In a zone

If ironman Brett Favre were to sustain an injury that would require him to miss some time this season, the Green Bay Packers are in good hands with Aaron Rodgers. The team's first-round pick from a year ago is stronger, more confident and, at times, has performed better than Favre during practices in training camp this year.

Rodgers was 11-of-23 for 92 yards and a touchdown with no sacks in the team's intra-squad scrimmage on Saturday. It didn't help Rodgers' numbers, however, that his receivers dropped a handful of passes that were on the mark.

Rodgers stayed in Green Bay during the off-season, participating in the team's 13-week workout program and also attending coach Mike McCarthy's quarterback school. The weight room and class room work have given the California product a much better understanding of the offense and a higher comfort level when lining up behind center.

"What a difference a year makes," Rodgers said. "The comfort level, the confidence level, the patience level, grasp of the offense, it's all that."

Rodgers ran the No. 2 offense against the No. 1 defense and directed a 15-play, 75-yard drive in his third series, which culminated with a 5-yard scoring pass to Marc Boerigter. It was one of three fourth-down plays Rodgers converted for first downs in the drive. He connected with tight end Donald Lee for 20 yards and lofted a 30-yard pass to receiver Ruvell Martin.

"He threw the ball very well. I thought he gave the receivers opportunities," McCarthy said. "I like the way he was coming off his back foot, and the ball was coming out of there quick. He's definitely reached a confidence level and played with a lot of urgency. I'm excited about him."

Rodgers' only blemish was a downfield heave that was intercepted by safety Marviel Underwood in the final seconds of a two-minute drill.

Rodgers' play in the scrimmage was no fluke. In practices, he has shown an ability to make a long throw downfield or a touch pass to the corner of the end zone, like he threw to tight end Bubba Franks in practice on Monday night.

Favre is clearly the starter, but Rodgers has proven in training camp that he is clearly a capable backup with a bright future ahead of him.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of and Packer Report. E-mail him at

Packer Report Top Stories