Green Bay – In between, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady have over 40 years of experience in the NFL. They’ve seen every offensive scheme and defensive answer filtered through the game, from 3 yards and a cloud of dust to the air raid to the affinity of RPOs.
They’ve seen enough to know that this is a copycat league and that everything old will become new again.
“It’s coming back,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “Some things that go out of fashion will come back in two, five, or even 10 years. So I always try to reuse some old concepts and different things, but that’s how it goes.”
When Rodgers and Brady face off on Sunday, as the Green Bay Packers travel to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, back-to-back MVP hopes that an old defensive concept will return. That might be the difference in helping him beat seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady for only the second time.
“I’d like to see some high-level stuff,” Rodgers said of the defensive lineup featuring one safety at the back. “The league has been twice as high in the last few years. I would love to see some heights. So that would be great.
“Not one spike should get you out of running a football. Just there are some plays where you might have to leave a corner, you know, or leave the butt man unblocked. That’s just part of it. So, like, it doesn’t stop us from running a ball. Foot, he just changes some plans.”
Even if this particular alignment does not eliminate the run, it certainly increases the chances of passing. Rodgers, who has led the NFL in passer ratings four times and led the NFL’s drop-to-objection ratio six times, often doesn’t see a single safety with opponents who dare to throw it. But within two weeks of the 2022 season, it was clear that the Packers wanted to rely on their home game this season.
The duo of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion Green Bay give an efficient and effective way to control games. The inability to get those two balls contributed to their first week loss against the Minnesota Vikings. They combined for 37 touches and 237 yards and two touchdowns in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears. As such, Rodgers expects teams to load up the box in hopes of stopping the dynamic duo.
The fact that he leans with the Lakers, who are usually a pass-heavy team, on their backs is reason enough for him to believe the defenses will develop again.
“It was cool when the Seattle (Seahawks, Legion of Boom) trend was going on, and six or seven teams ran on that defense because that’s all high, and very little of the two high,” Rodgers said. “But now that’s another defense style from the Rams (Los Angeles). It’s a lot of high two.
“So we saw the resurgence of the running game, the center back might re-emerge, you know, who is going to be the next John Coon of the world? We will see. But yes, there has been a lot more upside in the last few years.”
On Sunday night against the Bears, Packers lined up Josiah Deguerre as linebacker several times. Given that this Green Bay offense was born from the same rules of the game that revived the quarterback with Kyle Juszczyk of the San Francisco 49ers, that wasn’t too surprising. But what that means for how football is evolving, and redeveloping, could bode well for Packers players in the current championship window with Rodgers in the middle.
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Rodgers said: “I know you’ve seen linebackers get knocked out sometimes, you’ve seen teams go through 11 staff members and then, you know, the fast stuff, and now you see teams really trying and stacking ups on the front lines, playing a lot of scallops at the back end. .
“That would make the teams want to run the ball more and more 12 people, over 21 people; the quarterback would go back, you know, to attack a little bit. Then what would happen to that; one high scheme would appear and it would be fashionable in the NFL. Someone would win. It’s by one high chart. Then here we go again, to 11, and we’re back to speed and we go around and we go.”
Can he start on Sunday against the pirates? Time will tell. But Aaron Rodgers knows this game is cyclical and will be ready, once again, for whatever comes.