Aaron Rodgers Is Going from the Seat to the Heat While Replacing a Legend

Mike CraigCorrespondent IAugust 31, 2008

2007 was a great year for the Green Bay Packers.

Wide receiver Greg Jennings became well known as a deep threat in the NFL. The emergence of running back Ryan Grant gave Green Bay the rushing attack they needed.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers played a hell of a game against the Dallas Cowboys when Brett Favre was injured. And, of course, Favre broke every passing record there was to break, including interceptions.

After the Packers' NFC Championship loss to the New York Giants, Brett Favre retired. In the beginning of March, people around the football world were in shock to see No. 4 for the Green Bay Packers retire. After the numbers he put up and the season he had, nobody saw it coming.

This, of course, put a smile on backup QB Aaron Rodgers' face. Finally, after three years of sitting behind one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL, it was his turn to be the leader of an NFL offense. Young Aaron Rodgers has never started in an NFL regular-season game.

Then, problems began to stir up after the Packers had committed to Aaron Rodgers being their starting quarterback. No. 4 wanted to come out of retirement. A lot of people saw this coming.

Aaron Rodgers kept his cool and wasn't bothered by it. As a matter of fact, he said he wouldn't have minded sitting on the bench again behind Brett Favre.

Mike McCarthy, Ted Thompson, and Mark Murphy were not going to let that happen, however. They tried everything to make Favre want to stay retired. In the end, Brett just wanted to play football and he didn't care where.

The Green Bay Packers traded Brett Favre to the New York Jets. With Brett Favre 100 percent out of the QB picture in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers will, in fact, be the starting quarterback for the 2008 season.

That brings up a very good question. Did Mark Murphy, Ted Thompson, and Mike McCarthy make a smart decision?

Yes and no. They should have taken Brett Favre back the moment he said, "Hey, I want to play again." Instead, they were so intent on keeping Aaron Rodgers as their starting QB that they caused some bad blood between Favre and the organization. 

In the end, when Favre was reinstated, he didn't even want to compete for his starting job. It was best that they traded him because keeping him in Green Bay would only have caused the team so much drama and media attacks it wouldn't even be funny. Favre in Green Bay would be a BIG distraction.

It's very true that seeing Brett Favre in any jersey other than the Green and Gold No. 4 jersey is a little weird. However, it is what it is, and Brett Favre is now donning the Green and WHITE No. 4 jersey.

So how long will Aaron Rodgers be running the show in Green Bay? Will it be No. 12 and the Pack now?

Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson drafted both Matt Flynn and Brian Brohm to backup Aaron Rodgers. However, how many quarterbacks who have followed a legend such as Brett Favre have been successful?

Only one: Steve Young. For Green Bay's sake, they better hope that Aaron Rodgers is another Steve Young. Otherwise, Matt Flynn or Brian Brohm could be getting some action in the NFL a lot sooner than Aaron Rodgers ever did.

Does Rodgers have what it takes to lead a team that went 13-3 last season? That simple answer is yes, yes he does.

He has the potential to be good. He has shown that in the preseason. Just look at his one and only pass during Green Bay's last preseason game against Tennessee. A 60-yard touchdown pass thrown to Greg Jennings. That looked kind of like Brett Favre throwing it to Jennings there for a second, didn't it?

Perhaps the Packers are not in as bad of shape as the experts think they are. The Minnesota Vikings are the favorites to win the NFC North. I beg to differ.

You should expect to see more running this year, while Aaron Rodgers adjusts to throwing a lot more than he was used to. It's not going to be easy, but Aaron Rodgers has been given his chance to shine, and I don't expect to see him lay down without a fight.


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