The Green Bay Packers think they have the key to offensive success in the NFL — speed.
The team has seen the format work both with the New England Patriots and last season with Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles. Those teams rushed to the line, keeping defenses on their toes, controlling the tempo of the game and lighting up the scoreboard.
The Green Bay Packers are working this offseason to adopt a new high-flying style, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
“We play pretty fast, but you always want to play faster,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said during an interview last month. “With a guy like Aaron, he plays faster than anybody I’ve ever been around.”
The offense the Packers are looking to implement will look quite a bit different than Kelly’s rapid pace attack in Philadelphia. The Eagles averaged more than 80 plays per game last year, and McCarthy is looking to hit about 75 plays per game with the Packers.
With Green Bay, the new offense will rely on Aaron Rodgers’ strong arm and sharp mind.
“Aaron Rodgers is a beast the way he plays the game, the way he attacks the defense, whether it’s his cadence, his ability to recognize defenses to take advantage of a certain pressure, and then on top of it he’s so well-rehearsed in this offense,” McCarthy said. “If anything, you worry about him just sometimes playing too fast. Not that he’s playing too fast, he has the ability to play at such a fast level, it’s keeping everyone coordinated to be able to play with him.”
McCarthy said the shift in offense makes sense given the number of big-play threats the Packers have.
“I’ve always been of the belief of getting as many shots as you can, so we’ve always emphasized playing as fast as you can,” he said. “When you have as many three-down players as you can possibly have, obviously your substitution patterns are cleaner. You’re not subbing because you have to, you’re subbing just when you need to.”
McCarthy said the new plan means the Green Bay Packers could be running a lot of no-huddle offense this year, an area where Rodgers has excelled.
“There’s a lot of substitution that goes on by both teams. The key substitution is usually for third down, because teams run so much on third down. After second down, if you’re subbing four or five guys on and off, it’s tough to run an offense where you’re up-tempo, because everybody has to get the call, and it just takes a little longer. We’d like to play a little faster.”