Rodgers ready to take over for Favre in Green Bay
By Colin Fly
GREEN BAY, Wis. ó Aaron Rodgers gets a daily reminder he doesnít need: Less than 10 feet from where he dresses is Brett Favreís old locker, nameplate intact, and complete with shoulder pads still sitting on the shelf.
iI know the pressure Iím under. I know who Iím following. I know that itís a tough situation and a lot of people are expecting me to fail outside of this locker room,î Rodgers said Wednesday in his first football-related comments since he was anointed as Favreís successor in March. iIím just trying to get the guys weíve got here now to believe in me.î
Rodgers led the Green Bay Packersí second practice and third organized team activity earlier Wednesday. The 24-year-old whose mom thinks he needs a haircut played the part to perfection.
At one point, he whipped a tight pass to top receiver Donald Driver, who broke out his big grin after the grab. Driver says the transition from No. 4 to No. 12 is seamless.
iNo. 4, heís not here, but his spirit is here,î Driver said. iNothingís changing. Weíre not going to do anything different than we would if Brett was here. The play-calling is going to stay the same; the cadence is going to stay the same. You just see a different face, but you all move on.î
And the Packers have, even if the three-time MVP Favre continues to make the occasional off-the-cuff remark about playing again.
Rodgers said he hasnít talked to Favre in the offseason, though the two have traded messages, and heís not on Favre watch, even if some Cheeseheads still believe their hero might return triumphantly to Titletown after the Packers fell tantalizingly short of a Super Bowl appearance by losing in the NFC title game to the eventual champion New York Giants.
iI do hear about it second-hand, but thereís not much you can say about that,î Rodgers said. iHe obviously is retired, he probably still thinks he can play, but as a football team, I think weíre moving on.î
Rodgers also isnít taking Favreís mixed messages personally.
iHe still has a passion for the game,î he said. iIíve talked to a lot of retired guys who still feel like they can play, and Iím sure he does, too. Thatís just not something I worry about.î
The story line will be there, though, with every pass, every snap.
iI know the comparisons, probably my entire career, as long as Iím a Packer and as long as I play in the NFL … my connection will be the guy who followed Brett Favre,î he said.
The Packers have told Rodgers unequivocally heíll be the starter even with highly touted rookie Brian Brohm being selected in the second round and Matt Flynn being taken in the seventh.
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