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Tag:Aaron Rodgers
Posted on: April 4, 2009 11:21 pm
Edited on: April 4, 2009 11:23 pm
 

Week In Review: Hating on Favre and Cutler

Okay, so I didn't write much this week (other then entries about Cutler and Favre).  I had ideas, but just didn't take the time to write them down.  In fact, I don't really have much for this edition of Week In Review.  I am just too lazy to be witty, so I will keep this brief.  Really brief.  Real . . . brief . . . .

Sorry, I think I am actually dosing off within my writing.  Did you know you could do this?  I did--I didn't know . . . you get the idea.  So, to start off, I am going to list off some of the plans I had and how they worked out . . .

Write About My Positions on different hot topics - Yeah, so, you see, that's kind of time consuming and really boring.  You understand why I haven't followed through on that yet.

Write on a mostly daily basis - Okay, so that's just silly.  Why add more entries no one will read?

Create Review Blogs that Would Make fun of past works - I'm not really a funny person, so . . .

Write . . . wait, I know this . . . write stuff that I had in my head that I never . . . wrote . . . down .  Because you are interested in this drivel.

(Heavy yawn; yes I wrote that down)  Now, for a brief review of the blogs for this week.  At least I follow through on one promise!

Cutler

      Favre                       They are kind of similar

                Hate blogs

                                                           You know, about how childish both quarterbacks act.

                        Jay Cutler . . . Jay Cutler . . . Bears still suck

                                                                             Bus Cook is an evil, evil man

                                               Possibly the devil, or at least a close relative

                             Ted Thompson and Josh McDaniels should join a Bus Cook group, to support each other

                 The Broncos management, Mike McCarthy, and others affected by Favre should be there too

                                                                      Bla . . . Bla . . . Aaron Rodgers is still the best

                                                                                                    Oh, and underdogs are cool (See Michigan State)


I think that covers most of it.  Except, of course, my list of topics: Cutler, Favre, Rodgers, Thompson, and McDaniels.

And a list of names to boost my rating: Packers, Broncos, Bears, Kyle Orton . . . Terrell Owens, Tony Romo, . . . Greg Jennings, Brandon Marshall (Yes, I know the last names had nothing to do with my blogs, but I don't care.  In fact, I'm bored of this.)

So, until next week (when my review will be reduced to complete gibberish and my blogs will be incomprehensible), do . . . . . . . something.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on: April 4, 2009 1:35 am
Edited on: April 4, 2009 1:42 am
 

Jay Cutler: The Next Brett Favre?

The first statement I remember regarding Jay Cutler whenever I see or write his name is one that was repeated frequently during the months before he was drafted:  Cutler is the next Brett Favre.  He has all the skill--the strong arm, the escapability, the gunslinging mentality--leading to the comparison to the infamous and legendary quarterback.  Until now, I didn't entirely buy into the comparison.  I mean, these days, there are plenty of quarterbacks with strong arms who managed to escape pressure and make tough throws (including the Packers current quarterback, Aaron Rodgers).  There had to be something more to make him deserve this distinction (assuming it is the honor people make it out to be).  Now, after the controversy surrounding Jay Cutler and the recent, public divorce, it finally makes sense.

But not in the sense that would be considered praise-worthy.

Be prepared for me to spout some anti-Favre rant.  You know, because I'm a hater.  And note that, with those statements, my tongue was planted firmly in my cheek.

I mean, how often do two quarterbacks force a painful divorce over the span of one year?

I know your problem thinking they are not the same situations.  Ted Thompson forced Brett Favre into retirement and then traded him when he was too stubborn to take him back.  Jay Cutler became upset when the new coach became interested in trading for a quarterback he coached with the Patriots (Matt Cassel), which made him feel unwanted.  The two situations are different, so how do they compare?  It is not how it happened that matters, but how they acted during the event.  It is the characteristics that I find strikingly similar.  Consider the following:

