The Green Bay Packers have an offense anchored by Aaron Rodgers, but new rumors indicate that the quarterback could take on an even larger role in the team’s offense this season.
The quarterback appears to be moving into a Peyton Manning-type role, serving as an on-field offensive coordinator and possibly even having greater input into larger game plans.
This offseason coach Mike McCarthy decided to give up play-calling duties, the first time he’s done that in his career. While offensive coordinator Tom Clements is officially the one in charge of the offense, it appears that the team is grooming Aaron Rodgers to take a bigger role as well.
ESPN reported that the change could give more control of play selection to Rodgers.
“I’ve always had a lot of freedom,” Rodgers said. “It’s just occasionally the personnel groupings restricts some of the checks you can make. But that’s kind of a natural progression for a quarterback who’s been in a system for a long time, if they can handle it to do more things. I have always liked a good starting point for a play and then have the ability to get us in a better play if you can do it quickly and it’s clean.”
Though it is rare for a team to turn so much control over to a quarterback, it is not unheard of. Peyton Manning has essentially been serving as his own offensive coordinator for years, calling plays on the field with the freedom to audible as often as possible.
There are past examples as well. The Buffalo Bills pioneered the modern no-huddle offense in the early 1990s, but it would not have been successful without Jim Kelly’s on-field play calling.
And it turns out that Aaron Rodgers has some experience calling plays. Mike McCarthy let Rodgers call the plays for the 2011 season finale, a game in which backup Matt Flynn set team records with 480 yards and six touchdowns.
If the rumors about the Green Bay Packers turning play calling duties to Aaron Rodgers are true, the team could be a force in the next season. The Packers made some important moves to keep the offense intact this offseason, giving Randall Cobb a four-year, $40 million deal. The move gave Cobb the same yearly average salary as wideout Jordy Nelson and allowed Rodger to keep what is one of the league’s best wide receiver corps.
[Image via Getty Images/Otto Greule Jr]