Favre Was Wrong. Mentoring is Part of the Job.

Rodgers shows in conference call that he gets it.

Within minutes after the Green Bay Packers selected quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft the national media was already drawing comparisons to the drafting of Aaron Rodgers in 2005.

Then as now, the choice was somewhat of a surprise as Brett Favre was showing a few signs of decline but still thought to be among the best quarterbacks in the NFL.    Favre did not take the Rodgers pick well and when asked if he would be a mentor to the new guy, Favre famously stated "My contract doesn't say I have to get Aaron Rodgers ready to play".

Now, with Rodgers facing a similar situation in the drafting of Love, Favre is doubling down on that approach.  In a recent interview on ESPN Wisconsin's Wilde & Tausch show, Favre said "Aaron's job is not to mentor Jordan Love. Aaron's job is to win football games for the Green Bay Packers. That's what he's paid to do and that's what he's going to do."   Favre went on to say that, during his playing days, whenever Rodgers asked him for help he would respond, but he would not "go out of his way" to be a mentor. 

With all due respect to Brett Favre, whom I love, he is flat out wrong about this. Aaron Rodgers is paid an average of around $33 million per year to be more than just the starting quarterback. He is also expected to be a leader and an example setter. The Packers have every right to expect number 12 to be a total team player. And that includes helping prepare Jordan Love to be able to play quarterback in the NFL.

With the four year investment the team is going to have to make to sign Love, I have to believe they want him to win the back-up quarterback job sooner than later.  Rodgers has certainly been banged up enough in recent years to warrant concern he can make it through an entire season. If he goes down, Love needs to be ready to play and Rodgers, based on whether his attitude toward Jordan is proactive, will play a major role in that.

Which is why we Packer fans breathed a huge sigh of relief after Aaron's conference call on May 15th, his first public remarks since the draft.   Rodgers not only made it clear he gets his role as a team player and mentor, but he relishes it.   "I've always had great relationships with my backups and always loved helping those guys out in any way" Rodgers said.   "The more questions they have, the more answers I have.   I really, truly embrace those relationships and it'll be the same with Jordan."   

Immediately after the Packers selected Love, the national talking heads adopted as their narrative that there will be trouble in the Packers locker room. They had already framed Rodgers as a malcontent, as being resentful of the pick. Some have even written articles saying Rodgers should demand a trade. Favre himself predicted that Rodgers would finish his career with some other team.

This is incredibly unfair to Rodgers. I realize that writers and TV analysts have to create content during these quarantine times, and nothing sizzles like a superstar having issues with his team (see Tom Brady and the Patriots).   But ARod, while conceding that he was not "thrilled" with the pick, quickly added  "But I understand.   The organization is thinking not only about the present but about the future, and I respect that."

In fact, Rodgers made it a point to call Jordan Love shortly after his selection to congratulate him and welcome him to the team.  ARod continues to conduct himself like a true leader, at least publicly.  Granted, his body language on the field sometiimes gets a little prickly, but isn't that what you want from a team leader?   Someone who demands top performance all around him?

Brian Gutekunst calls him a "pro" and anticipates no problems. Coach Matt LaFleur has said "I know Rodgers is going to be a great mentor".   Nor should Aaron be in the least bit threatened by Love's arrival. LaFleur made it clear the clock is not ticking on Rodgers' time in Green Bay. He says he wants number 12 leading the team for a long time.   There's no obvious reason to believe that's not true.

And let's be clear, Love is not ready to play. He is an exciting prospect but as raw as a hunk of steak hanging in a meat locker.

I've never seen anyone have as much fun playing pro football as Brett Favre.   I have so many fond memories of number 4 giving a high five to the referee after a touchdown pass, or hiding somebody's helmet on the sideline.   But apparently one aspect of being a superstar that Favre did not embrace was mentoring his understudies.   No, it was not stated in his contract, but it is clearly part of the job.   It's the very definition of teamwork.   Every player on the team should consider himself a potential mentor.   It's the foundational basis for the whole "Next Man Up" mentality.

My guess is ARod will embrace this role. Now, will he privately be motivated to show everyone he's still the man? Absolutely. So much the better for the Packers. But Rodgers is an extremely smart and analytical kind of guy, and those types usually enjoy sharing their wisdom with young admirers who aspire to follow in their footsteps.   However long it takes, no matter how many years Rodgers is still the number one, the transition to Jordan Love will be a smooth one.

I believe Rodgers will see to that.