  1. Both players acted as though they are bigger then the team.  Both Brett Favre and Jay Cutler presented attitude that management should bow to their every command and should raise them on a pedestal.  For Favre, it meant he should be the one to make decisions; he should be released and play for the Vikings (yes, all evidence points to this, especially since he did communicate with the Vikings and also demaned he be released, though Favre-fans want to believe he intened to play for the Packers); he should be in control.  For Cutler, his actions suggest that no other player should even be considered and that the mere suggestion of a trade is demeaning; he felt he was above management and that any talk of trade should be followed by him leaving management.  Both players have no regard for management and how business works.
  2. They both believed they were not wanted by the team.   Okay, so maybe they were right in feeling dejected, but neither of them, apparently, had the strength and will power to overcome these feelings .  For Favre, when he felt that he was needed (i.e. no one grovelled at his feet), he retired; when Cutler felt he was needed (he was hurt by the trade talk), he refused to make amends.  Why didn't either one man up and say "I'll show them; I'll play despite this insecurity."  Well, this is my theory:
  3. They both have fragile egos.  They want to feel that they are regarded highly.  They need to see this in their managements actions
  4. They both want attention .  I mean, why else make a point of stretching out the situation as long as possible?
  5. They both put themselves before the team .  This is slightly different then the acting bigger then the team.  In this case, they don't care about how it effects the teammates.  I mean, did Favre care that Aaron Rodgers was already integrated into the offense and trying to develop leadership?  Did he care that this created a distraction for the young team?  Does Cutler care that his offense is now without his leadership and will have to rebuild?  That is selfish.
  6. T hey are both stubborn.  Blame management, but Favre didn't have to retire in the first place.  As for Cutler, he could have just ended it and forgiven the coach.  But, no, their fragile egos, need for attention, and belief the team didn't want them pushed them to the brink, and they didn't move.
  7. Finally, they acted like children!  That's what it all comes down to: maturity.  All these previous comparisons reflect childish behavior.  This can be better excused for the younger Jay Cutler, but Favre has acted this way for a while.  They either get what they want, receive the attention they need, or they will act up.  Like a child.

Obviously, these are all very negative characteristics and a lot of it is speculative and based on what I've read, but I get the impression that they both responded in a similar way.  So, with that in mind, I should mention that I am not a Favre hater and I'm not a Cutler hater; I just don't like athletes that act this way.  More importantly, I don't like it when fans continually defend these actions.  Was Favre a great quarterback?  Sure.  Is Cutler a young talent?  No doubt, but I can't excuse this behavior.  Which brings me to the most obvious connection: they both have the same agent--Bus Cook.  I would not be surprised if all the above "characteristics" were fueled by their agents.  I mean, who would want his players to receive more attention?  The Agent.  Who would want to stretch out the drama and create controversy?  Agent.  Who would want the player to continue to push until he got the demand (act stubborn)?  Bus Cook; the agent.  Therefore, I will not quickly blame either quarterback entirely for displaying these characteristics.  It might have been amplified by an agent who wants attention.  And, since we are still discussing it, it should work.

The next Brett Favre?  Maybe, possibly on the field and off the field.  Or maybe he is just another tool Cook uses for his own gain.

Either way, we will sure be seeing a lot more of him now; and now it is Chicago that gets to deal with it.

For better or worse.

 

Posted on: April 2, 2009 6:29 pm
Edited on: April 4, 2009 1:41 am
 

Cutler the Bear--Don't Panic!

So, Jay Culter was traded to the Bears and now the Packers' rival finally has a real threat at quarterback.  It's time to worry, right?  This makes the Bears a difficult team to overcome in this division and probably a favorite.  We should all be scared of the Bears now.

No, not really.

Why not?  He's got a strong arm, better than John Elway, he might say.  He is considered a franchise quarterback, still young and full of potential.  But he also has an attitude problem, it seems, the kind that started this whole mess.  Besides, he hasn't proven anything yet.

But wasn't he supposed to be the next Brett Favre, with a strong arm and a gunslinger mentality?  And shouldn't we be nervous knowing the "next Brett Favre" will be wearing a Bears jersey.  Well, Brett Favre was fun to watch, but he found a way to win games even with his wreckless play (though, later in his career, he really began to struggle down the stretch).  That is why he is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time (despite the controversy of last year, he still deserves credit).  What has Cutler done so far to earn that honor?

Simply put: nothing.

One of the knocks on the Packers current franchise quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, was that he couldn't win games.  He had a 6-10 record as a starter, which just doesn't cut it, at least by the standards of Packers fans (alright, it is not considered good no matter what).  Those defending him point to the lack of defense and the tendency to give up fourth quarter leads.  Others don't buy that excuse.  So, what about Jay Cutler?

If you think he will be the next great quarterback in the division and the new number 1 among the NFC North (quite the competition he has), you need to reevaluate how you determine great quarterbacks.  And in doing so, Aaron Rodgers stock should go up within the new parameters.  Let me explain: Jay Cutler, despite the hype around him, has a losing record.  3 years ago, he came into the season and started with a 2-3 record.  His first full season, he ended up with a 7-9 record (one game ahead of Rodgers), and then last year he had an 8-8 season, for a grand total of 17 wins and 20 losses.  He faded down the stretch and blew a substantial lead he had over the Chargers.  He wasn't even considered the best quarterback in his division, as many pointed to how well Phillip Rivers played (by the way, he actually has more than one playoff victory next to his name).  Plus, he got a little help in one game from Ed Hochuli, which saved him from another losing season.

