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#pounditSunday, September 19, 2021

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers talks being away from Shailene Woodley during season

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers and his fiancee Shailene Woodley were able to spend plenty of time together during the pandemic, which they said is one of the reasons their relationship progressed so quickly. With the 2021 season set to begin, the couple will be apart much more often. Rodgers insists that is not a problem.

In an interview with Haute Living that was published on Thursday, Rodgers said he believes being 2,000 miles away from his future wife will be a “good thing.”

“It’s a busy work time for her, so (me returning to Green Bay) probably came at a good time for both of us to be able to focus on our work,” Rodgers said. “I think it’s going to be a good thing. I mean, her work was shut down for an entire year , and she’s booked a number of projects. She enjoys working and her own routine, which I obviously enjoy, too.”

Woodley and Rodgers have no plans to set a wedding date yet. The actress explained earlier this year how dating during a pandemic led to things moving quickly for her and Rodgers. Now, they will get to experience what a more “normal” relationship is like for an athlete-celebrity couple.

Rodgers made Green Bay Packers fans uneasy when he was living it up in Hawaii with Woodley rather than practicing at OTAs. He ultimately worked out a deal with the team to return. Time will tell if being away from his Los Angeles-based fiancee proves to be tougher than he imagined.

Aaron Rodgers raves about Randall Cobb’s training camp performance

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers lobbied the Green Bay Packers hard to bring back wide receiver Randall Cobb, and it sounds like it’s been well worth it to the veteran quarterback.

In a recent appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers raved about Cobb’s performance so far in training camp, noting that his performance justified Rodgers’ demands.

“There’s so many new people around here that weren’t here in ’18 and before that saw Randall as a young player,” Rodgers said. “But anybody that hasn’t been around him, there’s been so many moments throughout camp where you’re like, ‘Whoa. Whoa, that was really f—ing smart,’ or ‘Whoa, that was an amazing play,’ or ‘Wow, he’s still athletically super-gifted,’ or ‘I’ve never seen a shallow cross run that precisely.'”

“There’s been like one thing every single day that he’s done that a lot of people have said, ‘Wow, that’s why 12 wanted him so bad. That’s why he’s going to be an important part of what we’re doing.”

The Packers have essentially admitted that it was Rodgers’ influence that led to Cobb’s return. Rodgers seems entirely happy to take credit for that, and there’s a bit of I-told-you-so in his comments. That could be because he has other ex-teammates in mind that he wants back, and he would like the Packers to listen.

Cobb will have to keep it up in the regular season. If he does, Rodgers probably won’t hesitate to continue vocally praising one of his favorite receivers.

Jets’ James Morgan gets shoutout from idol Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers

New York Jets quarterback James Morgan grew up in suburban Green Bay watching Aaron Rodgers star for the Packers. When the two got to practice against each other this week, Rodgers apparently took notice of the second-year Jets quarterback.

On Thursday, Rodgers shared a picture of himself with Morgan after the Jets and Packers took part in a joint practice in Green Bay. Rodgers even shouted Morgan out as “Green Bay’s own.”

Jets starting quarterback Zach Wilson admitted that both he and Morgan were Rodgers fanboys, and were a bit starstruck seeing the Packers quarterback in person. It kind of shows in Morgan’s big smile.

Morgan was a fourth-round pick by the Jets in the 2020 draft. The 24-year-old is battling for a spot on New York’s roster as one of Wilson’s backups.

Could Aaron Rodgers still end up as ‘Jeopardy!’ host?

Aaron Rodgers Jeopardy

One of the subplots of Aaron Rodgers’ dramatic offseason involved him publicly campaigning to become the new host of “Jeopardy!”. The Green Bay Packers quarterback didn’t get the gig, but may now have a second shot at the job.

The syndicated quiz show ultimately gave the hosting job to executive producer Mike Richards. However, Richards announced Friday that he would step down from the role over controversial comments he previously made on his podcast. That means the job is open again.

Coincidentally, Rodgers said on SiriusXM’s “Mad Dog Sports Radio” on Thursday that he “definitely” would have taken the “Jeopardy!” job had it been offered to him, as long as everyone involved found a way to make it work with his schedule.

Could “Jeopardy!” give Rodgers a second look now that the spot is available again? That isn’t clear. The show announced that it would return once again to using guest hosts until a new permanent host is named. It has not been revealed who is in the running for either role.

By most accounts, Rodgers did legitimately impress the show’s producers when he guest-hosted earlier in 2021. The show’s taping schedule is fairly limited, so he could theoretically find the time to host while simultaneously continuing his NFL career. For now, there are no hints regarding whether or not Rodgers is even being considered, but it might be something to watch again going forward.

Zach Wilson admitted he was starstruck by Aaron Rodgers

Zach Wilson

One might not think that an NFL quarterback would be starstruck by one of his peers, even as a rookie. That’s not the case for New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson, though.

The Jets and Green Bay Packers faced off in a joint practice Wednesday, meaning Wilson got a good look at his idol, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Wilson said both he and his second-year backup James Morgan, a Green Bay native, are massive Rodgers fanboys.

“James is a big fanboy. He was getting a little nervous,” Wilson said, via Rich Cimini of ESPN. “I’m a big fanboy too. We all have to kind of pretend like we’ve been there before. We’re enjoying just being out here and being able to talk to him.

“We’re all technically at the same level now — we’re all in the NFL — but we’re all still kind of like, ‘You know what? That’s Aaron Rodgers. That’s kind of crazy.”

Wilson did get some one-on-one time with Rodgers, and said the Packers quarterback offered him some tips on orchestrating a two-minute drill. The Jets rookie added he was taking mental notes watching Rodgers practice.

