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#pounditThursday, August 6, 2020

Aaron Rodgers

Video: Aaron Rodgers and his new beard give Max Homa a hilarious first tee intro

Aaron Rodgers

The PGA Tour returned to competition on Thursday with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Texas. Nearly 150 golfers are hoping to win the first pro golf tournament in three months, but none will have a better introduction than Max Homa.

Aaron Rodgers, with his rapidly growing quarantine beard, decided to do the honor of giving Homa a first tee introduction for his first tournament back. Ironically, much of the intro featured Rodgers ripping on Homa’s mustache.

Rodgers and Homa are good friends and have played in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am together. While the intro was excellent, the real takeaway for many of us is that Rodgers is quickly gaining on Ryan Fitzpatrick in the facial hair department.

The offseason may not have gone as Rodgers hoped it would, but the Green Bay Packers star is clearly making the most of it.

Matt LaFleur feels ‘really good’ about relationship with Aaron Rodgers

Matt LaFleur

Aaron Rodgers has admitted that he was not thrilled when the Green Bay Packers took a quarterback in the first round of the draft last month, but he has apparently not let that stand in the way of having a strong relationship with his head coach. At least, that’s what his head coach says.

Matt LaFleur was asked about his relationship with Rodgers during an appearance on ESPN Wisconsin’s “Wilde and Tausch” show Thursday morning, and the Packers coach insisted everything is fine. LaFleur said he and Rodgers have been speaking four times a week.

“We talk four times a week whenever we get those opportunities to meet in those individual meetings, and I feel really good about where we’re at. We both understand that this is a business,” LaFleur said, via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “When that whole thing went down it was just one of those situations where there were a couple of guys that had just previously been picked and Jordan was the next guy on the board.”

One reporter speculated after the draft that LaFleur may have been trying to send a message to Rodgers by picking Jordan Love in the first round, but that doesn’t sound like it was the case. Not only that, but LaFleur may not have even been responsible for the pick.

If anything, Rodgers would probably have a gripe with Green Bay’s front office. That could eventually lead to Brett Favre’s prediction coming true, but Rodgers understands how important it is for him and LaFleur to be on the same page in the short term. With teams already facing so many challenges this offseason, the last thing the Packers need is tension between their quarterback and head coach.

Aaron Rodgers hoping for ‘common sense’ regarding coronavirus response

Aaron Rodgers

There has been a lot of disagreement over whether certain states should loosen stay-at-home restrictions and begin returning to normal life, and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has given us a glimpse into the way he views the controversial topic.

In a conference call with the media on Friday, Rodgers hinted that he is in favor of stay-at-home orders being lifted. He compared quarantine orders to being under “house arrest.”

“I think we all were buying into the idea of quarantine to flatten the curve,” Rodgers said, as transcribed by TMZ. “And, I think there are a lot of questions now that it’s more of a house arrest to find a cure with people wondering exactly what that means as far as the future of the country and the freedoms we’re allowed to have at this point.”

Rodgers said he sees a lot of problems around the country that have been created by fear, and he is hoping people will use “common sense” going forward.

“I think the important thing to think about, though, which is more important than that is the state of the country and the fact that we have 36-plus million people on unemployment right now; you have obviously rising poverty levels to go along with the unemployment, you have suicide hotline is up 8,000 percent,” he added.

Not surprisingly, Rodgers said he is “very hopeful” the NFL season will proceed as scheduled.

While some states have reopened for business more quickly and aggressively than others, it seems like professional sports will resume in the very near future. The governor of California had initially said he did not envision sports resuming during the summer, but the administration indicated on Monday that its stance has changed significantly.

Jordan Love not worried about living up to pressure of draft status

Jordan Love
Jordan Love was taken No. 26 overall in the NFL Draft, and the Green Bay Packers traded up to get him. Combine that with the fact that Love is expected to eventually replace Aaron Rodgers, and the former Utah State quarterback enters the NFL with tons of pressure and expectations. None of that seems to bother Love.

Love spoke with NFL Media’s Omar Ruiz for an interview and was asked if he felt pressure to justify Green Bay’s selection of him. He seems ready to meet the challenge.

“No matter where I would have landed, that was the goal for me. You ought to go out there and prove yourself… It’s a job, you’ve got to be able to keep that,” Love said.

