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Rodgers realizes what lies ahead in replacing Favre

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by TheEngineer, May 30, 2008.

  1. TheEngineer

    TheEngineer Cheesehead

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    http://www.nfl.com/news/story;jsess...0d5d808908c1&template=with-video&confirm=true

    GREEN BAY, Wis. - Aaron Rodgers knows his history. And if he didn't, he says, he hears about it almost every day. Even from his friends.

    "They keep (me) grounded," he said.

    The history is this: The NFL has not been kind to quarterbacks who follow a legend, as Rodgers is trying to do after Brett Favre's retirement.

    Rodgers hasn't studied it closely, but he has a theory, that in many cases, when a great quarterback retired or moved on, the team around him had grown old and its so-called window of opportunity was closing, anyway.

    "My situation is probably a little different," he said Thursday during an interview following an OTA practice. "We have a great team already in place."

    And a young one, too. The Packers reached the NFC Championship game last season with the league's youngest roster. So there is reason for optimism. Nonetheless, everyone, even those in the organization giving Rodgers their unconditional support, knows it's going to be different.

    "I think he's prepared well and we're as prepared as we can be, but it's still a new frontier," said general manager Ted Thompson

    "Most of the quarterbacks who come into the league do not become Hall of Fame quarterbacks, so already the odds are weighed against you. I think it can get a little daunting. From the day we drafted Aaron, it was apparent in my mind that he would eventually be the guy who ultimately took over."

    Rodgers, who says, "I've never lacked confidence in myself," believes he can buck the trend. He has taken easily to a new leadership role, hosting teammates at his home for dinner, TV and games. He doesn't look for special treatment, and he relates well to the other players.

    He had three years of learning behind Favre, which is how quarterbacks used to be groomed before the salary cap, free agency and, to some degree, the modern media and fan demands, conspired to reduce the development periods.

    Although there have been reports of strained relations, Rodgers says that in fact he and Favre "did have a very good relationship ... I just kind of stayed in his hip pocket. Anytime he said something, I was listening. I definitely learned a lot from him."

    Favre's shadow, of course, is a long one, and everyone knows there will be endless references.

    "If (Rodgers throws) for three touchdowns, then the fan down the street's going to say, 'Well, Brett would have thrown for five,'" Thompson said.

    Yet, Rodgers has enough confidence and thick skin that he'll likely be able to shrug that stuff off.

    "I see a dude with all the tools that's just ready to show his talent," said James Jones, a second-year receiver. "He's not trying to do what Brett does, but just be himself and lead this team."

    In Wisconsin, they know this drill as well as anywhere. Green Bay reached the playoffs just twice in 21 years between Bart Starr, whose last season was 1971, and Favre, who arrived in 1992. At one point, the Packers were so desperate, they gave up five picks in the first five rounds of a single draft (1975) in trades for three different quarterbacks.

    Consider, also:

    Miami has employed 12 starting quarterbacks in eight seasons since Dan Marino retired following the 1999 campaign, and has not won a playoff game since 2000.

    Chuck Noll coached the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl titles with Terry Bradshaw at quarterback, but his teams were seven games under .500 in the eight seasons he coached after Bradshaw retired.

    Buffalo hasn't won a playoff game in the 11 years since Jim Kelly, who led the Bills to four AFC titles, retired.

    Denver has won one playoff game in the nine years since John Elway retired following back-to-back Super Bowl victories.

    Rodgers plans to call other quarterbacks later this spring and summer to talk about what lies ahead for him. He plans to start with the rare one who succeeded following a legend, Steve Young, who earned his own spot in the Hall of Fame after taking over for Joe Montana in San Francisco.

    We know one thing for sure. Rodgers has had time to learn his craft. That has enabled him to modify the way he held the ball up high and to show Mike McCarthy he was more athletic than the head coach once thought. Rodgers is that rare commodity in today's game, a first-round quarterback who was not rushed into action.

    In fact, Rodgers' time with the Packers has been kind of in slow motion, ever since that draft day in 2005 when he spent an agonizing four and a half hours in the "green room," the last of six invited players at the draft to be selected -- No. 24 overall, by Green Bay.

    Disappointed at the time, Rodgers now says that "turned into the best day of my life, the best thing that could have happened to me."

    Coming to Green Bay instead of, say, his hometown San Francisco 49ers who had the first pick, enabled Rodgers to learn behind Favre. When Favre was injured and Rodgers had to replace him in a late-season game at Dallas last year, Rodgers played very well.

    "It put a little more weight to the work I put in the past few years, especially in the classroom," he said. "I was very well prepared. (It showed) I do have some ability, but now it's time to put that together for 16 weeks.

    "Looking back, I know I wasn't ready (to play right out of college). At the time, you want to play, obviously, but a situation like this ... it prepared me very well, because I got to sit behind a guy and learn for three years, kind of like they used to do it with quarterbacks. I feel like now, I'm more prepared than if I had been thrown in right away."

    In separate interviews, Rodgers and McCarthy both pointed to the same time, the spring workouts a year ago between Rodgers' second and third seasons, as the turning point for the young quarterback.

    "He made a big jump in all areas," McCarthy said. "It was a more mature Aaron Rodgers coming out of that spring, and he had a very good training camp."

    It was a key moment in more ways than one for Rodgers, who admitted it took him several weeks of his rookie year to come to grips with the fact he wouldn't play immediately, and much, much longer to realize that was best for him.

