Aaron Rodgers and anticipation

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One thing I’ve noticed about Rodgers over time is that he is an expert at diagnosing the defense. He knows what’s coming better than just about any QB out there and I think that is often what sets him apart. He can anticipate what’s coming so well both before the play and during the play. This was clearly exemplified when he motioned for Jones to move out wider on that goal-line TD because he saw that Jones would be in single coverage. Of course part of that is play design (moving Finley in motion forced the safety to leave that area). But Rodgers is just a very heady guy who has the power to anticipate.

Why does this matter – because elite athletes in any sport are good at anticipating. It is a core fundamental of greatness in sport. Think of great batters, great tennis players, great basketball players, great hockey/soccer players. All of the elite folks in these sports have serious ability to anticipate what’s going to happen. I’ve been to one NHL game in my life. It happened to be one that featured Wayne Gretzky. What a treat. The guy was absolutely unreal to watch live. He could see plays develop 3-4 plays in advance. He had 1 goal and 3 assists I believe in that game. On the second assist, his decision to pass to one of his trailing teammates was based on him anticipating that the defender would favor another teammate. And on another play it looked like he was going to be creamed by some thug on the other team when he correctly guessed which way the guy would go and the guy made a fool of himself smashing into the glass. Anyway, the point is that anticipation helped him make great plays that average guys simply couldn’t have pulled off. Rodgers has that same quality of anticipation – and other QBs who don’t have this quality aren’t elite.

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