Published: September 8th, 2010 | Tags: Aaron Rodgers, Antonio Gates, Brandyn Dombrowski, Brian Baldinger, Donald Lee, Green Bay Packers, Jermichael Finley, Joe Theismann, Legedu Naanee, Malcolm Floyd, Marcus McNeill, Michael Lombardi, Norv Turner, Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers, Vincent Jackson
I had a mini-film session in my office at NFL Films on Wednesday when Michael Lombardi and Joe Theisman joined me to watch the Packers’ and Chargers’ offenses. The idea was we would concentrate on the two young, ascending quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers.
Neither player disappointed.
While watching Rodgers, though, one thing that really jumped out at me was the play of the Packers’ offensive line and their blocking schemes. Their line is home-grown, and not one starter was a first-round pick. Wow, though, they know how to play together. The Packers line plays in sync, with great technique, and plays hard in both the run and the pass. In situations where they anticipate pressure, the Packers use tight ends Donald Lee and Jermichael Finley behind the guards as a safety valve. I don’t know why more teams don’t do this. If the pocket is secure, they act as a valuable check-down target.
Watching the Chargers, I anticipated a mess offensively without WR Vincent Jackson and LT Marcus McNeil. That wasn’t the case at all. The Chargers handled the Saints’ starting defense with ease, and a few items became abundantly clear.
Chargers coach Norv Turner is a great playcaller and knows how to seal the edges through his scheme. Even so, young LT Brandyn Dombrowski is a very good player as well. Even without Jackson, Rivers is very skilled at finding open receivers and delivering almost perfect passes. That is a result of Turner’s coaching. I watched Malcolm Floyd, Legedu Naanne and Antonio Gates have no problems getting open. Rookie Ryan Mathews also looks more than capable of stepping up and handling the running duties. A big part of Turner’s offense this season will continue to be screen passes.
Nothing that we watched today suggested Rivers, Rodgers and their respective offenses will do anything other than execute at a very high level all season.
– Brian Baldinger