    "When the light started to turn on (last year), as far as understanding the offense, that's when I realized I was in a great situation," he said.

    Veteran NFL writer Ira Miller is a regular contributor to NFL.com.
     
  2. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    Hmm...

    Selective history. No mention of Mr. Steven Young.
     
  3. Tiger

    Tiger Cheesehead

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    did you selectively read the article zombie? :D

    Rodgers plans to call other quarterbacks later this spring and summer to talk about what lies ahead for him. He plans to start with the rare one who succeeded following a legend, Steve Young, who earned his own spot in the Hall of Fame after taking over for Joe Montana in San Francisco.
     
  4. warhawk

    warhawk Cheesehead

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    The majority of these guys have just recently been thru the rigors of playing their way into the lineup and know what ARod is looking at here. So to me it's even better for him that the team is both young and talented.

    From the quotes I have read from many players so far they seem truly pumped for him and certainly believe he can do the job. They know how hard it would have been for them to sit over on the sidelines for three years before getting this chance.

    That alone give him credibility in the huddle which I think is HUGE for him starting his career. Rather than have a bunch of older guys wanting to see him prove he's worthy he is stepping into a situation where he has that respect out of the box and is his to build on or lose.

    Most young QB's don't get put in positions like this which is probably why many fail misirably. I think he can handle the outside fan expectation pressure much more easily than if he was in a pressure cooker on the field with the players.
     
  5. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    Heh.

    I need more coffee. I'm just not a morning person. :roll:
     
  6. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    What about the actual fans of the Packers and the media?

    Is it worse, same or better than say those fans and medias of New York, Chicago and the like?

    I think if he does struggle but shows promise, the fans will give him time..The national media may not tho.

    If he is stinking it up for the 1st 2 or 3 games, the fans going to ask for his head
     
  7. warhawk

    warhawk Cheesehead

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    He was there in '05 when it was ugly and the fans were ugly and the media was ugly. He knows what that's like. If he stinks the first few games it will be the pressure he puts on himself, not what's coming from the fans or media, that he has to learn to control.

    How many first round QB's get three years to see how everything works and experience ups and downs and how the fans and the media deal with losing and seeing the pressure losing puts on teams and the players?

    What I am saying is he KNOWS that if it were still Brett Favre in there and HE stunk it up the first two or three games the fans would have started the "he should have retired" gig.

    It's not like he's a rook just suiting up and going in and taking over for a legend. There's not another guy in the NFL that has earned and deserves the right to get up under center opening day for the Green Bay Packers than AROD and he wouldn't have made it this far if he didn't know something about handling pressure.
     
  8. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I agree he is in the PERFECT situation..Can not get any better then this..

    Only real comparison would be Steve Young
     
  9. Cal2GreenBay

    Cal2GreenBay Cheesehead

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    "From the day we drafted Aaron, it was apparent in my mind that he would eventually be the guy who ultimately took over." -T.Thompson.

    I take this at his word. I believe TT thought he was the one ALL along.
    EVEN after drafting Brian Brohm. TT sees Brian as a great NUMBER 2
    QB. Aaron is his no.1. As I've said..he was the masterpiece pick in TT's tenure here.

    Also..I don't agree w/the notion that Aaron had to drop his
    holding motion while in Green Bay.

    I actually believe it's taken away from his mystique. His ball carry
    was the thing that made him look like a shotgun cocked and ready to fire.
    That was what captured my fan appreciation for Aaron.

    Now his ball carry is down more and people say "more natural"
    but it takes away from his unique delivery.

    He threw the ball plenty hard and plenty far w/the "On the shelf" ball carry.

    Bring back your high ball carry Aaron!

    Keep Jeff Tedford's philosophy alive!
     
  10. IronMan

    IronMan Cheesehead

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    Theres a joke in there somewhere I just can't think of one. Trom?
     
  11. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    "Rodgers hasn't studied it closely, but he has a theory, that in many cases, when a great quarterback retired or moved on, the team around him had grown old and its so-called window of opportunity was closing, anyway."

    This is so obvious that it's kind of pathetic that Rodgers himself is the first person to come out and say it. Why hadn't any national sportswriters mentioned this--at least not any that I know of?

    Elway's Broncos were crumbling, with Terrell Davis succumbing to injuries, and they also lost John Mobley and other key defensive players. The Dolphins were already halfway down the toilet when Marino retired. Ditto for the Cowboys when Aikman left, as well as the Steelers, Bills, and so on.

    Steve Young is the exception that proves the rule. The Niners still had Jerry Rice and a lot of great talent, which is why they kept winning when Steve Young took over. The tricky part for Rodgers is that he still has to play almost as well as Favre, just as Steve Young played almost as well as Joe Montana. I think he can.
     
  12. Tiger

    Tiger Cheesehead

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    I know Aaron's Tedford throwing style made him look like his was aiming an RPG! in GB though the style is gunslinger!
     
  13. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    wow took cal2gb lot longer to reply in this thread then I thought

    LOL

    J/K
     
  14. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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    I think Trom has gone to bed here ....

    [​IMG]
     
  15. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    And he's taken his slow-your-scroll-inducing avatar with him!!! How I miss that avatar......
     
  16. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    I got nothin. Maybe later when I'm drunk.
     
  17. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    You mean.......your......(i hate to even SAY it).............SOBER???? :shock:

    Someone call "Ripley's"!!!!!

    (I tried calling them, and I told them Trom's sober, and they didn't believe me!!!)
     

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