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Rodgers has started 2 games against 2 teams with a combined record of 0-4.Let's hold our judgment til the end of the season...
It wasn't even 10:30 a.m., and Aaron Rodgers had enjoyed one of the most eventful days of his life.He woke up Saturday morning to find himself talking football with Jon Gruden and ended it throwing fade routes to Jerry Rice in a nearly vacant Memorial Stadium.It was a bit overwhelming for the man who may become the first Cal player since Steve Bartkowski 30 years ago to become the No.1 pick in the NFL Draft. "This is surreal to me," Rodgers said. "I remember watching the Oakland Raiders with Jerry, Jon Gruden and Rich Gannon. I remember thinking, 'Man, I'd love to play for Jon Gruden.'"Gruden, general manager Bruce Allen and quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were on the second stop of a two- day tour to visit Rodgers and Utah's Alex Smith, the top-ranked quarterbacks in the April 23-24 draft.Tampa owns the No.5 selection. Conventional wisdom has the Bucs taking a running back, but Gruden considers quarterback the most important position in professional team sports, and the idea of bringing in a thoroughbred rookie passer is appealing.Questions as to whether the Bucs would trade up to get Rodgers or Smith are met with Gruden's circular answers and Allen's poker face. With 12 draft picks, including two in the third round, Tampa has plenty of cards to play.The teams in order in front of the Bucs are the 49ers, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears. The 49ers worked out Smith in Utah on Monday and will host Rodgers on Wednesday in Santa Clara.Gruden, Allen and Hackett spent Friday morning in Salt Lake City, conducting a similar interview with Smith. The trio landed in Oakland late in the afternoon and even found time to visit Ricky's Sports Lounge in San Leandro to renew old acquaintances.One by one, Raiders fans made their way over to Gruden to shake hands and pose for pictures.Allen arranged for Rice, the NFL's all-time leading receiver, to be a surprise visitor at the workout following Rodgers' interview."Now we've got the ultimate judge," Allen told Rodgers with a laugh. "If this guy can't catch it, we know it's a terrible pass."In truth, Rodgers worked better with draft hopeful Chase Lyman, his former Cal teammate, than he did with Rice.Rice, released at his request by the Seattle Seahawks, conceded most of his recent training has been on the golf course. Still, he reiterated his desire to get back on the field and find a team.Working out with Rodgers and Gruden on Saturday was his first step.The session ended when Rodgers overthrew Rice on a 50-yard fade in the end zone, with the 21-year-old quarterback cupping his hands to his head and turning away in disgust."(Rodgers) was so juiced up and ready to go, you could tell with (Lyman) he had better chemistry," Rice said. "That stuff comes with repetition. But he's got a strong arm -- a very strong arm. Almost like it's no effort at all. You can tell he's this young kid just looking forward to his opportunity."I can remember the anticipation of the draft, being so nervous and not knowing what's going to happen."During the course of an hour-long interview with Rodgers in the Cal football offices, Gruden and Allen both alluded to the mystery guest at the workout to follow. Rodgers, growing increasingly curious, finally asked, "You guys bringing in a shrink?"Gruden began the morning by telling Rodgers the meeting was a get- acquainted session to see if there was a level of compatibility, and that "we wouldn't be here if we weren't players in this."Rodgers, computer clicker in hand, deftly fielded questions from Gruden on subjects ranging from technical football to leadership skills to his junior college roots at Butte College."I've got California connections. I've got game film of you playing in Butte, but it looks like it was shot out of a helicopter," Gruden said.Rodgers broke down plays on a greaseboard at Gruden's request and queued up several plays from Cal's 2004 game against USC for analysis on a big screen.Looking slightly nervous and sitting upright at the start, Rodgers, wearing a hooded sweat shirt and sweat pants, had his feet up on a chair by 8:50 a.m. and was relaxed enough to show his lighter side."I heard you were one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world," Rodgers said of Gruden's 2001 listing in People Magazine."I'm still in the top 65," Gruden said.Gruden quizzed Rodgers on Cal's method of sending in plays from the sideline. He warned Rodgers that in the NFL, a headset-to- helmet communication system allows him to scream profanities into the quarterback's ear with the bonus of the quarterback being unable to talk back. He then said he was only joking and would never do that, with Rodgers responding, "Oh, I'll bet you do."When the interview ended, Gruden talked strategy at the greaseboard with Cal coach Jeff Tedford, whom the Buccaneers coach had never met. Meanwhile, Rodgers fidgeted in the hallway, wondering who was awaiting him on the field."I was starting to think it was Joe Montana," Rodgers said. "He's my favorite player of all time. But Rice is my No.2, and it was incredible to be throwing to him."Gruden, having already seen tape of Rodgers' March 17 workout at Cal for NFL coaches and scouts, learned more about Rodgers from the interview than Saturday's brief appearance on the field. "He's a very astute, well-trained quarterback," Gruden said. "They ask him to do a lot. He communicates the system well, and his skill level is tremendous. He's got touch, he's got zip, he's got mobility, he's durable. He's complete."Never one to tip his hand, Gruden's reviews of Utah's Smith were equally glowing."It's going to be something small that separates the two. Maybe it's something about your scheme or style, how he fits your offense," Gruden said. "They're both young, healthy, productive, athletic, smart football players, and it'd be a blast to coach either one of them."Whether Rice plays again, Gruden said, will be strictly up to Rice."If he decides to play, someone will sign him," Gruden said.Before leaving for the airport, Gruden paused to reflect on two generations of football linked by a handful of pass patterns."I just watched a 42-year-old catch passes from a 21-year-old," Gruden said. "It's amazing."
It helps most QBs to be able to grow and not have to start day one. If Rodgers came to Tampa and did not start his first season the media and some fans would be calling him a bust and Gruden an even bigger idiot. If you need proof of this see the Adams pick from last year.Many of our fans and the majority of the local media do not give these players time to mature before calling them a bust. I believe that this has a lot to do with the players loosing their confidence.
As Fans we wouldn't be calling a Qb a bust if he didn't start for us the first year. We know that you dont want to feed the rook to the wolves....HOWEVER, if lets say Griese is the starter next year and we are 2-6 at the half way point, would it be bad to let Tim Tebow play some games, maybe against weaker opponents?
That is easier said then done. Â When the local media is turing the fan base aginst you the owners only have so long before they are forced to make a move. Â Money has only played part of the role as to why the fans are not in the stadium this year. Â The local media's negative representation of team operations has a major hand in it. Â Players often feel like they are failures because of the treatment they recieve from the fans and the media and the majority of fans are hard on the players because that is what they hear from the media.A lot of the issues with this team stem from the media.
That is easier said then done. When the local media is turing the fan base aginst you the owners only have so long before they are forced to make a move. Money has only played part of the role as to why the fans are not in the stadium this year. The local media's negative representation of team operations has a major hand in it. Players often feel like they are failures because of the treatment they recieve from the fans and the media and the majority of fans are hard on the players because that is what they hear from the media.A lot of the issues with this team stem from the media.