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Aaron Rodgers thinks he can fix the Packers' broken offense. Should Matt LaFleur give him the keys?

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Six games into the season with a dragging offense, we need to stop arguing and take the word for Aaron Rodgers. Whatever the Green Bay Packers are doing is not working.

Now it’s time for Green Bay to hand over the offensive keys to Rodgers and find out if head coach Matt LaFleur was right about his action-based plan.

At the very least, such a handover of control would help resolve this repetitive “staff-coach” tennis match that always erupts in the middle of Packers football fights. It’s the same thing Rodgers hit in the nose after Green Bay’s 27-10 loss to the New York Jets, after which he told reporters: “If you think we have the right players, then we need to simplify things. If you don’t, then that’s another conversation entirely. ”

Welcome to a familiar episode of the season when the “players or the plan” has become the satellite argument revolving around the MVP quarterback. The only difference now may not be the case of either/or Green Bay’s offensive issues. This time, with the loss of star catcher Davante Adams and the addition of two rookie games, the Packers may have problems with the players. and scheme that infects each other on a unit scoring an anemic 17.8 points per game.

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, left, makes an attack that quarterback Aaron Rodgers currently dislikes. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Aaron Rodgers vs. Matt LaFleur: QB details exactly what he didn’t like in the diagram

Is Rodgers part of this question? Maybe. But if you’ve been listening since August, there’s little doubt he thinks he’s part of the solution: less of LaFleur’s motion-based scheme and more of precision-based, West Coast-style football that makes things simpler for the quarterback. offensive line.

Let’s look at two quotes from Rodgers that tell a large part of this story. No one else has to say what he thinks, as Rodgers has done a good job at this. All it takes is to superimpose two moments that seem very honest from him.

First, absorb his words after losing to the Jets, which is Rodgers at its most unfiltered – immortality In the following days, he tried to soften the edges with explanations. Note the comment about movement in LaFleur’s diagram, which is probably Rodgers’ most salient point.

“Just based on how we’ve played over the last two weeks, I think it’s in our best interest to keep things simple for everyone – for the line, for the backs, for the receivers, especially [Randall Cobb’s] “Just simplify things, maybe that will help us get back on track,” Rodgers told reporters. [Be]Because it was very simple things in the double drives where we moved the ball. Very simple games, no movement so we need to look at everything and the guys we have and what we can achieve with them and be smart about progressing. No one works harder on the plan each week than Matt, and no one comes up with better ideas than him and his team. But if it doesn’t work, it’s not because these guys didn’t grind. Because we don’t.”

Contrast this with what Rodgers said on the “Pardon My Take” podcast during a bootcamp interview in August. Stay with us here as it’s a long quote, but it says a lot in the context of what’s happening right now.

Rodgers said, “I always tell Matt that this plan has flaws. This plan is very different from me — I grew up on the West Coast offense. I think the West Coast offense is the best offense ever created. It’s all about timing, rhythm and balance, and it all makes sense in terms of protection. [hot reads] has. You know where your eye goes every time. You know how the concepts come together. [LaFleur’s offense] It is a schematic crime. [The West Coast offense] it wasn’t a schematic crime. It was built on timing, precision and rhythm, and the guys being in the right place at the right time and putting the ball on the right number. … Like this [West Coast] While it is a crime, it is not connected to the act. It is based on winning 1v1 matches and then hitting the football with accuracy. That’s how I grew up.

“I admired Peyton Manning, in his prime, he would run them all in twos and threes. [receiver] immobile formations. Just because he wanted to look at it and use the cadence variation to get movement and then go with the tempo as well. When you have a lot of movement, it’s hard to keep up the pace. Because you have to make sure you are always ready and [then] you have a move, maybe a double move, maybe this thing, maybe this adjustment from it. I’m telling [LaFleur] same thing – I’m not telling you anything I wouldn’t tell him – I went after him today because every goddamn game has a goddamn move. And I said, ‘Can we run a game without moving and pass so we can keep some pace?’ Because I like to change the tempo.”

Using these two quotes as Rosetta Stone, it can be more clearly understood that Rodgers said he wanted to “simplify” things. For Rodgers, there’s just too much complicated stuff going on for too many inexperienced people, and that puts him in a position where he can’t line up behind the center and get into mode to play on the other side of football. Specifically, instead of just diagnosing how the defensive line is lined up, or trying to identify what disguises are coming in, or listening for defensive signals, it’s worried about taking whatever action is designed in a given game and making sure everyone is where they need to be. be.

How does Rodgers think he can fix this?

It’s all about control and clarity. We can make it more complicated than that, but in a nutshell, Rodgers has already told us what the problems are. He wants to do what Manning did for years with the Indianapolis Colts under offensive coordinator Tom Moore. Line up in front of a defence, diagnose what they see, get the correct reading, and then hit a point. All this puts less pressure on the offensive players around the quarterback because the scheme doesn’t rely on the large number of different run/pass/screen options that come into play when using pre-catching moves.

Moving offense can put a lot of pressure on the defenses because they instantly dissolve a moving player set and have to make the right adjustments extremely quickly. Conversely, making a West Coast offense is a simpler plan where an experienced quarterback like Rodgers can diagnose what he sees, make sure the guards are correct, and then make the right choice against what he reads along the offensive line. It’s also simple enough that it can be shifted to non-convergence mode (an example of what Rodgers referred to as “pace”); here Rodgers calls the game to gather the defense from a single point at the heel line. play next.

There is an argument for both plans. The movement concepts that LaFleur uses have their roots in some very successful plans filtered through San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. Many cite Shanahan and the Los Angeles Rams’ Sean McVay as the most creative architects in the movement offensive. But it’s also not a new concept anymore. It could be argued that the defenses catch up with the rite of different appearances emerging from the schema.

Of course, the same can be said for the West Coast offensive, which has come in various iterations since it was invented in the late 1970s by former San Diego Chargers head coach Don Coryell and became wildly popular by the San Francisco 49ers’ Bill Walsh. 1980s. Typically, the success of a West Coast offense depends on the ingenuity and intelligence of the quarterback leading it and whether the players around him are detail-oriented enough to do their job with precision. If a team has a marriage of both, the West Coast system can still be run today with great success.

We can debate whether these Packers have the right staff or experience around Rodgers to run more West Coast plans. We can’t argue whether Rodgers is comfortable with this. He says so and has made it clear that he wants to play more by the summer. That’s despite back-to-back MVP seasons running LaFleur’s plan.

We must remember that Rodgers no longer owns Davante Adams. It’s a fact that he certainly takes into account the number of complex checks he has to go through before catching the football. He also has an offensive line that struggles with chemistry and a backcourt that stubbornly splits contacts between Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, despite Jones being clearly more effective in six games.

Really, all that matters at this point is that the offense and the staff are struggling and the MVP quarterback doesn’t feel comfortable with what he’s doing. He also states that he knows what can help solve problems. This opens up a path that is unpleasant for LaFleur, but can also provide clarity: surrender and let Rodgers work more sets than he wants. Bend the diagram towards what makes him comfortable. See what happens from there. The worst-case scenario is that it fails spectacularly, at which point Rodgers will have to face reality.

Maybe it’s the players. Maybe that’s the plan. Or maybe both, the quarterback is as responsible as anyone else in this equation. It’s time to let Green Bay hand over the keys to Rodgers and try to fix it. If he gets what he wants and doesn’t get it, Sunday was absolutely right: That’s another conversation.