There also were hurdles to overcome regarding Rodgers’ confidence, which receivers coach/passing game coordinator Jason Vrable emphasized during the exit-interview process.
“If you were to see him right now, he already looks faster and stronger than he ever did,” said Vrable last month. “He’s in the best shape of his life. His mindset is, ‘I’m going to be the No. 1 guy at all three positions.’ He has that going for him. His route-running is already cleaner and crisper.”
On special teams, Rodgers had a few muffed punts and fumbles that admittedly impacted his confidence throughout the course of the season.
To move forward, Rodgers looked at those plays critically and aimed to learn from the mistakes. Now, he’s again competing to handle returns under new special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia.
“If you mess up, you’re going to lose confidence, naturally,” Rodgers said. “I just feel like me being a rookie, taking it all in and everything coming with being with the Packers, I feel like I let it get to me. Now, I feel like I have a year in the system, a year in the league. I know what it takes. I know what it takes to get out there and be successful.”
Having Randall Cobb in Green Bay has helped the maturation process. Rodgers has known the Pro Bowl wideout for more than decade, as Rodgers’ father, Tee Martin, originally coached Cobb at the University of Kentucky.
Both Cobb and Vrable have taken notice of the subtle changes in both Rodgers’ makeup and demeanor during the offseason program, with Cobb even saying in passing to Vrable: “You can feel it from him.”
While Davante Adams was traded to Las Vegas in March, the receiver competition remains fierce in Green Bay with the addition of Sammy Watkins and three rookie draft picks in Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure.
With a firmer grasp of the playbook, Rodgers is looking to do something memorable each time he steps onto the practice field this offseason. More than anything, Rodgers feels more like himself again as…