You say you want a resolution? Yeah, well, you’re not the only one.
And nobody wants the fingernails to stop sliding down the blackboard more than Aaron Rodgers.
As Brett Favre’s Hamlet act continues, the heir to his job – Rodgers – has to deal with more than just capably running a team that played in the NFC Championship last season. Rodgers has to deal with scrutiny of his mindset, leadership ability, body language, facial expressions and general fitness to succeed a locked-out legend.
Friday morning dawned with Brett Favre still in Mississippi, still awaiting reinstatement and still property – if he is reinstated – of the Green Bay Packers.
And after practice, Rodgers was still willingly answering questions.
“I appreciate the questions about this training camp,” said Rodgers. “I know you guys have a job to do and I’m happy to answer as much and as often as I can for you guys.”
Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer – who now works in the private sector in media consulting – spoke to the Packers on Thursday.
If Fleischer’s message was to remain pleasantly bland and non-committal, Rodgers nailed it.
I asked him how hard it is to avoid putting pressure on himself to be better than Favre.
"I have a lot of expectations on the way I feel I should play and I know the guys in the locker room believe in me and that management believes in me," Rodgers parried.
"It's just gonna be doing the things (quarterbacks coach Tom Clements) has taught us to do. Managing the game. Taking the big play when we have opportunities and pulling back when we don’t. Making the most of our opportunities. I believe the time I put in (during) the offseason is going to pay off."
So no thoughts at all of his performance compared to his predecessor’s?
"I'm going to be myself and be the best quarterback I can be," said Rodgers.
Rodgers has the tools to be good. Strong arm, quick feet, a commanding presence. But there are things that can only be learned through experience and that, of course, takes time. Sadly for Rodgers, time and understanding don’t figure to be luxuries he’ll be afforded. Not when a guy who completed 66.5 percent of his passes and threw for 4,155 yards with 28 touchdowns last season has "the itch" again.
On Friday, Rodgers looked uneven during the Packers two 11-on-11 situational drills. The first was a two-minute drill in which Green Bay was down 14-10 and needed a touchdown. Even though Rodgers' last-ditch pass to the end zone with six seconds left was nearly caught by receiver James Jones, Rodgers was indecisive and inaccurate on a number of plays before that. Same thing when the team ran a longer drill and was kept out of the end zone.
For another young quarterback, a so-so morning practice wouldn’t carry much weight. For Rodgers, it’s different. He’s the one trying to move his team forward while fans hold up 20-foot banners for www.bringbackbrettfavre.com and the throng of media scrutinizes his moves while awaiting Favre’s.
What if Favre reports to Packers camp, as he may do this weekend?
"If he comes back to the team we’ll welcome him back as a part of this team but that’s up to him and the management," said Rodgers. "When the decision finally comes down I think we’ll be able to bring him in and move forward together. Before all this stuff went down, I was the starting quarterback and that was my focus. As of this moment I’m still the starting quarterback."
Rodgers said there are no hard feelings toward Favre.
"I talked to his daughter, his nephew and his sister at the ESPYs (July 17)," said Rodgers. "They reiterated the fact I already knew: there’s no issue between me and Brett. When he was here, we got along great. We joked around and spent time together off the field. It’s never been about me and Brett. It’s about Brett and the organization trying to find the resolution that both parties are happy with. I know my role. Lead this team and if he comes back, we’ll welcome him back."
All verbal disasters averted, Rodgers soon concluded his interview. And somewhere, Ari Fleischer was beaming.
CSN: Brian Urlacher, who played 13 seasons for the Bears, announced his retirement from football Wenesday on his personal twitter account.
CSN: The Super Bowl's golden anniversary will be held in the Golden State. The new stadium, which opens in 2014, in Santa Clara will host Super Bowl L two years later, the NFL announced Tuesday.
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