Archive for the ‘Rodgers’ Category

Interesting article on Favre/Rodgers

October 21, 2011

Read here from the startribune’s Jim Souhan. (Article is titled “Rodgers surpassing Favre’s legend”).

In the article, Souhan doesn’t give enough credit to Favre for his streak (which like Cal Ripkin’s streak, truly was amazing) and how reliability at the QB position can be key to the development of a winning organization. (Though Rodgers has been fairly reliable too…despite not having a streak to speak of.) And he also doesn’t make enough of the fact that Favre does hold many NFL records – a huge accomplishment to be sure. Nor does he talk much about the league being a bit different in the 90s (as it’s more of a passing league now than it was then).

Still, his other arguments are quite sound and frankly difficult to refute. Rodgers is an astonishingly efficient QB who can make all the plays that great QBs need to be able to make in the modern game. His career passer rating of 101.2 (through I believe week 3 of this season – so it’s probably higher now) is nearly 5 points higher than anyone else in history – and the next tier includes QBs like Steve Young, Tom Brady, Tony Romo. Given how many quality QBs are within just a few points of one another in the 94-96 QB rating range, Rodgers’ 5+ point lead is simply staggering.

Some of you may recall a post I put up a few years ago after Favre retired (the 2008 retirement). I’ll admit after re-reading it, it was a rather meek/tentative post. But my general point was, just before Rodgers’ first full season as a starter, that maybe, just maybe the Pack would be OK with this guy. The title of the post was “Could Rodgers be…more effective than the recent Favre? ” He’s definitely been that.

Rodgers out for Sunday night

December 18, 2010

Read here from jsonline. Packers declaring he’s out now officially.

This sucks. While Flynn being in there does give us the remote chance for a Miracle on Ice type upset, I’d have to say things don’t look good for the Pack tomorrow night. Flynn isn’t bad and he will surprise some folks I think with his ability to manage the offense. And he has won a national championship so it’s not like he hasn’t played in big games before. But the Pack could really struggle tomorrow night – especially with a lack of running game.

Speaking of a running game, interestingly, this could be our only chance. I wouldn’t be surprised if James Starks gets more work than folks anticipate early as the Pack tries to establish some semblance of a running game. The NE defense is not good despite appearing to be better lately. It’s the Pat’s offense that has made their defense good lately and while that may continue Sunday night, if the Pack can establish the run and keep the Pat’s offense off the field, this could be a decent game yet. Of course, that is asking a lot from a coach with a toddler’s patience for the running game.

Interesting Rodgers/Finley info from Scott W

October 4, 2010

Check out this comment from reader Scott W (thanks Scott):

“Madison sports talk this morning mentioned Rodgers angrily threw his towel into his locker when asked about the play calling. Finley also expressed his feelings comparable to Rodgers.”

Maybe this is a bigger deal than I thought (or hoped) it is. Just read through Greg Bedard’s updates at jsonline – here is what McCarthy had to say. Read here, for Rodgers comments.

Tough to know what’s really going on here. My guess again is that it’s probably pretty basic. Rodgers wants the offense to be super-explosive mostly because he just wants to win and he knows that our defense and special teams won’t always be able to bail this team out. He knows that without a decent RB, the offense won’t produce like he knows it can considering the overall talent level – so he wants to go back to that dink and dunk offense that moved the ball quite easily against the Bears.

Again, my lean here is with Rodgers. I think he’s right – the offense hasn’t crafted a strong identity yet and they haven’t put together a solid game. But I can’t help but wonder if at least part of this is Rodgers voicing sideways frustration at TT for not picking up another running back. I think the real thrust of his comments might have been aimed at our RBs – and by extension at McCarthy for putting these guys on the field when they aren’t our “best players”.

Maybe this is what needs to happen to force TT to make a move – Rodgers is his boy after all.

Michael Silver, Aaron Rodgers join in calls for Marshawn Lynch

September 15, 2010

Read here from Yahoo’s Michael Silver and here from Jsonline’s Greg Bedard. Readers of Packergeeks?

As Silver notes, this makes sense on many levels. A 3rd rounder and another player might be a bit much, but not if losing that other player wouldn’t hurt us (like Brady Poppinga). But if there is any truth to Buff not taking offers for him or being difficult about it at all – I totally agree with Silver, that’s lunacy. Buff is in a bad way. They need all the help they can get and they have exactly one position of luxury – RB.

Rodgers’ comments don’t surprise me at all. I had noted before that he played with Marshawn so he knows what kind of player he is. And at this point, Rodgers already has Sidney Moncrief-type credibility…if bothers speaking up about something, he’s probably right.