Rodgers spoke on Friday about the pick and admitted he was not “thrilled” about it, but said he did not hold hard feelings towards Love. Green Bay must believe in Love’s talent so much that they wanted to make sure to get him, even if they currently have a very capable quarterback.

Based on his mentality, Love sounds like he will be well-equipped to handle the pressure.

Aaron Rodgers wants to play into his 40s, will not rule out leaving Packers

Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers may be in the early stages of thinking about life after Aaron Rodgers, but that does not mean the Pro Bowl quarterback intends to retire anytime soon.

Rodgers, 36, told reporters in a conference call on Friday that he still plans to play into his 40s.

If Rodgers follows through with that timeline, the Packers could end up having to make an uncomfortable decision. They traded up to draft former Utah State star Jordan Love in the first round of the draft this year, and you don’t do that for a player you envision as a backup quarterback five years down the road. Rodgers will have just turned 40 when his current contract with Green Bay expires after the 2023 season, so that will be the latest point at which the team has to choose between him and Love.

Rodgers also indicated that he would still like to finish his career with the Packers, but he is not ruling out playing elsewhere.

Anyone who watched what unfolded with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots knows you cannot rule out Rodgers playing for another team. While Rodgers has had some injuries in recent years, Brady and Drew Brees have proven that NFL quarterbacks can still play at a high level into their 40s. There’s no reason to think Rodgers can’t do the same if he maintains his passion for the game.

Brett Favre seems to think Rodgers is all but certain to leave Green Bay now, but the Packers may be hoping their decision to draft Love motivates Rodgers the same way the Patriots motivated Brady when they drafted Jimmy Garoppolo back in 2014. Brady went on to lead New England to three Super Bowls after that. If trading up to draft Love lights a fire under Rodgers, it will have been worth it for the Packers.

Aaron Rodgers admits he was not ‘thrilled’ with Jordan Love pick

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers almost certainly would have preferred if the Green Bay Packers used their first-round pick on a player that could help the team immediately, but the star quarterback insists there are no hard feelings over the decision to draft Jordan Love.

Rodgers spoke with reporters on a conference call Friday for the first time since the draft, and he was immediately asked for his opinion on the Packers drafting Love. The two-time NFL MVP said he was “surprised” by the pick and admitted he was not overly excited about it, but he understands why the front office made the decision.

“The general reaction at first was surprise, like many people. Obviously I’m not going to say I was thrilled by the pick necessarily, but I understand,” Rodgers said. “The organization is not only thinking about the present, but about the future. I respect that. I understand their focus and their mindset. Obviously they think he’s such a great talent that they needed to go up and get him. … It’s what those guys are paid to do — to build a roster for now and for the future as well.”

Rodgers made it clear that he is not going to hold the pick against Love, as the former Utah State star had no control over which team selected him.

The fact that Rodgers reached out to Love is a good indicator that he wants the arrangement to work. Rodgers knows from the time he spent playing behind Brett Favre that it can be uncomfortable waiting in the wings behind a franchise icon, so he should have a good understanding of Love’s perspective.

Rodgers also said he still wants to finish his career in Green Bay but understands that is not entirely in his control.

Favre seems to think the Love pick will anger Rodgers to the point where he will want to leave the team. Rodgers is under contract through 2023, but a lot will depend upon how Love develops. If Love gains the confidence of his coaches the same way Rodgers did when he was backing up Favre, it would not be a surprise if Rodgers finishes his career elsewhere.

Brett Favre thinks Aaron Rodgers will leave Packers after Jordan Love selection

Aaron Rodgers

We still haven’t heard directly from Aaron Rodgers since the Green Bay Packers selected his heir apparent in the first round of the NFL Draft. Based on what we are hearing, though, he’s less than thrilled about it.

Former Packers quarterback Brett Favre told “The Rich Eisen Show” Wednesday that he has spoken with Rodgers since Green Bay traded up to select Jordan Love in the first round. Favre said Rodgers was “surprised,” and hinted that there could be drama to come as a result of the pick. Favre even suggested that he sees Rodgers ending his career elsewhere as a result.

In other words, Favre thinks this inspired the exact reaction many thought. Rodgers needed more weapons in his offense. Instead, he got his potential replacement.

Some believe that the Packers were looking for a reaction from Rodgers in drafting Love. If that’s what they wanted, it sure sounds like they might get it.