I just caught an interview with Aaron Rodgers on Sirius NFL Radio. It was a good interview. In just a few minutes, he managed to convey a maturity about him that I found surprising in a 24 year-old. He also used the word “schematics” and gently mocked Mike McCarthy’s football-tough Pittsburgh accent.
A few other random observations.
Rodgers was asked about his performance in the game last year against the Cowboys. He called it “an important game.” He added, “I never doubted my confidence or my abilities,” but admitted that the game has been good for his confidence heading into the 2008 season. He also said that his confidence comes in part from spending two years in the “McCarthy quarterback school.”
On his relationship with Brett Favre, Rodgers said it was “a lot better than it’s made out to be in the media…I don’t know where the stories in the media come from.” Rodgers, asked what he takes away from being a backup to Favre, said that Favre was better at “anticipating guys coming open like nobody I’ve ever seen on film or in person.”
He was also asked about the draft and the fact that the Packers took two quarterbacks. After taking a deep breath, he said that Brian Brohm was a good value in the second round and that the Packers had a high grade on Matt Flynn which made passing on him too difficult so late in the draft. (Those comments felt to me like Rodgers repeating what he’s been told by the coaches and front office types.)
The most interesting comment, in my view, came in his assessment of the team and, in particular, Ryan Grant. Rodgers seems to understand that he does not have to carry the Packers in order for the team to be successful. “The pieces are in place,” he said. “I know my role and I know it’s an important role.” But he went on to talk about the importance (and strength) of the guys around him. In talking about those pieces he called Grant (without naming him) a “big-time starting running back.” That’s high praise and something Grant’s agent might want to pass along to the Packers as he continues negotiations on a new contract. The guy who the Packers have settled on as the new franchise quarterback believes his guy is a “big-time” running back.