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No-huddle offense could become Packers staple

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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By Dan Arkush

Does the no-huddle offense suit the Packers' fancy? No doubt.

After using it with great effectiveness in the preseason, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers wasted no time using the no-huddle to perfection in a most impressive season-opening display against the Saints, registering a perfect 158.3 passer rating in the first quarter (132.1 for the game).

The Packers' offense switched gears in the second half, going more with a power run game, as Rodgers threw only 11 passes.

But with what appear to be more dangerous weapons than ever — with electrifying rookie Randall Cobb immediately making his presence felt in a big way (32-yard TD catch) on a broken play and a healthy Jermichael Finley shifting all over the field — the quick-strike, up-tempo approach figures to be used frequently moving forward.

Speaking of more dangerous weapons than ever, while it's hard not to focus on Cobb and Finley, equal attention should be paid to the strong second wind that veteran Donald Driver is experiencing.

Widely assumed to be destined to slip down the ladder behind both Jordy Nelson, who picked right up where he left off in the Super Bowl with a strong Week One effort, and James Jones, who recently signed a new contract, Driver seemed to take a firmer grip than ever on the No. 2 WR spot behind Greg Jennings just one game into the season.

Playing almost as many snaps as Nelson and Jones combined, the 36-year-old Driver caught four passes for 41 yards, including a key 16-yard catch in the first quarter that helped establish a breakneck tempo that gave the Saints' defense a game-long migraine.

Driver's 41 yards gave him 9,656 for his career, tying the all-time team record set by James Lofton.

"He is an incredible player," Nelson said of Driver in a mid-July conversation with PFW. "As a young guy in the league, all you want to do is just get through another year, and you see him playing for 12 years or whatever, still making incredible, one-handed catches. He's a great talent with a great work ethic."

But don't forget about Jones, the odd man out on opening night with only one catch for one yard. Close team observers agree that Jones didn't receive a three-year, $9.4 million contract with the intention of becoming a little-used No. 4 receiver.

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