You can be the smartest quarterback in the world and have the greatest leadership skills and run around and all that, but if you can't throw the ball where it needs to be thrown, then none of that other stuff matters." (Troy Aikman)
If that’s the case, then Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers could well be the best quarterback to ever play in the NFL. That is what analysts say now, but this acknowledgement was a long time in coming.
Surpassing everyone’s expectations except his own, Rodgers flew under the radar for virtually his entire athletic career. He was the college junior who set season, game, and career records at Cal Berkeley only to get passed over by 23 teams on NFL Draft Day. He was the high school senior who set school and state records, only to be denied a single Division I scholarship. He’s the middle school kid who, when asked what he would contribute to the school during his admission interview, answered simply, "I'm going to make your sports programs better.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
The Packers had another lukewarm start to their 2010 season, going 6-6. Two of the losses were in overtime, making his career record in overtime games 0-5. The questions of Rodgers’ composure under pressure resurfaced.
More concerning than his performance in must-win scenarios was Rodgers’ health. After the game against the Redskins on Oct. 10, he was diagnosed with a concussion. Rodgers kept playing until he sustained a second concussion during the game against the Lions on Dec. 12.
He was placed on injured reserve and cleared for play in time to start against the Giants on Dec. 26 in a must-win qualifier for postseason play. Rodgers led the Packers to a 45-17 win and turned in his highest single-game passing yardage of the season, 25 of 37 passes completed for 404 yards and four touchdowns.
By defeating the Bears the following week, another elimination game, the Packers earned a wild card playoff spot. Rodgers took his team on the road, defeating the top three seeded teams—the Eagles, Falcons, and Bears (again)—to win the NFC Championship Title and the privilege of playing against the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.
The quarterback matchup for Super Bowl XLV was Rodgers versus Ben Roethlisberger. Rodgers and his receiving corps, in particular Jordy Nelson, carved up “the best defense in the league,” completing 24 of 39 passes for 304 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and 111.5 passer rating.
As Rodgers hoisted the Vince Lombardi trophy overhead, linebacker Clay Matthews draped...
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Background and Basics
+ The Mr. (and Mrs.) Rodgers Neighborhood
The Man with the Golden Arm
+ Like Father, Like Son
+ Heaven Can Wait, Mr. Rigsbee
+ The Chico Kid Meets the California Golden Bears
+ Snubbed. Again!
+ Waiting in the Wings
+ Laying the Groundwork
+ Starter At Last
+ ...and much more
Public and Private Persona
+ Preach the Gospel at All Times; If Necessary, Use Words
+ The Championship Belt Move
+ Recent News
+ Attributed Quotes
+ ...and much more
Interesting Resources and Readings
+ Further Reading