Bad defense.

Here, then, is what I mean by adjusting the definition of a great quarterback to fit one quarterback while neglecting the next.  Jay Cutler is great because he has a strong arm and a lot of hype, and bad defense loss his games.  And yet Rodgers is bad because he lost games (it wasn't bad defense) and follows a legend (remember, Jay Cutler was an effort to finally replace John Elway).  I'm not saying that everyone excited about Cutler makes this excuse, but the point is that you can't have it both ways.  It case you didn't know, Rodgers has a strong arm as well.

But we should be afraid.  Cutler is a Bear.  Our rivals have a franchise quarterback.  Sure, they might.  But they still don't have receivers (Cutler can't rely on Brandon Marshall to make big plays for him anymore) and that defense isn't as good as it used to be.  I don't think this is an immediate fix.  Plus, 2 first rounders, a third, and Kyle Orton?  Seems like a lot.  When did the Bears become the Vikings?

Oh, wait.  The Vikings only have Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels.  The Bears now have Jay frickin' Cutler.  He's the answer to all their problems (I mean, they did give up four players to aquire him).  As long as the Bears don't do anything to hurt his fragile feelings.

Sunday night opening weekend should be an interesting match up now: Cutler vs. Rodgers.  Bears versus Packers.

Let the battle begin.

 

Posted on: March 25, 2009 1:52 am
Edited on: March 25, 2009 1:52 am
 

Explaining My Positions

Dear Faithful Blog Readers (If You Exist),

In a recent blog, I expressed my irritation with the redundancy of posts on the Packers message board and my concern about the rift created among the fans.  I concluded that I probably won't contribute much to said board for a while, mainly because I was tired of the arguments.  However, I've decided that, since I have such strong opinions on these much debated topics, there is no reason why I should silence myself.  What better place is there to express my opinion without extensive conflict then on my blog?  I can express my views so the community can understand them, which might open up to participation in the Packers board without having to repeat my position every time.  I can just refer them to my blog.  You are free to disagree and post your response, but I can leave my statement as it is and not reciprocate.  Essentially, I can bring the debate to my home turf, gain home field advantage.  Maybe my words will go ignored, but at least I can make my thoughts available, whatever they are worth.  In the coming days or weeks, I will cover such frequently treaded topics such as Ted Thompson, Free Agency, the Draft, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, the new 3-4 scheme, and the coaching staff.  Essentially, they will be all the usual hot spots (mostly mentioned in my earlier blog).  Most of these topics were already covered in posts on multiple threads (quite frequently), but this will provide a home for these thoughts to reside.  I hope they are interesting and insightful.  Feel free to comment.

Enjoy!

FavoredUnderdog

Posted on: October 9, 2008 1:20 pm
 

Reason To Give Up

I have been reading through the Packers board and it appears that a loud majority have come to this consensus: it's over.  The Packers season is done, there is no chance we make it to the playoffs.  I am in no way implying that this is the consensus of all Packers fans; that is why I wrote the "loud" majority.  It seems like the negative posters come off stronger ins many cases.  Now, I will admit I had my doubts, but I won't just give up on this team five games in.  They may have looked bad, but I believe they can turn it around.  It might be the residue of the disappointment of the loss in the Championship game, it might just be that the team is sluggish.  However, there is still talent on this team and I am not of the perception that all of that talent just faded away.  Yes, injuries hurt our team and a lack of execution on the fundamentals (catching, tackling, blocking, etc, some of that resulting in penalties).  But that can change.  This team is young and can mature.  I don't think we need to give up yet, not this early.  But still, as I have been thinking about this negativity, I have come to this theory:

The people who are giving up want the team to fail and jump at the opportunity to prove themselves right.

I have seen it before.  The same comments are repeated by the same people: Fire Ted Thompson; Mike McCarthy is a bad coach; Bring Brett Back; we would do better with Brett out there; this is what happens when you don't spend millions of dollars on overpriced free agents that could have more value in their jersey sales then the actual performance on the field (you know, because big names never struggle when they join new teams and are paid the big bucks).  Okay, so that last one was tainted by my personal opinion, but you get the point.  These people wanted this team to fail.  They wanted Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy to be punished for the injustice of trading Brett Favre.  When you have this mindset, there is no room for hope, especially when you don't want to see it.  These people call themselves fans.  Of course, they probably spend more energy cheering for the New York Jets then they do the Green Bay Packers.  Of course, last week, both teams had the same record.  Now the Jets didn't lose this week, but Favre didn't throw any touchdown passes or interceptions.  Well, he had a bye.

