Rodgers let down by Driver, Jones, Nelson’s butterfingers : Packers Insider

Rodgers let down by Driver, Jones, Nelson’s butterfingers

October 12, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Oct 12, 2010 ~ by Lori Nickel

~7 Dropped Passes in a Game is a Major Concern

There’s too many problems with this team right now.

Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin was on the elevator heading down to the locker room just before halftime at Fed Ex Field Sunday and didn’t even realized he had missed two more drops by his receivers in that brief time span.

Greg Jennings has almost been MIA, but at least he didn't have any drops Sunday at Washington. Donald Driver had four, James Jones had two, and Jordy Nelson had one. Driver had zero drops in the first four games. His drops Sunday cost the Packers at least two first downs most likely. In a game that goes to overtime, two first downs is enough to sway the game one way or the other.

 “Not until I saw the film…I didn’t realize that we were that bad,” said Philbin. “There’s no good explanation.”

The Packers, Philbin reiterated, devote a lot of practice time to fundamentals.

But interestingly both he and receivers coach Jimmy Robinson said they need to coach better, that the blame starts with them.

Robinson was especially forthcoming.

“As a coach you can’t go out there and catch it for them,” said Robinson, who was a receiver in the NFL himself for six years with the Giants, Broncos and 49ers.

“You hope as a coach you did a good job of stressing the fundamentals. Hey, we all take it pretty personally when things don’t work out well, when you lose and certainly even more personal when you’re group doesn’t perform well.”

He usually harps on fundamentals and catching in practice but said he’ll have to do more this week.

“You’re reminding. You’re prodding, to the point where you’re tired of hearing yourself say it so you know they’re tired of it,” said Robinson. “But that’s part of the job. That’s what you do until they prove that they’ve got that part of the message. And quite honestly, you continue to deliver it anyway.

“We did have an issue last year and then we had not had an issue with drops until yesterday. It was kind of surprising with a great weather day, for us to come out there and this thing pops up again. It’s obviously disappointing and it affects winning. That’s the sad thing, it directly affects the bottom line.”

There were seven drops by Packers receivers against Washington. Donald Driver had four, James Jones had two and Jordy Nelson one.

“Close, that’s close, depends on how you grade them,” said Robinson. “We grade them hard. And the players, quite honestly, were harder on themselves than the coaches. Some of them were fairly routine. Some of them were difficult. We certainly believe that the standard we’ve set around here is that if we touch the ball, then we should catch it. There are different degrees of difficulty, but this is the NFL. Not Little League.

“I have some ideas on how we’ll work on fundamentals. Catching the ball is the most basic fundamental there is. Watch the ball, look it in, watch it hit your hands, don’t pull your eyes off it before it gets there and put it away. It’s all fundamentals. It’s not rocket science.”

Some of it comes down to technique. If you hold out your hands, and hold them to the side, and back, almost like cradling a baby – that’s not the preferred method of catching a ball. If the defensive back is behind the receiver, that’s a prime spot to punch the ball out.

If you hold them in front, with the hands out, that’s the best way. It is considered aggressive. The players call that target thumbs together, where the hands create a web for the ball. That’s the ideal way to bring in a reception because it is most secure.

Besides technique, the players may be worried about the drop and let that carry over to their next play.

“They’ve got to have a short memory,” said Robinson. “You’ve got to put the past behind you good play or bad play.”

Coach Mike McCarthy wants the issue corrected.

“We just need to catch the ball. We practice on catching the ball every single day. I know our perimeter group takes a lot of pride in their ability to catch the football and perform with yards after the catch, and we definitely did not do that to our standard yesterday.

They do the ball drills every single day. Pretty much every position group has post-practice drills, and I’m sure they will emphasize it more this week and we’ll spend a little more time on the things we need to correct. That is what coaching is all about; it’s about fundamentals, trying to maintain the fundamentals that you feel you are on top of, and trying to improve in the areas you feel like you need to improve on. We need to catch the football better.”

Full story HERE

Help Us! Comment about this Packer Article

This is a community of fanatical Packer fans. Please tell us what you think about this post....