The season hasn’t started but the Green Bay Packers already miss Davante Adams.

After quarterback Aaron Rodgers criticized the team’s receivers for dropped passes and poor play at training camp on Tuesday, coaches organized a private meeting between players on Wednesday morning to clarify the issue.

Rodgers’ original rant to reporters, in which he said that mistake-prone receivers will be benched and that he was going to have to target running backs more, was the first time that the quarterback has expressed frustration with the offense since Adams left in March.

In eight seasons with Green Bay, Adams established himself as one of the best receivers in the league before getting traded to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Though the Packers still have established pass catchers in Sammy Watkins, Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, most of Rodgers’ criticism was aimed at younger receivers on the team. Green Bay has drafted many players at this position in recent years, namely Romeo Doubs, Amari Rodgers and Christian Watson.

In the team meeting the following day, Rodgers reportedly gave more detailed critiques to the players, who have taken it well and hope to improve.

Doubs, in particular, told ESPN that he embraces the challenge that he and his teammates face.

“Aaron spoke to us about what he likes or what not just based on concepts or what he sees,” Doubs said. “So then that way we can be able to react faster, play faster and just be able to dominate and continue to be who we are.”

Though Rodgers’ original comments sparked a debate between fans, the quarterback has never been one to avoid candor during interviews. I

n recent weeks, he has spoken openly about his hesitance to receive a vaccine for COVID-19 as well as his use of psychedelics to maintain his mental health.

On the field, Rodgers continues to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but playing without Adams this season represents a new challenge.

Packers receiving cores have consistently been among the best in the league for Rodgers’ entire career, and though Rodgers’ elite passing ability has enabled that, it has also been made possible by a number of elite receivers. Complaints to the press and critical team meetings can only do so much as the regular season inches closer.

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