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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12 points

Comments (37)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Jonathan Spader's picture

May 17, 2020 at 06:24 pm

Sports writers did the same thing last year with the relationship between MLF & Rodgers. Trying to create drama where there is none. Fake news.

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Johnblood27's picture

May 17, 2020 at 11:34 pm

queue florio-hack and pft.

That outlet is the worst.

Where was all the drama around Phillip Rivers and the LA Chargers?

He has been a very sucessful face of that franchise for a looooong time and he now reisdes in Indianapolis.

Line up the hack job columns, eh?

Not so much.

Why?

Because florio-hack just hates Green Bay and everything about every player on the team past, present and future.

Just say NO! to pft. dont fall for that hack click-bait.

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nstewart1's picture

May 17, 2020 at 06:21 pm

Seems like Doug Pederson helped Favre become more of a smart pro QB while they were together.

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stockholder's picture

May 17, 2020 at 07:16 pm

WE don't live in Russia. This isn't brother to brother. Cutting through all your assumptions, won't make Rodgers a yes man. If he stays the leader he has been. He won't be his mother. Be Careful what you wish for. As disappointing as it is to move on from #12. We first must see if Love is a QB. To much is being taken for granted here. NFL draft history has shown; many Qbs picked higher then Love have Failed. And many have failed as back-ups. A lot has been invested in Love. All which is unproven in the NFL. Expecting the transition to be smooth is never easy. Regardless who you work for. Picking Rodgers mind is one thing. Showing it in the NFL is another.

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Packerpasty's picture

May 17, 2020 at 08:45 pm

right on...no one knows if he's Rodgers successor or if he will even ever be a starter, for the other two of the first three picks, seems many fans already penciled them in as sure fire starters...wishful thinking..

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

May 18, 2020 at 02:53 pm

Brother to brother is exactly what GB was talking about in the locker room last year. Brother to brother is teammates. Brother to brother is making sure all the backups are ready to play if needed, including the backup QBs.

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ReaganRulz's picture

May 17, 2020 at 07:29 pm

The NFL is a business and in real business, you develop employees to be future leaders or valuable contributors. So why would this situation be any different? I certainly hope that Rodgers handles this situation a LOT differently than Favre.

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kennyg24's picture

May 17, 2020 at 08:03 pm

Enjoyable article. Finally a touch of realism about this situation.

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Rudedawg67's picture

May 17, 2020 at 08:16 pm

Besides the team picking a quarterback in the first round and having a Hall of Fame starter is the only similarity so I don’t know why people keep comparing the two pics. Aaron Rodgers was supposed to be the first or second pick in the draft and fell to 24 Jordan Love may not even been a first round pick and they moved up to get him and that’s where the rub is. So the pics aren’t that similar at all.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

May 18, 2020 at 12:35 am

In 2018 Love was projected as a top QB prospect. In 2019 he had a terrinle year and his draft stock fell. There's still similarities there. It's not that complicated. Hopefully we have similar results as well.

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Rudedawg67's picture

May 18, 2020 at 01:14 pm

His stock fell this year partially because there were better quarterbacks coming out. If he came out last year he might’ve been the second or third quarterback taken. Let’s remember even though we had a good year in 2018 the MAC isn’t a very strong conference. You can improve your draft stock at the combine and he did well enough for the Packers to see something in him but I still don’t think it was worth giving up a fourth rounder and moving up. Should have addressed more immediate needs and try to pick up Rogers successor in another year or two.
All that being said I sure hope he works out and is as good as our last two quarterbacks because now that we have them we got to deal with it.

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Tarynfor12's picture

May 17, 2020 at 09:06 pm

If the FO selected Love believing Rodgers will help ensure he won't finish his career in GB, they're fools. No matter how any times Rodgers repeats what he said, I'll never believe it's the whole truth. Love will have to beat Rodgers out and Rodgers isn't helping Love to do it. He may say it, be politically correct for the media, but he won't do it.

Favre just came out and said the truth in 05' as to Rodgers. Favre helped Rodgers by being an ass with the retirement yes/no bs.

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gkarl's picture

May 18, 2020 at 08:07 am

If AR was 10 years younger and without the resume he has built for himself I might agree with you. AR future in GB is secure for next few years and he will play somewhere in the NFL if not GB as long his talent dictates. He's knows that and proven over the years he's a team guy, he'll help Love.

FO are not fools and neither is AR, they both know that "IF" and when the time comes Love will be the next QB in GB.

