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Cal's Rodgers in danger of dropping off

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by IPBprez, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    Thu, Aug. 25, 2005
    Cal's Rodgers in danger of dropping off Packers' depth chart
    By BOB MCGINN
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    When training camp opened four weeks ago - and even through the first two weeks of practice - it seemed unthinkable that Aaron Rodgers would not be the No. 2 quarterback for the Green Bay Packers this season.

    That might still turn out to be the case. The Packers drafted Rodgers in the first round to be Brett Favre's successor, and will do nothing to retard his development.

    Yet, the Packers can hardly ignore the present.

    After two lousy performances in exhibition games, Rodgers is in serious danger of falling to No. 3 behind Craig Nall, the forgotten man on the depth chart.

    ``Obviously, there's a question,'' Rodgers said Thursday. ``I haven't done anything to separate myself from Craig in the games, obviously.''

    Rodgers will get a golden opportunity, perhaps his last of the summer, to win the top backup job when he follows Brett Favre in an exhibition game Friday night against the New England Patriots at Lambeau Field.

    Nall, a four-year veteran, might not even play. If needed, J.T. O'Sullivan will finish up.

    ``We kind of know Craig,'' Packers offensive coordinator Tom Rossley said. ``Craig's played well. But we need to play the other guy (Rodgers) and see what he can do.''

    In the Buffalo scrimmage and the two games, Rodgers hasn't done much of anything. Under Rodgers, the backup offense in exhibition play has gained merely 93 yards in 35 plays (2.7-yard average) over nine scoreless series that ended with eight punts and an interception.

    Granted, there were extenuating circumstances. Although Rodgers has completed just 6 of 15 passes, four were dropped. He has been the victim of some poor routes and some poor pass protection.

    This is a mere snapshot, the Packers insist, and it is. Still, the Packers surely hoped Rodgers would have displayed enough by this point to have the No. 2 job locked away.

    ``It's a tough situation for him,'' Green Bay quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell said. ``There's not a whole lot of rookie quarterbacks that have come in and just stole the show right away. There's a learning process. I knew he was going to have great days and bad days.''

    Bevell said he wasn't disappointed in Rodgers after the first month because he expected him to be inconsistent given the nature of the Packers' expansive offense. It took Favre three or four years to function comfortably in it.

    ``We really like Aaron Rodgers,'' Rossley said. ``He had about four bad plays in a game and that made people think he was way off. He's on target to contribute and help us.''

    One quarterback headed for the Hall of Fame, Favre, posted a passer rating of 64.8 in his first exhibition campaign in Atlanta and then had 46.0 for the Packers in his second year. He was No. 3 all year as a Falcons rookie behind Chris Miller and Billy Joe Tolliver.

    Rich Campbell never advanced past third-string in four seasons (1981-'84) for the Packers. Campbell, one of Rodgers' predecessors at the University of California, had been the last first-round quarterback in Green Bay before Rodgers.

    If Nall does win the No. 2 job, Rodgers said he wouldn't be crushed.

    ``If I'm not No. 2, somewhere down the road I'm going to be No. 1,'' Rodgers said. ``I understand that. I'm going to get an opportunity. Whether I'm 2 or 3, I'm going to make the most of my opportunities in practice so when my time comes I can step in and lead this team.''

    Rodgers scored 35 on the 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test. According to scouts, he was wonderfully coached at Cal by coach Jeff Tedford and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach George Cortez.

    On the practice field, Rodgers has shown sufficient arm strength, a quick release and adequate accuracy. His high-water mark was the Aug. 4 evening practice against Buffalo.

    ``I think I've had a real good camp,'' he said. ``I haven't done the things I've wanted to do in the game yet. I don't think people understand how difficult it is to really pick up this offense and be effective immediately.''

    It should be remembered that Rodgers was graduating from high school in June 2002. After one year of junior college, he went to Cal and became the starter in Week 4 of 2003.

    Rodgers isn't disappointed in himself at the four-week point of his first training camp.

    ``When you look at four weeks into Cal compared to the next season same time, I mean, there was two different players,'' he said. ``I was totally in control of the offense that second year. I was a leader.

    ``That's kind of the way I look at this year. I mean, I want to definitely make good strides. But a year from now, I think you're going to be looking at a completely different player.''

    Alex Smith, the top pick in the draft, was having an awful time of it in San Francisco this summer before the 49ers went back to Tim Rattay as their starter.

    ``My buddy Alex is struggling with it just like I am,'' Rodgers said, referring to the West Coast offense. ``It just takes a little bit to transfer what you're doing in practice to the games against different defenses.''

    Rodgers likes his situation better than Smith's because he probably won't be expected to play in 2005.

