The Packers are known for having one of the deepest corps of receivers in the NFL in addition to a top five quarterback in Aarin Rodgers. Many have stated that the the likes of Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb, and longtime veteran Donald Driver could start for most any team in the NFL.
But lately, the Packers have been hit with injury at the position. Greg Jennings had to have surgery to help his groin injury, and Jordy Nelson has recently been hit with hamstring injuries. The Packers are left with reliable threats in James Jones, Randall Cobb, and Donald Driver, but they have neglected their tight ends.
After all, they thought enough of them last season to keep five of them. They need to do more in the passing game.
Starter Jermichael Finley has regressed since his breakout season a few years ago, dropping balls and becoming less of a target in the passing game. Second-year tight end DJ Williams was a great receiving threat coming out of Arkansas, and won the Mackey Award in his last season. He broke out early in training camp, but only has four receptions on the season.
These two guys could be big threats in the passing game. We see how much having tight ends involved in the passing game can do for an offense. Just look at Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots or Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints.
The Packers have tight ends who can block well and play good on special teams in Tom Crabtree and Ryan Taylor. Williams and Finley could do better work on opposing defenses if they were more involved in the passing game. It would also help to alleiviate the pressure off of the receivers that will inevitably be put on them and give the Packers a threat in the middle of the field.
With Finley, it's about giving him more targets and getting him back in sync with Rodgers, who continues to throw to his receivers even when they drop passes. With Williams, it's also about giving him more looks in the passing game. Williams has great potential, and he should be used as more than a backup fullback role, which he has been doing more of in the absence of John Kuhn, who has been out with injury.
Head coach Mike McCarthy has had a thriving passing game since his arrival in Green Bay. That trend will continue if he can get his receiving tight ends involved and give them more than blocking duty.