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McCarthy: Fate of Super Bowl XLV rested with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers

Feb. 9, 2011
 
The Insiders: Season 4, episode 23
The Insiders: Season 4, episode 23: Check out the best Insiders bits from Season 4. Also, the Insiders crew recounts what went right for the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers gives high fives to many of the 50,000 fans in Lambeau Field to welcome the Super Bowl champions back to Green Bay in the Return to Titletown event on Tuesday, February 8. 2011. / Corey Wilson/Press-Gazette

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had the full support of his head coach heading into the Super Bowl.

Coach Mike McCarthy said on Wednesday during his season-ending press conference that he felt very comfortable putting the fate of the team on Rodgers’ arm against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Packers used an aggressive game plan and McCarthy trusted Rodgers to be smart with his decision making. The quarterback responded by passing for 304 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Packers ran the ball just 13 times.

McCarthy said that was something that developed, even more, during the course of the season.

“I felt really Aaron improved from the beginning of the year to the end of the year of probably just trying not to do too much,” McCarthy said. “When we came out of the Philadelphia game (season opener), I think we were probably, me included, a little overanxious and trying to probably do a little too much on offense. Once we settled down, he is a very disciplined player, very accurate.

“He is at the point in his game that the game has slowed down for him.”

Rodgers, however, won’t sneak up on anyone anymore. It’s almost unfathomable to think that teams weren’t prepared for Rodgers before. But now that he’s been a Super Bowl MVP, teams will adjust and focus even more.

“There is going to be a plan to play Aaron Rodgers, just like everybody feels they have a plan to play the top quarterbacks,” McCarthy said. “So he is going to have to answer that call every week. We clearly felt that Pittsburgh was going to set their plan around Aaron, which was the case. They tried to roll the pressure at him consistently throughout the game.”

In the Packers’ four playoff games including the Super Bowl, he completed 90 of 132 passes (68.2%) for 1,094 yards with nine touchdown passes, two interceptions and a 109.8 passer rating.

“We need to do a very good job as a staff so that the game is not on his shoulders 24/7, and we will do that just with the other assets that we have on offense,” said McCarthy. “But Aaron’s challenge is going to be like everybody else’s. He is going to have to handle the success and his life has already changed.”

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports