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Lean on me: Rodgers credits Steve Young

LAS COLINAS, Texas -- Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers called himself a "huge Joe Montana fan" growing up in Northern California.

Roughly two decades later, Rodgers has more in common professionally with Montana's successor.

Steve Young, like Rodgers, sat behind a legend and then led his team to a Super Bowl. Both did it after controversial trades cleared the way for them to join the starting lineup.

"One guy who I have gotten to know in the last couple of years who has been a great guy to rely on and lean on, and I talked to him this week, is Steve Young," Rodgers said during his media session Monday night. "Steve went through a similar situation in San Francisco when he took over."

What Rodgers said next -- or what he did not say -- reflected the sensitivity associated with succeeding a legend.

"I don't really want to share any of the conversation we had because those are personal between Steve and I," Rodgers said, "but he has been a great guy to lean on for advice."

My read: Young and Rodgers both competed hard and felt they were ready to start before their time arrived. They were frustrated in relief roles. They also had to show restraint out of respect for what Montana and Brett Favre represented.

Young tossed 89 touchdown passes with 33 interceptions from 1992-94, his first seasons in San Francisco with more than 10 starts. Rodgers has 86 touchdowns and 31 interceptions in his first three seasons since replacing Favre.

"To see the way Steve played and picked up where Joe left off -- won MVP, won the Super Bowl -- it has been great to get to know him as a friend now," Rodgers said.