But what I see is a different reaction for those who gave up on this team.  They seem excited.  They relish the failure.  It's not a matter of the team succeeding.  It's a matter of who was wrong or right.  If Favre was on the team and we were still 2-3 (which is more than possible because Rodgers has played adequately in 2 of the 3 losses, while the defense gave away these games), Packers fans would probably still be optimistic about the season.  But, now it seems they think the team deserves this.  And, of course, because of the obsession with Favre, Aaron Rodgers gets all the blame, not because he is responsible, but because it was predetermined by the Ted Thompson haters who would be at Fault.  It can't be the defense, cause Favre didn't play there.  It can't be the penalties.  Of course, the line performing badly is Rodgers fault because he doesn't have the ability to make them play well.  Apparently, Favre was not only the greatest quarterback of all time, but he also has magic powers.  Okay, I'm exaggerating, but can't we give Rodgers credit for what he has done?  He started only five games and has played well in the majority of them.  He still has a future ahead of him.  Why not be excited?

Of course, for some people (I am beginning to think it is a stubborn minority), you can't be excited because you won't let go of the past.  Well, Favre is gone and Rodgers looks good for a young quarterback, and he is tougher then many of you thought.  From some reports I've read, Brett Favre (maybe not recently) still holds recentment toward the Packers organization.  I think some of that bitterness rubs off on the fans (of him, not the team).  But you still have a reason to be excited.  You are excited when the team fails.

Admittedly, I am not accusing all of you.  I know there are many who still have hope for this team and its future.  This is written for the select few (you know who you are):  Go ahead.  Give up.  Turn your back on this team and enjoy their struggles.  As a fan of the team, I am going to stand by my team.  I am going to hope for the best, even when the worse seems more prevalent.  Let those true Packers fans keep this in mind: there are 11 games left.  This team can still turn around and return to form.  If we (as fans, we become a part of our team) work on the fundamentals and avoid penalties, working on blocking, run harder and through the right holes, and swarm around the ball on defense, this team can still be good, even great.  Let's not be worried yet.

Unless you want to but, then, please stay away.  I am sure you can all start your own Brett Favre addict support group and leave those who still cheer for the team to the game.
Posted on: July 28, 2008 1:17 pm
 

Training Camp Report - Morning Practice

Training camp started today for the Green Bay Packers and, given the close proximity between my house and Clark Hinkle Field, I have the opportunity to witness every practice. Since I am able to attend these practices on a consistent basis, I figured that I should share my thoughts and some plays that caught my attention (those that made me cheer). However, I can't guarantee a useful analysis, since I am not a sports scout or professional sports writer. I don't know what I am meant to look for. Still, if some of you are interested in an analysis from a fan instead of one with the marks of a professional, feel free to read on. I hope that I can provide some insight.

Anyone familiar with any of my previous posts on Brett know where I stand, and knowing this would help better understand why the most irritating part of the viewing experience was the constant discussions about Favre. It really grew tiresome and more aggravating for me as the statements all combined into one collective opinion: Thompson is an idiot for not taking back Favre and he should be fired. Now, personally, I don't think Ted deserves the brunt of the blame, but I realize that those believe what they want to believe, and in who they place their trust. If they find Favre without flaws and a complete victim, they will believe any bad word about Ted stated by Favre. If they are open to doubting Favre, they might question who is really the villain. What was so intolerable for me was that everyone I heard from was on the anti-Thompson, pro-Favre side. Here are some paraphrased statements I heard: "Do you see Brett?"; "Training Camp is not the same without Favre"; "I am a die hard fan, but if they trade Brett, I might stop watching."; "Ted is the enemy and should be fired if he lets Brett go." Of course, there were many Number 4 jerseys and a kid with a shirt with the statement "Bring Brett Back" on it.

But that was just the irritating part, which I expect when I go to any of the practices. In my opinion, though, I didn't think camp was really that different without Favre (I've been to past camps). I also was very much impressed my the new offensive leader (who actually received a lot of positive comments, immediately followed by a negative, mostly involving him not being Favre). This is actually a good place to start.

