Camp Preview: Top Concern at QB

What can Aaron Rodgers do for an encore? History shows it's a big challenge for a defending Super Bowl-champion quarterback.

What can Aaron Rodgers do for an encore?

Rodgers faces a mighty challenge. As Super Bowl champion — Super Bowl MVP, no less — Rodgers will be put under the microscope unlike any other player in the league. The Bears, who lost to the Packers in the NFC Championship Game, and the Lions, who look like a team ready to challenge in the NFC North, no doubt spent extra time examining the top gun in the division. Ditto for the Saints, who will face the Packers in Week 1 in a matchup for early bragging rights in the conference playoff chase, and the Falcons, who face the Packers in Week 5 and were obliterated by Rodgers in the playoffs.

The Saints, Bears (Week 3) and Falcons make up three of the Packers' first five games. Thus, it quickly will be apparent whether the rest of the league has figured out Rodgers to some degree.

Over the last several years, it's been a mixed ba for Super Bowl-champion quarterbacks.

Super Bowl XLIV: The Saints' Drew Brees went from 11 interceptions in 2009 to 22 in 2010.

Super Bowl XLIII: The Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger was brilliant in 2009, with his passer rating surging 20 points to 100.5, but he went from 12 wins to nine.

Super Bowl XLII: The Giants' Eli Manning was another exception, cutting his interception total from 20 in 2007 to 10 in 2008.

Super Bowl XLI: The Colts' Peyton Manning threw a career-low nine interceptions in his Super season of 2006 but 14 in 2007.

Super Bowl XL: The Steelers' Roethlisberger went from nine interceptions in 2005 to a career-worst 23 in 2006. His passer rating went from 98.6 to a horrid 75.4.

"Production-wise, Aaron has really put together three consistent seasons," McCarthy said. "He is at the point in his game that the game has slowed down for him. But now people are going to study him even more now that they have three years of information on him. There is going to be a plan to play Aaron Rodgers, just like everybody feels they have a plan to play the top quarterbacks. So, he is going to have to answer that call every week."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.


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