Why Aaron Rodgers throws a ton of interceptions in practice, and doesn't care
So, what's the problem?
"I threw five last year in the regular season, so I know how to play in those games," Rodgers said. "Practice is about - it's different plays. The playbook is exponentially larger than the regular season, game-week plan. So we're trying different things. ...So you make different throws, you're working through different plays."
The Wall Street Journal's Kevin Clark described it like this:
Rodgers throwing INTs in practice is fascinating. Throws into coverage to test his WRs. That's a sign of a guy trying to improve team.- Kevin Clark (@KevinClarkWSJ) August 6, 2015
The INTs are not intentional. But throwing jump balls in practice is. Trying to see what his TEs and WRs can do. Picks happen.- Kevin Clark (@KevinClarkWSJ) August 6, 2015
Rodgers' strategy isn't new. It's something coaches noticed last year when he would throw two interceptions in a practice, and then go more than a month without throwing any in a regular season game. During the middle of Rodgers' eventual MVP campaign last season, the Journal Sentinel's Bob McGinn wrote about Rodgers' practice philosophy when he asked Packers coaches when was the last time he threw a bad interception:
When was Rodgers' last ugly interception, anyway?
"You tell me," said McCarthy. "You'll have to go back a ways to find one of those. I can't think of one off the top of my head."
Alex Van Pelt, the team's first-year coach of quarterbacks, had a ready reply. It was Thursday in practice, two of them, in fact.
Rodgers also was intercepted half a dozen times or more during training camp. For the most part, the coaches say that's just Rodgers testing a certain route against a certain coverage and then storing away the results for when the throw counts."
For Rodgers, this is all part of the plan.