|Solid debut frees Rodgers from post-Favre scrutiny|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 10 September 2008 13:36|
Fortunately, he doesn't have to.
Rodgers lived up to even the most optimistic of expectations in Green Bay's 24-19 victory over Minnesota on Monday night, sparing him the harsh criticism that certainly would have come his way had he struggled in his first major step out of Brett Favre's shadow.
``I don't like thinking negatively or hypothetically in that situation,'' Rodgers said Wednesday. ``But it was definitely important for us to get a win. I don't think 'must-win,' first game of the year, doesn't really apply. But it was important for us to play well, and we did for the most part.''
o entertain the what-ifs of a potentially poor performance.
``I haven't thought about that,'' McCarthy said. ``You can have that one on your own. Hypothetical, right?''
With such hypotheticals and Week 1 hype out of the way, Rodgers now can get down to the daily business of being an NFL starting quarterback. Up next is his first road start, at Detroit on Sunday.
What will he do for an encore?
``Just try to be consistent,'' Rodgers said. ``I think the best quarterbacks in the league prove it by their consistency week-in and week-out. I think it's a week-to-week deal. You have to be consistent with your preparation, consistent with your practice habits. When you get on the field, you've got to make plays every week, and the best quarterbacks in the league - quarterbacks that I want to put myself in the same sentence with - they do that.''
OK, so ``consistent'' wasn't always the first word that came to mind during the Favre era. But Rodgers isn't out of the riverboat gambler mold, and the Packers don't want him to try to be.
With Rodgers under center, Packers fans aren't likely to see anything like the heave-ho toward the end zone that went for a touchdown in Favre's debut for the New York Jets on Sunday.
ng is precise in that area and make the proper checks in the run and protection, make the proper decisions in the passing game, throw with accuracy, and most importantly, take care of the football. That will never change for him.''
Rodgers wasn't flashy Monday, but he was accurate, fairly mistake-free and efficient, throwing only four incomplete passes all night. He also showed his underrated mobility, something opposing defenses didn't necessarily have to account for against Favre.
``I think it's another dimension to our offense which can help us out,'' Rodgers said. ``The line, I think, appreciates it. If things break down, and a couple times they did, I feel like I can make plays outside the pocket.''
But Rodgers knows the Packers want him to scramble to throw first, running only as a last resort.
``I'd like to throw it first,'' Rodgers said. ``Running is just a second option. I think you're very dangerous when you get outside the pocket with your eyes still downfield, because you have a run-pass option. But in the game, I got outside the pocket, and I was able to make some plays with my feet, and I feel like that's something I want to do continually throughout the season.''
Wide receiver Greg Jennings said Rodgers' scrambling will lead to more big plays.
he can scramble outside the pocket any time. It's definitely going to give us opportunities to get open.''
Rodgers received several supportive text messages from friends after the game - although many of them playfully mocked him for barely making it over the railing on his ``Lambeau Leap'' after scoring on a sneak in the fourth quarter.
``I've got friends all over the place who were texting me and checking in, saying nice things,'' Rodgers said. ``Jokes about the Lambeau Leap, or lack of the leap. But it was real positive. But it's one game. Put it in the belt, watch the film, move on. Now we're all about Detroit.''