Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has landed in the eyes of many league observers as one of the best quarterbacks in the game. And that’s where he wants to be.
He’d be even higher if he would get rid of the ball a little more quickly.
“The last thing I want people to think is that I don’t take football
seriously,” Rodgers told Tim Keown of ESPN The Magazine in a feature that landed Rodgers on the cover of the latest issue of the publication. “I’m superultracompetitive. But at the same time,
my life is not on the line. My playing reputation is on the line, but
nothing tangible. When I tell people I’m not nervous before games, does
that mean I don’t take it seriously? No, it means I’m not nervous
because I’m confident, and I prepared my butt off all week.”
Rodgers also took a slap at some of the guys picked higher in the draft than the former Cal quarterback, who plummeted out of the top 20 picks in round one five years ago, at a time when it appeared that the team for which he rooted growing up, the 49ers, possibly would make him the No. 1 overall pick.
“I see so many silver-spoon guys, and I don’t think the mental toughness
is always there,” Rodgers said. “I’ve dealt with adversity. I’ve dealt with
disappointment. I’ve dealt with not being picked and not being one of
the guys. When I see adversity now, I look forward to it. When I see
opportunity, I make the most of it.”
Though that last part sounds vaguely like the first draft of the lyrics to a Steve Winwood song, it’s a good approach. And it has served Rodgers well.
It’ll serve him even better if he can get rid of the ball faster in 2010.