The countdown continues: Chester Marcol, Chris Jacke, Lynn Dickey and Aaron Rodgers
If there’s one thing you can say about Aaron Rodgers, it’s that he’s always been patient.
He’s been known for his proverbial chip on the shoulder, but his accomplishments of Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP, NFL MVP and being one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the league have come through his patience.
Drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1995, we all know about his green room nightmare where he waited and waited until the Packers finally selected him with the 24th pick. Then he went to Green Bay where the Packers already had a pretty good quarterback. He sat and he learned. Patiently awaiting his turn to prove that he had the skills to be one of the best quarterbacks in franchise history, he finally got his shot when Brett Favre retired, unretired, and then was traded to the New York Jets.
But his success didn’t come right away. In his first season as the starter, the Packers finished with a 6-10 record. But he continued to show his patience.
And that’s when things started to turn for him and the Packers.
Finally in 2010, his career took a turn that skyrocketed as that season progressed. He peaked at the right time, leading the Packers through the playoffs – winning three straight road games – and then to the Super Bowl where the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers and Rodgers was the star.
However, it was in 2011 when he had his best statistical season with Green Bay, leading the Packers to a 14-1 season. It was also one of his most frustrating seasons because it was the year when the upstart New York Giants came to Lambeau Field to beat the Packers in the second round of the Playoffs.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph
But with Rodgers under center, the Packers have continuously been successful and have been Super Bowl contenders.
Last season, Rodgers was injured and it became evident with his loss to the team just how valuable a player he is. He demonstrated that when he came back for the final game of the season against the the Chicago Bears. Playing for the division title and a playoff spot, Rodgers and Randall Cobb, who was also back from a near-season-long injury, connected on a 4th and 10 play for a touchdown and the win.
Rodgers’ value to the Packers was rewarded last year when he was signed to a five-year, $110 million contract that will keep him in Green Bay until 2020. He continues to award the franchise with his incredible play and has not shown any signs of slippage as the Packers head into the 2014 season.
Rodgers has completed 1,945 passes in 2,955 attempts for 24,197 yards – a percentage clip of 65.8 percent completion rate. Even more impressive has been Rodgers’ 1.8 percent interception rate, a statistic that is the complete opposite of his predecessor. In addition, his career quarterback rating of 104.9 continues to be the best in all the league.
What most people like about Rodgers is his personality, especially his penchant or his now-famous photo bombing. Each week when the Packers’ captains are photographed, Rodgers can always be found in the background, sometimes with unusual props that only enhance the photo.
His down-to-earth attitude and humility make him very difficult not to like. Even Bears fans have told me they admire him as a person, though they aren’t too pleased with what he has done to their team.
No doubt, if Aaron Rodgers continues to play the game like he has over the past nine seasons, he will be in for even more success over the course of his contract and most likely headed to many honors in retirement.
We all will stay tuned to the next few years and hope for the best.
All Packers players to have worn number 12 over the past 50 years:
|Jim Del Gaizo||1973||1973||1|