At the time of publication Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers had a quarterback rating south of the century mark, but he is still one of the top performers in the league. He is a man much like Steve Young, who learned behind a legend before taking the reins in his prime and becoming more effective than his predecessor could possibly be during the final portion of his career. The primary reason Rodgers is not among the top five statistically is that he has lost running back Ryan Grant for the season.
By Patrick Herbert
Aaron Rodgers benefited from learning the ropes during the early portion of his career. The durability and effectiveness of Brett Favre allowed him the comfort of holding the clipboard and settling in to the offensive mindset and game plan of the organization’s coaching staff. It is even more impressive that he has put up the all-pro numbers recently considering that he does not play his home games in a controlled environment or a warm weather climate like Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers, and Matt Ryan.
Matthew Stafford is on the sidelines for the time being nursing himself back to health. During this period, Scott Linehan and the rest of the Lions offensive coaching staff should brainstorm ways to make him more effective upon his return.
However, their minds are undoubtedly filled with ways to survive in the division with Shaun Hill under center. It is amazing that this Maryland product is taking the snaps when Tim Rattay, Jeff Garcia, and Daunte Culpepper are on the field in the United Football League. When Stafford returns, he will be relying heavily on the abilities of Nate Burleson and Calvin Johnson. His season probably hangs on the health of Jahvid Best.
Dan Marino knows better than anyone that a lack of a running game will ultimately burn a team. His greatest accomplishments might be his tan and appearance in Ace Ventura Pet Detective because he never had an effective runner in the backfield like Elway did when he finally won a title.
The psyche of some rookies can be a delicate thing. Remember Ricky Williams’ bout with marijuana addiction and alleged social disorder?
This is hard to believe considering that he probably was under more scrutiny as the star performer at the University of Texas. Stafford also played for a major program. He was the best quarterback in the nation’s most prestigious football conference.
And the sports world is a place where you’re truly measured by what someone has done lately on the field. When Stafford returns, he had done nothing recently but recuperate. This possible uncertainty in his mind would be exacerbated if he gets off to a shaky start and begins to hear the boo birds.
Good thing that he’s not in Philadelphia. Donovan McNabb isn’t even effective enough for them, and he’s a future hall of famer. Stafford must stay focused and tune out all of the distractions around him coming off injury. If Aaron Rodgers can do it in the Green Bay area, it is certainly possible in Detroit because an athlete can certainly get away from it all there.Follow paulmbanks