Aaron Rodgers didn’t come into the league as the best deep-ball thrower in the NFL. But as he developed that skill over time, the Green Bay Packers had to invent new, more difficult ways for him to work on his accuracy on deep balls.
According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, Packers coach Mike McCarthy decided that the traditional targets that Rodgers was using in deep-ball drills — “50-gallon-sized receptacles lined up on the goal line” — were no longer effective.
So, he and equipment manager Red Batty built a six-foot tall metal ring with a net attached, titled it at a 60-degree angle, and placed it in the end zone. Rodgers throws from 50 yards out and tries to bury the ball into the net.
Here it is in action:
A closer look at the target:
Packers quarterback coach Alex Van Pelt explained why he uses the 60-degree angle to ESPN:
“The trajectory of the throw makes the angles tougher for the defensive back. So if it’s a flat ball, he’s got a better chance of breaking it up. If it’s down the chimney, he’s got less chance of breaking it up. If it leaves the screen, then it’s got a better chance of coming down the chimney.”
The unique training methods have certainly worked for Rodgers. This season he set the record for career touchdown passes of 70 yards or more.
One such example:
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