Green Bay Packers fans are certainly aware of the importance of chemistry between a quarterback and a receiver. Now that Jordan Love is taking over as the team’s starting QB, we don’t know yet who his go-to receiver will be. So far, the leading candidate is Romeo Doubs.
Recent Examples of QB/WR Chemistry in Green Bay
The most recent example of outstanding chemistry between a quarterback and a receiver in Green Bay was between Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. That duo could give each other a quick glance or a nod and be on the same page. When they were working well together, they were almost unstoppable. That combination resulted in five straight Pro Bowl seasons for Adams and a franchise record 123 catches in 2021. He also led the league with 18 touchdown catches in 2020.
Over the last 30 years, the Packers have had numerous other quarterback and receiver combinations with exceptional chemistry. Brett Favre had Sterling Sharpe to lean on early in his career. Any time the Pack needed a first down or a key pickup, Favre would look Sharpe’s way.
Before Rodgers had Adams, he had a special relationship with Jordy Nelson. The duo could make back shoulder throws that were nearly impossible to defend when they were executed properly.
The Current Candidates
There are several candidates to take over as the go-to receiver this year. The Packers have put together a young receiving corps that they hope will grow and develop with Love. No receiver on the roster has more than one year of NFL experience.
Jordan Love and Christian Watson
Second-year man Christian Watson is projected to be the team’s big-play receiver and WR1. The North Dakota State alum possesses a rare combination of size and speed that could make him an elite player.
After a slow start, Watson finished his rookie season strong after scoring three touchdowns in the Packers Week 10 win over Dallas. He finished the season with 41 catches for 611 yards and seven receiving touchdowns.
Watson needs to improve his route running and consistency, but he could be a star in this league. But will he be Love’s go-to receiver?
Jordan Love and Romeo Doubs
The leading candidate right now appears to be Romeo Doubs. As a rookie, the former Nevada star caught 42 passes for 425 yards and three touchdowns.
Doubs was an immediate standout as a rookie at OTAs and in training camp before leading the team in receiving during the preseason.
He got off to a solid start before injuries caused him to miss four late-season games and slowed him down in several others.
Doubs also worked with Love (and Watson) at an informal passing camp that the quarterback scheduled earlier this offseason. He and Love have worked together extensively in practice and in the preseason when Love was taking more snaps with the first-string offense due to Rodgers’ absence or injuries.
Love himself seemed to indicate Doubs was the frontrunner to be his go-to guy. During OTAs, he told reporters, “When in doubt, you can throw it out there and you know he’s going to make a play, and he’s done a great job of going and getting the ball wherever it’s at. He’s made some really tough catches, and it kind of just builds everybody’s confidence. It builds my confidence in him, just being able to throw the ball out there and know he’s going to make a play.”
During OTAs, Love looked for Doubs most often on third or fourth down situations and in the team’s two-minute drills.
Head coach Matt LaFleur also noticed the chemistry developing between Doubs and Love. “I think that Romeo has done a nice job of really making that next step,” LaFleur said. “Now, he’s got to go out and do it in games, what we’ve seen from him in practice, just how deliberate he is with what he’s trying to work on. He’s done a great job of really getting his feet in the ground, running violent routes, violent cuts, being aggressive with his hands. I think he’s shown a lot of progress. Just the rapport that those two guys have shown throughout eight practices has been pretty solid.”
Love and Doubs still have a long way to go before they can become the next dynamic quarterback-receiver duo in Packers history. They may never get there and if they do, they may never reach the level of some of those past duos. Still, Doubs seems to be the early favorite as the Packers prepare to start training camp in a few weeks and that’s a good sign.
Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers
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