Greg Jennings knows what it’s like to be a rookie with a great QB
The Green Bay Packers hope rookie wide receivers Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson will step up for the offense this season. The Packers are without their 2021 leading receiver, as Davante Adams resides with the Las Vagas Raiders. Former Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings recently gave some advice to the young men.
Jennings has been in their position. But with Brett Favre being the quarterback instead of Aaron Rodgers. He was drafted in 2006 as a second-round pick. Jennings responded as a rookie in a big way, scoring three touchdowns and having 632 receiving yards.
Jennings recently spoke about how the Packers rookies can improve their game early on. Per Mike Spofford of Packers.com, Jennings said they must focus on catching the ball. It was one of the essential lessons he learned as a rookie to prove to Favre that he was a reliable option as a target:
“One of the No. 1 things … was catch the ball,” Jennings said Thursday, just a few hours before his induction into the Packers Hall of Fame along with star 1980s pass rusher Tim Harris.
“I don’t care if I ran the wrong route, I don’t care what the defender did to disrupt me, at the end of the day I wanted him to know I was going to catch the ball. So that would be my advice.”
Catching the ball is timely advice for this WR room
The advice seems simple. Wide receivers are put on the field to catch the ball in the passing game. But currently, it appears as if the inexperienced wide receivers are struggling with that task in training camp. Rodgers and head coach Matt LaFleur have been frustrated with dropped passes at practice. The offense is evaluating how to use the running backs as options for more passing targets.
It’s not uncommon for rookies to adjust to the NFL game’s speed and size. Especially at wide receiver. Last season, Cincinnati Bengals rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase was vocal about his struggles to get used to the NFL ball versus the college one. Chase went on to win the AP’s Rookie Offensive Player of the Year in 2021.
That’s not a realistic expectation for Doubs or Watson. They don’t need to worry about winning that award right now, anyway. But if the two can catch the ball consistently like Jennings is preaching, the Packers will have no problems moving the ball downfield this season.