With the people at ESPN taking the opportunity on Monday night to fawn over Aaron Rodgers' every move (most of which were not really all that impressive), a few of the members of the NFL's best defensive line have thrown a few barbs the way of our neighbors from Wisconsin.
Pat Williams, the best run-stuffing defensive tackle in the league, was asked by a reporter if he had been keeping up with the Brett Favre saga. His answer sums things up pretty nicely.
“Damn, that’s their problem,” Williams said. “They’re going through all that as a team, trying to figure out if Favre or (Aaron) Rodgers was the man, while we’ve got the same team we had all offseason. I’m glad they got all that darn press, ‘cause when we go down there it’ll be the kid’s first start and his first damn loss.”
Williams assumes that Rodgers will actually last all the way through the pre-season to start the regular season opener. While I suppose that could happen, I wouldn't go betting my mortgage on it yet.
Jared Allen, the best defensive end in the NFL, also chimed in on the matchup:
“Playing Green Bay on Monday night to start the season – that’s everything you want,” Allen said. “Hopefully, I can put my helmet square in the back of his spine. If I can do that and knock the ball loose, it’ll be a good day.”
Don't worry, Jared. . .you'll get that opportunity at least once. Probably more than once. Probably a LOT more than once.
Oh, and Phat Pat wasn't done.
“They had a nice year last year, but they don’t understand that Brett made those guys better than they were,” Williams said. “He has the game all figured out, and you’ve got to factor all that into the equation. Brett Favre would throw the ball when the receivers hadn’t even made their cut yet, and it would be there waiting for them. Those guys had it good.
“People think it’s the system, but it ain’t no damn system. Brett Favre just knows where his guys are going to be at all times, and I don’t think Aaron Rodgers has got that yet.”
And he's exactly right. The Packers DID have a great year in 2007. They went 13-3 in 2007. If anyone thinks they would have gone 13-3 in 2007 with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, they need to think again. If anyone thinks they're going 13-3 in 2008 with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, they need to be submitted for a psychiatric evaluation.
From the part of the MNF game I saw, here's the impression I got of Rodgers.
-It's his 4th year in the National Football League, and he still clearly hasn't adjusted to the speed of the game. He likes to hold on to the ball. . .for way too long. I know that has to make Jared Allen happy.
-If he keeps making the kind of throws he was making on Monday night, the Packers might be starting Kelly Campbell at receiver by Week 5, because he's out to get people killed.
I saw nothing out of him that makes him any more impressive than everyone's favorite media target, Tarvaris Jackson. In fact, Jackson had a superior performance against a superior defense (sorry, Bengals fans, but it's true) than Rodgers had in his first pre-season look. As of right now, Tarvaris Jackson is probably a better quarterback than Aaron Rodgers, regardless of whether or not anyone outside of the Twin Cities will actually admit it.
I'm sure we'll now have Packer fans over here talking about last year and this and that and the other thing. Save it. Last year is irrelevant. Last year you weren't starting a guy with 59 career regular season passes at QB. It's 2008, and I've seen nothing to this point that leads me to believe that the Green Bay Packers are monumentally superior to the Minnesota Vikings. In fact, I haven't seen anything that leads me to believe that they're superior at all. Honestly, other than the receiving corps, at what position is Green Bay a better team than Minnesota?
-Running Back? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA please.
-Offensive Line? Nope.
-Defensive Line? See Running Back.
-Secondary? I doubt it. (If you want to argue this, feel free to go back and watch the NFC Championship game. Then come back here and apologize.)
Nope. . .the one thing that gave Green Bay a decisive advantage over Minnesota last year is currently taking snaps in New York. Pat Williams and Jared Allen are exactly right, and I'm very much looking forward to watching them back it up on 8 September in Green Bay in front of the Packer sycophants at ESPN.