The Jets have a lot of faith in Wilson, and probably won’t mind him emulating Rodgers. If Wilson turns out anywhere near as good, they’ll have a franchise quarterback on their hands.

Packers reporter hilariously trolls Aaron Rodgers over roster criticisms

Aaron Rodgers

There are differing opinions over how justified Aaron Rodgers is in his anger at the Green Bay Packers’ front office, particularly over roster moves. It does seem, however, that Rodgers can have a laugh about it in the right setting.

Rodgers has a history of picking out lesser-known players in camp that he thinks stand out. In 2020, he singled out wide receiver Jake Kumerow for praise during camp. Kumerow was later released, which infuriated Rodgers. Kumerow ended up landing with the Buffalo Bills, where his only catch of the entire season was a 22-yard touchdown reception in a blowout win in Week 15.

This year, Rodgers again singled out a little-known player for praise. This year it was tight end Bronson Kaufusi, a third-round pick in 2016 who was drafted as a defensive end and bounced around the league for five years. The Packers brought him in this offseason and converted him to tight end, but it was his attitude that impressed Rodgers, who told Peter King of Football Morning in America that Kaufusi is “one of the happiest guys ever.”

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, who covers the Packers, couldn’t help but troll Rodgers on Wednesday by joking that he was looking forward to seeing what Kaufusi does on the Bills in 2021. It was enough to get a laugh out of the quarterback.

At least Rodgers seems to be in a better mood than he was during this landmark press conference. As long as he doesn’t get too attached to Kaufusi, things should be fine on this front.

Aaron Rodgers offers big hint about relationship with Packers GM

Aaron Rodgers

Not long after it became clear that Aaron Rodgers was unhappy with the Green Bay Packers, reports began piling up that he was most frustrated with general manager Brian Gutekunst. There is no reason to doubt that, especially after hearing Rodgers’ latest comments on the situation.

Rodgers spoke with Peter King of NBC Sports about his tumultuous offseason, and he was asked about his relationship with Gutekunst. He said he’s more concerned with the dynamic between him and his teammates and Packers team staffers.

“I have a really good relationship with the staff. Once you get into the football season, those are the most important relationships because you’re talking with them every day,” Rodgers said. “I’ve always had a good relationship with (head coach Matt LaFleur) when it comes to play-calling and installs and stuff I like. Then obviously having (offensive coordinator Nathaniel) Hackett, who’s a close friend, in the room, and (passing game coordinator Luke) Getsy. Those are the most important relationships.”

Rodgers then said he leaves “space and optimism for growth and change” with regard to Gutekunst. That would seem to indicate that the two are not on good terms.

“But, you know, at this point, my focus is just on the football staff and making sure those conversations and communication are right going into the season,” Rodgers added.

There was talk at one point that Rodgers would only play this season if the Packers fired Gutekunst. While that may have been an exaggeration, it is clear that he does not think highly of the GM.

Gutekunst tried to make Rodgers happy by bringing back Randall Cobb this offseason, but he is not caving to all of the reigning MVP’s demands. The Packers have stood by their GM despite the Rodgers drama, and we wouldn’t expect that to change going forward.

Aaron Rodgers hints at next ex-teammate he wants Packers to bring back

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers has used his leverage to convince the Green Bay Packers to bring back one former teammate in Randall Cobb. It seems like he might be willing to do it again based on his social media activity.

On Friday, Cobb posted a picture of former Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, hinting at a desire to play with him again. Rodgers took it a step further, sharing the post on Instagram with the caption “bring him back.”

Packers guard David Bakhtiari also shared the post, which prompted a response from Matthews.

It’s not completely clear whether Rodgers is serious or not, but you wouldn’t put it past him. He already pushed the Packers to re-acquire Cobb essentially out of nowhere. That said, they might just be having a little fun here.

As for Matthews, the 35-year-old did not play for any team in 2020, though he seemed to have interest in doing so. He collected eight sacks in 2019 with the Los Angeles Rams, his most recent NFL season.

Aaron Rodgers teases Packers reporter over his Crocs style

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers had some fun teasing a reporter over the man’s Crocs-wearing style at Green Bay Packers camp on Tuesday.

Matt Schneidman, who covers the Packers for The Athletic, tweeted Tuesday morning that he was “getting bullied” by Rodgers for wearing Crocs with socks. Schneidman was obviously joking around, because he joked that the Packers should consider internal discipline for the quarterback.

Rodgers responded back on Twitter with a GIF from “The Hangover.”

Another Packers quarterback got in on the fun. Kurt Benkert praised Schneidman for at least having his Crocs in “sport mode.” Crocs have various “modes” based on the placement of the band.

Schneidman probably never thought in a million years that his tweet would end up becoming internet fodder, but here we are. You have to love football season.

We know someone else who would never stand for Crocs on a football field, that’s for sure.

Aaron Rodgers unlikely to play in preseason

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers may have some catching up to do with the Green Bay Packers after he held out prior to training camp, but that does not mean the reigning NFL MVP is going to get reps during preseason games.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has confirmed that Jordan Love will start Saturday’s preseason game against the Houston Texans. He said Rodgers won’t play in that game and likely will sit out the entire preseason, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.

That is not a huge surprise, as the Packers don’t want to risk having Rodgers suffer an injury in a preseason game. He also does not need the extra reps at this point in his career, though it’s worth noting that not all teams are taking the same approach with their veteran quarterbacks. Bruce Arians said on Monday that Tom Brady will likely play in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ first preseason game.

Rodgers and the Packers have reached an agreement for the 2021 season, and all indications are that they will part ways after that. The quarterback recently offered a lengthy explanation for why he has been unhappy in Green Bay.