The Green Bay Packers lost just one game in 2011 despite the fact that they had one of the league’s worst rushing attacks. The Packers ranked 27th in rushing yards per game, with an average of fewer than 100 yards per outing, but they got by on the arm of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
This year, Rodgers says the Packers have to establish a running game to keep defenses honest. It could be tough with projected starter James Starks going down with turf toe. Green Bay now likely has to look at starting veteran Cedric Benson to open the season.
Aaron Rodgers joined ESPN Milwaukee with Homer and Thunder to discuss his first two exhibition games, how his life has changed in his rise to fame, the need to run the ball better and a recent Deadspin article about him that he says is not true.
How do you feel the first two exhibition games have gone?:
“I think we accomplished some things we wanted to accomplish. I think, for a starter, the goal for the preseason is to stay healthy and have a feeling, coming out of the last game, that you’re ready for the regular season. I think we’re getting close to that on offense. We’ve had some no-huddle drives and had some success and moved the ball pretty well.”
How has life changed for you through your rise to fame?:
“Life’s changed a little bit, but I still like to do the things that I like to do. I still shop at Piggly Wiggly and enjoy that. … I don’t really change my schedule too much in Green Bay, but I think in the offseason I do enjoy the opportunities to go to places where I can be normal and not be recognized as frequently, but I haven’t changed too many things.”
It seems like you guys are putting emphasis on running the ball better, but didn’t you guys have one of the best offenses without have a great ground game last year?:
“I think you just have to have at least a little bit of a threat at it, because we do a lot of play-action, movement game, where we’re breaking and rolling out or just play action and throwing timing routes and the defense has to respect it enough to suck up a little bit on the fake and give you some good throwing lanes. Sometimes you can do that by just having a big-name back in there and sometimes you need to be effective doing it. We’re going to have to prove that we can run the ball.”
On Ryan Riddle’s recent article about Rodgers’ life on Deadspin:
“That was a ridiculous article and very disappointing to see something come out like that because the majority of the facts, as stated by him in that article, are not true. And just to double-check on a lot of them, I talked to my roommate at Cal just to make sure I wasn’t completely off base and he agreed how ridiculous that article was. It’s sad that people who have some information about me can go out there and right stuff as if it’s true. … I’m not sure what his desire was in that article because the majority of it did not have a lot of truth in it.”
More on the article:
“He’s writing stuff in there as if he hung out with us and was this socialite guy when he was the one that was sitting in his room the entire time and didn’t really hang out with the three of us. … It was four of us in two rooms. Me and the guy I roomed with are still really close friends and the guy he was rooming with, we were at his wedding and keep in touch and nobody really talks to him, so I don’t know what his desire was.”