Rodgers encouraged by offense’s growth

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Coming off of the Packers’ best offensive game of the season in a 28-27 win over the New Orleans Saints and improving Green Bay’s record to 2-2, quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke with the media Wednesday. This week, Rodgers discussed the lack of long pass plays so far this season, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and much more.

Five question-and-answer highlights:

1. How would you assess the offense this season after four games?

RODGERS: Heading in the right direction, definitely. We’ve put together a few quarters of better football. We’re still not playing exactly the way we want to. We’re a team that’s built a reputation of being very efficient, not turning the football over, being good in situation offense. We did better at that (against the Saints). We were 4 for 5 in the red zone, could easily have been 5 for 5. (We were) 4 for 8 on third down. We had great production on first and second down. So we’re moving in the right direction. We just have to eliminate the turnovers and cash in in the red zone when we got those opportunities.

2. Is the offense getting into a groove now?

RODGERS: Let’s stack a couple in a row first before we say that. We put together a pretty good game, still not quite exactly where we want to be. Obviously you’re always searching for that perfect game. The first three (games) were pretty far off. Last week was a little closer. We can’t turn the ball over like we did. I think we can finish some of those drives off there in the second half. But we’re happy. We had a fourth quarter drive score which was important. This is going to be the start of a very important stretch for us. We have to learn to win on the road and we have three in a row here.

3. How difficult is it for Luck to do what he’s doing, starting at quarterback as a rookie?

RODGERS: I don’t know what they’re doing on offense, but I think it’s pretty easy to say that quarterbacks in 2012 are a lot more game-ready than maybe myself and Jason Campbell and Alex Smith were in 2005, the first-round picks. You look at the success that those young guys have had. RG3 (Robert Griffin III) is playing really well, and Andrew, those guys, Ryan Tannehill just had a 430-some-odd-yard game. That’s pretty impressive. What I was going through as a rookie and the things I was thinking about, these guys are far advanced just in seven years than I was back then. So you have to give them a lot of credit.

4. Is there anything you can point to as to why quarterbacks may be more ready now than in 2005?

RODGERS: I think one thing, in general, the coaching and the schemes at those levels has kind of, has definitely improved. I think that there’s, starting with the high school ranks, there’s been just more things on the quarterback, there’s been more pro-style plays in those offenses, more adjusted-protection stuff, just a trickle down effect of some of the things that the NFL is doing, and vice versa. It goes top down and bottom back up to the top with some of the spread offense stuff you’re seeing now in the NFL, which kind of started in high school and in college. But those guys are a lot more game-ready than I was, for sure.

5. You have a better completion percentage so far this season than you did at the end of the 2011 season. Is that a telling statistic in any way?

RODGERS: It’s nothing I really wanted to focus on. Obviously being efficient has always been a part of my game. We’ve caught the ball really well. We’ve actually faced teams that have played a little more soft on the back end. It kind of encourages the higher-percentage shorter throws and that’s kind of the way the early season has gone so far. We’re going to continue to take what the defense gives us. If it’s a lot of umbrella coverages, then we’re going to have to take the underneath stuff and go the distance, then that’s what some teams are going to try to make us do.

Follow Paul Imig on Twitter