GREEN BAY, Wis. – With plenty of free time on his hands, Green Bay Packers rookie receiver Romeo Doubs spends some of it working on his hands.
Just about every day, Doubs heads to the Don Hutson Center for extra work catching footballs.
“I had too much time throughout the day,” Doubs said on Friday, a couple days before the Packers host the New England Patriots. “I figured coming here, it would be a completely different schedule than I would usually have. I’m first year in the NFL. We have a lot more time than we think, so I frequently like to make time to go to the Don Hutson and catch footballs. It became a routine. I’ve been doing it frequently on my own time.”
It’s a routine that passing-game coordinator/receiver coach Jason Vrable brought up on Thursday.
“He’s probably over there now if he could,” Vrable said. “He’s a workaholic.”
Doubs is settling into life as a rookie. He’s no longer a student-athlete. He’s now just an athlete. A communications major, Doubs no longer has to concern himself with lectures and final exams. Now, he’s free to be all football, all the time. And he’s taking advantage.
“It’s just a routine. Every day, I make sure I find some time to catch footballs,” Doubs said. “That’s just respecting the game. Not only is it going to get me better as a player, I truthfully just want to respect the game as much as I can.”
Through talent and work ethic, professionalism and production, Doubs is quickly earning the respect of his coaches and teammates. Doubs made his first NFL start at Tampa Bay and caught eight passes, giving him a three-week total of 14. Among this year’s rookies, Doubs trails only the Jets’ Garrett Wilson (18), the Saints’ Chris Olave (17) and the Falcons’ Drake London (16). Doubs is a fourth-round pick from Nevada; the others are first-round picks from Ohio State, Ohio State and USC, respectively. Of all rookie receivers targeted at least three times, he is No. 1 with a catch rate of 87.5 percent.
So, whatever he’s doing, it’s working. And he has no intention of changing his routine. Along with whatever he’s doing at practice, Doubs is catching an additional 100 to 150 passes per day on his own. He stands in front of the JUGS machine and rotates his body three or four different ways to change the angles.
“I just want to find things I can do to progress and make myself a better player so I’ll be reliable, just like everyone less that’s here,” Doubs said.
Doubs had a predraft visit with Green Bay. One thing that struck Vrable at the time was that Doubs “truly loves football.” That love for the game shows with a tireless work ethic and a no-nonsense, understated personality.
“I told him, ‘You can be as good as you want to be. You have the talent. How good do you want to be? Let’s go do it, man,’” Vrable said “He’s very coachable. It’s going to be cool to watch him grow and where he goes this season.”
Doubs said he started his extra JUGS sessions during training camp. His eight-catch game vs. the Buccaneers was the most by a Packers rookie since Gerry Ellis in 1988 and topped only by the legendary Max McGee’s nine catch performance in 1954.
For what it’s worth, Sterling Sharpe had only one catch in the first three games of his career. Jordy Nelson had five. Davante Adams had seven.
“Again, I’m just trying to show some humility,” Doubs said. “Anything I do, there’s a reason behind it. And I’m just being myself, being a football player and just being a great person to this community. This is probably the best city to be in. I’m just fortunate and blessed, man. I can’t thank God enough, seriously.”