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Rodgers On Quarterbacking

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Rodgers On Quarterbacking

This interview with Aaron Rodgers by David Flemming for ESPN The Magazine is simply fantastic.

The entire thing is a "Money Quote" but I loved this in particular:

So the idea that football is a game of inches is more than just a cliche?
Look at our biggest play from our last drive of the Super Bowl. We're only up by three, and on third and 10, we run Greg Jennings down the middle of the field and connect for a 31-yard gain. If you look at that play on the game film from the end zone, Steelers corner Ike Taylor gets his pinky on the ball and changes the trajectory but not enough to make Greg drop it. If Taylor gets one more knuckle on the ball, everything changes. An inch one way or the other and it might be a totally different outcome in the Super Bowl. Afterward, everybody was like, "How did that happen?" But that's a play we've worked on for years. Years. That's where all this comes from -- to be able to step into that throw, with seven minutes left in the Super Bowl, up by less than a touchdown, knowing it's third down and you have to make a play. I've thrown that ball to Greg, that same exact ball, 100 times in practice. Same exact route. So when I break the huddle, that's what's flashing in my mind. I've completed this throw in my mind 1,000 times before the ball even leaves my hand.

Be sure to read the whole thing. It is absolutely wonderful.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (21) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

etronsman's picture

Do I sense a bit of suck-uppery after QB1's announcement that he's after Nagler from yesterday?? :) I kid, I kid

Neil's picture


fish/crane's picture

Arrears? God no.

bomdad's picture

I see what you did there. Some of those practices were before 2008.

Jer's picture

Holy crap. That interview was fantastic. My esteem for QB1 seems to increase every time he speaks.

CSS's picture

Read the whole thing, and it makes me appreciate the perfect timing of Aaron Rodgers meeting Mike McCarthy.

Rodgers internal drive, work ethic, commitment, ability to process and treat every practice repetition as though it's meaningful certainly contributed to his success.

But when I read this I'm reminded of McCarthy's insistence that each training camp they start by breaking down his footwork, drops, progressions and re-committing every movement to muscle-memory so it's become 2nd nature.

Both player and coach are in the midst of writing a great story, here. Really was just the right prospect/fabric of a person meeting just the right coach.

Mojo's picture

I'm starting to become convinced TT's greatest acquisition wasn't A-Rod, but McCarthy.

CSS's picture

I would say it's the mutually beneficial relationship where they've grown together. I don't believe they've hit their ceiling yet, either.

PackersRS's picture


McCarthy has grown tremenduosly as a HC. As much as Rodgers has grown as a QB.

Jake's picture

This is a great point. Much is made about TT's ability to find gems deep in the draft, but the same can be said about his signing of McCarthy.

As I recall there were several candidates that appeared to be more obvious choices for the job before McCarthy was hired. McCarthy was the offensive coordinator for the Niners, I think they had like the 31st ranked offense in the league at the time. What a chance TT took huh? He must have saw something that no one else did.

MM has come in and done amazing, he reminds me of a Belichick type coach. Mastermind watching the tape and coming up with game plans and what not, but very reserved towards the media. You watch his press conferences, and it's like polar opposite of a Rex Ryan type coach, almost emotionless. But still MM is a hell of a motivator, look at what he accomplished last year, and look at how the team is handling success right now. It's all because of McCarthy's coaching. He is just business all the time, and it is proving to be the right strategy.

Oppy's picture

@ Jake:

"What a chance TT took huh? He must have saw something that no one else did."

Jake, MM certainly wasn't on most fans' radars compared to other coaches that were available like Sean Peyton or even Brad Childress at the time.

That being said, MM was seen as a very strong candidate and all around up and coming coach by most in NFL circles.

Packers fans talk about MM's -one year- as O.C. in San Fransisco. Look just a little deeper, Jake, and look at what MM did during his 5 or so years as the New Orleans Saints O.C... He took a stagnant offense and turned it into the most prolific offense in Saints history (up to that point in time, at any rate.)

Mojo's picture

It appears one quality 'elite' QB's such as Rodgers have is the need to keep pushing themselves to get better. Whether it's Brady perfecting body language, Peyton run-fakes or Rodgers reading defenses. However, I'm guessing a lot of QBs spend a lot of time on these things and never get past being an average QB. I think smarts and talent put them over the top.

One thing I would like Rodgers to answer is how did he get the velocity on his throws to increase so much from the time he started with the Pack. I remember in a preseason game before his first start thinking "holy-crap, this guy throw as hard as anyone." Was it changing his release point, exercising or what?

I'm still debating whether Rodgers would have been better off today if he had played right away. You could say he would have taken a beating in those first few years, but think of the additional experience he would have gained reading defenses. When you read the ESPN article you realize how much practice and experience factor into his success.

Excellent read.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

That play right there should shut the Skid Baseless's of the world up. Steelers had grabbed ALL the momentum, our Defensive leader was out, the Offense HAD to make a play there, HAD to, and they did, thanks to Rodgers! Suck on that "clutch gene" Skid!


PackersRS's picture

Stop viewing that idiot's show, Fitz... And it'll not shut him up. He doesn't base his opinions on veracity. He bases them on audience.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

I don't watch, I've actually gave the same advice to others here. I've heard people on the radio mention what he says.

Bearmeat's picture

Excellent read.

I am doing my dissertation work at the University of Texas on Performance Anxiety. It's very interesting that ARod's answers line right up with classic explanations of Left Brain Training giving way to Right Brain Action.

I wonder if he's been trained in Performance Anxiety symptoms and strategies to perform at peak levels, or if he is a "natural"?

What I do know is that QB1 is a beast.

bomdad's picture

There's a chance he learned things in college outside of football.

Jonny's picture

I found it interesting that while Rodgers singles out many quarterbacks (Gannon, Brady, Zorn), there is one whose name is not mentioned at all. Any guesses who that is?

guenaj15's picture

I guess people tend to mention those who have had a POSITIVE impact on their development

guenaj15's picture

I particularly liked this answer:

It's quicker reactions and being more decisive with my checks. When you really start figuring things out as a quarterback, you realize you don't have to be perfect every time, but you do have to be quick and decisive. On that play, we had James on the left and Greg Jennings on the right. The pass check was for James to run a man-beater route -- a route with a double move that works well against single coverage. We were hoping the Chargers would go to a one-high safety look. Instead, they played more quarters, where each DB plays a quarter of the field, and they used high-low coverage on Greg. My quick reaction was that we still have man coverage on the other side with James, who is running a man-beater route. It wasn't perfect, but we still had good options to work with.

I think it is incredible that he remembers with such detail every aspect of that one play. I'm sure that QB's in general can recall plays with great accuracy... but its just unreal to me. I barely remember what I ate for dinner last night

Bohj's picture

Interesting to me that very rarely does anyone mention Tom Clements anywhere in these interviews or blogs. I think Clements is one of the best gems in our organization. I don't think Rodgers would be where he is neccessarily without his tutelage. Who do you think is responsible for timing, footwork, release? Who was teaching him to break bad habits? Clements is the perfectionist here. And Rodgers is the "A" student. Who knows if Rodgers pure athleticism and talent would have made him successful elsewhere. But I for one am glad he was able to develope here..... with this staff. Second nature only matters when those habits are good from the start. Thankyou Tom Clements.

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