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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Packers know they do not have a No. 1 receiver; right here why they ‘do not suppose it issues’

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Final season’s Inexperienced Bay Packers had some of the uncommon broad receiver rooms in current NFL historical past. Each receiver of their common rotation entered the league in both 2022 or 2023, that means they have been all first- or second-year gamers. 

Christian Watson, the staff’s second-round choose in 2022, was the previous man of the group at a mere 24 years previous. He got here into the season anticipated to function because the staff’s probably prime goal, however accidents brought on him to overlook video games and restricted him in plenty of others, and the Packers developed their offense into a way more egalitarian one. They did not actually have a go-to wideout. 

Romeo Doubs (96) had probably the most targets, whereas Jayden Reed led the group in catches (64) and yards (793). These figures ranked thirty eighth (targets), thirty fifth (catches) and thirty fifth (yards) amongst receivers leaguewide. Doubs’ 17.1% staff goal share, by way of Tru Media, ranked fortieth, whereas Reed’s 24.4% targets per route fee ranked twenty third. 

Nonetheless not getting the image? Think about that there have been 204 situations final season of a large receiver being focused on at the very least 30% of his staff’s go makes an attempt, and simply two of these video games belonged to a Packers receiver. To place that in perspective, a Packers opponent focused one particular broad receiver on at the very least 30% of their throws in Weeks 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, and 18. That is six instances in eight weeks! That is how completely different the Packers’ ball-distribution philosophy was from that of the remainder of the league. 

Inexperienced Bay is now getting into the 2024 season with largely the identical group readily available. Watson is again, as are Doubs and Reed, together with Dontayvion Wicks, Bo Melton, Malik Heath and Samori Toure. Once more, there’s not essentially a “No. 1” kind of receiver amongst that group. However the Packers do not care.  

“I personally do not suppose it issues,” head coach Matt LaFleur mentioned, by way of The Athletic. “I feel in the event you simply take a look at all through the course of a season in the past — and each season’s going to be just a little bit completely different — however all these guys had their moments the place they have been the main receiver in a sport. I really feel actually good in regards to the collective unit. The toughest half is we really feel so good about them, it is laborious to get everyone the quantity of touches that you just’d prefer to get, however that is drawback to have.”

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Certainly, Watson, Reed, Doubs, Wicks, and Melton every had video games the place they led the Packers in receiving. However as beforehand talked about, they did not essentially get a ton of targets, because the wealth was extra unfold round than it was on different squads. However Love mentioned that matches his play fashion. 

“I feel that is one factor that I’ve all the time tried to do is simply play the play,” he mentioned. “Play the play, undergo my reads and discover who’s open. Do not attempt to drive it as a result of I really feel like when you attempt to lock in on a man and drive it, not nice issues occur and then you definitely would possibly miss anyone who may be open on the play. … Play dependent, if there is a sure man I’d need to take a look at matchup-wise and issues like that, I will go to him, however I identical to to play it out.”

Maybe one or two of those gamers separates themselves from the remainder of the pack in 2024. All of them have completely different ability units, and a few would possibly show extra persistently helpful than others. However having an excessive amount of broad receiver depth is the form of factor that is by no means actually going to be a drawback, particularly in a league that’s as depending on the passing sport as is the trendy NFL.  

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