Quarterbacks -
With all of the complaints about Favre not being there, I thought that the group as a whole did well. The biggest surprise, for me, was Matt Flynn. He threw some impressive passes, with one being a perfectly thrown deep ball that was one of those "wow moments" for me. He also did a good job sidestepping pressure. Brian Brohm made same good throws too, but it seemed his receivers dropped many of his passes and, from my vantage point, I couldn't determine if it was his fault or the receivers. All of the quarterbacks seemed very comfortable with the offense and performed generally. Aaron Rodgers, in my mind, was very impressive. Much of what I heard were evident to me as I watched him play. He had a quick release and had good speed on his passes, which proved useful during the short routes. He also had some good medium routes down the middle that further showcased his arm strength. His deep ball was equally impressive in my mind, and it was easy to see why Greg Jennings described it as a "pretty pass." He only completed on of the three, but I blame the receiver on this, as I'll explain later. He also threw the only interception, but it was more a good play by Al Harris than a bad one by Aaron Rodgers. I look forward to seeing more from these quarterbacks.

Receivers -
For the most part, it seemed, all of the receivers performed well enough, making some grabs, but I should highlight a few in particular. Jordy Nelson caught maybe three short to medium passes, so I didn't learn much about him. However, one receiver who really impressed me was Ruvell Martin. I knew he made some clutch receptions last year, but he proved that he has some good hands. He dove for a deep pass from Rodgers and made another notable catch (a "wow moment" again) and also had a great leaping grab of another pass. James Jones, however, disappointed me slightly. He missed two deep passes from Rodgers and it was clearly his fault. For some reason, he seemed to slow down on the route, as if he doubted Rodgers' arm strength, which meant he had to run to try to catch up and make a futile attempt. He did this twice, though I don't know why. This looked to be a minor error that could be fixed as he develops with Rodgers.

Offensive Line and the Running Backs - Not much to say here, since it was two-hand touch (they were not in pads), but I saw some growth in Brandon Jackson. He seemed more comfortable and fluid, making cuts and jukes with ease. He also should some great speed when he would run in the open field after the end of the plays. He also showed good hands in catching several passes. Noah Herron and DeShawn Wynn, even Vernand Morency, all seemed comfortable (though I hope to see how this changes when full contact is allowed). I think this was a further testament to the offensive line, who appeared to pick up their assignments well, opening holes. If this line can show itself strong in contact drills, the Packers might be able to succeed with any of their backs (watch out Ryan Grant).

I couldn't see the defensive drills from my seat but I did notice that when playing the offense, they were very aggressive and put pressure on the quarterback. I have little to add here. I also don't know what to say about the tight ends, since I didn't really pay attention to them.

All in all, except for the annoying conversation and sun in my eyes, it seemed like a good practice. I shouldn't be, since it is probably typical of NFL practices, but I was impressed by how well run and disciplined the drills were; everything moved like clockwork. I hope to give a more in-depth report after I see their evening practice when they wear pads. Hopefully, that will give a better idea of where they are.
Posted on: July 3, 2008 2:32 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2008 4:50 am
 

Why don't we just admit it? Brett is selfish

Edit: As this situation grows worse, the effects of his selfishness seem to have become more prevalent.  This seems obvious by the divide created within the team and the fans.  It pains me to see the disdain toward the two sides, especially when this is turned on management.  In my mind, the selfishness has made matters worse.  Therefore, I feel the message of this blog is only increasing in relevance.

First, let me provide this disclaimer: the following post is not an attempt to bash Favre. I respect Favre and his accomplishments on the field. He deserves the recognition and claim to one of the top NFL quarterbacks in NFL history; he is a legend in Green Bay and throughout the league. However, he is not perfect and I think it is necessary sometimes to identify the flaws, especially when they are a detriment to the team and the fans. I don't feel he should be idolized. The recent wave of comeback talks (fueled by the media) illustrate the reason for this post, even more so if there is truth to the rumors, particularly if Favre started them: Favre is selfish.

Why would I claim this? I think I am stating the obvious. I think we can all admit that we have grown tired of his inability to make a decision. It has grown irritating over the past several seasons with all the "will he or won't he" retirement talk. It was like he held the town and his team hostage every season. When he does this, he elevates himself above the team. He forces the organization to bend to his timing. Even though he is/was a great player, this is still a selfish act. In a way, it is as detrimental as a player holding out for more money, which, to me, is the ultimate act of selfishness on a team. Holding out suggests that one player's needs is more important then the teams. On a different scale, Favre "holding out" with his decisions forced the organization to wait to make plans for the future, which is a detriment in itself.

