16

January

Aaron Rodgers – Throws Like Dan Marino and Runs Llike Steve Young

As I’ve watched Aaron Rodgers progress over the last few years, there have been things that have amazed me and things that have given me concern. Gradually, he has eliminated the concerns and has reached a point where it’s just incredible fun to watch him play.

The statistics bear out his fine play. Rodgers is already #1 on the all-time NFL passer rating list. His performance yesterday was most likely the second best for a QB  in playoff history, behind only Kurt Warner‘s unconscious performance against the Packers last season.

Mike Ditka called Rodgers’ game the finest QB playoff performance he’s seen in 50 years.

Rodgers’ own teammates were in awe of his performance.

Rodgers has now sent home two quarterbacks that made the Pro Bowl ahead of him.

The superlatives are flying.

But how would you describe Aaron Rodgers?

Well, ESPN’s Ross Tucker came up with the winner, in my opinion: “He throws like Dan Marino and runs like Steve Young.”

Perfection.

Just like Aaron Rodgers.

We Packers fans are a lucky group.

Go Pack!

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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30

December

Forget the Pro Bowl, Aaron Rodgers Wants a Super Bowl

When I saw the Pro Bowl rosters that were released this week, one thought immediately popped into my head:

“Where the HELL is Aaron Rodgers?!”

It made (and still makes) absolutely no sense to me. He was number two in fan voting amongst NFC quarterbacks and instead was named a first alternate.

Taking the fan voting into consideration, there is only one way Rodgers missed out on the original roster: the other players and coaches on other teams didn’t think he was worthy enough to participate in the game unless one of the three selected either gets hurt, plays in Super Bowl XLV the following weeks, or just decides not to go but who does that? Oh yeah, sorry Brett.

In other words: Rodgers got snubbed. By his own peers.

Upon thinking about it that way, I smiled. Rodgers is at his best when he has a chip on his shoulder. When fans were skeptical of him after the Favre trade in 2008, he played very well despite a poor defense and a 6-10 record. When skeptics and supposed “analysts” doubted his athleticism coming out of college, Rodgers worked to become one of the most agile quarterbacks outside the pocket. When others said he wouldn’t beat his predecessor, Rodgers dominated him statistically this season.

So when I saw that Rodgers had been snubbed from the Pro Bowl, all I could think was, “God help the Chicago Bears.”

Even though he is by all definitions a team player and puts the team above his own individual stats, Rodgers must be steamed about this one. Here he is playing on an offense playing most of the season without its starting running back, starting tight end who is one of the biggest weapons in the league, and starting right tackle. Until the past two weeks he has had no running game to support him and has had to carry the entire team on his right arm.

Ever since the Favregate drama of 2008 unfold, Rodgers has carried himself with class and dignity on and off the field and handled taking over the starting job brilliantly under the most adverse of circumstances. He’s made it a point to try and earn the respect of not only his teammates and coaches, but of his peers around the league.

29

December

Tramon Williams Tops List of Green Bay Packers Left Off Pro Bowl Roster

Hopefully Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson are still friends after Woodson stole a pro bowl spot that should have went to Williams.

Most NFL fans realize by now that the pro bowl is more of a popularity contest than an accurate representation of the best players in the league. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make a stink once selections are announced.

And if you’re a Green Bay Packers fan, something definitely smells funny.

Here’s who made the Pro Bowl from the Packers:

Greg Jennings, WR
Chad Clifton, T
*Clay Matthews, OLB
*Charles Woodson, CB
*Nick Collins, FS

(* = starter)

Here’s who also could have made it (or got “snubbed”):

Tramon Williams, CB
BJ Raji, NT
Aaron Rodgers, QB
Josh Sitton, G
John Kuhn, FB/RB

That’s a lot of Packers on the snubbed list. Lets go player by player and break down whether they deserved to be selected, or if they should be angry about getting snubbed. We will start with the snubs. (Actual starters are in parentheses.)

Tramon Williams (Asante Samuel, Charles Woodson)
Williams not making the pro bowl makes the entire pro bowl concept a joke. Before the season, everybody was trying to figure out how the Packers defense was going to stop opposing quarterbacks. Instead Williams has stepped up and the Packers’ secondary is one of the better units in the NFL. Unfortunately, Woodson stole the spot that should have gone to Williams.

BJ Raji (Ndomukong Suh, Jay Ratliff, Justin Smith)
Raji was a big reason the Packers beat the Vikings in week seven with only three healthy defensive linemen. That fact alone should have gotten him to Hawaii. But really, how do you leave a guy off who has anchored a 3-4 defense ravaged by injuries, especially to the front seven? Suh is the best defensive tackle in the league and Ratliff is solid. But Raji, who plays the most important defensive line position in a 3-4 scheme,  should have gone over Smith

Aaron Rodgers (Michael Vick, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees)
Yes, I think Rodgers is one of the top three quarterbacks in the NFC. No, I don’t think he should be overly upset about not making the pro bowl. Rodgers has navigated an offense that managed just 13 points against the Redskins, 20 against the Dolphins, nine against the Jets and 17 against the Falcons. He also had a costly fumble against the Falcons and made a stupid decision to not slide against the Lions. Rodgers still needs to win a big game before he starts getting that automatic pro bowl nod every season.