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Rodgers wants to bond with his teammates

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, May 22, 2008.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    By GREG A. BEDARD
    gbedard@journalsentinel.com
    Posted: May 21, 2008

    Green Bay - To find out how different things will be around the Green Bay Packers in the post-Brett Favre era, one doesn't need to wait until the games begin in September.


    Just be a fly on the wall of Aaron Rodgers' house for a few hours on a night like Wednesday night.

    More than 30 players were expected to be there. Some video games were likely played. Maybe a little pool. There was plenty of food brought in by caterers (Rodgers isn't much of a cook). The players were encouraged to bring their wives. There was plenty of conversation, probably not just about football. Rookie quarterbacks Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn, Rodgers' competition at some point, were on the invite list. They even have the veteran's cell phone number.

    Rodgers said he's just being himself in respect to the off-season gatherings. But it's easy to see that Rodgers' living room is where Favre's reign ends and the Rodgers era - whatever it will ultimately be - has begun.

    "I've always been open, a guy that wants to be involved not only working together but in the lives of these guys," Rodgers said. "That's why I've been having guys over once a week, just because I want us to be a connected team on and off the field."

    Team pizza parties were never Favre's kind of thing, and that's not necessarily bad. Some players are rah-rah team players. Others prefer to do their job and let the rest take care of itself.

    But it's no secret that Favre, at least later in his career, didn't do a lot of off-field bonding with his teammates, especially Rodgers. The two had a distant relationship - at best - after Rodgers was taken in the first round of the 2005 draft.

    Three years later, Rodgers said he's going to be an open book to Brohm and Flynn.

    "I'm going to help them as much as they want," Rodgers said. "I know what it was like to be a rookie and I'm sure their heads are swimming a little bit with the stuff we put in. So as much help as they want, they have my phone number. They know where I live - they're coming over tonight to hang out - so I'm going to be there for them."

    Rodgers said his rookie experience had no bearing on his outlook toward his underlings.

    "It was a different situation," said Rodgers, who has traded voicemails with Favre since his retirement. "(Favre) was 36, I was 21. We were 15 years apart. I'm 24 and these guys are 22 so as far as age goes, there's a little more connection there. But I'm just doing things the way I've always done them."

    Rodgers said he's going to use the same mentality to help navigate the often treacherous road that comes with following a legend. That includes searching out former players like Steve Young and Jay Fiedler, who were "the guys" after Joe Montana and Dan Marino, respectively.

    "It's one my to-do things this off-season," Rodgers said.

    Among the likely topics of conversation are fan expectations. There's probably a sizable number of Packers fans who are hoping Favre will ride in on his tractor from Mississippi and put off the Rodgers era for at least a year.

    Some of Favre's own statements, including speculation about perhaps returning if Rodgers were injured, has only furthered the comeback chatter.

    "I do hear about it secondhand, but there's not much you can say about that," Rodgers said. "Obviously he's retired, probably still thinks he can play, but as a football team we're moving on. We've got myself, we drafted two young guys and that's kind of the direction that we're going in."

    But Packers fans haven't completely let it go. On a military base in Alaska, Rodgers was told the Packers are loaded at just about every position but "really don't have a quarterback." There was also the fan who "heckled" Rodgers at a softball game this week.
    "I know the pressure I'm under," Rodgers said. "I know who I'm following and I know it's a tough situation and a lot of people are expecting me to fail outside this locker room. . . . Maybe not expecting me, but maybe wanting me to fail. And I'm OK with that, I don't mind that. I just care about the 53 (players) on the opening-day roster, that they believe in me. I just need to play well and then those guys will follow me. Eventually the fans will like me, I think."

    Rodgers will surely be well thought of by fans - if he wins early and often. If not, they'll start clamoring for Brohm, whose presence after a standout four-year career at Louisville has not added to Rodgers' pressure. Or so he says.

    "Mike (McCarthy) said I'm the guy, Ted (Thompson) said I'm the guy," Rodgers said. "So, no, I'm not worried about that. Brian looks like he's a good player, he's smart, he's picking up the offense pretty well. But it's really in my hands.
    "If I play well, then everything's going to take care of itself. And if I don't, then either Brian or somebody else will be replacing me and I'll know before anybody else."

    So talk of a Favre comeback and the drafting of Brohm doesn't outwardly rattle Rodgers. But one topic does: the broken foot and torn hamstring - the severity of which was never known - the past two seasons that have left him with the injury-prone label.

    "I think it does kind of bother me," Rodgers said. "It has a negative connotation to it and a lot of times people can say you're soft because of it. I mean, I had a broken foot and a torn hamstring.

    "For anybody to call anybody in the NFL injury-prone is not a great idea unless you've played that position or the game for a long time because otherwise you don't really know what it's like to be an NFL player."

    After sitting the bench for three years, Rodgers not only is that, but he's the starting quarterback of the Packers. It's on him now to prove his doubters wrong, starting Sept. 8 when Green Bay hosts the Minnesota Vikings on "Monday Night Football." Favre will have his number retired at halftime.

    "That's going to be an interesting night," Rodgers said. "What a better way to get a career started.

    "I'm excited. I've been waiting for this opportunity my whole life."
     
  2. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    I'm waiting to be invited to one of these orgies, err, i mean PARTIES.

    I've always supported you, Aaron! Let me come over! Or else....

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    The more and more I think about it Trom.. the more and more you remind me of ol' Jack's little part in the Shining--

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Winter in Chicago.. :lol:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    BTW.. I like the approach that A-rod is taking here.. gellin the team around him and hopefully that will help come the "hard" stages of a transition season in Green Bay.
     
  5. IronMan

    IronMan Cheesehead

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. CaliforniaCheez

    CaliforniaCheez Cheesehead

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    A bunch of rich young bachlors breaking training diets, furniture, and wind at Aaron's house.

    "You want salami on that pizza?"

    Happy times!!
     
  7. NDPackerFan

    NDPackerFan Cheesehead

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    Wow...that's friggin' creepy, Trom. :shock:
     
  8. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    I do what I can.
     

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