Aaron Rodgers is heading into his 16th season in Green Bay. Last season was one of his best as the future Hall of Fame quarterback and new head coach Matt LaFleur teamed up to direct the Packers to a 13-3 regular-season finish, just one win shy of reaching the Super Bowl.
Coming into 2020, Aaron Rodgers doesn’t feel like the Packers have received the attention deserving of a team that reached the NFC title game last season. That perceived sense of disrespect, coupled with his health coming out of training camp have the Green Bay signal caller excited about what is in store for Packers nation this upcoming season.
Aaron Rodgers leads Packers to 2019 NFC Championship
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers ended the 2019 season one win shy of a Super Bowl appearance. The Pack finished with a 13-3 regular-season record. And it all happened under the guidance of first-year head coach Matt LaFleur.
Rodgers and the Green Bay offense started 2019 off with a bang winning their first three contests. After a setback against Philadelphia, the Packers rebounded and ran off four in a row, including impressive road victories over Dallas and the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, who played without their injured superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
The Rodgers-driven offense combined with a top 10 defense added up to an NFC North title over the rival Minnesota Vikings, and a berth in the playoffs. In the postseason, the Packers defeated the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round before losing to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game.
By any account, Green Bay’s season was a resounding success, and despite the disappointing finish, viewed as a solid foundation and building block heading into the 2020 campaign.
Aaron Rodgers thinks Packers ‘flying under radar’
Despite such a solid 2019 season in Wisconsin, most of the NFC headlines being written this past offseason started in either Tampa Bay with Tom Brady, or in Dallas with new head coach and former Packers leader Mike McCarthy. There’s also been chatter about Drew Brees in the twilight of his career, and the obvious talk about the defending NFC Champion 49ers.
As far as Green Bay, there hasn’t been much to talk about, other than the widely criticized 2020 NFL draft and the selection of Rodgers’ heir apparent, Jordan Love. Rodgers said he likes flying under the radar of the media and he thinks it will work to his team’s advantage this season.
“You know what, I don’t know about our squad,” Rodgers said in a Wednesday press conference. “I think the beauty is there’s a lot of conversation about other teams, whether it’s Tom and Tampa, or the teams that were really solid last year, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Dallas with Mike and what they’ve done to their roster. I like where we’re at as far as kind of flying under the radar even though we went 13-3 last year. We’ve got a chance to prove what kind of team we are to start the season out on Sunday, and I look forward to the opportunity.”
Rodgers feels healthiest ever coming out of camp
This NFL offseason was just as abnormal as the rest of 2020. It was much shorter due to COVID-19 restrictions and protocols. All preseason games were eliminated. While some believe this combination of factors might lead to sloppy play initially — something Aaron Rodgers disagrees with —the veteran quarterback views no offseason training sessions and an abbreviated training camp as a positive for one reason. His arm feels better than ever.
“I think the way we did the schedule this year with the lead-in time. The first couple of weeks felt kind of like an early offseason schedule,” Rodgers said on the Pat McAfee Show on SiriusXM this week. “I told a friend of mine this is the first training camp in the last 16, the first time ever, that my arm hasn’t hurt at one point during training camp.
“The reason for that is a lot of times you might not throw the last week or last two weeks or maybe throw limited during the break in the offseason and day one you come in, and they want you to throw 150-200 balls in practice. This was a great lead-in, not just for my arm, also our other guys with skilled abilities. I think it was just kind of our wind, our football shape, weightlifting. You could lift harder when you’re not practicing as hard. I thought the schedule was beautiful in order to kind of get yourself into a really good spot in training camp.”
After going 13-3 last season, the Green Bay Packers have quietly gone about their business and largely gone unnoticed during this offseason. After an abbreviated camp, Aaron Rodgers’ arm has never felt this good heading into a season. Both of these things should be very encouraging to Packers fans and pretty concerning for the rest of the NFL.