Palmer: Rodgers emerges from Favre's shadow

Jesse Palmer
2/7/2011 12:30:51 AM
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Some thoughts from Jesse during TSN's post-Super Bowl coverage:

Super Bowl XLV was a virtuoso performance for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The numbers will say that he was 24-for-39 with three touchdowns, but I counted seven dropped passes, meaning that Rodgers could have easily been 31-for-39 with five touchdowns.

Rodgers has been through a lot of adversity throughout his football career.  He was not heavily recruited out of high school and had to attend a junior college before transferring to to Cal. 

He was hoping to be the first overall pick in the 2005 draft by his childhood team, the San Francisco 49ers, but was passed over, and had to wait until the 24th pick to be selected.

When he got to Green Bay, he had to sit for three season behind a living legend in Brett Favre

In only his third year as a starting quarterback, Rodgers is now officially out from under Farve's shadow, and with his performance on Sunday, he's cemented himself in Packers lore.

McCarthy's Faith in Rodgers Rewarded

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy showed on Sunday that he had the utmost faith in the ability of Aaron Rodgers

We know this because McCarthy only called 12 running plays in the entire game.  Those 12 plays were just enough to keep the Steelers honest, and force them to keep an eighth player in the box.  That gave Rodgers an opportunity to find players on the outside.

Other signs of McCarthy's trust in Rodgers relates to play calls.  They threw the ball on first and 10, as well as third and short – one of those throws resulted in a Jordy Nelson touchdown. 

McCarthy also protected Rodgers by only moving the pocket one-time in the game.  He allowed Rodgers to stay in the pocket during all of the Steelers pressure packages because the coach had faith that Rodgers could and would read the blitzes and find the hot throws.

Finally, with a three point lead and less than three minutes to go in the game, the Packers were still throwing the ball.

McCarthy believes that Rodgers is the best quarterback in the National Football League, his play calling on Sunday proved that.  In the biggest game of both of their lives, McCarthy kept the ball in Rodgers' hands.

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