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Rodgers says he's ready to lead Packers

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    They had been teammates for a full year before Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers started talking the same language.

    It was sometime in minicamp or training camp of 2006 when Favre reached out to the man he knew would someday replace him as quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.

    After a long wait, Aaron Rodgers is looking forward to taking over as the Packers' starting quarterback.
    "That's when Brett came to me and he really encouraged me in a couple areas where I could improve my mental toughness and the way I would deal with adversity,'' Rodgers said Wednesday by telephone from California. "He told me it was important to think about body language and attitude all the time because everybody's watching you at all times.''

    That's even truer now than it was then. With Favre's retirement Tuesday, Rodgers suddenly is the king of the cheeseheads. His every move will be scrutinized by just about everyone in Wisconsin. Come September, he'll become the first player to start at quarterback for Green Bay since Favre took over in 1992.

    "You can't replace a legend and I know that going in,'' Rodgers said. "All I can do is try to be the best quarterback I can be. I'm not going to let anyone outwork me and I'm going to be accountable to my coaches and teammates. I know it's a challenge, but I've got a good team around me and I had three years to learn from Brett, who is the greatest quarterback ever.''

    But Rodgers said he and Favre weren't always so close. Drafted in the first round (24th overall) in 2005, Rodgers said he felt tension early on.

    Kiper on Rodgers

    Although Aaron Rodgers will be entering his fourth NFL season, playing behind Brett Favre didn't produce many on field opportunities.

    To get familiar with Rodgers, the player, Mel Kiper Jr. looks back at his original draft report on the former Cal quarterback. Story

    "Obviously, when a team drafts a quarterback in the first round, that's a pretty big statement,'' Rodgers said. "At that time, Brett felt like he still had plenty left in his tank and those are some pretty difficult terms to come in under. That first year, we were just teammates.''

    But the relationship began thawing in 2006, after Favre flirted with retirement. With Favre at home in Mississippi for a good chunk of the offseason, Rodgers got most of the first-team work as the Packers installed a new system with new coach Mike McCarthy. When Favre returned for minicamp, Rodgers helped translate the new offense.

    A bond started forming and the talks grew longer and more in-depth.

    "We went from being just teammates that first year to being pretty close friends,'' Rodgers said. "As we got to know each other and he saw my work ethic, a level of trust developed. It got to a point where Brett didn't mind me being his little shadow and that was pretty amazing for me because I grew up watching and admiring Brett Favre.''

    Shadowing Favre was about all Rodgers could do for his first three NFL seasons. He's attempted only 59 career passes and thrown for just one touchdown. His most extensive playing time came last season after Favre was injured in a prime-time game at Dallas. Although the Packers lost, Rodgers played well, completing 18 of 26 passes for 201 yards and one touchdown.

    There's been no formal passing of the torch, but it's been assumed for three years that Rodgers would ascend to the throne when Favre retired. McCarthy called Rodgers on Tuesday, but the conversation was brief.
     

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