Tag:Aaron Rodgers
Posted on: September 7, 2011 2:33 pm
  •  
 

Rodgers on Sanchez' GQ spread: 'Embarrassing'

Posted by Will Brinson

This offseason, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez posed for an, um, interesting photo shoot for GQ. The juiciest news that came from his feature piece was that he "wanted to fight" coach Rex Ryan.

Well, unless you count the photos themselves, anyway. Those were -- according to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers -- "embarrassing."

"I mean look at this -- that's embarrassing," Rodgers said on the "The Aaron Rodgers Show" with Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee. "Page 94 of the GQ thing here, that's terrible."

Page 94, for those interested, looks like ... this:



"This is not really my style," Rodgers said. "I like my anonymity. I like my privacy. I like to be the quarterback during the week and during the offseason be able to do what I want to do and not be in the public eye."

That's totally fair for Rodgers to say (re: style; embarrassing might be a different story) and it's his prerogative on how he wants to dress when being photographed and whether he wants to pose for magazine shoots.

I wouldn't do what Sanchez did either, but the gig in New York and the gig in Green Bay are two completely different ballgames. If you're the quarterback in the Big Apple and you try to avoid the press, you'll get more press. If you're the quarterback in Green Bay you can do whatever you want as long as you have success on the field.

In short, it's just a different world, and it's not how Rodgers rolls.

"When you hang out with 'Hollywood' people, those people are able to stay in that moment and stay in their Hollywood fame, and it's absolutely ridiculous," Rodgers said. "They never come out of that mode -- that 'We're famous' mode. You can't have a normal conversation."

Yes, but in place of that "normal conversation" is "aggressive bathtub frolicking," so it's really a toss-up.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 1, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2011 4:31 pm
 

Harbaugh thinks Smith can develop into a good QB

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Fair or not, Alex Smith and Aaron Rodgers will forever be linked. The first two quarterbacks drafted in 2005, Smith was taken No. 1 by the 49ers, and Rodgers, who many thought was worthy of the top pick, sat in the green room for several uncomfortable hours until the Packers took mercy on him and selected him 24th overall.

Now more than six years later, Rodgers is a Super Bowl champ and Smith is, well, still trying to establish himself as a competent NFL quarterback. It hasn't helped that Smith has had a revolving door of head coaches, offensive coordinators and new offenses to learn. But things are different in San Francisco. New coach Jim Harbaugh gives Smith something he hasn't had previously: stability and support.

Way back in June, just as the lockout was heating up, Harbaugh said Smith's decision to return to the 49ers required "a rare kind of character, it probably falls somewhere in the endangered and extinct range, so we can win with that."

Smith eventually agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal and all indications are that he will be the starters in 2011, despite the team taking Colin Kaepernick in the second round of the 2011 draft.

Harbaugh recently appeared on San Diego sports radio to talk about Smith's role with the team this season (via SportsRadioInterviews.com).

"Yes he can (develop into a good starting quarterback). The things that have occurred over the first seven years of Alex’s career have been good," Harbaugh said. "There has been some tough times, but all those experiences I believe lead to success. You never know what path it is going to take or what’s going to transpire to get Alex and our franchise to where we want to go, so just with continuous effort just keep plugging away and he’s done a great job of that. He’s been mentally tough guy. He’s been physically tough and a strong young man. It’s been a pleasure to work with him and hopefully we are doing everything we can to make our team better and get Alex and us where we want to go.” 


The Seattle Seahawks look to take the division once again as the Cardinals, 49ers and Rams are eager to take the top spot. Who will finish on top? NFL.com's Pat Kirwan joins Jason Horowitz to preview the NFC West this season.

Smith may not have much in the way of actual results to show for it, but he's proven through his actions that he's a tough dude. Of course, the NFL scrap heap if full of guys who could take a beating. Having a high tolerance for pain doesn't magically equate to success. But again, that could have more to do with the transient nature of the 49ers' coaching staff during Smith's career than his ability to lead a team.

We've often wondered what Rodgers' career would look like if he ended up in San Francisco. Maybe they would be coming off a championship season. More likely: they wouldn't be much different than the team we see now. Yes, franchise quarterbacks are vitally important, but having a steady presence in the front office can't be understated, either.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 12, 2011 8:59 pm
 

VIDEO: Barack Obama has some fun with Packers

Barack Obama welcomes Green Bay to the White House (AP).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Packers visited the White House today in order to be congratulated for winning the Super Bowl, and naturally President Obama, a big Bears fan, didn’t mind commenting on the NFC North division rivalry between the two squads.

“I’m just going to come out and say it, this hurts a little bit,” Obama said, via the Green Bay Press Gazette. "You guys come to my house to rub it in. What are you going to do next, go to Ditka’s house?”

Obama also took some time for CB Charles Woodson, who you’ll remember said this after the NFC title game when Green Bay beat the Bears (Obama had already said that if the Bears made it to the Super Bowl, he would go to the game): "The president don't want to come watch us at the Super Bowl, guess what? We're going to see him."

Said Obama in response (you can see it in the video below): “Basically Charles has been giving me a hard time for several months. Now I know what every NFL quarterback knows, don’t mess with Charles Woodson.”



Woodson then presented the president with a stock certificate, making him a part owner of the team, which then led Obama to say this:
"If I'm a part-owner, I think we should initiate a trade to send [QB Aaron] Rodgers down to the Bears."

Which then led to the White House issuing a clarification, making sure everybody knew that he would want Rodgers to be Jay Cutler’s backup. Said the White House: “The President understands the value of having a reliable backup.”

Afterward, Rodgers had this to say to the assembled media: “Being a history major, this is a special experience for me. It’s incredible to be able to spend time with the president. It’s a special day. “

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 25, 2011 10:06 am
Edited on: July 25, 2011 10:11 am
 

Should the Steelers extend Polamalu?

PolamaluPosted by Josh Katzowitz

In this column from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s Dejan Kovacevic, the author discusses whether the Steelers should lock up S Troy Polamalu for life.

As Kovacevic points out, there really isn’t a clear-cut answer. A Steelers fan’s heart will say yes, for sure. But when you break it down with your brain, maybe giving Polamalu a long-term and expensive extension on his contract, which will expire at the end of 2012, isn’t the best idea for Pittsburgh.

Here’s one reason Polamalu should be rewarded: He’s still an incredible player. Despite injuries that have limited him to 19 games in the past two seasons, he makes plays few others in the league could make. He tied his career high with seven interceptions last season, and he’s such a popular figure among Steelers fans that it makes sense to keep him in the city’s embrace forever.

But lest you forget, CBSSports.com’s own Pete Prisco called Polamalu the most overrated player in the game.

Prisco’s reasoning?

He was a spinning top in the Super Bowl, trying to cover Packers receivers and instead watched them rip off big gains and two touchdowns on his watch.

The Packers exposed the reason I think Polamalu is overrated. He isn't great in coverage and the NFL is now a cover game.
He's a good player. He's just not great.

I've always believed he was a gambler in the back end, and good teams and smart quarterbacks could take advantage of his aggressive style, which the Packers and Aaron Rodgers did. He gets away with it against bad quarterbacks, but good ones can use his aggressive style to their advantage (See Tom Brady).


Besides, Polamalu is going to be expensive. As the Trib Review points out, the highest-paid safety in the league is Kansas City’s Eric Berry, who signed a six-year, $60 million deal after he was drafted in 2010. I imagine Polamalu will want more than that.

Which might make it extremely hard for the Steelers to keep him.

“There's been no discussion yet (of a new deal), but I'd say it's highly likely that was because of the lockout,” his agent, Marvin Demoff, told the paper. "We'd be open to it, sure. Troy's played there eight years and wants to finish his career in Pittsburgh."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: July 19, 2011 8:34 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 8:48 am
 

Report: Packers told to report to work Saturday



Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's Day 126 of the lockout but here's the latest evidence that the 2011 NFL season could be just days away: PFT reported Monday night that the Packers are telling their players to be ready to show up on Saturday, July 23. And ESPN Wisconsin Packers beat writer Jason Wilde seconded the report, calling it "100 percent true" after confirming with two sources.

Specifically, PFT writes: "Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Packers are telling players that the doors will open on Friday, and that the team wants the players in town in order to get started on preparations for training camp and the preseason."

This comes four days after Lions linebacker Zack Follett tweeted that he "Just received word it would be the 25th of July we would be able to report back if a deal got done. Pending approval by all parties."

As we mentioned last week, until the owners and players agree on a new collective bargaining agreement everything is "pending approval," but the two sides have come a long way in the last few weeks, and there's now every reason to believe we'll have actual football very soon.

What this means for the August 7 Hall of Fame Game between the Bears and the Rams is another matter, and there are still the logistics of working out a supplemental draft, and an abbreviated free-agency signing period, along with training camps and the preseason.

But if teams are telling players to be ready to go to work this weekend (even if the NFL hasn't technically given them permission to do so), things are moving in the right direction, and quickly.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 15, 2011 7:56 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 8:09 pm
 

Aaron Rodgers wants to sell you auto insurance

Posted by Ryan Wilson

There are many perks that come with winning the Super Bowl. In addition to the garish jewelry and the recognition of being apart of the NFL's best team, there are also the off-field perks: tables at the best restaurants, hobnobbing with celebrities, and if you're Aaron Rodgers -- Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Green Bay Packers --  making auto insurance commercials with Milwaukee-area personal injury lawyer David Gruber.

We wish we were kidding.

Rodgers, clad in a suit that gives you the impression he's been working in a funeral home during the lockout, comes off equal parts awkward and uncomfortable. "David Gruber and I have been discussing what protections auto insurance provides if you're in an accident."

Impossibly, it gets worse from there.

Gruber goes on to regale us with the four types of coverage. We can't help but think that, if you heard this commercial while driving your car, you would, to quote Tommy Callahan, "wanna jerk the wheel into a [gosh darn] bridge abutment." 



But hey, everybody has a cause and maybe Aaron is passionate about auto insurance. And while we can't imagine the spot would encourage a person -- no matter how big a Packers fan they might be -- to go out and actually purchase auto insurance, we're positive it's a hit with people who have trouble sleeping.

hat tip: A.V. Club

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 7, 2011 9:12 am
Edited on: July 7, 2011 9:38 am
 

Who we want to see on Hard Knocks '11

Hard Knocks (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Throughout the lockout that seems neverending -- now at 114 days and counting!!! -- we’ve seen players get arrested, we’ve seen the NFL and the NFLPA come together and then bicker and then come together and then bicker, and we’ve seen players sue their girlfriends for their engagement rings.

Most disturbing, we’ve seen the signs that Brett Favre might want to return for another season.

We’ve also heard plenty about how a lost preseason would cost the NFL $800 million if the lockout continues through August and into September.

But when it comes to the preseason and how much is on the line, you know what we haven’t heard about? We haven’t heard which squad will be the subject of the annual highlight of August –- HBO’s "Hard Knocks."  

Oh, we know which teams have already declined the invitation (or supposedly, declined the invitation). Among them are the Buccaneers, the Broncos, the Lions and the Falcons (who might be open to doing it in the future), and at this point, it seems as if nobody wants to be on the show. Making matters tougher are those who say cooperating with Hard Knocks is a mistake.

Assuming we’ll see a preseason this year that would provide a platform for the Hard Knocks crew to start filming -- and CBSSports.coms’ Mike Freeman writes that it’s getting close --here are five teams we’d like to see featured on Hard Knocks. Many of them might not be interested for one reason or another, but if we have a fantasy roster, this is it.

Panthers


NewtonThe big storyline: Simply put: the entertainer and the icon, Cam Newton. We want to see how he learns the offense; we want to see if his teammates rally around him; we want to get an early idea of whether Carolina made a bad decision last April. Or maybe he’s the next superstar in the game. Either way, he’s one of the biggest storylines of the preseason, and we want to be inside the locker room to see what happens.

The foil: Jimmy Clausen. How is he going to react to Newton? What happens when Newton badly fakes out some defender destined for the practice squad and gains 30 yards on a broken play? Will the director then cut to Clausen as he raises a fist to the sky in anger? And what happens if Clausen, um, actually outplays Newton?

Two other compelling reasons: 1) NFL.com’s Gil Brandt has mentioned in the past couple of days that Favre has offered to help mentor Newton. Can you imagine the video that could come from this, especially if the camera caught Favre alone in the locker room sending a text message? 2) WR Steve Smith: is he going to play for the Panthers or not?

Patriots


The big storyline: The same guy who makes sure this show would never feature his team on his watch. That would be coach Bill Belichick. How fascinating would it be to see how Belichick builds a team and how he relates to his players? Would we get to see Belichick’s team meeting in which he implicitly tells his team how to answer questions from the media (in the most uninteresting way possible)? Kidding aside, we want to see a future Hall of Fame coach behind the scenes and uncensored.

The foil: Rex Ryan. Is there any way to get a split screen of the Jets coach talking trash about Belichick -- hey, he’s not here to kiss anybody’s ring! – while Belichick coldly goes about finding a way to make Ryan pay for his words?

Two other compelling reasons: 1) Danny Woodhead: he was on Hard Knocks with the Jets last season, and though he’s not in danger of being cut with New England, I still want to know why Woodhead, all of a sudden, is so freaking good. 2) G Logan Mankins (and his agent) has said some not very complimentary things about the Patriots management, all in the name of landing a large contract. Will he be kinder and gentler this preseason?

Packers


The big storyline: Obviously, the Lombardi Trophy. Hard Knocks has never followed a team the preseason after it won the Super Bowl, so it’d be cool to see the ring ceremony the public wasn’t allowed to witness a few weeks back (I’m assuming Hard Knocks wasn’t actually there, but it’d be cool nonetheless) while watching the Packers attempt a repeat.

The foil: Charles Woodson vs. Tramon Williams. Woodson is the bigger name, but he’s older than Williams and there’s a pretty good chance Williams is the better CB these days. Maybe we’d really get to see if Woodson is close to the end, and if Williams can replace Woodson’s outrageous production.

