Going to school this spring has been to Aaron Rodgers' liking.
In the midst of Year 2 as the Packers' man under center, Rodgers has found a happy balance between engrossing himself on weekdays in the quarterback school popularized by coach Mike McCarthy and being in the social limelight on weekends.
Rodgers has put himself out there for paparazzi to photograph him out on the strip in Las Vegas, as well as jet-setting to the Kentucky Derby and other hot spots across the country.
The brief getaways haven't infringed on Rodgers' preparations for the upcoming football season, however.
He has been an astute pupil in the position classroom at Lambeau Field since quarterback school began March 16, coinciding with the start of the Packers' offseason program.
After performing better than many expected in his first NFL season as a starter in 2008, Rodgers earned the trust of McCarthy and quarterbacks coach Tom Clements to have a greater voice in the game plan.
"Tom has given me an opportunity to help out, to insert my own thoughts and words and ideas and things I think about in those meetings," Rodgers told Milwaukee's WTMJ-TV recently when he played in Packers free-agent right tackle Mark Tauscher's charity golf outing.
Rodgers and backups Matt Flynn and Brian Brohm have spent numerous hours with Clements the last two months. They have watched video of every play executed by the Packers offense in games last season, pored over the offensive installations for this offseason, studied defensive fronts and coverages, and given input on plays they want to keep in the playbook and those they would like McCarthy to throw out.
While acknowledging that he and McCarthy butted heads on occasion last season, when the Packers floundered to a 6-10 record, Rodgers said their alliance is rock solid this year.
"The biggest growth this offseason has been with Mike and I's relationship," Rodgers said. "We were already close, but I feel like there's even more of a trust between the two of us. He sees how hard I work and how bad I want to win, and I see how hard he works."
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Bill also is giving Facebook and Twitter a try. Find him on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook.