Cory’s Corner: Aaron Rodgers’ toughness cannot be questioned

Ever since Aaron Rodgers came to the Packers in 2005 the biggest knock on him was his toughness.

Of course it didn’t help that he was following the toughest player to put on NFL pads. Brett Favre started a record 321 straight games — 297 in the regular season and 24 in the playoffs. Favre was, and still is, the metaphor for toughness in all of sports.

So it’s understood that Rodgers could not catch a break in the toughness department.

And then Sunday happened.

Rodgers came into the season finale with a calf injury that he suffered at Tampa the previous week. Even though he obviously wasn’t 100 percent, everyone knew he was going to play. The Packers needed this game to guarantee a postseason matchup at home.

And he looked fine, until the 2:24 mark of the second quarter. He hit the Lambeau Field turf like a wheel of cheddar. But before he hit the ground, he was able to zip a 4-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb to put the Packers up by 14.

After that, Rodgers was carted off the field. The most important position in all of sports is quarterback and Rodgers is the best quarterback in football. So, it makes sense if the Lambeau faithful were starting to wonder if a deep playoff run was still in the cards for a Packers team that scored 30 or more points eight times this year.

Then, Matt Flynn came in. The talent disparity that was on display when Rodgers missed seven games with a broken clavicle last year, showed itself again. Flynn attempted two passes. One was caught by Eddie Lacy for six yards and the other was a sack for a loss of seven.

Rodgers strolled back onto the field with a victorious swagger. His playground became even more electric when the “MVP” chants started to echo throughout the Lambeau Field hallways.

He came back in the game with 7:34 left in the third and the score knotted at 14. The Lions just scored and appeared to have grabbed momentum. Rodgers didn’t attempt a pass until his fourth play back, but it turned out great. He had no mobility with his bad left calf, which meant he threw a lot of balls off his back foot, but he found Cobb over the middle that he turned into 29 yards.

After skipping to the line of scrimmage to avoid putting weight on his bad leg, he found Cobb for a 13-yard touchdown three plays later.

But it was the quarterback sneak that cemented his status as a tough quarterback. After engineering an eight-play, 41-yard drive on a noticeably bad wheel, Rodgers called his own number and awkwardly got into the south end zone. Ironically, that’s the same end zone that Bart Starr snuck himself into for the “Ice Bowl” win 47 years earlier. The gutsy call turned Rodgers into a hero and gave the Packers at least one more home game.

“He came out and showed that he’s more than just a good mind and a good brain; he’s a tough son of a gun,” fullback John Kuhn said. “To be able to do that, I know he strengthens everybody. Everybody, when you see what he did, you can’t help but lay everything else out on the line yourself because you the guy who’s leading this team is doing just that.”

Rodgers’ toughness could have been questioned before. But after hopping around Lambeau on one healthy leg, he instantly became another Packers definition of toughness.


Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn


29 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: Aaron Rodgers’ toughness cannot be questioned

    1. Agreed, Rodgers is better, but Favre was tougher. Took Rodgers 7 weeks to heal from a clavicle fracture. Most Qb’s play in 3-4 weeks after the same injury. Also, Favre would’ve finished the game with the fractured clavicle. Favre took some hits that most men would still be laying on the turf. Favre was dumber than a box of rocks but tough as nails. If Favre lost a finger on his throwing hand he would tape it back on and finish the game. Rodgers is the superior QB in every aspect except toughness. Rodgers girly friend came to him at halftime and rubbed on his calf and promised him something special after the game if he went out and won one for her. So yeah that’s motivation…

      1. I concur Big T, Favre is a Meat Head. He was once asked How many feet are in a yard? His reply “That depends on how many people you have in your backyard”

      2. The names of those QBs coming back in 3 to 4 weeks from a broken collarbone would be helpful. The normal recovery time for anyone is 6 weeks, and that’s the minimum (personal experience is involved here). Foles went out for the year. The idea that AR should have come back earlier is ill-informed.

          1. Tony Room suffered a broken clavicle Oct. 25, 2010, against the Giants. Romo didn’t play again (replaced by Kitna) and was placed on IR Dec. 21, 2010. Room played only 6 games in 2010.

  1. Yes, Favre was tough but he’ll pay for it the rest of his life. He already looks 10 years older (67) than his real age which I believe is 56 or 57 not sure. Favre is real and he’s tough like his Wranglers. I do commend him for that.

    Aaron Rodgers is built Ford tough according to the commercials. He knows when to step on the gas and knows when to shut the truck off and let the mechanics deal with any issues rather than going nonstop and not checking the dipstick (like Favre).

    I’ll take Rodgers though any day over Favre. I prefer smart to tough. That’s just me. You can’t go wrong with either. Well, yes you can with Favre. Never mind.

        1. Yeah. I hope I’m wrong, but I bet he wont be around at 65. He beat the hell out of his brain and body for 25 years between football and substance abuse. 🙁

  2. The NFL under Goodell is a farce:
    Suh gets to play but it’s a $70,000 fine. So imagine if this were the real world. The judge says that’s 10 years in the slammer for attempted murder. Oh wait, you got money. Hey, no problem. That will be $500,000 and you’re good to go.
    OK – so maybe it’s ok if the Lions win.

