In the preseason finale on Thursday night, the Green Bay Packers made a deliberate attempt to get the ball to Amari Rodgers, and the second-year wide out delivered a couple splash plays in a gadget-type position.
Rodgers played up wide, in the slot, and in the backfield, and he was the team’s leading kickoff and punt returner. He had seven offensive touches and one kickoff return.
Rodgers made a guy miss on a botched kickoff return to get the ball almost to the 20-yard line, neutralising what could have been a bad play.
Matt LaFleur, the coach and playcaller, had him rolling right away. Rodgers gained 17 yards on three carries, including 11 on a run from the backfield and a few more on a jet sweep. He also grabbed four receptions for 39 yards, including a 15-yard completion on an in-breaking pattern to convert a third down.
Rodgers lost weight in order to become more explosive in his second season, but he has failed to generate separation in the throwing game at times during the preseason. This season, Rodgers’ greatest opportunity to get the ball in space for the Packers offence is on gadget plays where LaFleur can move him around the formation and give simple touches, such as runs from the backfield.
Rodgers is built like a running back and possesses excellent vision with the ball in his hands. Handoffs and jet sweeps might be used to keep him involved while he develops as a receiver. Gadget plays have a place in the Packers system; only a few years ago, Tyler Ervin was the primary jet-sweep option and was productive in roll .
Rodgers’ offensive touches totaled 56 yards against the Chiefs.
The receiver position’s makeup will be intriguing to see as final cuts approach on Tuesday. Rodgers is definitely secure as a third-round choice in his second season and the most probable kick and punt returner. However, youngster Samori Toure caught six receptions for 83 yards on Thursday, while Juwann Winfree had a couple good blocking efforts early in the game.
Will the Packers retain all seven receivers? In the preseason finale, Rodgers made a solid argument for his worth in a certain position.
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