As Aaron Rodgers enters his ninth season in the NFL and received the least amount of preseason playing time in years, there’s one school of thought that says he hasn’t been adequately prepared for the rigors of the regular season.
If the Packers quarterback’s comments on the season debut of his weekly radio show on the ESPN Radio affiliates in Milwaukee and Madison are any indication, however, Rodgers isn’t showing much concern.
“I think at this point, I think it’s more about making sure mentally I’m in the right place, and then physically, conditioning-wise, feeling like I’m ready,” said Rodgers. “I’ve played a lot of football, and the mental part is most important for me. At this point in my career, that’s how I’m going be able to play most effectively. Obviously the physical part is important, being able to play the way I want to play, out there moving around when I can and doing some of the things I’ve been able to do extending plays.”
Rodgers played on five series and 45 snaps during the exhibition season, not playing at all during the team’s final preseason game at Kansas City.
While Rodgers generally out-performed the other Packers quarterbacks over the course of the summer, the first-string offense he directed failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities.
In five preseason possessions with Rodgers at the helm, the Packers offense kicked three field goals, missed another and turned the ball over on downs at the one-yard line.
Rodgers seems to feel that preparation on the practice field is more important than preseason games that don’t count in the standings.
“I’d like to think we’ve won a lot of games around here Monday through Saturday by mentally out-scheming and out-thinking teams and then just reacting on the field on Sundays,” said Rodgers. “I think we’re ready, the staff is ready, and it’ll be an exciting opportunity for us (on Sunday).”
Perhaps coincidentally, the quarterback of the Packers opponent in Week 1––Colin Kaepernick––also didn’t play much during the preseason, despite being far less experienced than Rodgers.
“Colin obviously had a great season last year, and he can do it all throwing the football and running it, and maybe the only guy in the preseason that played less than I did, but I know we’ll both be ready for Sunday.”