Aaron Rodgers at 30: Where He’s Been and Where He’s Going

29 responses

  1. Razer
    December 3, 2013

    I think that your point about management needing to surround Rodgers with talent is the key to this story. I fear that the experiments and projects on the O-line will be the governing factor on his success. He has taken a ton of hits behind chronically bad lines.

    The other handicap that Rodgers will need to overcome is MM’s playcalling. It is obvious that Rodgers making adjustments is a huge factor in making the offense roll. Rodgers is making yards even when the defense knows what we will do. Image what he could do if we had an OC that designed and called creative schemes.

    The bottom-line should be…let’s not waste Rodgers career.

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    • Bedrock
      December 3, 2013

      Completely agree with surrounding A-Rod with talent. While we’re at it, surround CMIII with talent too. How about we just get more talent?

      Completely disagree with the rip on MM’s play calling. I don’t care if the other team knows what is coming. Execute! Lombardi was said to have 6 offensive plays. Scheme against my 11 guys winning their battles against yours! If MM has a weakness, it’s loyalty to coaches that are getting the maximum out of the talent TT provided. (Now, with the injuries, you cannot squeeze blood from a turnip.)

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      • Bedrock
        December 3, 2013

        *loyalty to coaches NOT getting the maximum out of the talent…

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      • Rymetyme81
        December 3, 2013

        It sure seemed to help the Patriots.

        I will give you props for your loyalty, but MM has recently been outcoached as badly as the players have been outplayed. Rodgers covers up many of MM’s playcalling deficiencies.

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    • Archie
      December 3, 2013

      Excellent points Razer. My fear for Rodgers is that he has to spend the prime of his career toiling under TT/MM. I truly doubt TT is capable of assembling a defensive team and we all know about MM’s poor and unimaginative decison-making. AROD deserves to be working for a team with a master GM and HC. It just ain’t gonna happen anytime soon in GB. This is the curse of the 2010 miracle finish. It shall haunt for the rest of AROD’s career in GB I fear.

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      • Rob
        December 3, 2013

        So what you’re saying is failure is the fault of the coaches and management but success is because of the players in spite of the coaches and management?!

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  2. GBPDAN
    December 3, 2013

    To me, Rodgers turning 30 only intensifies the situation this team is in. We are all hoping that the Packers can get ,at least , one more ring with Rodgers. But now that Rogers is out, it has shed a light on how much separation there is between the Packers player talent and the Elite teams that stand in their way to a SB. Watching Seattle last night, with their ability to tackle, cover and block , showed how many light years ahead they are then the packes. If Rodgers would have never got hurt, the pack would be 9-3 right now (we would have still lost to the lions with our D and crappy oline) and we would have finished the season at 13-3 or 12-4 . We would all be pumping our chest and excited about the playoffs, then would have got crushed by one of the physical teams like niners, seahawks, and probably the Panthers and maybe the saints because brees would shred our D.

    This is what happened the last few years and it would have happened again this year, because rodgers is covering up tge underlying mess this team is. If the niners, seahawks, or Panthers lost their QB for a stretch, they would win more the 50% of their games because they have other players that can block, tackle and cover, we don’t.

    Your article , yesterday, on the Packer fans o overreacting was valid to a degree, but what a lot of fans are reacting to is the mess that was exposed, regarding the personal on this team, after rodgers went down. Yes, we are spoiled I guess, but if winning is everything (namely titles), like Vince said, then why cant we react to the lack of talent, desire and leadership this team is displaying? The DBs have been confused for years, the team cant tackle, they play soft with little passion and they quit in the Lions game. Not to mention the BLUNDER at back up QB! I guess we are not supposed to complain about any of this because we might be overreacting. …

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    • Jack
      December 3, 2013

      you stated that the Packers are years behind the Seahawks, Panthers and 49ers, but I disagree. As soon as the Seahawks are forced to resign Lynch, Sherman and Wilson they will be forced to use up a lot of their cap space like the Packers have with A-Rod and CMIII. The same will happen to the Panthers (Newton) and the 49ers (Kaepernick). This will force them let go of key players like we have been forced to do (Woodson, Jennings, Wells). The one thing that will remain is the QB and AR is certainly the best.

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  3. JH9
    December 3, 2013

    There’s no doubt Rodgers has been brilliant. His injury this year just shows how much of an MVP he truly is. I, for one, want to know when (if) he’ll win another Super Bowl ring for the Packers.

    Watching how Ted Thompson operates over the years, I expect McCarthy will be the HC for at least another two years. After the debacle in Detroit last week, I think there should be real concern regarding McCarthy’s ability to get this team back on track to realistically having a chance to win another Super Bowl. As we saw earlier in the year, Rodgers seemed to question McCarthy’s play calling. I just wonder what AR is thinking now about McCarthy’s ability to lead after watching this team fall apart.

    The only solution I can see that might have a chance to quickly turn around this team is if there is a maximum effort made by TT and MM to make a full-scale change to the defense. By that I mean getting a first-rate new DC and coaching staff, one or two top-tier defensive FAs, and a couple of high round defensive draft picks.

