North Notes: Packers, Rudolph, Steelers

The freedom Aaron Rodgers may or may not have to change plays at the line of scrimmage has become an issue in Green Bay, and first-year Packers HC Matt LaFleur explained the concern he has with enabling his decorated quarterback to have the kind of pre-snap autonomy he did under Mike McCarthy.

One thing we have to work through is the audible thing,” LaFleur said, via Michael Silver of, of his conversations with Rodgers. “We’re running a system I first picked up while working with Kyle (Shanahan) in Houston a decade ago, and we’ve never really had a quarterback who’s had complete freedom to change plays at the line, because that’s not really the way the offense is set up. But, I mean, this is Aaron Rodgers. He’s had a lot of freedom to make those calls, and deservedly so. Now, how do we reconcile that, and get to a place where we put him in the best position to succeed?

LaFleur would prefer Rodgers only have one play he can check to, while the 15th-year passer would like more leeway. The former Rams and Titans OC cited the pre-snap movement he’s bringing to Green Bay as a reason for the potential constraints Rodgers will face.

We move a lot more. There’s a lot more motion. There are a lot more moving parts,” LaFleur said, via Silver. “And so if you just let the quarterback have that freedom to just get to whatever, I’m afraid it would slow our guys down. Now, he is a special talent and he’s got an incredible mind, so as we move forward throughout this process he’s getting more freedom. It’s just, where is that happy medium?

Let’s look at the latest news out of the North divisions:

  • Although Kyle Rudolph received the outcome he wanted — a four-year, $36MM Vikings extension — he acknowledged the prospect of a Patriots trade. But it’s still unclear if the teams engaged in discussions. “Obviously the speculation is going to be there because of their situation at my position and then our team’s cash/cap situation and my salary,” Rudolph said, via’s Albert Breer. “So there was kind of just a natural, like, ‘Hey, Kyle’s familiar with the offense, he played for a coach (Charlie Weis, at Notre Dame) that was a coordinator there.” After signing Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Ben Watson, then cutting ASJ and nixing the Michael Roberts trade with the Lions, the Patriots still face the prospect of not having a proven tight end during Watson’s suspension.
  • The buzz about Donte Moncrief becoming Ben Roethlisberger‘s No. 2 target continues, with Mark Kaboly of The Athletic (subscription required) calling it a “slam dunk” the former Colts and Jaguars wideout will be the Steelers’ WR2. It still figures to be a collaborative effort replacing one of this generation’s best players, Antonio Brown, but it looks like Moncrief’s offseason has him in position to lead that charge.
  • Artie Burns‘ standing in Pittsburgh is certainly not on the same level, and the Steelers face a decision on the underwhelming first-round cornerback. The team has until the third day of training camp to waive Burns and save $800K, but Kaboly notes that if the fourth-year corner has not yet been cut, the Steelers are probably planning to give him another shot. Regardless, Kaboly expects this to be Burns’ final year in Pittsburgh.
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12 comments on “North Notes: Packers, Rudolph, Steelers

  1. jorge78

    Yes, the first thing you do is take away one of your QB’s strengths! Good luck LaLoser!
    GOD help Packer nation!

    • ChiSoxCity

      Good luck coaching the princess. I love it when starts pouting and faking injuries.

      • Vizionaire

        the best qb in the league. you may call him a princess but the most accomplished qb indicated rodgers might be the best. troll.

  2. crosseyedlemon

    If your QB is constantly having to audible then perhaps the problem is an unimaginative OC. The Packers of course have one of the youngest rosters in the league so avoiding overly complex schemes would probably be the smart approach for LaFleur to take.

    • Matthew Heywood

      So in the same comment you talk about an unimaginative OC and then say the packers should have an easier system for the young players. Which is it?

      • crosseyedlemon

        I think there are ways of creatively expanding the offensive playbook without it becoming an overly complex learning problem for young players. Of course as a Bears fan, I’m not a liberty to provide the Packers with details on how that can be achieved.

    • dray16

      he’s so good at audibles that he audibled into having one of his worst years of his career. he certainly knows what he’s doing.

  3. Rondon

    Yes, “Naturally” the Patriots were talking about you. As if you could hold Gronk’s cleats. Sheesh.

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