Aaron Rodgers has raised his game to the elite level, despite what NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks thinks. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Rodgers: Far from the hype

Aaron Rodgers is an elite QB. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Bucky Brooks posted an interesting take on Aaron Rodgers today at NFL.com – one that has raised more than one eyebrow among those who have watched the Packers’ quarterback week in and week out since he became a starter three years ago.
Brooks’ entire thesis is built around the opening line of his piece: “Don’t believe the hype.”
What hype?
The fact that Rodgers has thrown for more than 4,000 yards in two of those three years and only missed that milestone by 80 yards this past season because he was out of commission with a concussion for a game and one-half?
The fact that he literally led an injury depleted team with no running game through the final three games of last season and through the playoffs as the last seed and onto a Super bowl win on the strength of his arm and playmaking abilities?
The fact that he won that Super Bowl by taking his team down the field late in the game, dismantling one of the best defenses in the league?
The fact that he took over a program following in the footsteps of the most popular player in franchise history and the face of the NFL and built a presence of his own?
He hasn’t done that through hype … He’s done it with God-given abilities, a gifted coaching staff, a front office that knows how to put talent around him, and a self-confidence that is second to none.
Brooks says that the talented receiving corps has made Rodgers what he is today … Well, DUH! what about Brady, Manning, and Brees? Do they not have talent around them? What about Randy Moss or Wes Welker? What about Reggie Wayne or Marvin Harrison? What about Marques Colston and Devrey Henderson? Are they just pedestrian receivers?
I think not.
What bothers me most is that Brooks considers all this and still thinks that Rodgers may be a step below Phillip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger .. Well, I will give Brooks points on the Big Ben argument … But Rivers? Are you kidding me?
Phillip “I throw like a girl” Rivers hasn’t won anything but the hearts of the San Diego cheerleaders. Take a quick look at who Rivers has been competing against – the AFC West – now that’s a funny one. Though the division is showing signs of vast improvement in the coming years, those teams have been the laughingstock of the league for years.
Rivers hasn’t won anything in the postseason and probably never will. To even consider that Rivers is better than Rodgers is like saying Brandon Jackson is better than Adrian Peterson.
Granted, Rodgers hasn’t built the body of work that Brady, Manning, and even Brees and Roethlisberger, but he has as many championships as Manning and Brees already and has played only three seasons as a starter.
To say Rodgers is only living in hype is simply baffling.
Rodgers can easily play another 10 years in the league and if he continues to track along the same route could easily win another couple of championships. In fact, when All is said and done, Rodgers could easily overshadow Favre in Green Bay. He may never match Favre in some records only because of the old man’s longevity, but I would bet a week’s salary that Rodgers wins more championships – the true measure of greatness.
I can also guarantee that Rodgers will never throw as many interceptions!
So, call it hype if you like … I would call it talent … In fact, I will call it what it really is … Greatness.

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Tags: Aaron Rodgers Adrian Peterson Ben Roethlisberger Brett Favre Devrey Henderson Drew Brees Green Bay Packers Indianapolis Colts Marques Colston Marvin Harrison Mike McCarthy New England Patriots New Orleans Saints Payton Manning Phillip Rivers Pittsburgh Steelers Reggie Wayne Ted Thompson Tom Brady

  • Jesse

    I have been looking for Bucky Brooks’ email to raise the same points, great job!! I don’t even understand why this list is getting so much attention and since when is a players career gauged solely on his standing with his piers? First off who proclaimed Bucky Brooks an expert in player personnel? I know I am “poisoning the well” but he was a below average player who started one game in the NFL (with no career stats), and was a one and done scout (because if he was any good, he’d still be with a pro team). That is what makes his opinions that much harder to swallow, he is a self proclaimed expert who guesses everyday for a living. Rodgers has accomplished his goals one by one, to the surprise and contrary of scouts, sports writers, and fans his entire career. So obviously Aaron must welcome articles like this, as added fuel to throw on his fire. Some fans and media questioned if the passion and drive would be there next year after a championship, but it is hard to doubt now. I just wish that the speculation (and that is all that it is) could be backed up with some facts, but all the stats work against Brooks’ argument. What is even more amazing is Rodgers piled those numbers up with a porous line in front of him, almost no running game, and huge shoes to fill after the departure of a legend. It is scary to think what lies ahead if GB gets a running game going, along with a 100% healthy Jermicheal Finely. As far as “hype” goes there are so many other professional athletes to target these days. Lebron James is almost to big a cliche. Tom Brady has been a perennial first round playoff loser for a few years (but it is blasphemy to say he is declining) , and Peyton Manning has also cooled off and come back down to earth the past few seasons. I think Bucky Brooks should dedicate his hate speech to someone or something else. Aaron Rodgers has made a career of proving guys like him wrong. It doesn’t take a NFL network analyst to realize it is not wise to bet against him….

    • http://lombardiave.com apackphan

      You make some really good points here, Jesse. Thanks for taking the time to respond. Clearly, you were bothered as much as I was by the column by Brooks … Rodgers will only show them through actions this coming season.
      Ray
      aka apackphan

      • Jesse

        The NFL is built upon rankings and projections, even well before a player is drafted. It is part of the game and it always will be. It is so easy for all of us to critique professional athletes and judge their careers in articles and commentaries, but they commit so many hours and invest so much energy in their careers. And for what? A ring? Respect? Both I think, and the list is a direct reflection of the respect you have earned from your piers. A lot of analysts say that the players don’t know what they are doing, and got several player’s rankings wrong, and that the criteria for the ranking is vague. But the the whole mystique and appeal of the list is that it was compiled by the players,and is a window into the respect one has earned. Would a list compiled by fans or analysts command nearly as much attention? The bottom line is Aaron Rodgers hasn’t gotten the respect he deserves until recently, and apparently one ring isn’t enough. The fact he has made a whole franchise almost completely forget a legend should easily indicate his greatness and talent. I guess it is impossible to earn everyone’s respect unless your last name is Brady or Manning.

        • http://lombardiave.com apackphan

          And I believe that within the year or two, Brady and Manning will have dropped in their standing with all within the league. Don’t get me wrong, they have been great, great players in their own right, but a lot of it has had to do with the level of competition and the teams they have around them. Remember, it is a team sport and one’s greatness should only be measured by the strength of those around them. Rodgers skills come out because he showed that he could nearly single-handedly lead an offense. Give him a tight end, a running back and another top-notch receiver and his greatness is endless. He could end up being as successful as Bart Starr when it comes to winning championships … wouldn’ t that be great?

  • Jeremy

    Ray-
    I found Bucky Books email an emailed your article to him I am waiting for a response to see what he has to say. I told him speaking of hype he was the biggest draft bust for the bills and he was simply overrated…wonder what he will have to say about that

    • http://lombardiave.com apackphan

      Jeremy, I would certainly be interest in hearing what he has to say … Keep me apprised …

  • Tarynfor12

    It’s hard for most media to allow the passing of the Torch.It’s even harder for some ex-players to acknowledge how some overcome and succeed where they couldn’t.
    Brady has multi”Rings” and deserves yet to be ahead of Rodgers,but Peyton only accomplished it once against the mighty and fearsome”Rex GROSSMAN”,and that says it all.

    • http://lombardiave.com apackphan

      That is an important point about Manning … He’s been able to amass huge numbers through his career but hasn’t been a huge success in the playoffs. Manning’ win over the overrated Bears was a gimme … Had the Vikes played the Colts in the Super Bowl instead of the Saints, the Vikes would have beaten them by at least two TDs. Maybe Manning is a bit overrated?