Two other compelling reasons: 1) Would Aaron Rodgers sign autographs for the fans at training camp? Because, as we all know, he doesn’t like signing for cancer patients (I kid, I kid). 2) Last year, little-used cornerback Brandon Underwood had a sexual assault charge hanging over his head all season (he pleaded no contest to a lesser charge). Now, he’s been charged with disorderly conduct after an alleged physical altercation with his soon-to-be ex-wife. Underwood isn’t a great quote, but his story might make for an interesting change of pace on the show.

PhillipsTexans


The big storyline: The will-they-or-won’t-they-fire-him as it relates to coach Gary Kubiak. I’m kind of surprised he’s still coaching in Houston actually, and the last time Hard Knocks featured this kind of storyline, it was Wade Phillips with the Cowboys. Now, Phillips is Kubiak’s defensive coordinator. How hot can that boiler room get anyway?

The foil: The secondary. This is what I wrote in the Texans offseason checkup: “The secondary (Kareem Jackson, Glover Quin, Bernard Pollard and Eugene Wilson) were just tremendously bad. If the Texans can’t get this fixed, it doesn’t matter who’s coordinating the defense, because Houston simply won’t win.” I don’t disagree with that.

Two other compelling reasons: 1) Though he came off a bit bumbling in Season 4 with the Cowboys, Phillips is a sympathetic figure. And the man has proved he can coordinate a defense. I want to see how he transforms a 4-3 sieve-like defense into a 3-4 defense that potentially could save Kubiak’s job. 2) Will QB Matt Schaub ever get into the playoffs? He’s the best quarterback in the league who hasn’t gotten there.

Raiders


The big storyline: Obviously, Al Davis, and the one question I want to know. How hands-on is he these days?

The foil: Nnamdi Asomugha: Just like Darrelle Revis last season with the Jets, we’re not going to see too much of the talented free agent cornerback on the TV. Unfortunately, we won’t get to see any of Antonio Cromartie either (psst, see video below).

Two other compelling reasons: 1) New coach Hue Jackson finally gets his chance at running a team. Forget that Tom Cable went 6-0 in the AFC West last year without making the playoffs -- still a pretty damn impressive feat. Davis got rid of him, just like he gets rid of everybody after a couple years. Will Jackson be an exception? 2) Al Davis: Seriously, I want as much Al Davis as possible.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: July 1, 2011 9:22 am
Edited on: July 1, 2011 9:31 am
 

Aaron Rodgers not worried about missed practices

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The defending Super Bowl champs aren't holding informal workouts during the lockout. And by all accounts, they seem content with that strategy heading into the 2011 season.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy first addressed the issue publicly two weeks ago.

“I’m more interested in them being together as a group for Greg Jennings’ event or Donald Driver’s event," McCarthy told ESPN Milwaukee's Jason Wilde. "I think that’s as important as them going onto the field and trying to manufacture a practice. I think anytime you have a group of people, especially professionals, there’s other factors involved that obviously have to deal with risk. Part of our business in the training environment is risk assessment."

On Thursday, it was quarterback Aaron Rodgers' turn. Speaking on a conference call to promote the American Celebrity Championship golf tournament (because what better time to discuss non-football activities than with fairways and beer carts as the backdrop), the Rodgers sounded unconcerned by the lack of player-organized workouts.

“We did have a great gathering in Green Bay a few Thursdays ago,” Rodgers said of the Super Bowl ring ceremony. “Other than that, we haven’t had anything official. And the reasoning is that guys’ schedules and the risk-reward, which I think (coach) Mike McCarthy hit on. … Mike has always been a big supporter of the work we do individually. I’ll just refer to what Mike said as far as some of that stuff goes and just leave it at that.”

We mentioned it last month, but it's hard to argue with how the Packers choose to prepare since, you know, they're five month removed from a championship. And it's not as if their Super Bowl run was a fluke; Green Bay, for all those years with Brett Favre and now with Rodgers, are a perennial playoff team.

So while these get-togethers might be "better than nothing" (Eli Manning's words last month), they don't replicate the intensity of minicamp or training camp sessions, and come with the associated injury risks. McCarthy's right: Part of training is risk assessment.

Take, for example, 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree who, according to teammate Vernon Davis, injured his foot during an informal team training session June 9.

This helps explain why, if the lockout ends in the coming weeks, McCarthy probably won't hold pre-training camp workouts.

"The league might allow some workout/practice days at team facilities before training camps open, but McCarthy won’t put his players through any minicamp or organized team activity-type practices, the Press-Gazette's Rob Demovsky wrote Thursday.

"Instead, he plans to use those allotted pre-training camp days to get players in the weight room and in the classroom to make sure they’re ready to go when training opens, which would be July 30 if a new CBA is done in time."

Meanwhile, progress toward a new CBA continues in fits and starts.

“I think everybody has a sense that [the lockout is] going to end soon,” Rodgers said. “It’s just a matter of how soon is soon.”

For the time being, Rodgers is more focused on golf. Now watch this drive.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com