But Favre was not only selfish off the field. He often put himself above the team in his play. Now, I realize most consider him a team player, and most of the time he is. But how many times have people referred to the Packers as Favre's team? Tell me if this sounds familiar: "the Packers are nothing without Favre; Favre made that team; he is the team." How can one player be elevated above a roster of 53? Since Favre retired, we've heard much talk of how the Packers are now a bad team. Really? If Favre was the whole team, he was not a team player.

But how can I write that? Certainly that was all fan talk and Favre does not actually believe he alone composes the team? Perhaps, but actions speak louder than words, and, for me, his actions are loud and clear. How many times have we seen Favre try to force a huge play when his team is down? Often, it succeeded, but he holds the interception record for a reason. When he tried to carry the team on his shoulder, very often, he forced passes that landed in the hands of the defense. Last season, when he played within the system (throwing short passes that allowed his talented receivers to make plays, and deep ones when the opportunities arrived), the offense thrived. However, when he tried to carry the team alone and forced throws, that is when the problems occurred. Look at what happened at the Cowboys game, for example. He just tossed it up and was intercepted 3 times that game. When Aaron Rodgers stepped in and played within the system, the offense performed better. People like the term "gunslinger," but it has some negative connotations. For one, it implies a more individualized image (one man taking chances); for the other, it is hit and miss.

Of course, the implication that he thinks he is above the team again refers back to his inability to make a decision. Now, there are rumors that he wants to come back. I am not sure if they are true, but if his words are fueling them, I once again have reason to believe he is selfish.

Look at this through unbiased eyes; take off your Favre-colored glasses. This statement is directed towards those who think the Packers should drop everything and invite him back. More specifically, it targets those who think Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson are to blame. They have a team to run and they can't be constantly concerned with Favre's frequent and expected doubts. They need to move on, as does Brett and the fans. There are reports that McCarthy and Thompson didn't show enough interest, that they didn't want him back, but, really, who can blame them? They have a team to focus on, not one player who thinks he is the team. Why should they spend so much time trying to beg Brett to return, as if he is a child who needs attention? It should go unsaid that he is/was a major part of the team.

Now people are questioning the statement that the organization is "reluctant" to bringing Favre back? Seriously, does anyone hear know anything about running an organization? I admit that I don't, but from what I understand, when a team spends several months preparing with a new quarterback, should they be eager to just dismiss that quarterback for the old? It seems like common sense. Pre-season starts in a month and training camp begins in three weeks. Favre doesn't like to practice and the itch to play becomes stronger when the season approaches. However, Rodgers dedicates himself to his workouts and preparation for the season and now the Packers are suppose to drop everything because an indecisive quarterback changed his mind? Again, that is a selfish position to put a team.

The Packers have the future to think about, and I doubt many of those who are calling for Favre's return realize the long term impact this could have. This isn't just a matter of returning Rodgers to the bench for one more season. Rodgers contract is nearing an end and I expect being treated this way will not sit well with him. Favre would probably only have one more year, but we still don't know what we have in Rodgers. He could be a future star, and we would just throw him aside? Brian Brohm is not anymore of a guarantee. Good quarterbacks are hard to find (ask the Bears and Vikings), so why risk losing someone who could be a longterm solution?

His selfishness has an effect on many. It hurts Aaron Rodgers, who was given the reigns to the offense only to have it threatened by an indecisive quarterback. His growth would probably be smoother if his future was more certain. No wonder he seems to be losing some of his composure (referring to the SI article). It hurts the Packers organization, since they don't need the distractions. It affects the team, because how can the players be loyal to one offensive leader if an older, retired player implies a possible return? Add the media and the questions the Favre talk would incite, and the players may struggle to stay focused on their new quarterback (an important position). If they can't let go of the old, how will they give in to the new? Finally, it affects the fans, who are tired of being pulled around by a selfish player.

I am bothered by this selfishness and indecisiveness. I feel we need to move on. Favre needs to stick with a decision or he will hold everyone back. Will we all just admit that, at the least, this is getting on our collective nerve? It sure has for me.
Posted on: June 24, 2008 12:39 am
Edited on: June 24, 2008 5:56 pm
 

Reasons To Feel Excited

It is very easy to have doubts. Everyone experiences them. This is especially true when venturing into the unknown. Instead of just trusting, the habit is to try to find a tangible reason, an evidence even when there doesn't seem to be one. When a rational explanation is not found, doubt overcomes. I know how this feels as well as anyone, but with the future of the Green Bay Packers, for some reason, I don't have any doubts. I just have this overwhelming excitement and an unexplainable belief that this year will be a good year.

