Thursday, February 10, 2011

Revisiting My Thoughts On Rodgers' First Game

Thanks to a spam comment on an old post from 9/9/2008 (the day after Rodgers first start) I was able to read what I wrote about both Aaron and Coach McCarthy's play-calling approach with the new guy at the helm. I think a lot of it still holds true and while my enthusiasm was tempered, it needn't have been. Looking

It's tough to glean any real undeniable truths from last night. One thing is certain though, Aaron Rodgers is a capable quarterback. He didn't prove last night that he is an All Pro, but he certainly proved he can play adequately ever
y game, and gave Packer fans a reason to be excited for the season. He threw excellent balls, played under control, flashed some wheels and intelligence on when to use them (haha, Tavaris Jackson). Rodgers also displayed a very strong arm and some fantastic accuracy (that TD toss and a couple of those slants were A+ throws).

Looking at his line from that game (18-22 178 yards 1 TD; 8 carries 35 yards 1 TD) we can see a few things. First, tremendous accuracy. He only had five incomplete balls and if I recall correctly one was a dropped catchable ball on a swing route to Korey Hall. Second is his athleticism. No sacks, 8 scrambles, 35 yards. Not bad at all.

Another point that has held true throughout these past two years is the playcalling of Mike McCarthy when the Packers go up big (we had a 17-6 lead going into the 4th). Now I'm not going to complain too much about the playcalling because he did try and keep his foot on the throat of Pittsburgh in the biggest game of his coaching career, but this could have been written during numerous games this season:

My biggest worry after last night is that Mike McCarthy reigned in the offense once Green Bay took the lead. Starting with that concession field goal at the end of the half (not one shot at the end zone?) it seemed like McCarthy closed the play book. It showed a lack of confidence in Rodgers that I really don't understand.

I hope the Super Bowl gives Mike a bit more confidence going into next year in terms of aggressiveness when up big. Lastly, how correct was this assessment? Now

On the other side of the ball, Minnesota is a very, very good football team, w
ith a Tarvaris Jackson sized albatross around its neck. Hopefully, they stick with him as long as they have Peterson, because if they decide to get even a non-terrible QB, they will be a force.

It was true in 2008 and will be true again in 2012. Unless they get a McNabb or someone similar, the Vikings are doomed to battle Chicago for North dregs next season.

Sometimes it is fun to reflect. For instance, all of the above was brilliant (now obvious) analysis. Additionally I picked the Packers to win the Super Bowl this year. Sometimes it is not so fun, like remembering that I picked Green Bay to bear Cincinnati in said Super Bowl.

I have been a staunch defender of both Aaron Rodgers and Ted Thompson since day 1. When Rodgers was drafted I was sitting in The Harp downtown (Sunday funday) and ran into the street shouting with joy as I stripped off my shirt and threw it into the air. It wasn't just the booze. I was thrilled at the timing of drafting a successor, I was more than impressed with Rodgers athleticism and accuracy (lacking arm strength, but he was wiry so I was confident he could build it) and he had a poise and intelligence that was lacking in the J.P. Lohsmans and Cade McNown's of the world. I knew he would be special. I'm glad that the unbridled enthusiasm I showed that drunken morning has paid off.

Give the DPOY award to a guy the Packers humiliated, give the Executive of the Year award to a guy who build a team that Green Bay destroyed and give the MVP to a guy who can't win a big game without the assistance of an A/V team. These Packers were built with a purpose, a methodical and meticulous attention to every detail (except ST) that will not be matched for years.

Sure it is no longer going out on a limb to say this team is special but God damn it, this team is special. Fuck humility, lets revel in the talent and excitement of the current Green Bay Packers. They won't be good forever but I think they'll be good for a hell of a long time.

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