    As far as coaching, Rodgers said the staff in Green Bay was every bit as good as the staff at Cal. From a technical standpoint, Bevell has worked extensively with Rodgers' footwork but not his ball carriage or release.

    ``This staff has been awesome and Darrell's been a phenomenal quarterback coach,'' Rodgers said. ``Obviously, I love coach Tedford and coach Cortez, too. Tough question.''

    Exhibition game or not, Rodgers will be facing one of the league's most confounding defensive schemes on Friday night in coach Bill Belichick's 3-4.

    ``They blitz less than the Bills do, which is nice,'' Rodgers said. ``But at the same time, when they drop their guys out of there, there's not a lot of open spots in that defense.

    ``A lot of times the only thing they're giving you is a little dump-off pass. We're going to have to take those and make some yards out of them.''
     
  2. P@ck66

    P@ck66 Banned Banned

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    Didn't Packernation say that this guy is the second coming of Joe Montana and should be starting in front of Brett Favre THIS YEAR?

    (I don't think so...)
     
  3. DePack

    DePack Cheesehead

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    66.... are you serious? If somebody made that statement, they should be examined. Favre will play for 3 more seasons. That should give this kid enough time to catch on.
     
  4. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    Uh-oh....... I knew I'd better check into this one....

    Sorry, P@ck66 - but Packernation and I (along with NET) are quite well acquainted with each other and have been for some time... Please abide by the Man's request... Post a link to where you think PN made that comment. PN has good reason for expecting anyone and everyone to verify commentary they think he may have made.... and I agree with his premise. So, how about it,....?
     
  5. PackerChick

    PackerChick Cheesehead

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    I say give the kid some time.
     
  6. P@ck66

    P@ck66 Banned Banned

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    IBPrez..

    Somebody posted it on this very forum...i may have exagerated somewhat...but I think, that is the "spirit" of what he said....

    (you can judge for yourself....)

    Time for the ol' man to take the youngin' to skool....


    From PackerChatters.com -----

    Friday, August 05, 2005
    Aaron Rodgers


    by Mark Quarderer (a.k.a. - Packernation)
    PackerChatters Staff

    It's been a little while since I perpetrated my last act of heresy, so here I go again.......

    Aaron Rodgers has been in camp for less than a week now and you can see people jumping on the bandwagon. I'm not going to say I'm the guy driving that bandwagon, but you all know that I've argued for quite a while now that the Packers would benefit from having a QB that was smart, mobile, and a good decision maker, especially in big games and in the clutch. It's something that I think is lacking in the team currently.....and I've taken a lot of heat for saying it....but nonetheless I still believe it is true.

    Right after the Rodgers choice, some poster (I forget who) said "PN's going to love this guy".

    And so far, I do. Yesterday in the scrimmage against Buffalo Cliff Christl succinctly stated: Rodgers looked sharp, maybe sharper than Favre.

    It's just one sentence and it's just one scrimmage. But it echos other comments such as Peter King's "Favre looks old" (actually, I believe that Favre is the oldest starting QB in the league this year). Darrel Bevell and Tom Rossley have both praised Rodgers' accuracy, poise, and decision making. He's learned the playbook and is showing why he scored a 35 on the Wonderlich.

    The reality is now that for the first time in his career Favre will go out to the practice field every day and share snaps with a guy who is younger, more mobile, smarter, and who is accurate, poised, and has good judgement. And the coaches will be there watching and comparisons are going to be inevitable.

    Nobody expects Rodgers to be Favre but I suspect that Rodgers is going to bring things to the table that Favre doesn't and the team is going to benefit from that. He'll clearly make mistakes as he learns and we'll just have to live with that while he does. I suspect he'll learn and adapt quickly.

    It has been opined, or flatly stated, by some that Rodgers will be no more than a #3 QB this year and will not see the field. I flatly reject that. Not only is Rodgers in all likelihood a better QB than Nall but the Packers have an enormous investment in him and it is in their best interests to give him every opportunity to develop at a pace which is suitable to him. That means you don't throw him in until he's ready but you DO play him when he is ready instead of handing him a clipboard and telling him to stand over there.

    The difference in developmental opportunity during the season between the #2 and #3 QB is stark----the #2 share snaps with the #1 offense and the #3 guy runs the scout team. The #2 guy prepares as though he's only one play from being in the game whereas the #3 guy prepares knowing he's most likely not going to play.

    I am aware, as Mark Lawrence pointed out, that Sherman likes to play vets instead of rookies. But he will play rookies. Clifton and Tauscher both started as rookies. So did Barnett and ultimately Carroll. Thomas, Davenport, and Walker are all guys who got time as rookies.