    I feel if we can infuse new energy and get defensive shut down production, Aaron Rodgers and the offense can do the rest. Another Super Bowl ring for Rodgers then might not be so far off.

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    • Archie
      December 3, 2013

      The problem with that solution is that TT/MM have never hired a good coach and TT can’t draft defense – just not in his DNA. He’s assembled a SB worthy offense, particularly for 2014 when everyone is back to health. But I just don’t see a way out on the defensive side. When a team starts AJ Hawk for a decade that kind of tells you they are clueless on defense. Their CBs are too small. Their S can’t do anything. Their ILB are soft while their best ILB, Lattimore, isn’t allowed to play. Maybe Nick Perry will stay on the field and become an adequate complement to CMIII. The DL is a mess. Thankfully, Raji wants to exit GB. Paying him $8MM would certainly seal our fate defensively. Time for Pickett to call it a career. Jolly, who knows. But the 3 HIPPO defense backed up by two soft ILBs is more than I can stand watching. Daniels and Jones may be the beginning of a renaissance on the DL. They need a couple more just like them. Mike Neal seems useful. With a high draft pick, TT is almost sure to pick another Hawk, Harrell or Raji. And if he does….game over!

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      • Razer
        December 3, 2013

        Typically I have defended TT’s draft record but I do agree that defensively, he has been below average. We have progressively gotten worse on defense and the talent is just not there. On numerous occasions he has reached and in some cases he has simply ignored the need. Since he was a journeyman linebacker, I am surprised that he doesn’t have a good feel for this side of the ball.

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  4. Savage57
    December 3, 2013

    Very well done, Kris. I hope that in that brief period between this season’s end and the re-tooling for the next one, the Packers brain trust has some of the similar reflections you’ve posted here, and realizes what’s been missing most for Rodgers, and sadly for Favre before him, to claim more Lombardi’s has been a dependable defense. Not dominant (although how nice would that be?), just dependable.

    To TT’s credit, he’s tried. He’s spent two drafts trying to bring in players to shore up the historically weak link in the Packers roster make-up, but to no avail.

    Now, faced with the reality that AR’s window with the Packers is finite, will he set aside some of the rigidity he’s shown and engage the entire range of player acquisition modes available to a NFL GM? Or, will he stubbornly hold to a formula that in the presence of AR has limited the Packers chances to seize the brass ring and in his absence made consideration of the same objective laughable?

    Or is the defensive talent there, and is the problem with it being no more than the fact that the unit is coached and deployed by a man who no longer has connection and relevance to an evolved style of play in the league?

    The answer to both of those questions are beyond my pay grade, but I am absolutely certain that no good answer will be revealed without a significant and systemic change in one or the other.

    It is either the players in the system, or how the system fits the players. What’s crystal clear is that there’s a pretty big disconnect somewhere. QB’s like Favre and Rodgers come along once in a generation for most teams if they’re lucky, but the Packers won the QB lotto and got them back-to-back.

    Time to take the odds on AR and push the pile of chips to the middle of the table and go all in.

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  5. Bearmeat
    December 3, 2013

    Rodgers is great. But in order for the team to win another Super Bowl or two, the defense is going to have to be better.

    IMO the OL is average (bad the last 4 but very good before that).

    S, DT and ILB need reinforcements. Quickly. TT has tried – so that means to me it’s the coaching. Time for Capers and Co. to move on.

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  6. Since ’61
    December 3, 2013

    Well done Kris. As a Packers fan who watched Lombardi’s Packers in the 60′s and then waited 29 years for another NFL title the Favre/Rodgers jackpot is our reward for those 29 years of patience. Many of our younger bloggers would do well to keep that 29 year waiting period in mind when they rip up the current team and our current HC and GM over a 5 game bump in the road when you consider the last 22 seasons since 1992 when Favre appeared. As for Rodgers he is probably the best player the Packers have ever had. He combines the smarts and ball security of Starr with the arm strength and gamesmanship of Favre. Given a solid defense he and this offense, if healthy should win another SB or 2. But we have seen how fragile those plans can become in the current NFL. The league through the salary cap has made dynasty building close to impossible. And it’s working based on the revenue growth the NFL is experiencing. To JH9, in a normal season I would be able to predict when the Packers will win another SB but my crystal ball is injured and out for the season on IR. So all I can say is wait ’till next year. Thanks, Since ’61

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    • Archie
      December 3, 2013

      I’ve been an avid Packer fan for as long as you so I guess it’s OK for me to state my criticisms of the current regime.

      I strongly maintain that the quickest and probably only path to another SB with AROD is to blow up current management starting with the GM. Everything that happens on that field traces directly back to the GM, especially when that GM has been in charge for 9 years!

