We've noted that Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk is skeptical of the players-only workouts taking place in select NFL cities during the lockout. I think we can put Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the same category, and his recently expressed views on the topic help clarify why Packers players haven't participated in football drills together this offseason.
Rodgers"That's something I'm sure we will do if it continues to drag on," Rodgers said in a radio appearance, via sportsradiointerviews.com. "I think if you look at some of the reports that are out there, a lot of that is maybe over-exaggerated about people getting together. You think about the number of different issues that are involved with getting those kinds of people together. It's just difficult to do. Donald [Driver] lives in Houston and he's not going anywhere. Greg [Jennings] lives in Michigan. James [Jones] lives in San Jose. Jordy [Nelson] lives in Kansas. And Brett Swain lives in San Diego, so to get those together who are all married and living with kids, is tough to do. We're going to try but it's going to be difficult."
The Packers have the advantage of, in some cases, five full years together in the same offensive system. When training camp eventually (and presumably) begins, it's doubtful that Jennings will zig when Rodgers thinks he is going to zag.
This is all unprecedented territory, and I don't think we can say with any conviction that the Packers' approach is any more or less justified than, say, the Detroit Lions. (As Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com points out, more than 30 Lions players gathered Monday to work out together in Detroit.) They're just different. Maybe next year at this time, we'll be able to look back and draw some conclusions. But probably not now.