How Does Aaron Rodgers Really Feel About Brett Favre?
It takes a remarkable athlete to be an NFL quarterback. An elite signal-caller must have amazing arm strength, an uncanny ability to read and dissect defenses, and, at times, thick skin. The stakes become even higher when you play in the shadow of a legendary quarterback. Just ask Vikings backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who was booed off the field last night following an “unremarkable” performance in the team’s preseason victory over the Denver Broncos.
Perhaps it is easier to lead a team when Favre is on the opposite sideline, but nonetheless, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has made the most of his opportunity. When the Packers shipped Favre to the New York Jets two seasons ago, Rodgers took hold of the reins and never looked back. In fact, he hasn’t missed a game in two seasons since taking over the starting position. That’s why it was so odd to see Rodgers not suited up for the Packers final exhibition game.
Despite leading his team to the playoffs in only his second year as a starter, it wasn’t always sunshine and flowers for Rodgers. He spent his first thee seasons holding a clipboard as he watched Favre lead the Packers. However, Rodgers made the Packers public relations staff smile as he said and did all of the right things during the much publicized split between Favre and the Packers. Rodgers remained quiet and was a perfect gentlemen during an ugly divorce.
Instead of gushing to the media about his relationship — or lack thereof — with Favre, Aaron Rodgers kept quiet and let his play do the talking. After putting together one of the finest starts for a quarterback in NFL history, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert asked Rodgers if he ever spent time thinking about “where his career might take him.”
“Not really, to be honest with you,” Rodgers replied. “I’m a pretty regimented guy. I’m blessed with one of the great teachers in the game in [quarterbacks coach] Tom Clements. And we’re always working. His best quality is not letting me be content with where I am as a player, and to always point out things I can improve on. That’s how I stay motivated in the offseason. One thing I do realize is that as our team’s success goes, then all of our individual success goes. And keeping that I mind, I think we can all have a lot of success this year.”
This quote is a perfect example of Rodgers saying all the right things. Three seasons on the bench not only strengthened his football game, but they allowed him to practice speaking with reporters as well.
You have to wonder, however, how does Aaron Rodgers really feel about Brett Favre? If Rodgers holds any resentment toward his predecessor, he never shows it. Well, he never publicly shows it. In an ESPN Page 2 column yesterday, Bill Simmons provided some insight into Rodgers’ true feelings toward Favre.
On a personal note, my affection for Rodgers increased exponentially at ESPN’s Sundance party during the conference championships, when Rodgers and his buddies unabashedly rooted against former nemesis Favre and the Vikings down the stretch and celebrated raucously when New Orleans pulled it out. Rodgers couldn’t have been more delighted…
While Rodgers may publicly toe the company line in regard to Favre, you knew he harbored some disdain for Favre’s endless drama. This distaste had to be unbearable as Favre led the Vikings to two regular season victories over the Packers last season.
While it’s not easy to follow in the footsteps of Favre, it has to be even worse being defeated by his team. Just as it takes a great athlete to be an NFL quarterback, it takes an even better one to beat a legend.