But how can I explain the unexplainable? Perhaps I am simply exaggerating, since my excitement is not without reason. While it is true that I am not concerned about Aaron Rodgers performance (I expect him to play well in his new starting role), I do rely on reports I've read from offseason practices. However, when these reports only strengthen the faith I have in the new offensive leader, it only further adds to this excitement. I can't wait for the season to start because I expect a good year and, unless I am proven wrong, I will continue to be excited. There has been no decline in this anticipation for me, only an increase in enthusiasm. Why? Because I have no doubts, literally.

Why am I not worried? Three words can be used to explain: faith, trust, and hope. They might be words connected with a religion or belief, but they apply to any time when stepping into the unknown. By definition, faith is required when there is no rational explanation. We can try to rationalize everything, but there are always those things that can not be explained or predicted. Consider the case in question: Aaron Rodgers. There are two ways to categorize Rodgers and his future: he is either going to be bad or he is going to be good. Reading posts on these boards, it is easy to see the divide. However, there is no real proof for either one. The only evidence is one performance against the Cowboys. Everything else is speculation. Therefore, making an assessment either way lacks a concrete reason. When there is no reason or evidence, and yet a person believes one way or the other, they are stepping in faith.

Doubt is the crossroad that leads to faith. A person can just not have a definite feeling either way, but this is when doubt occurs. Stepping into faith occurs when someone becomes convinced of a position, even if there is no proof. That is why my excitement is unwavering. I am convinced that Rodgers will be a good quarterback. I might be wrong, but I have no doubts in this conviction.

Making a decision among doubt leads to faith, having faith requires trusting what you have faith in, and hope comes from optimism. When all of this is combined, it becomes easy to be excited. The following are these three categories with reasons (based on reports I read of Aaron Rodgers) related to each.

FAITH

The first step in overcoming doubt is faith, but there can still be reasons for certain beliefs. I believe that Aaron Rodgers will be a good to great quarterback, both as a leader and an athlete. To explain why I believe this, here are some examples from articles I found online. They may not be enough to convince, but they do present some positive reasons.

- Rodgers has a strong arm, capable of completing quick passes (like with slants). An article from ESPN by John Clayton describes it well: "His right arm sets up naturally, and the ball comes out unnaturally fast. He doesn't possess an old Randy Johnson fastball, but, in baseball terms, his 6-2 body throws the fastball of a 6-5 pitcher. Sticking to baseball comparisons, Rodgers might not generate 99 or 100 mph on the radar gun, but he'd consistently hit 94 and 95, and sometimes 96." This is essential for a quarterback who plays on an offense that relies on quick throws and shows that, even though Favre could throw a bullet better than most quarterbacks, Rodgers can still make some of those throws if needed. It may not be Favre, but why does it need to be? Greg Jennings had this to say: "He can make every throw on the football field, and his deep ball is one of the prettiest. Brett had a great deep ball, but Aaron has a beautiful one." Those who had concerns about Rodgers deep ball, take notice of the italicized line.

- Rodgers has an enthusiasm for the game, just having fun (sound familiar?) Aaron Rodgers knows how to have fun. That is very important, especially when he experiences the pressure of unnecessary comparisons. But, of course, I am perpetuating one of them. This quote from Rodgers expresses this enthusiasm well: "I know I'm blessed to be able to play this game. It's a kid's game. I just try to keep that attitude and perspective." Having that mindset has prepared him for the tough questions, and he has handled his situation well, which brings me to . . .

- Rodgers had been leaving a good impression with his interaction with the media; he has a good head on his shoulders. An important factor when replacing a legend is that the new quarterback does not become overwhelmed by pressure. The reports I've read, and the interviews I've seen, proves he is not concerned about taking over for such a legend. The best way to show this is by using his own words: "If I'm mentioned in the same sentence as [Favre], that's an honor. His legacy is the legacy of the Packers. I hope to continue that legacy." Not too worried; in fact, he has a lot of confidence. Consider what a Fox sports analyst has to say in this video: Schein: Pack shouldn't worry.

- His team is behind him; he is a good leader. Look at any article that interviews fellow teammates regarding Rodgers and it seems clear they have his support. I won't post these quotes, but the quote from Greg Jennings is encouraging.

Trust

An athlete can have all the potential and talent in the world, enough to believe in, but if the athlete doesn't do what is necessary to succeed, what good is it? That is where trust comes in. I trust that Aaron Rodgers is doing what is necessary to be the best he can be and that the coaching staff is capable of assisting in that growth. Here are the signs that both Rodgers and the coaching staff can be trusted.