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      • Bedrock
        December 3, 2013

        Blowing things up? Can you imagine what would happen if fortune 500 companies did that? You don’t blow up, you evolve. “Blowing up” decreases the window of opportunity.
        That’s the beauty of TT. If he sticks around long enough, TT will have a plan for this team after A-Rod’s departure. I’m guessing he already does. He is years ahead of the rest of us in his planning. Do all of his plans work out? Of course not, only 1 team wins it all each year.
        I imagine, he even has a plan for his succession. GB will be competitive for a long time. Enjoy the ride.

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      • John Rehor
        John Rehor
        December 3, 2013

        Without stating that I agree or disagree with your blow it up and start over approach, what would you do if you were in charge? Who would you hire as GM, Head Coach, etc?

        Interested to hear your thoughts

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      • Since ’61
        December 3, 2013

        Archie – I don’t know if the blow it up approach would result in another SB or not. What I do know is that it will take a few more seasons of Rodgers career to find out and in the end we could be worse off then we are now. I have been saying for a while now that there ain’t no Nitschkes on this defense, so I am OK with bringing in a new DC and defense staff. But with a new DC we still need DTs, ILBs, a safety and shut down corner. But if you pull out MM and TT also, you are starting new everywhere. And remember a new HC might want his own QB. Rodgers and MM are tied at the hip like Favre/Holmgren , Brady/Belicheck. If you don’t think the Packers are well run why are teams like Miami and KC and others hiring our assistant coaches and management personnel? Because we have good people and other teams want to emulate our success. That is the highest compliment from other professionals and tells us something about the GB organization. Call for change and criticize all you like but think about the implications of change short and long term. I believe that our current struggles are short term and based on TTs/MMs record of succes, 88-45 prior to Rodgers injury since 2006. I’d rather take a big picture view and give them the opportunity to correct our issues. Thanks, Since ’61

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      • Tarynfor12
        Tarynfor12
        December 3, 2013

        ” And remember a new HC might want his own QB.”

        If a new HC gave off any sign that he wouldn’t want Rodgers as his QB…he’s the wrong guy and a loser.

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  7. packett
    December 3, 2013

    I hope they just take AR off the field the rest of the year. Too risky being out there with the patchwork line. Let them play run, run, run, run. Either the O-line will learn to run block, or all the 3&outs will ensure the defense gets 40+ minutes per game of reps and practice. It’ll be good either way for next year. AR can regenerate…and maybe will help his longevity as well…getting another year or two by this mini-bye year for him.

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    • Dobber
      December 3, 2013

      I disagree: playoff hopes are on life support but not dead. The objective is to win and to get to the dance. Just find a way to do it. That means AR plays if he’s able.

      I will think much less of this coaching staff and management if they put a piece as valuable as AR on the shelf when he’s able to play. It’s a different matter if you’re evaluating backup talent who have starter potential. It’s a different matter when you know AR is your guy for at least the next 3-5 years.

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    • Razer
      December 3, 2013

      Tanking a season is not an option. Only losing organizations think and behave this way. If Rodgers can make it back, we are still in this race. He won’t improve the defense, other than to keep them off the field for longer stretches. Remember this is an article about maximizing our time with Aaron Rodgers. Throwing in the towel and hoping for a better draft is like procrastinating to bank time. Don’t leave your stallion in the barn – run him.

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  8. Archie
    December 3, 2013

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • Dobber
      December 3, 2013

      With all due respect, Archie, this isn’t the NBA. You don’t tank or trade away talent to try to get a “lottery” pick.

      The draft is such an inexact science that the difference between pick 10 and pick 20 isn’t much more than preference and need.

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      • Rob
        December 3, 2013

        Archie, how are your Bears doing? Oh, yeah, we play them one more time yet.

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  9. Big T
    December 3, 2013

    Good article. I believe Rodgers is the best qb in the league. I believe if MM and TT keep pissing down their legs and not protecting Aaron he should play for another team. Now if they get their heads out of each others behinds and make the necessary changes, then Aaron can be a Packer for life…

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  10. J204
    December 3, 2013

    I think it is clear AR is the leader of the franchise and not McCarthy. He is just a passenger. When AR threw his clip-board vs Detroit, that was pre-snap. He knew the play sucked from the beginning.. There has been frustration shown the past year and half between AR and Mike. I think AR just changes the plays everytime they come in to what he wants to be honest. I doubt this will happen but I wouldn’t be shocked if AR wanted a coahcing change in the off-season.

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    • Razer
      December 3, 2013

      I didn’t see the game so I am not sure what you are referring to BUT I don’t doubt that Rodgers is getting tired of the playcalling. If it is not Rodgers, very little of MM’s playcalling will either fool or challenge opposing defenses.

      I am not a Brent Favre lover, but I could see him completely ignoring McCarthy’s vanilla offense. If nothing changes, I can see Rodgers walking down this very same path. If the coach isn’t well out in front of his talent then he needs to get out of the way.

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  11. funcrusher
    December 3, 2013

    Rodgers has a long career ahead of him. With all the rules that are being enforced to protect the quarterback, he could be playing at a high level till he’s forty years old. Look at Manning and Brady. They show no signs of slowing down.

    There’s no doubt in my mind, Rodgers is gonna win at least one or two more super bowls before it’s over.

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