I have to take a few minutes to discuss this 6000 yard claim by Vic Ketchman of Packers.com.
First, I would like to start by saying that I am a diehard Packer fan. I know a lot of people claim to be “diehard” fans, but I have lived 5 minutes from Lambeau Field for 18 years of my life. I rode my bike to practices during the summer when I was younger, and can remember players like Santana Dotson, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, Hardy Nickerson, and even Jamal Reynolds riding my bike from Lambeau field to the Packers practice facility. I have not missed even a pre-season game since I was 10, and frequently use my grandparents season tickets…so I truly am a diehard fan.
First off, I don’t want to sugar coat this at all: Vic Ketchman is off his rocker. A 6000 yard season is simply ridiculous. We will never see this in our lifetime. This is a perfect example of a beat writer trying to make a name for himself. Well, here is some advice Vic Ketchman; Skip Bayless is about the only writer I can think of that has made a career off sayingi such ridiculous things. Claims like this are a quick way to become an ex-writer for Packers.com. Not only do you sound ignorant in the sports media community, but you make Packers fans look bad. You are a representation of us all, so please don’t make Packer fans look like fools.
Now I get to tell you why Aaron Rodgers will never pass for 6000 yards:
First off, there is too much change in the NFL. As we have seen, even a legend(Peyton Manning) is only an injury away from having a new team to play for. A position may look deep in one year(the Packer currently do at receiver), and 2 years down the road it may be a position the Packers are trying to improve through the waiver wire. A 6000 yard passer would have to be with the same top 3-4 targets for at least 5 years in my opinion.
The NFL is cyclical. The offensive production of the NFL varies every 3-4 years. We saw record passing numbers this year, but next year might be different. The league has changed rules to get the passing game to be the primary focus of offenses. We see defenses switching to the 3-4 to get more atheltic guys onto the field to defend the pass…but for whatever reason, we will see a year within the next 2-3 years in which we have maybe three 4,200+ yard passers. When this happens, we will see one or two rushers pushing 1,900 yards, and probably another 5 pushing the 1,600 yard mark. The NFL is cyclical, bottom line.
Offensive line play. I have read a few articles claiming that the Packers have the best offensive line in the league…this is another bold claim. I would trade the Packers starting 5 up front for the Patriots or 49ers any day of the week. I this we will all agree having a guy at center that can handle the offensive line duties and allowing the quarterback the freedom to operate without worrying about protection is the only way we see a 6,000 yard passer. The Packers had one of those in Scott Wells. While I have never been very high on Scott Wells(I believe he is a career overachiever who is regularly overmatched in a division that saw Kevin and Pat Williams, Tommie Harris in his prime, Shaun Rodgers in his prime, and now features Ndamukong Suh). Jeff Saturday is this same type of center…and absolute general on the field that commands his offensive line’s attention before every snap…but he is 38/39 years old. He MIGHT have 2 years left in him. I believe offensive line is going to be a position of concern for the Packers following this season…and problems on the offensive line mean problems for your quarterback.
Lastly, this may not be a reason why we won’t see a 6,000 yard passer, but rather a statement about the current landscape of the quarterback position in the NFL. If we don’t see a 6,000 yard passer in the next 3-5 years, we never will. There has never been a higher level of quarterback play in the NFL than there is right now. How many times in NFL history have you been able to say there are 10 guys you would want to start a franchise around for the next 5 years at quarterback. You currently have Rodgers, Brady, Brees, and baby Manning as the top tier of the elite in the NFL. I will then argue that Stafford, Matt Ryan, Old Manning, Roethlisberger round out the next level…this is still a level that you would start a franchise around these guys. Then we have Cam Newton, Tony Romo, Matt Schaub to round out the guys that I expect most NFL executives would want playing behind center. With a few left out who would be strongly debated, I just listed 12 franchise guys. That is more than a 3rd of the league. If we do not see a 6,000 yard passer out of this group, we won’t ever see it…barring Rodger Goodell changing the rules dramatically(which could happen).
That is my rant for today on why Rodgers will not pass for 6,000 yards…sorry Vic Ketchman.