Pressure mounting…

September 7, 2010

Check this out from USA Today – 5 of their 8 staff writers pick the Packers to win the Super Bowl. Several of you have noted the increasing amount of positive press the Packers have received heading into the season. Lots of the expert types are picking the Pack to win the Super Bowl. Normally, I would be a bit concerned about it – will the players be able to handle the weight of expectation? will they keep their heads? and just as importantly, how will the coaching staff respond to this kind of pressure?

So far, I like the way the team has responded to this pressure. It seems the players may have been given the “OK” to simply address questions about expectations head on – instead of offering up the usual cliche crap like “we’re only focused on the Philly game”. Really, since the team regrouped this spring, it seems to me that generally, the players have not avoided questions about expectations. After the Family Night scrimmage for example, Jermichael Finley and a few others talked very directly about the expectations indicating that the team has the same expectations and the team believes they belong in the Super Bowl. McCarthy must be coaching the guys up to believe that these are not unrealistic expectations and I really like this. There seems to be a message floating around Lambeau that players/coaches ought to embrace this goal publicly rather than avoid it at all costs.

For some reason, I suspect that one guy who may be behind this head-on approach to managing expectations may be Dom Capers. I think Capers, a veteran coach who has seen a lot throughout his NFL coaching career, may be encouraging this open attitude about expectations in part because he knows on one side of the ball, he has a QB who can handle it mentally and on the other side, he has a veteran leader who can handle it mentally – and who wants it so badly (Woodson). One thing that will continue to impress people in the next 3-4 years in particular, is just how strong Aaron Rodgers is mentally. I’m not quite sure the same open approach toward expectations would have been encouraged if we had a different QB.

Nice Rodgers article (thanks for pointing it out Travis)

July 20, 2010

Read here, from ESPN magazine. Rodgers is a stud – and for those in fantasy football, don’t hesitate to make him your #1 QB this year because nobody will be better.

John Lopez and his 26-27-60 theory on drafting QBs

July 9, 2010

Check out this interesting article by John Lopez from si.com. I think he came up with this 26-27-60 rule himself – impressively thought out I have to say. The general idea is that QBs who have a 26 or higher on the Wonderlic, 27 college starts or more and a completion percentage of at least 60%, will succeed in the NFL. His examples of successful QBs who have met those numbers are compelling: Manning, Matt Ryan, Brees, Romo, Schaub, Rivers. (Check out Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Wonderlic score of 48…wow.) At the same time his list of those who did not have all 3 of these qualifiers was also compelling: Ryan Leaf, Joey Harrington, Akili Smith, Tim Couch, David Carr, JaMarcus Russell (among others). A few notable exceptions are Brett Favre (22 on Wonderlic) and Donovan McNabb (14 on Wonderlic) – and he doesn’t mention him, but our own Aaron Rodgers.¬† Rodgers I believe falls short in the games started category – he started 22 games in college as far as I can tell. I believe he had a 35 on the Wonderlic and his completion percentage was 63.8%. So, technically, like Favre and McNabb, Rodgers would actually belong in Lopez’s loser category.

Not a perfect theory, but still not bad.

Rodgers’ candid interview

June 9, 2010

I had only read excerpts of the Rodgers’ interview on ESPN Milwaukee until reader Schaef sent me a link to the whole article. Interesting thoughts – can’t say he’s too far off either.

For those still not certain, let me clarify: Aaron Rodgers is definitely his own man. Sure he tried to tread lightly in the shadows of Favre initially, but this guy is his own man. We’re lucky to have him.

Admit it Packer fans, Favre dominant this year

December 1, 2009

Brett Favre looks incredibly good so far this year. In fact, if I had to decide on NFL MVP right now, Favre would be in the mix (along with Charles Woodson, Manning, Chris Johnson). I don’t like to admit this because I’m still bothered by his role in the GB divorce and I hate anyone who has anything to do with the Vikings. I’ve heard the counter-arguments: that he’s played against mostly weak teams/defenses, or that he has Adrian Peterson behind him, or that the Vikes’ have a strong offensive line, or that their defense helps the team keep leads, or that the Vikes are just a very talented team overall. Those things are all true and yes they help. But I have seen him play enough this year to say confidently, Brett Favre might be playing at least close to this well just about anywhere right now. His passes are crisp, his timing is phenomenal, his pocket awareness is special, he’s shown he can still make any throw (and the MN offense hasn’t been shy about letting him let it fly), he’s not hiding behind AP and the run game and perhaps most curiously, his playcalling has been top-notch. (There have been rumors alleging that most of the offense’s success is due to Favre finally getting¬† the green light to call some of his own plays. Together with Bevell and possibly Childress, they are making tremendous play calls game after game.) Favre’s stats this year speak volumes: 24TDs, 3 picks, #2 in completion percentage at 69.3 and #1 in QB rating at 112.

