Packers want to pick up the pace on offense
Packers coach Mike McCarthy believes that quarterback Aaron Rodgers had the best spring practices of his career and that may be part of the reason why the Packers coach thinks the team’s offense can move even faster in the 2014 season than it has in the past.
The Packers ranked 11th in the NFL last season with an average of just over 67 offensive snaps per game and Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports that the team wants to boost that number to 75 snaps per game this year.
“We’ve always been a fast-tempo offense,” McCarthy said. “To me, there are two approaches to playing the game of football. Historically, in my opinion because I don’t want to offend anybody, defensive coaches want to slow the game down, run the ball, shorten the game. Your offensive coaches more want to pick it up. 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. 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.”
There’s no reason to worry about Rodgers running that kind of offense as McCarthy says he plays faster than anyone else he’s ever been around and the receivers should be up for the task, but the rest of the lineup could get in the way. Eddie Lacy came off the field on a lot of third downs last season, giving defenses time to adjust and slow the game down a little bit, and the loss of Jermichael Finley limited them at tight end.
The hope is that Lacy will be a three-down player in 2014 and that someone can emerge as an every-down tight end so that the Packers are free to keep the pedal to the metal all day long. That should make for difficult days for opposing defenses even if they don’t hit 75 plays every week.