Former Monday Night football commentator and Brett Favre aficionado Tony Kornheiser may only focus on a different era of the Green Bay Packers, but I’m not looking back. I’m a cheesehead – it’s really the only team that I care about – and Aaron Rodgers is my leader. Admittedly, I was skeptical when Rodgers was taken. Not because “we” already had #4, but because it was a first round pick and Jeff Tedford-taught quarterbacks, especially those with significant injury questions, scared me. It appears I was wrong. Rodgers is just quirky and different enough (see interview below) and had the right amount of seasoning to make it all work.
Given three years to learn the game and the system, Rodgers has been tremendous as a starter over the last two seasons, totaling 8,472 yards and 58 TDs to just 20 interceptions in the last 32 games. He’s also been surprisingly mobile. Unfortunately, he has had to be. Despite rushing 58 times for 316 yards and five touchdowns, Rodgers was still sacked a league-high 50 times in 2009. The team drafted offensive tackle Brian Bulaga in the first round to help protect Rodgers. Who knows what he will be able to do in the future with more time in the pocket and more time in general? One thing is for sure, he is our leader – and I am totally cool with that. Aaron Rodgers joined Homer on ESPN Radio Milwaukee to discuss Tony Kornheiser, ESPN analysts, his top five quarterbacks, LeBron James, and his bobblehead.
On Tony Kornheiser:
“You know who was better than Tony Kornheiser? Dennis Miller was ten times better. Dennis Miller was a great comedian, but one of the worst Monday Night Football guys ever. And he was ten times better than Tony Kornheiser. His stuff was actually funny. Tony stuff wasn’t funny at all. He did no research. We’d sit in those production meetings and he would add absolutely nothing to the conversation. I’d be like, ‘What are we doing here? This is stupid.’… You get in there with Tony and he’s asking you all these dumb questions that have no application to the game you are playing or anything you are doing. He’s terrible… I don’t think he’s funny. I don’t think he’s insightful. I don’t think knows anything about sports.”
On who he listens to or talks to whose analysis he respects:
“A good starting point is if you have played in the league and had some success. I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about guys on ESPN and stuff like that. (Editor: What about Ron Jaworski?) I like him, but, when I was coming out, he did the worst segment in the history of TV about me talking about my fundamentals. It was not even close to anywhere near my fundamentals. The first time I met him, someone introduced me to him and I said, ‘Yeah I know him. He’s the guy who ripped me before the draft.’ The rest of the night he told me how great I was. I was like, ‘I know your song and dance.’ And now he loves me. I like Trent. He does a good job. He’s had success at the position. You look at Marcellus Wiley up there talking about quarterback play. The guy was a defensive end for a few years in the league. He’s not any good.”
On his top five quarterbacks (not including himself):
“Tom Brady is the best by far. It’s not even close. Drew Brees has got to be right there. Tony Romo’s a good player. I’ll take Philip Rivers there. And Peyton, he’s right there. No order except for Tom being the best. He does things that other guys can’t do. His pocket presence is better than those guys by far. He throws a better ball than just about all those guys. He’s a winner – better than all those guys.”
On the difference in the Saints last year:
“Gregg Williams coming in with that defense and Darren Sharper coming in and playing at such a high level. I think that was the difference. He (Brees) had worse stats than the year before when he threw for 5,000 some yards. I think the defense played a lot better and got more turnovers for them. That made the difference.”
On where LeBron James should go:
“The best spot for him – he might go here – but the best spot would be the LA Clippers. The Kobe-LeBron LA battle. The Clippers that are a very profitable team that doesn’t spend a whole lot of money. He needs a Jordan-type team… Give him a couple shooters, a Baron Davis, a Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin… What a better challenge than to take a team that has done nothing in the league forever and take them to the top?”
And on his bobblehead:
“My bobblehead has this chinstrap beard that I’ve actually never worn in my entire life – and never would wear.”