Daley: Calling the shots

Earpieces essential now, but it wasn't always that way

Rookie quarterback Aaron Rodgers came off Lambeau Field the other night in a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers while the Packers had the ball, second down.

For a few moments, the gents in the press box wondered if he was hurt, but then it was revealed the telephone contraption in his helmet went haywire. He couldn't "get" the plays called into his hat.

That brought a few chuckles from the scribes who a few days earlier had witnessed the induction of two quarterbacks into the Pro Football Hall of Fame - Steve Young of the San Francisco 49ers and Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins.

These two players either called their own plays, or had the signals "motioned" in from somebody on the sidelines. That helmet device was just a dream in their day, but a necessity now.

Bart Starr, the Packers' great Hall of Fame quarterback, must get a chuckle over that helmet thing because Coach Vince Lombardi called him a "coach on the field." Unlike the plays-from-the-bench quarterbacks, Starr called his own signals. He must have called them right because he presided over five NFL championships.

Incidentally, Starr is a great fan of Brett Favre, pointing out "that Brett can throw the ball farther off his wrong foot than I could throw it with a windup." That was a stretch for Bart, who could throw it 40 yards with ease.

Favre surely enjoys getting the plays in his helmet these days, but it's common knowledge he can be very successful with his own called plays. He has an uncanny sense of finding an open receiver, who may not be in the called play.

Art Daley

Editor's Note: Packer Hall of Famer Art Daley is a featured columnist for Packer Report and PackerReport.com. The former Green Bay Press-Gazette sportswriter and sports editor has covered the team since 1941.

If you have a question or comment for Art, e-mail PackerReport.com managing editor Todd Korth at packrepted@aol.com, and your question or comment will be forwarded to him.

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