowhere to the favorite up and coming team in the '90s. Even during the years when the Pack finished below .500 they were always feared by opponents and never considered a weak opponent because of Brett Favre.

With that said I'd like to move on from Brett Favre talk (by the way EJ great article) and talk about our current starting quarterback Bret...I mean Aaron Rodgers (still getting use to that after 16 years) Although A-Rood had a great year statistically the team performed at a sub-par level last year. Although the Pack didn't make any major roster changes last year we forget about the major injuries they suffered throughout the year. That is what I consider to be the reason for the let down.

James Jones was bothered by a knee injury all year, Atari Bigby was limited to seven games with ankle and hamstring injuries, Nick Barnett was done for the season after nine games with a torn ACL, Cullen Jenkins was gone after playing in only the first four games, our center Scott Wells was troubled most of the season with a few different injuries, and, although it didn't cause him to miss any games, Ryan Grant was bothered by a hamstring injury most of the season.

With that said I don't believe it is a debate of whether Brett or Aaron would have been better for the team last year. Perhaps Brett would have made them better but ultimately I think they would have still come up short with those injuries plaguing them.

This year looks to be a promising year, though. All of those guys mentioned earlier are now healthy and ready to improve. Now Aaron Rodgers is being discussed as one of the top five QB's in the NFL and rightfully so I believe. With a stellar statistical year last year considering it was the first time he was a starter, he will definitely improve this year. He is our guy and I like him. He doesn't have the fun personality that Brett played with, but he does have the competiveness.

I was browsing around the internet trying to find someone else who was talking about Aaron Rodgers instead of Brett Favre and found this great article on yahoo sports.

"Most would consider there to be a big three with the quarterback position this year – Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. While I won’t argue that, I would contend Aaron Rodgers makes it a big four. Because of his weapons on offense and ability to run the ball (207 rushing yards with four scores last season), I actually think he has more upside than Manning, but because Rodgers is a much bigger health risk, he remains outside the big three for now. Still, this is a QB who got 7.5 YPA with a 63.6 completion percentage and 32 touchdowns in a season he entered having never started a game in the league. Over his final four games, Rodgers got a staggering 8.6 YPA while tossing eight touchdowns. Donald Driver may be aging, but Greg Jennings has established himself as a star, Jordy Nelson impressed as a rookie, and James Jones is an overlooked talent who will finally be healthy after a knee injury limited him throughout 2008, so the Packers are loaded at wide receiver. Rodgers could blow up."  (by Dalton Del Don)

I'm not entirely conviced that Donald Driver is slowing down or that Aaron Rodgers is a "much bigger health risk," but I really agree with the comments. Aaron Rodgers is one big season away from being an elite quarterback. I hope that big season is this year.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or