Sports Packers' Aaron Rodgers calls out young WRs for drops, bad routes: 'We've got to be way more consistent'
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Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has routinely praised his stable of young pass-catching weapons during the 2022 NFL offseason. However, his tune about them changed on Tuesday.
Rodgers publicly expressed frustration with his young receivers after Tuesday's joint practice with the Saints. The veteran quarterback was particularly peeved by the group's lack of route-running precision and drops during the session.
"The young guys, especially young receivers, we've got to be way more consistent," Rodgers said, per ESPN. "A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route. We've got to get better in that area."
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Rodgers' annoyance with the young pass catchers may have boiled over Tuesday, but it had been simmering under the surface since the team's 28-21 loss in its preseason opener against the 49ers on Friday.
In that contest, backup quarterback Jordan Love threw three interceptions; however, Rodgers thought that the blame for a couple of them lay with the receivers.
"I felt really bad for Jordan the other night because, you know, we have a couple of total mental busts for picks," Rodgers said after the game, per Packers Wire. "We had a drop for a pick. Two guys running who knows what on the third one. He shouldn’t have thrown the ball there probably, but some of that is veteran stuff, making veteran mistakes."
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Rookie wide-out Romeo Doubs, who Rodgers has praised effusively throughout training camp, was responsible for one of Love's interceptions. He had a pass ripped away from him as he fell to the ground for Love's second turnover of the day.
Challenge accepted ???? @SamW0mack with the takeaway.
???? #GBvsSF on KPIX pic.twitter.com/vQ0hhxB1ty— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) August 13, 2022
Additionally, Doubs had a crucial drop during Tuesday's practice against the Saints on what Rodgers deemed his "best throw of the day."
Rodgers didn't call out Doubs by name, but his message to all of his young receivers looking to replace Davante Adams was clear, per ESPN.
You keep dropping the ball, you're not going to be out there. It's going to be the most reliable guys that are out there. The preparation and the job responsibility is most important. There's going to be physical mistakes, like we've talked about, but if you're going out there and dropping the ball and somebody else behind you is in the right spot all the time and catching the ball, that guy's going to play.
Rodgers is hoping that the recent rash of drops and mistakes are just blips on the radar. But with the NFL regular season rapidly approaching, he felt the need to warn his receivers to clean up their games.
Otherwise, it will be hard for the quarterback to truly trust them in September action.
"We're going to play our best guys when the season starts," Rodgers said. "And whoever those guys are, those guys are going to get the reps. It's the guys I trust the most and the guys the coaches trust the most."
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