    I believe that Rodgers will outperform Nall in training camp and will be the #2 QB by the opener. I further believe that Rodgers will get on the field this year more than Nall has in three years, and that when he's on the field he's going to play well enough that some people are going to understand that they're seeing the future.

    Rodgers is the real deal. He's in an incredibly favorable situation in the sense that he's surrounded by offensive talent. It's unenviable in the sense that' he's replacing a legend but he'll have an opportunity to make his own reputation. All he needs to do is come in and play well and help the team win and the fans will welcome him with open arms.

    Change is frightening to people, and we've had an unparalleled period of stability at QB, but change is on the horizon and it's not a bad thing.

    [You can respond with comment to Mark, but clicking on the link and posting on the PackerChatters web site.... --- IPBprez]
     
  7. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Rodgers had a truly Couch-like performance against the Bills last week, but I expect him to bounce back. He has the skills. He's just playing too tight out there, so worried about being perfect that he's not paying enough attention to the defense. That interception last week may be the best thing that ever happened to him. It should teach him that you can't throw a flare pass on every single play. I'd like to see him air it out a little tonight. Maybe he'll throw some picks, but Brett Favre threw a few picks early in his career, didn't he? The important thing is that Rodgers needs to establish himself as a threat to throw the ball downfield. Once he starts doing that, he can REALLY start working on his game.
     
  8. Philtration

    Philtration Cheesehead

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    So I guess that it's not just me then eh?
     
  9. CaliforniaCheez

    CaliforniaCheez Cheesehead

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    It is too early to call him a failure or bust. He is just a dumb, scared rabbit rookie QB. Unfortunately he will be overpaid for awhile. For the first two years we would get more from drafting a DT.

    He better make himself into something for this team some day because he is a big negative right now and he better make it up down the road.
     
  10. Anubis

    Anubis Cheesehead

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    Who has put him in a negative light? He has played 3 games in the NFL so far, and hasn't completed his first training camp. I really cannot fathom how anyone could really expect him to do any better than he has.

    Regards,

    Robert C. Hedley
     
  11. ClemsonFan

    ClemsonFan New Era Packers Fan

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    Is this really how awful he was 5 years ago?
     
  12. Dan115

    Dan115 Cheesehead

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    He will never make it in the NFL. Mark my words.
     
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  13. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    Aaron was terrible his first couple years. God awful.

    This should also be proof that teams should draft and develop QBs. I imagine he would have had a very difficult time in other football cities. Teams give up too early sometimes.
     
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  14. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    He was terrible..From all reports his footwork sucked and led to other issues
     
  15. Lunchboxer

    Lunchboxer Guest

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    Well lets just say in 5 years he won a SB,SB MVP and League MVP.

    I guess he did turn into something special.

    Who would of thought at the time this thread was made that Rodgers would win a SB and MVP. I dident. I knew later on that Rodgers was something special.

    Love the back in time threads.
     
  16. Croak

    Croak Terminally twisted.

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    Makes me wonder who we're ragging on now that may be a diamond in the rough....
     
  17. PFanCan

    PFanCan That's MISTER Cheesehead, to you.

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    Ouch. Stay away from Vegas, Dan.
     
  18. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    It was Bush not too long ago.
     
  19. realcaliforniacheese

    realcaliforniacheese A-Rods Boss

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    He spent one offeason completely revamping his thowing style, that's the difference. Wonder if we will see a thread like this about Neal in 4 years.
     
  20. Jules

    Jules The Colts Fan

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    Yikes.

    Poor thing.

    But, he blossomed. Oh, did he blossom.:tup:
     
  21. mor4les

    mor4les Cheesehead

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    Justin Harr... I mean Mike Neal :D
     
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  22. HyponGrey

    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    I swear I broke something every time he dropped the ball, and my heart sank every time he left the pocket. Then he learned to slide and the curve spiked. Look at him now! Look at poor Alex Smith... that alone will prove your point.
     
  23. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    I really like the Matthews Rodgers pic.

    I wonder what kind of QB Smith would be if he was drafted instead of Rodgers by the Pack. I assume better than he is now but still not at the level of Rodgers is my bet.
     
  24. morningwood

    morningwood Cheesehead

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    I wonder if this might be the case with Colt McCoy. I can't claim that I watch the browns very often, and I know his stats suck, but I have seen him play fairly well on a couple of occassions.
     
  25. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    Had Tom Rossley let Craig Nall play in that exhibition game versus the Patriots instead of Rodgers, I think that he might have been the one leading us to several SB wins by now.

    Kidding....kidding.

    I did like Nall though. Not a bad backup.
     

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