Packers remain 'very bullish' on potential of WR Amari Rodgers

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Amari Rodgers isn’t going anywhere. Despite a disappointing rookie season, general manager Brian Gutekunst still has big plans for last year’s third-round pick.

“We’re very, very bullish on Amari Rodgers and what he can do for this football team,” said Gutekunst on Wednesday.

So much for not having Rodgers on your 53-man roster prediction. Gutekunst commended Rodgers for getting in great shape this offseason and mentioned how players vary in how it takes to get comfortable in the offense. According to Gutekunst, some players are able to catch on pretty fast, but for most others, it might not happen until into their second or even third seasons. 

It was always a long shot for Green Bay to give up a draft pick after one year, but many were down on Rodgers following last season’s performance. However, he didn’t get much of a chance behind veteran Randall Cobb.

In a lot of ways, Rodgers is considered Cobb’s heir apparent, but it’s still tough to gauge what he can do after playing only 10 percent of the snaps on offense. Rodgers showed very little in limited action, catching only four passes for 45 yards. It’s possible the Packers could just be grooming him for 31-year-old Cobb’s eventual departure.

Rodgers had a larger role on special teams. He served as the team’s primary returner on kicks and punts but also failed to show much in that area. Rodgers logged an uninspiring average of 18.1 yards per kick return and struggled on punts with knowing when to fair catch and muffs.

Speaking of muffs, Rodgers did muff a punt during Tuesday’s practice, and it prompted an unfavorable reaction from special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia. After practice, Rodgers talked about how he responds well to hard coaching.

In his defense, there was apparently something wrong with the JUGS machine used in the drill.

“We’re in the market for a new JUGS machine,” head coach Matt LaFleur said jokingly.

“It was awful. You couldn’t get the ball to turn over. It was damn near impossible to catch. That was not the finest hour for our equipment staff.” 

JUGS jokes aside, Rodgers is having a much better camp than last year, to the delight of Gutekunst.

“Certainly, I think in this particular training camp, you’ve seen him make the most of his opportunities, and I’m excited for him,” Gutekunst said.

Green Bay hopes for a second-year jump from Rodgers, but even if he starts to struggle in the preseason, his spot on the 53-man roster appears to be secure.   

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