    1. Montana, believe me, I tried as well but the majority people here are just too scared to talk about it.

    2. I’m GLAD that Suh gets to play…

      1) It takes away any cry-baby excuses that the Lions might have after they lose, and

      2) If DET can pull off an upset vs. DAL I think that’s good for GB in a number of different ways.

    3. LOL. I just saw that USA Today is actually running a story titled: “Is Ndamukong Suh a dirty player or just really stupid?”

      What… isn’t it possible that he could be both?

  3. Don’t feel like getting into the Favre/Rodgers QB debate. I’m just glad they both played for the Packers. I’m also glad that Suh will be playing at Dallas next week. Don’t get me wrong, I dislike Suh a lot and felt that he should have been suspended for a few games, but, I want to see Dallas get knocked out of the playoffs and have Detroit go to Seattle (and with Suh Detroit has a better chance). That leaves the Cardinals or Panthers coming to GB for Rd 2. Maybe Detroit could beat Seattle, also? NFC championship game in Lambeau? !! Go Pack!!!

  4. Always a riot to read all the people dogging on Favre, the same ones that had a bromance going on when he was the man for the Pack, leading them out of the desert. But now that there’s a new guy who’s as good, but in a different way, it’s time to throw Brett under the bus for his shortcomings. AR stands on his own merits, Favre on his. And when it comes to tough, which is the subject of the article, Favre wrote the book. AR at this point is just an addendum.

    Imagine how much y’all would be pining for the good old days of Favre had SF, or the 22 teams following them taken AR. Pack would still be trying to figure out if Brian Brohm was really a NFL caliber starter.

    1. First, AR is a superior QB to Favre in every way, and that’s not taking away from Favre’s greatness. Second, those of us who don’t care for the way Favre conducted himself late in his career have plenty of reasons for that opinion. Essentially, BF tried everyway he could to sabotage the Packers, not to mention his personal conduct. Those things are Favre’s business, but it doesn’t mean certain fans have to like it.

      My 23 year old daughter recently asked me what I thought about BF. I said I didn’t have a very high opinion. She said, but Dad, he’s the Packers QB I grew up with. I said I know, but there are things you don’t know.

      1. If you have a butt-hurt view of the situation, you’re going to come to a butt-hurt conclusion. He made a $25MM business decision to play for the team that wanted him.

        If you tell me you wouldn’t have done the same thing in the same circumstances, you’re either delusional or a liar.

        1. I don’t think most people care that he wanted to play elsewhere, I think most people were pissed at how he deliberately put Aaron Rodgers in a horrible situation before he even took his first starting snap. Not only that but he also pissed on Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy.

          He was a dick then for doing that and he’s still a dick by coming out 6 or 7 weeks ago and claiming Tom Brady is the best qb in the NFL today. Tom Brady!! not Aaron effin Rodgers!! Are you kidding me?

          He claims he wants to be a member of the Packers family and still acts like a total dick head and is unwilling to give Aaron Rodgers his due!! For Christ sakes, Aaron Rodgers had death threats and little 5 year old kids telling him behind the fence at practice that he “effing sucks”. Thanks Brett!!

          Yeah, I’m still pissed!!


  5. To me Aaron is the combination of the best of Bart Starr and the best of Favre. Neither Starr nor Rodgers were/are as tough as Favre but both are in their way as Rodgers demonstrated Sunday. Beyond that Rodgers is smart like Starr in play calling, reading defenses and very rarely hurting the team (5 ints, 3 off of receivers in a 16 game season, unbelievable!) and better than Starr accuracy. Rodgers can also make any throw from anywhere on the field like Favre and he is more mobile than Favre and extends plays like Favre did. While Favre is probably the toughest of all time Rodgers throws better on the run than any QB that I have seen and I go back to Fran Tarkenton with the Viqueens. Rodgers will be ready to tough it out again next week. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  6. Favre was the dumbest qb to play the game. Not much between the ears at all. Physically he was the toughest to play the game. He was a joy to watch because no matter who you were playing there was always a chance to win. He was competitive and played his azz off. Sometimes ignorance is bliss… He didn’t know he was supposed to lose to superior teams. He was and will be the only qb that mentally challenged to be that successful.

    1. Bah. Your old nemesis, Hyperbole, is getting the best of you again. Favre was not even close to “the dumbest qb to play the game.”

      Vince Young (who scored a 6 on his Wonderlic) was so stupid he didn’t know which end of the center to duck under, and eventually bombed out of football because he was too brickheaded to learn a playbook or understand a defense. Jeff George needed help tying his own shoes. And there have been a lot of others just like them.

      But even great QBs could be something less than Rhodes scholars, and a lot of them were even “dumber” than Favre. Terry Bradshaw, Dan Marino, Randal Cunningham, Jim Kelley and Donovan McNabb were all very well known for being about as thick in the head as the Great Wall of China. And now they’re all TV analysts, which ought to tell us something…

      Favre’s an ordinary guy with a pretty quick wit. Not a genius, but not stupid by any stretch.

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