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Bure9620's picture

May 17, 2020 at 09:49 pm

That is because Favre is selfish, he always has been.
I wonder how many sentences of his start with "When I played" I, I, I. Typically, he just talks about himself. Favre was always rather narcissistic, but he was able to soften it with the "aw shucks" southern guy persona. Thankfully, Rodgers is not built this way. He is a better teammate than Favre. Favre was an asshole to Rodgers, that is pretty clear.

You mentor your backup because this is in the best interest of the team. Being a member of a team is about sacrificing the me to the we. The best interest of the team is to have your backup prepared and the veteran starter can help and can teach and help better prepare should the backup be forced into action. The same goes with any position on the field. Marcedes Lewis will be mentoring Sternberger, Tonyan and Deguara. Those three are competing with him for snaps too, but Lewis is a leader and a great teammate. Yes, you mentor your backups

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mbpacker's picture

May 17, 2020 at 09:44 pm

I believe all this click-bate stuff will be history once the season starts. Some of these pundits never played the sport, i.e. Colin Cowherd, etc. So I don't pay attention to them. If Rodgers can stay healthy and he buys into running the ball more, getting the ball out of his hands faster, we could see a great year(s) continue. We should know by now never to count AR out, just ask my Bear in-laws! :)

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Tarynfor12's picture

May 17, 2020 at 10:08 pm

I've often read where the mention of team and how players should do what's best for the team. Players are nothing more than mercenaries with a sliding pay scale depending on ability to do the job. This is why players fought for their rights to be FA's. To be hired by a higher bidder who needs a job done and why these mercenaries leave their current employer. Sometimes the employer simply needs to release the mercenary due to cost, failure to achieve job performance or because a better mercenary is acquired or seen coming into reach for the job at a later date and who is less costly, you know, the yearly class of young mercenaries.

Think about the movie 'The Mechanic', the teacher teaches the student all he knows and how to do it and the student repays him by killing the teacher.

Many here think Rodgers should be the teacher and allow the student to end his career in GB. This isn't a Hundley or Kizer or Boyle situation where Rodgers knows his job is safe. Rodgers has been told, in essence, the FO expects the student to end him, sooner than later.

Tell me again how Rodgers is happy to welcome Love with wide open arms, waiting for his end in GB, at least.

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IrishBoy23's picture

May 18, 2020 at 12:56 pm

M000Ronnnn....LMAO dipstick

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Lphill's picture

May 17, 2020 at 10:33 pm

Montana didn’t mentor Young , DiMaggio didn’t mentor Mantle, Rodgers doesn’t owe Love anything.

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Turophile's picture

May 18, 2020 at 04:46 am

Wrong. He owes him professionalism, the same as he owes all the players around him.

Good QBs earn what they do because part of their job is to lead.......and leading means getting others to do their job better, allowing each of them to be the best version of themselves that they can be.

If Montana didn't mentor Young, it was in large part because Young was already pretty pro-ready. He started in the USFL in 84, went to the Bucs in 86, and on to the 49ers in 87, where he had a full four years to learn behind Montana. Even if Montana hadn't mentored Young, he (Young) had a ton of time to absorb all he needed to know. This is a very different scenario when compared to a raw rookie coming into a franchise.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

May 18, 2020 at 02:59 pm

Steve Young had much more experience when he came to S.F. than Jordan Love in GB. Montana certainly didn't refuse to help Young. They were friends while competing for the starting job. Not really a comparison to Rodgers and Love. Or if it is a comparison, it is a positive one.

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SwedeBayPacker's picture

May 18, 2020 at 07:24 am

Not only is it part of the job: it's part of your legacy as a qb. If Love goes on to be the next big qb, and Rodger's mentored him, people will add that part whenever they sing Rodger's praise for the next decade: not only was he one of the best that ever played the position, he also had a hand in shaping the next chapter of the Green Bay saga. That's a legacy.

#GoPackGo

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croatpackfan's picture

May 18, 2020 at 10:24 am

Bravo! Finally one who understands what is LEGACY!

You may be top player, but if your protegee become better than you, if you left your heir who will be better than you, partly because you teach and route him, part of his success will be part of your success!

That is that. You will not be judged by what you did, but by what your protegee acxhieved.

Remember that!

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murf7777's picture

May 18, 2020 at 07:39 am

First and foremost, I believe Rodgers enjoys sharing his wisdom and that will be a motivating factor in him being a good to great mentor. In addition, Good teams are always looking towards the future,especially at the most important positions, Rodgers has stated he respects that and I believe what he said as an accurate feeling of his.

