MINNEAPOLIS – Aaron Rodgers may have expressed some disappointment last week about losing his position coach in Green Bay’s offseason overhaul, but the Packers quarterback sounded pretty upbeat about his and his team’s prospects for 2018 on Saturday night.
On the red carpet for the NFL Honors event at the University of Minnesota campus, Rodgers stopped to chat with packers.com for a few minutes, and the two-time MVP appears to have no interest in holding back as another new season approaches.
“I’m feeling great,” Rodgers said regarding his surgically repaired collarbone. “I’m back to my workouts. I was playing golf on Wednesday out in Scottsdale in the pro am, so if I can do that, you know I’m feeling pretty good.”
He emphasized he’ll have no limitations when the team reconvenes for offseason workouts in a little over two months.
“Oh no, not at all,” he said. “I’m back into everything I like to do in the offseason with my training, and I’ll be ready to go when we’re back in April.”
The last time Rodgers returned after missing half a season with a broken collarbone, in 2014, he won his second NFL MVP award.
Don’t rule out history repeating itself.
“I plan on doing that again,” he said with his trademark smile.
It hasn’t been all smiles for him so far this offseason with QB coach Alex Van Pelt leaving Green Bay, but Rodgers is clearly fired up about the return of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin.
In the record-setting season of 2011 for the Packers’ offense and Rodgers, Philbin was in that same role. Green Bay set franchise records for total points and yards that year, while Rodgers set the NFL single-season record for passer rating (122.5) on the way to his first MVP.
“Joe and I were very close when he was with us the first stint,” Rodgers said. “He’s a fantastic guy, great coach. I’m excited to get back working with him. But again, change is hard in this business. It’s difficult when you lose not only friends that are teammates but friends that are coaches as well. The only constant you can count on in this game is it’s going to change every single year.
“As we’ve seen in the past, change has been good for us. (There’ll be a) new influx of energy with the defensive staff, and I’m excited about having Joe back.”
Rodgers acknowledged both the offense and defense have to do their part to get the Packers back into Super Bowl contention after missing the playoffs this past season for the first time since 2008.
“I would say to Packer Nation don’t get used to not watching your team in January, because it’s not going to be like that after this little aberration,” he said. “I think what it’s going to take is us to be more consistent in all the phases.
“We have to play championship defense. You look at the final four, all were up at the top in defensive categories. We have to get back to playing that kind of defense. Offensively, we have to get back to what we were doing in ’11. Thankfully the guy who was offensive coordinator in ’11 is back, Joe Philbin.”