Aaron Rodgers: Healthy, Happy and Hungry for 2014

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Aaron Rodgers wants another Lombardi Trophy in 2014.

When Aaron Rodgers speaks, Green Bay Packers fans listen.

In two recent interviews, one with Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette and the other with Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Rodgers made some comments that should have fans giddy with excitement about the upcoming Packers season and also about the quarterback himself.

The first thing that really stood out in both interviews is that Rodgers seems to be very happy and content with where he is in life. For a player who has a made a name for himself playing with a chip on his shoulder, this is a big change.

In the interview with Vandermause, Rodgers said, “I think I feel good about where I’m at in my career and then also in my life that I’m going to live my life and deal with whatever comes and be comfortable. I think that’s the biggest thing. … Now I’m settling into my place in this league and my place off the field.”

Regarding the infamous chip on Rodgers’ shoulder, he said via the conversation with Dunne that he now knows he’s proven a lot of his “initial critics” wrong and now it’s about “proving to myself and my teammates that I can continue to be the best every day.”

For a player who always had the urge to prove people wrong, this is huge. Rodgers now knows he not just belongs among the NFL elite but also that he is universally placed there by his peers. He expects to remain there for the rest of his career.

The second thing that raises some eyebrows in both interviews is how excited Rodgers is about the 2014 team.

In the interview with Dunne, when asked how much separates the Packers from the San Francisco 49ers, Rodgers give a short yet pointed reply: “Not much.”

Short answers from Rodgers usually implies anger. Packers fans know what happens when Rodgers is angry. It’s clear the quarterback has had it up to here with getting beat by the 49ers. You’d have to think Rodgers would love to get yet another shot at his childhood team in the playoffs come January.

Regarding the 2014 team, Rodgers is excited about the addition of Julius Peppers to the defense and the return of many injured players from last season to health including Casey Hayward and Bryan Bulaga.

Rodgers told reporters earlier in the week the team has a “different feel” and a “hunger” to it. That’s something some have pointed out the Packers haven’t had since they won Super Bowl XLV following the 2010 season.

If one thing is clear from both interviews, it’s that Rodgers is healthy, happy and hungry. Since he just turned 30, Rodgers is now in the prime of his career. He realizes that and seems ready to capitalize on it.

Rodgers is now entering “Phase Two” of his potential Hall of Fame career. With a reloaded receiveing unit and new pieces on defense, the Packers have another open window before them. Rodgers will leap through that window.

The fun has only just begun for Aaron Rodgers.

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com.

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  • Big T

    Only thing that stops Rodgers from the Hall of Fame is injury. Otherwise it is guaranteed.

    • Since ’61

      Absolutely! The only thing that has stopped this team, not only Rodgers, is injuries. Looking forward to being injury free in 2014. We’ll see. Let’s get through camp and pre-season first. Go pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

      • Jeff

        Injury free is way too much to hope for.This is still the NFL. Lets just hope they are kept to a minimum, and no season ending ones for key players.

  • packett

    ‘Regarding the infamous chip on Rodgers’ shoulder

    Is a collarbone part of the shoulder? Would be infamous alright.

    yah, I know what you meant.

    • BradHTX

      Anatomically speaking, yes: the clavicle is considered part of the shoulder girdle.

  • http://grizzlymitch@bresnan.net grizzlymitch

    Hell, I’m healthy, happy and hungry for the season too and I live in Montana. In June, we definitely look like a championship team. Luck with keep us healthy. Preparation and effort will bring the trophy home.

  • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

    Everyone is excited about their team’s chances in June. But come January, 6 out of 10 of the “contenders” will be the regular faces, with the remaining 4 those on the outside (at least in the past 10 years) who’ve had a great season for one reason or another.

    I fully expect GB, NE, DEN, SF, SEA, and NO to be in the playoffs.

    The other 4 are up for grabs. And we all know – once you get in to the dance anything can happen…

    GO PACK GO!

  • Archie

    Aaron is the reason for believin’!

    Offense is restocked.

    Defense remains work in progress.

    If Peppers, Neal, Perry and Jones have big years, it will be a vintage year for Packer fans. That’s a big IF but certainly possible.

    • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

      Who knew you could ever be positive?

  • GBPDAN

    I too am excited about this team. We have to get through this season relatively injury free. It just seems to me that the law of averages should work in our favor as far a 2014 and injuries. The Packers have had their share of injuries and it’s time to get through a season healthy.

    I was a little worried about Rodgers dating Olivia Munn. I don’t know if he’s in love because love can effect people and their performance , especially if there’s a bump in the relationship. Rodgers seems to level headed to let a woman effect his game

    • Tarynfor12

      “I was a little worried about Rodgers dating Olivia Munn. I don’t know if he’s in love because love can effect people and their performance , especially if there’s a bump in the relationship. Rodgers seems to level headed to let a woman effect his game.”

      Seriously,there is no other way to take this….

      http://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c21XqRnkMn

  • Berdj J. Rassam

    Aaron Rodgers can only do so much, as has been proven again and again. The Packers need a better running game, and an even better defense for the Packers to have a realistic shot at the Super Bowl.

    • Stroh

      Better running game? Did you even watch last year as Lacy was running against 8 or 9 man fronts w Rodgers out? They dtill finished #8 in the NFL!

      The D if reasonably healthy should be top 10, possibly top 5 if one or 2 players step up.

      Are you an uninformed viqueens fan or something?

    • Big T

      The running game has more than enough to make and win the Super Bowl.

    • Chad Lundberg

      6 of the 8 top running games in the NFL all have running QB’s, like Michael Vick, Geno Smith, Colin Kaeperdick, Russell Wilson, Christian Ponder, and RGIII. Those teams would all rank below GB without their star running QB’s. On top of that, Lacy will continue to develop and Harris is coming back. We have arguably the best run game in the NFL.

      • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

        I wouldn’t go that far Chad. We have a top 10 running game. Which is more than enough with our passing prowess.

      • BradHTX

        Christian Ponder is considered a “running QB”? I had never heard that. Except, you know, when he’s running from Clay Matthews…

  • AP 28

    Your defense still has Raji, Hawk, Jones and Carol Burnett. Doesn’t matter how Aaron feels….can’t outscore everybody come playoff time. Especially Seatlle. Just a playoff hi and bye team. All on your exuberant GM, braindead Tead

    • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

      Who is it your defense has on it? At least the Packers, starters on IR, missing Rodgers for half the season still made the Playoffs. The Vikings? That’s what I thought, NOTHING!

  • John Zoul

    AP 28…The four you just mentioned all had mediocre seasons last year or average, at best…Am hoping the switch of Raji to NT, the arrival of Clinton-Dix, and hopefully the emergence of Bradford, Barrington, and others will help to dramatically improve the Defense…Also, I like the skillset Peppers brings to the team…Am optimistically looking for a top ten defense this year…Let’s hope I am not disappointed this season…

    • BradHTX

      Are you seriously trying to talk sense to a trolling Vikings fan? You’d be more successful trying to talk my dog out of sniffing other dogs’ butts!

      Hmm… Vikings fan, dog’s butt. There’s a nice unintentional symmetry there.

      • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

        I bet we don’t hear a peep from AP28 once the season starts. After spending 15 years in Minneapolis, I noticed Queens fans do their talking in June and shut their mouths by September.

  • big o

    A healthy Rodgers is a danger to any team and that includes SF and Seatlle my gut fealing is that the defence will be much, much better and that is going to be hell for all the teams we play!! can’t wait!!!!

  • Rossoneri83

    I PERSONALLY HOPE HE KEEPS THAT CHIP ON HIS SHOULDER. Whatever has been making him mad has worked up to this point. I hope “content” does not equal “complacent.”

    I like how he gave a terse answer about the difference between the Packers and 49ers. Despite my concerns, I think we all know that Rodgers is a very competitive guy who hates losing and loves to stick it to his rivals. He will deliver in 2014 in a big way.

  • WKUPackFan

    I feel blessed to have Aaron Rodgers as the QB of the Green Bay Packers.

  • KW

    Yeah … I too have a really good feeling about this year’s team. It would be a nice legacy for Rodgers if they could roll into 2 SBs in a row!