Who is picking on Rodgers, anyway?

Alleged criticisms of quarterback a bunch of nonsense

OK, let's all admit that it's a slow off-season for the Green Bay Packers. The team has re-signed a few key players and signed another guy by the name of Frank Walker, who probably won't amount to more than a dime defensive back for the Packers. It seems that there is so little to talk about, other than Randy Moss, that it has become fashionable by fans and so-called ‘sources' to stir up rumors of potential trades and rip on players that haven't received an opportunity to play on a consistent basis.

Latest example: Aaron Rodgers.

What has this guy done? Today, a reporter from a major publication in Milwaukee spoke with Packers coach Mike McCarthy and asked him about "arenas outside of the Green Bay Packers organization" that have deemed Rodgers as Brett Favre's illegitimate heir apparent. Based on what? The fact that he has played only in blowout situations and, in fact, with a broken foot for most of the second half of a hopeless situation against New England last November?

And who made these allegations? It's not coming from any media who cover the Packers on a regular basis. Who?

For those who feel obligated to write Rodgers off, think again. It's way too early to be judging Rodgers. Give him a chance for crying out loud. He hasn't had an opportunity to prepare as the starter for any games in his two seasons in Green Bay. He has gotten time to play in the preseason, but that's an unfair platform for the most part because most of the guys around him are rarely with the team when the regular season begins. During the season, his reps in practice are minimal at best.

The media that has covered the Packers on a consistent basis have yet to rip on Rodgers, so where are these so-called "arenas" outside of the Packers organization? Most likely on message boards and chat rooms, which is fine for fans to speculate about, but there is no basis for a reporter to question McCarthy about the alleged issue.

McCarthy, of course, defended Rodgers by saying, "I don't understand and really care, because I don't know where it's being generated from, but the negativity toward Aaron Rodgers . . . usually your backup quarterback is on scholarship for a couple years and everyone loves him," McCarthy said. "For whatever reason, he's had a couple situations where people are trying to get after him.

"I've been in the position before with young quarterbacks. I'm very pleased where he's at right now. He's getting better."

McCarthy didn't have to say anything, but he did, which is fine. He's a good guy. It would be even better if fans and these so-called ‘arenas' would get over the idea that the Packers are going to trade Rodgers away. Sure, anything is possible with any player, but there has been absolutely no indication by the Packers that they will be parting with their 2005 first-round pick at anytime soon. Leave it at that, and let's hold back our judgment on Rodgers until he gets a real opportunity to perform.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.

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