According to Pro Football Focus, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers were one of the least efficient teams on play-action passes in 2019. Even with this being said, Aaron Rodgers threw the ball on 26.1% of his attempts last year, which was actually an increase of 6% from the year before. It is clear Matt LaFleur wants to get the play action passes involved in his offense; if the efficiency is improved it could mean big things for this offense.
How Can They Get There?
The 2020 NFL draft was a turning point for this year’s offense. Green Bay went with multiple late round offensive lineman, the bruising running back AJ Dillion taken in the second round, and a dual threat tight end taken in the third. These are signs that point to this offense being heavy set on any given down.
The Packers tight end room is loaded. It consists of Mercedes Lewis, Jace Sternberger, Robert Tonyan, and Josiah Deguara. James Looney and Evan Baylis might fight for a practice squad spot. However, the first four names mentioned all have a real chance at being on the roster week one. Matt LaFleur has gone into depth in the past about wanting to effectively run the ball. The best way to do that is to get more blockers on the field. The best way to get an effective play action offense on the field, is to bring in personnel who can block, but who can also roll out and catch. Every single one of those tight ends listed as that capability.
The compliments of Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, and AJ Dillion, mixed with a possible 2-3 tight end set on the field gives the offense numerous opportunities to run with heavy packages. They also get Rodgers some breathing room on some deep play action passes. Davante Adams one on one on the outside in these heavy set packages should be lethal. This will also give Marquez Valdez-Scantling opportunities to prove he can be the deep threat we think he can be.
Now that coach Lafleur has the players he needs to run his offense, expect to see more efficiency. It’s not going to be about taking the ball out of Aaron Rodgers hands. It’s going to design plays to get his receivers in favorable matchups. Expect Rodgers to excel in 2020 and look much more like the MVP quarterback we know he is.