Woodson: Packers' no-huddle is 'a beast'

August, 23, 2014
8/23/14
2:15
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- James Jones and Charles Woodson have seen the Green Bay Packers' offense at its finest.

Both played on the 2007 team that reached the NFC title game with Brett Favre at the helm.

Both played on the 2010 Super Bowl-winning team with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.

And both played here in 2011, when Rodgers set an NFL single-season record for passer rating (122.5) and set franchise records for touchdowns passes (45), passing yards (4,643) and won the league's MVP award.

Even they came away impressed with what they saw on Friday at Lambeau Field.

Playing for the visiting Oakland Raiders, the two former Packers watched in person as Rodgers and his offense put the final touches on their preparation for the Sept. 4 season opener at the Seattle Seahawks.

In six series against the Raiders, Rodgers led three touchdown drives -- two of which were capped by touchdown passes -- that laid the groundwork for a 31-21 preseason victory.

"Man, they looked goooooood," said Jones, who signed with the Raiders this offseason. "They looked like they were in midseason form. A-Rod is the man in that offense. They're doing a lot of quick games, giving the receivers a chance to get the ball in their hands, make some plays for Aaron. But they looked good. They looked real explosive."

Running the no-huddle, Rodgers and the No. 1 offense got off 39 plays before exiting with 5:58 left in the second quarter. If they managed to keep up that pace for an entire game, it would equate to 97.5 offensive plays. For comparison’s sake, the Denver Broncos led the NFL last season, averaging 72.3 plays per game.

The Packers' goal for this season is to run 75 plays per game. The way things looked on Friday, they might just achieve that.

"The no-huddle is a beast," said Woodson, who won the NFL defensive player of the year award as a member of the Packers in 2009. "It keeps a defense on its heels. When you have a quarterback as smart as he is, he's able to pick up what you're trying to do. They kept us off balance that first drive and went down and scored very easily."

What stood out to both Jones and Woodson was the fact that the Packers have a running game to go with Rodgers' arm. Reigning NFL offensive rookie of the year Eddie Lacy and DuJuan Harris combined for 92 yards on just 18 carries (an average of 5.1 yards per carry).

"They finally brought in a running back who can do some damage," Woodson said, referring to Lacy. "It's going to be tough for some people."

Said Jones: "They're going to put that pressure on defenses to line up and be able to get in the right coverage to stop A-Rod, and they can run it now, too, with Lacy and DuJuan and James [Starks]. They've got a good ballclub. I'm happy for them."

Rodgers almost certainly won’t play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs, so this was the final rehearsal before they take on the defending Super Bowl champs in the NFL’s opening game.

"I think we're ready," Rodgers said. "I think it's been a good preseason. We scored some points, moved the ball. We saw what we wanted to see out of our skill players and the offensive line. We have 13 days to the game."

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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