- Aaron Rodgers is making efforts to unite the team. This is how someone solidifies a position as a leader: he reaches out to his teammates. That is what Aaron Rodgers has been doing this offseason. He even invited the team to his house on several occasions: "Rodgers also had to show inside the locker room that he was worthy of being Favre's successor. To help the process, Rodgers has invited teammates and their significant others to three catered dinners at his house this off-season. Among the featured entrees were seafood and "fried chicken and everything we have down South" for what tight end Donald Lee called "soul-food night." "It's important to be a connected team," said the 24-year-old Rodgers, who was more in tune with younger Packers than Favre in later seasons." This shows his maturity and efforts to take hold of the leadership role he inherited. Don't underestimate the importance of these actions.

- Aaron Rodgers is taking the offseason seriously, including the conditioning program. I am really tired of all the posts that claim Rodgers is injury prone. My argument has been--and I wrote this so many times I am growing sick of it--that he was injured against the Patriots because his body was not adjusted to the aggressive play of defenders in the NFL, which is true of the Patriots. His other injury was relatively minor. Now, considering that Rodgers did not taking his conditioning exercises seriously in the season in which he broke his foot, this is more understandable: "Rodgers might not have fared so well were he forced to play earlier. Rodgers initially wasn't a stickler in the team's off-season conditioning program, which may have led to some previous injuries, and had a passing release point that needed adjusting." Last year, he stepped up in this program (at least, I think he did), and his second injury was minor in comparison. While the Patriots injury took him out for a season, the second injury might not have taken him out as long (though, I will admit a mistake from earlier posts; in one interview, Rodgers said he had a torn hamstring and was 85 percent in the final game, but it is still not as bad as his first injury). Considering he is more dedicated to those conditioning programs now, I could easily see him finish a season without a major injury. However, Rodgers referred to the injuries as more "fluke injuries", which is something that suggests the lack of an explanation, so, once again, if Rodgers is right, I just have to have faith that he will stay healthy and trust Rodgers to do everything he can to prevent them. (He actually shows some irritation with the injury prone label in one interview; see sources).

- Mike McCarthy and Tom Clements know what they are doing. One of the reasons why I am excited is because I know we have a coaching staff that can really help Rodgers grow. Quarterbacks are McCarthy's specialty (I wonder if that was a factor in Thompson hiring him, with Favre close to retirement). In my eyes, just getting Favre to settle down and not force as many passes is a sign of his skill, considering Favre had more baggage (as good as he was, he was struggling the last two seasons by forcing too many passes and throwing interceptions). If McCarthy can settle down a quarterback set in his ways, imagine what he could do with a quarterback that he can mold from the beginning?

Hope

Hope is what ties everything together, but it also only makes for a more irrational perspective. This is because it is based simply on optimism. I can give all the reasons in the world for why I believe, but what drives me, and fuels that excitement, is the hope that I am right in my beliefs. In other words, while I might be convinced of my reasons, I still want those reasons to have the desired result. I become optimistic in this hope. Enthusiasm comes not from merely believing, but anticipation.

So why am I excited? I am excited because I believe all of the above but, more importantly, I expect (through hope) that it will turn out the way I believe. Therefore, I am more excited when I hear the doubts of fans of other teams or haters in general because I simply believe they are wrong and I can't wait to see them proven wrong when the Packers succeed. Do I care if I am wrong? Not really, because it hasn't happened yet, and it might not even happen. But while hope implies optimism, it also has a slight negative turn. It does mean that, despite all of my belief and aforementioned reasons, I still am depending on my unproven expectations and hope can be shattered. But, until this happens, I have no reason to be worried. I have no reason to doubt. Instead, I can just be anxious for good reasons: for the season to start. I'm sorry if I didn't convince you, but you can have your own beliefs in matters such as these. I just hope the energy of my enthusiasm can be passed to the reader (especially Packers fans). There are reasons to feel excited.

Don't doubt; just believe. The doubters' words are meaningless if your belief is right. Besides, what does it hurt to be wrong? If your anticipation is right, why be worried now?


Sources

Here are some of the articles I referenced:

John Clayton, Packers Gaining Confidence in Rodgers Arm. (ESPN) http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/colum
ns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=3450317


Alex Marvez, Green Bay is Mr. Rodgers' neighborhood now
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/
8258296/Green-Bay-is-Mr.-Rodgers'-neighborhood-now


Greg A. Bedard, Rodgers on being 'injury prone'
http://blogs.jsonline.com/packers/a
rchive/tags/Aaron+Rodgers/default.aspx

 
 
 
 
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