Saturday, July 27, 2013
Aaron Rodgers as Packers' elder statesman
By Kevin Seifert
I focused Friday on how Aaron Rodgers handled questions about his support for disgraced baseball player Ryan Braun. During the same interview session, Rodgers also addressed the persistent offseason pokes he has received from former teammate and current Minnesota Vikings receiver Greg Jennings.
Or, more to the point, he didn't address them. Instead, he took a global view as the Packers' most tenured player.
Jennings has implied several times that the credit Rodgers has received and accepted over the years in essence overshadowed the work of the Packers' receivers. Friday, Rodgers predictably brushed off the entire subject.
"… I've got a great responsibility to the guys in this locker room and the fans," Rodgers said, "and at this point, I don’t have a whole lot of time or energy to spend worrying about things that are said outside the building. I know those are stories for [the media], but personally, I'm focused on this team. Obviously, you hear about them, but I'm not going to spend a lot of time or energy on them."
Here's how Rodgers explained his role in the Packers' locker room:
"It's exciting to be able to be one of the leaders of this football team, and I'm very confident in my style. I think the guys respond well to it. It's fun being the … longest-tenured guy on the team. I've seen a lot, I've been around a lot, and I've learned a lot of lessons. And I think one of the lessons you learn is that you can't control everything and you shouldn't worry too much about the things that are said outside the building. You worry about the opinions of your teammates and how they feel about you."
Indeed, Rodgers is entering his ninth season with the team and is the final player remaining from the Packers' 2005 draft. The next most tenured players all arrived in 2006: Linebacker A.J. Hawk, cornerback Jarrett Bush, defensive lineman Ryan Pickett and cornerback Tramon Williams.
Pickett, 33, is the Packers' oldest player. He played his first five seasons with the St. Louis Rams. At the moment, he is the only Packers player older than 30.