Packers WRs called to team meeting day after Rodgers rips young receivers

Sport

The Green Bay Packers corps of young wide receivers met with the team’s quarterbacks and a group of offensive coaches the day after Aaron Rodgers questioned their progress.

On Tuesday, the reigning MVP criticised his young receivers for “a lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route,” during practice, adding: “we’ve got to get better in that area.”

The Packers offense is regrouping after Rodgers’ favourite target, All-Pro receiver Davante Adams, was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders earlier this year. The Packers have long been criticised for failing to draft receivers to complement Rodgers, arguably the most talented quarterback of his generation. The last time the team selected a wide receiver in the first-round was 2002.

“It was just really giving us advice,” Samori Toure, a seventh-round pick on this year’s draft, said after Wednesday’s meeting. “Basically, letting us know that the Green Bay receiving corps has always been held to a super-high standard. All the legends who have been through here. It’s just about us carrying on that standard and stepping up.”

Toure went on to catch a 50-yard touchdown pass from Green Bay’s No 2 quarterback, Jordan Love, during a joint practice session with the New Orleans Saints.

Rodgers had not directed criticism at his senior receivers, Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, who also attended Wednesday’s meeting.

“Both Randall and Allen have been playing with [Rodgers] for quite a long time so certain things that we do, that we may have a mistake on, just from experience they’ve went through that same stage as well,” fourth-round Romeo Doubs said. “Just them picking up the young guys throughout these dog days of camp has been a tremendous blessing and great piece of advice.”

Cobb said it was irrelevant whether the young receivers liked Rodgers’ thoughts on their game.

“It doesn’t matter if they appreciate it or not,” he said. This is the way that we do things here. It’s either you deal with it or you get out of the room and we’ll find somebody else that’s going to get onboard with what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Love said Rodgers’ stature as a four-time league MVP gave him the authority to give his unvarnished thoughts.

“I’m trying to echo the same message he is just to get everybody on the same page,” Love said. “But yeah, I think it’s a little different coming from Aaron, the way he demands it. They look up to Aaron a little bit different. Obviously he’s got a lot of experience and a lot more knowledge than me. But I think we all demand the same thing. The receivers know what they need to do and everybody is on the same page with it.”

The Packers are among the favourites to win this season’s Super Bowl. They start their campaign against the Minnesota Vikings on 11 September.