I can’t say this surprises me though. As soon as the Vikes’ rumored interest in Favre surfaced earlier this year, I went on record saying he’d improve their record to at least 12-4. At that time, my 12-4 claim was mostly met with “Andy’s on crack again” comments. But I mostly held to it. I think it’s now safe to say the doubters were wrong. He has played extremely well this year. The offense is so smooth and very difficult to defend due largely to Favre’s performance. Heading into this season, the popular comment was “who’s he going to throw to?” Now it’s “man, look at all the weapons he has”. I think it’s fair to give some credit to Favre for making superstars out of guys who otherwise may have languished in mediocrity. He did it in Green Bay and he’s doing it in MN.

As well as Favre has played though, a question keeps popping up in my mind: did both the Packers and the Vikings end up winning in this divorce situation? I’m not saying this like the kid who says (pouting) “I didn’t want the most expensive brand new football that all of my friends got for Christmas anyway” here. I really am beginning to believe that this has worked out well for both the Pack and the Vikes. They got their franchise QB who could come in and provide competent quarterbacking while importantly bringing a strong sense of confidence to a position that had been a negative focus for years. The Packers, meanwhile, got a high quality young QB better suited to dealing with (and more willing to deal with) the ups and downs of leading a young team. The Vikings are dominating the division, but the Packers are slowly creeping back into the race – largely because of the efforts of Aaron Rodgers.

Wouldn’t it be something if these two teams squared off again this season, in the playoffs…and the Pack snatched the one that counts most!

Aaron Rodgers is really, really not bad

October 26, 2009

Growing up, my dad would often say that things were “not bad” when most others would have said they were “good” or even “great”. My mom would spend all afternoon putting together an enormously delicious Shepherds Pie and my dad would render his post-meal verdict: “that was…not bad”. If my mom had particularly outdone herself she might hear: “I will say this, that was really not bad”. When my high school soccer team won the state championship, I believe we received a collective: “that was really, really, not bad”. It wasn’t a mean habit of his at all – we all knew that anything “not bad” was actually something to be proud of. Well, using my father’s lingo, I’m comfortable saying already that Aaron Rodgers is really, really not bad.

As a preface to what I’m about to write, I want to establish the following: 1) I understand that statistics don’t always tell the whole story; 2) I realize that career passer rating isn’t the only way to measure a QB’s effectiveness and 3) I understand that Aaron Rodgers needs more games under his belt to more accurately compare him to some of the people I’m about to compare him to. With that out of the way, Aaron Rodgers has a career passer rating of 96.3. (This includes his first 3 years when he was a back-up and played in garbage time that didn’t matter – and stats from those years bring down his overall rating. If we counted only the years he’s been a starter, his rating would be 98.4. He’s #2 overall this year at 110.8.) Again, while I know Rodgers needs to play more games for this to be fair, at this moment, his 96.3 career passer rating would put Rodgers behind only Steve Young (96.8) in NFL history. Steve Young has been on top of this category for years now. The next two are Peyton Manning (95.4) and, you may be surprised by this, Tony Romo at 94.7. That’s some good company.

While I recognize that it will be difficult for Rodgers to maintain this high level of proficiency, I wouldn’t be totally surprised if he ends up doing it mostly because he is a very smart quarterback. Rodgers takes the plays that are there but at the same time, he’s been showing more this year that he can also improvise intelligently. As he continues to develop this critical balance between being smart with the ball and taking intelligent chances, my guess is that Rodgers could arrive at a Peyton Manning-like level of sensible QB decision-making. Consider the Havner TD yesterday, the long 3rd down conversion to Donald Lee yesterday, the Finley TD against the Vikes, etc. The guy has a great feel for the flow of the game, throws a beautiful ball and outside of some pocket awareness issues, has a very well-rounded game for a 2nd year starter. (And, a solid case could be made that he’s done all of this with a mediocre-at-best offensive line in front of him.) Even this early in his career, it’s already evident that Rodgers just plain gets it. In fact, I will say this: I’m growing more and more confident that some day Aaron Rodgers will end up being better than “really, really not bad” – perhaps he’ll reach “tremendously not bad” status.


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