Packers’ Mike McCarthy: Richard Rodgers Has Taken a Step Forward

Last season, the tight end position was a bit of a weakness for the Green Bay Packers. This season, thanks to Richard Rodgers, it could be a strength.

Rodgers, the second-year man from Cal, who the Packers selected in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, had his moments a season ago, but now, after an impressive start in training camp, he has the look of a big contributor.

According to a post by ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky, McCarthy has been pleased with Rodgers performance and had this to say following practice yesterday:

“Richard Rodgers has definitely taken a step from last year,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after Tuesday’s practice.

“He’s taken a step offensively in the passing game and completely understands it,” McCarthy added after also raving about Rodgers’ play on special teams in practice so far. “You think about where he was this time last year. He’s comfortable and he’s catching the ball very well. He’s off to a good start.”

Rodgers came on strong at the end of last year and even caught the game-winning touchdown in the Packers playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys. And if he can sustain that level of play over the course of a 16- game season, it could give Green Bay the long-term answer the Packers have been searching for since the departure of Jermichael Finely.

Rodgers is the odds on favorite to be the starter in Green Bay but needs to prove he can handle the blocking needed to be the full-time starter.

According to Packers tight end coach Jerry Fotenot, Rodgers Has taken a big step forward in that aspect as well, while also hauling in spectacular touchdown receptions like a recent 26-yarder he caught from Scott Tolzien.

Aaron Rodgers already has plenty of playmakers, but if Richard Rodgers becomes the kind of player the Packers think he can be, the two-time MVP will simply add another talented weapon to his already well-stocked arsenal.

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