Sydney Speaks! In the shadow of a legend

In his column today,'s Harry Sydney writes about Aaron Rodgers and the things that must be going through his mind as a top draft pick and backup to Brett Favre.

With the first mini-camp of the Mike McCarthy era over, it's time to evaluate what the Packers did. The players, especially the young ones, got a feel of the practice speed of what it's like in the NFL to a degree, of course because everything changes when the pads are on. Even the coaches got a chance to finally do what they love doing, and that's coach football on the field and in the class room. But what about Aaron Rodgers does it really matter???????

Can you imagine what it's like to be in his shoes. Here's a guy that was drafted as the No. 1 pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2005 and he doesn't know if he will ever see the field and has no control of it. All he's done is work his butt off this off-season, getting in the best shape of his life. He says he's feeling strong and it shows. Not only that but he's been at all the quarterback meetings and all the workouts preparing himself to be the guy when Brett Favre decides to retire, but when will that be?

How long will Rodgers say all the right things in public and then go home and, while in private, curse the day he came to Green Bay. If you think Rodgers enjoys taking most of the snaps at the first mini-camp, then after camp hearing that Favre will not be attending the second one May 19-21, which means he gets the opportunity to sharpen his skills even more, just to sit on the bench for one maybe two more years, well, I got another thing for you. Rodgers is a competitor, but what does that mean when, regardless of what you do, it really doesn't matter?

Speaking of the second mini-camp, I thought things were supposed to be different this time around. Trust me, I like what McCarthy is doing as a head coach, but for Brett to not have to be here for the second mini-camp is ridiculous. Everyone has to be in it together, even the hurt guys need to be at practice to watch what is going on. All for one and one for all. I know it's an old saying, but it still applies.

McCarthy said himself that there are enough changes that everyone needs to start on the same page, but how can that happen if the key leader isn't there? Right, I forgot his stand-in double is here - Aaron Rodgers. I know Favre goes to different standards then everyone else and he has earned the right to some things, such as not being required to talk to the media, maybe a special room when on away games, even missing a practice now and then during the season because of his body just being worn down from all the hits over the years. I understand preserving Brett's career but what about shorting Rodgers? At this pace it may be another two years before he steps on the field without having any real experience playing in the NFL.

I know that everyone believes that Brett gives this team the best chance to win now, and he does. I understand all that, but then again how long is Rodgers willing to wait? Rodgers understands business so he understands just how much money he loses every time Brett takes a snap. Since a lot of Rodgers' contract is tied to incentives for playing time, for example, he'd make more than $1 million if he played 60% of the snaps this year. Rodgers can say it doesn't matter, but you and I are no fools.

Aaron Rodgers is a team player, no question about it. He is sitting behind perhaps one of the best quarterbacks to have ever played the game in Brett Favre, and he's getting the opportunity to learn which is awesome. Not only learn from Brett, but from McCarthy, one of the brightest offensive minds in football. Honestly, I feel sorry for Rodgers because every athlete wants some control of his destiny. They don't want to be a pawn in someone else's game. Aaron keeps getting all dressed up with no dance to go to and the sad thing is that he can't complain about it. What's he going to say, ‘Play me or trade me.' I don't think so. I can imagine last year when he was falling in the draft that he never could have foreseen this happening, but then again he probably wouldn't have been drafted if Ted Thompson knew Brett Favre was going to be the quarterback for at least two years. So to Aaron Rodgers I say it must be tough IN THE SHADOW OF A LEGEND!!!!!!!!!!!

Harry Sydney

Editor's note: Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. If you have a question for Harry, e-mail it to managing editor Todd Korth at, and he will forward it to him.

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