Green Bay Packers

Roll out the reaction 9/9: Let’s get it started

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Every Thursday, Patrick Kotnik provides two observations, a quote of the week, one question, and a prediction regarding the Green Bay Packers. 

2 Observations

The latest on Rodgers and Adams — The 2021-22 season is being widely viewed as “The Last Dance” for the Green Bay Packers with Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams at the helm.

It’s pretty much expected that their statuses for next season won’t be known until next offseason and Adams reaffirmed that on Wednesday regarding talks for a contract extension. 

Regarding Rodgers, his weekly appearances on The Pat McAfee Show have offered a refreshing look at the future Hall of Famer, especially to those who may have previously viewed him as selfish, arrogant, etc. 

The three-time NFL MVP denied several past rumors and stories on Tuesday from the alleged, “Don’t be the problem,” statement by team President Mark Murphy after the hiring of Matt LaFleur as well as what some people thought were indicators that he was returning to Green Bay during the offseason.

 

A couple of other notable bits that came out of Tuesday’s show were Rodgers admitting giving “virtual middle fingers to the world” with a recent Instagram post of him and LaFleur and saying there’s been “better communication” between him and the front office. 

We can obviously speculate all we want regarding the improved communication and how that’ll affect Rodgers’ status for next year, but again, we won’t know if he’ll be back under center for the Green Bay Packers for sure until this next offseason. Is it a good sign? Perhaps. But let the season play out first before we rush to conclusions. 

It’s finally here — After a LONG offseason which seemed to have lasted seven years rather than seven months finally comes to an end when the Green Bay Packers travel to Jacksonville to take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. 

Of course, the Rodgers saga is what mostly made the offseason feel as long as it did. No matter your views on the situation, I think we can all agree that we’re happy to move forward from that and finally focus on the Packers playing games that matter each week now. 

Yes, the entire saga will be revisited this offseason as will many other things such as numerous contracts expiring, including Adams’, and other tough personnel decisions. But for now, let’s put all of that behind us.

The Green Bay Packers have another legitimate chance to bring home a fifth Lombardi Trophy home to Titletown and if this is truly the last season we’ll see players like Rodgers and Adams play in the green and gold, then by all means should we take every opportunity possible to enjoy every week as much as possible — even more so than we have in the past.

So grab some beers, eat some brats, cheese curds and more of your favorite game day food, sit back (or pace around wherever you watch the games) and take it all in. 

Quote(s) of the Week: “Every time they pee, you want it to look clear.” -Matt LaFleur on monitoring the players’ hydration

I couldn’t help it. Yes, I know this is a hilarious response from LaFleur, but it does bring up an interesting factor for Sunday’s game in Jacksonville.

While the Packers don’t have to worry about the noise inside the Superdome for the second consecutive year, they now have to prep for the Florida humidity. I’m not saying this will swing the game from one side to the other, but it’ll be an interesting factor to follow throughout the game. 

Green Bay opened the 2016 season in Jacksonville in 90-degree heat and beat the Jaguars, 27-23. The Packers are 3-1 all-time in Jacksonville against the Jaguars. 

1 Question: How will the Packers’ starting offensive line fare against the Saints? 

We know Elgton Jenkins will occupy the left tackle spot for at least the first six games, while Billy Turner will hold down the right tackle position. Rookie Josh Myers will start at center, which brings us to the guard spots. 

The first unofficial depth chart for the regular season listed rookie Royce Newman at right guard and Lucas Patrick at left guard. That means the Green Bay Packers will have two rookies starting right next to each other on Sunday while Jon Runyan Jr. is listed as the backup for both guard positions. 

Newman earning the starting spot is well-deserved after an impressive camp, in which he earned the highest Pro Football Focus preseason grade among rookie offensive linemen.

Typically, it’s not ideal to have two rookie starting offensive linemen for Week 1, but both Myers and Newman have helped set themselves apart in camp and will be put to the test against the Saints. Regardless of what happens, the interior of the offensive line will be something to watch each week.

1 Prediction: Randall Cobb finds the end zone against Saints

The 11th-year slot receiver has fared pretty well during his career against the Saints, hauling in 19 catches for 283 yards and three total touchdowns in five matchups.

That includes when the NFL world was first introduced to Cobb 10 seasons ago on opening night of the 2011-12 season when the then-rookie scored on a 32-yard touchdown reception and a 108-yard kickoff return later on. 

And now almost exactly 10 years later, I’m predicting Cobb makes his presence known again in his first game back as a Green Bay Packer since the 2018 season. 

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