Aaaron Rodgers has a great rivalry with his good friend, Tom Brady, and the pair have both reached a crossroads in their careers. Whether or not Rodgers continues on does nothing to reduce his achievements.
Rodgers has proven he knows how to stick up for his teammates and here, he reveals to RSNG how the demands of the sport mean you need to adapt each and every season…
RSNG How was playing a whole NFL season in a pandemic? AARON RODGERS, HALL OF FAME ELECT “Well, no fans made things a little easier on the road, but it was tougher to keep up the normal routine, initially. You had to rely on people being smart, sticking to the rules and protocols put in place by not just the NFL, but also science.”
“Obviously, Covid-19 is still ongoing and you’ve got teams across the country whose players and staff are in and out of isolation, so it’s not gone away as quickly as people would have hoped. But you just do what you are able to and you try to keep things as regular as you possibly can.”
RSNG Did you have to change your own game to suit it or were you determined to stay as you are? AARON RODGERS “I always try to make sure that I evaluate my own game, regardless of the situation. Obviously, if there are extenuating circumstances – like a pandemic, which had clearly never happened in the NFL or world sport in modern times – that asks something else of you; but it was asking those exact same questions to all of the other players, so we all had to make it up as we went along, in a way.”
“Every single year as a pro you are adapting your own game anyway. Your body is different, your opponents are different, your team-mates are different, so that process of adaptation is quite a natural one for a professional sportsman.”
“In my life and in my career I just try to judge where I went right, where I went wrong… that doesn’t mean I can’t still improve on parts of my game or at the very least, keep it at the highest level I can.”
I have a lot of love for Tom Brady and for everything that he has achieved – the fact that he has been able to sustain the incredible level he has been playing at into his 40s, is just unbelievable
RSNG You’ve gone better than a one-in-four win record under coach Matt LaFleur, an outstanding record? AARON RODGERS “He’s an outstanding coach who has a lot of time for his players, a lot of time for his work and he is always there making sure he feels he has every base covered. But he doesn’t keep everything to himself and if he thinks he can delegate bits to others to help the cause, he will.”
“A coach should be allowed to get on with job, his staff to get on with their jobs, because everyone’s roles are as important as each other’s. It only takes one little breakdown in the chain of command or lack of communication and the plans can go wildly off.”
‘So, credit has to be given to Matt, because he really knows what he’s doing; he is listening to us all of the time and the results speak for themselves.’**RSNG It’s no secret that you and Tom Brady are two of the greatest quarterbacks of your generation, if not all time. Brady is a man you have so much respect for, don’t you?
AARON RODGERS** “Yeah, I absolutely do. I have a lot of love for Tom and for everything that he has achieved. The fact that he has been able to sustain the incredible level he has been playing at into his 40s, is just unbelievable.”
“A lot of players don’t even get to where he is for even just one season, and he’s been playing at those levels for 20 years and it’s really crazy that we’ve actually only played against each other four times in our careers. Tom is obviously really good, because he’s got the better of me on three of those occasions, haha!”
RSNG You’ve had conversations with the Packers organization regarding ways in which you think they maybe weren’t doing things right. How did those conversations go? AARON RODGERS ‘I would say that I made these fairly public after the training camp this summer and I just wanted to make my feelings on these issues clear to the organization. At the end of the day, we all want to be better and we want to take the team as far up the ladder as we can.
‘As the leader on the field, I am also someone who has a lot to say because I want to protect those who I feel may have been wronged or I want to make sure that we – as an organization – don’t treat people badly when they leave us.
‘I listed the names of players who I felt had been disrespected when they left Green Bay, or not offered contracts when they maybe should have been. I owed it to them to voice my opinion.’
RSNG That’s what a leader does – he sticks up for his troops? AARON RODGERS “I am a leader and I have to speak up for what I think is right for those who have given their all for the Packer cause; but that was just a small part of it and because I love and care about this organization so much. I want to be able to give my experience, my opinion and my skills off the field to help make us better.”
“Maybe a few people in certain quarters just thought I wanted more influence and more money. But that genuinely wasn’t the case, so I guess we’ll see where we go from here and I’ll just play my football.”
WHAT NEXT? Find out why triple Gold Medalist Kevin Durant says his college days are the key to his success in our exclusive interview.