That said, it doesn’t matter that much because the responsibility of success largely falls onto Love himself. Loves’s talent, work ethic, determination, self starting, inquisitive nature and learning ability will determine his success. As a business owner, when I led people, one of my important messages was that I could guide you in a direction but ultimately your success will be your responsibility.

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nostradanus's picture

May 18, 2020 at 07:50 am

I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment Ken.

*Brett Favre has been disappointing in his comments and sounds a bit jealous that he is no longer playing football or in the spotlight. It almost sounds like he’s hoping the Rodgers/Love thing fails.
We all love you Brett but common man, move on!

*Rodgers handled this with class and professionalism and I’m sure he will be an excellent mentor to his young understudy because he understands the Packers are just protecting future of the franchise. He knows if he gets knocked out of a few games in the future that his mentoring of Love could be the difference in whether they make it to the playoffs and beyond.

*I have been watching games from Love’s career at Utah State and he really does have all the tools. He throws on the move really well and throws a really pretty ball.
He has some flaws but nothing that can’t be fixed by learning from one of the greats!

Thank you in advance Aaron Rodgers for being a true professional and putting the Green Bay Packers team first!

Go Pack!

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greenandgoldguy's picture

May 18, 2020 at 09:10 am

If the Packers would of went out a signed a proven FA WR, none of this would be discussed. A veteran to compliment Adams, but they didn't bc they didn't have the extra money. And this is what they/the Packers and Rodgers get. You want want all that money Aaron fine, now we don't have enough to go around you have to throw to the bums we have, that's the way I look at it. I don't feel sorry for anybody that's gonna make 33 mil this year and 45 million the following year. Suck it up. And here I'm the dumb ass spending my piddly ass money on the Sunday Ticket and buying Packer crap for me and my kids left and right.

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buddrow53's picture

May 18, 2020 at 09:36 am

Drop the mic!!!!! lol

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greenandgoldguy's picture

May 18, 2020 at 09:56 am

Excuse Me? That's all you have?

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nostradanus's picture

May 18, 2020 at 10:04 am

They have one his name is Devin Funchess and he fits perfectly as a young, big, physical And proven WR for an Offense that is requiring the WR’s to play physical and block in the run game.

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greenandgoldguy's picture

May 18, 2020 at 10:14 am

Really? I would of mentioned him but he's not worth mentioning. Proven? Where? What has he proved anywhere? Didn't play last year. They signed him bc they got him on the cheap! Probably won't even make the team, he's a nobody!

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 18, 2020 at 11:23 am

Damn.....I wish the front office would have checked with you first!

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nostradanus's picture

May 18, 2020 at 11:55 am

Come on now give the Packers front office more credit than that. If you watch his game film he’s a pretty good player and at worst will split time with Lazard.

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greenandgoldguy's picture

May 18, 2020 at 10:41 am

Don't get me wrong my friend I hope this guy turns out to be a difference maker he has the physical tools but there were guys out there in FA that were known and known for being good WR's and we just couldn't afford them.

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nostradanus's picture

May 18, 2020 at 11:58 am

They be ok amigo, keep the faith in the Green and Gold we gonna be good :)

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NoNonsense's picture

May 18, 2020 at 01:54 pm

Funchess was a 2nd round pick, he played for 4 years with Cam Newton in Carolina and left there as the 5th best WR(in TDs) in their history.

The Colts thought enough of him to pay him $10 million a year last year but he got hurt in game 1 and didnt play another snap so they released him.

Hes no all pro but hes not a nobody either. Go watch some highlights to see what he can do for yourself.

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wildbill's picture

May 18, 2020 at 02:43 pm

Agreed and he is good veteran insurance In case Adams goes down again

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Alberta_Packer's picture

May 18, 2020 at 08:19 pm

At this stage in his career Rodgers has made his financial fortune and share of awards. What is left is maybe another Championship or two, but, more permanent, is his legacy. To willingly mentor Love will elevate his stature above Favre - to a Bart Starr level. Rodgers is a highly intelligent and worldly individual so I think he realizes this. My prediction is that his exit will be much more graceful than his predecessor.

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packersrule's picture

May 21, 2020 at 10:58 pm

This S*** show was created by the Packer's management and it's put Rodger in a no-win position. This is all we will hear about until the Packer's management cut/trade Rodger either end of this year or next. Packer's management team has decided who is their man when they traded up to get him. You can believe Love has to win the position but think about what it says about the management decision.

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