Packers QB Aaron Rodgers might have jump-started NFL career of Kansas basketball player Tarik Black.By Eric AdelsonMay 2, 2014 10:20 PMYahoo Sports.....Aaron Rodgers is always keeping an eye out for football talent, even when he's at basketball games. (USA TODAY)It started at the airport.Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers ran into Kansas basketball coach Bill Self last year and got himself invited to a game.Rodgers came to Lawrence in January, gave a pep talk to the Jayhawks, and met the players.Tarik Black, a forward in his senior season, picks up the tale from there: .Tarik Black threw his weight around in the paint as a player at Kansas. (AP) "Green Bay is my favorite team. I told him, 'Hey, I understand you're hurt; we need you healthy. We need a championship.' Then he says, 'You should help me win it. Come play some tight end.' So I say, 'Give me a contract and make it happen.' "Black thought the whole interchange was a joke.Apparently Rodgers did not.The Packers passer went to Self and said, "I want to throw balls at him and see what he can do." And considering Black is 6-foot-9, 260 pounds, and had more than one foul for every two points last season, that made sense. (The Kansas bio calls him "a bruising forward.")It all just shocked Black."One of the guys in our media department said, 'Aaron Rodgers likes you. Likes you a lot,'" he recalls.Black laughed it off. Then he heard this:"No, he really likes you. He wants you to try out for Green Bay."It still didn't register. Even when Black was handed Rodgers' cell phone number, he refused to text the former MVP for a month. "I didn't know what to say," he explains. Black's roommate had to nudge him into it. Finally he composed a message:"Just wanted to see if you were serious," Black wrote."I'm definitely interested," Rodgers wrote back. "If there's something I can do, let me know."Soon, Black was on the phone with a Packers scout, and still bewildered by the whole episode.Adding to the bewilderment was this little factoid about Tarik Black: he has no football experience."Zero," says his new agent, Chad Wiestling.Black gets the slightest bit defensive when asked about his football background."I plead the Fifth," he says.He did play some growing up in Memphis, but never in pads."I know what an out route is," Black says. "But certain terms I'd be like, 'Huh?'"That hasn't stopped the intrigue. There has been an intense pursuit of converted basketball players ever since Antonio Gates became one of the best tight ends in NFL history. Jimmy Graham has emerged as a star for the Saints and Julius Thomas played in the Super Bowl in February. Now Black has been scouted by Aaron Rodgers.Both Black and Wiestling say three NFL teams have expressed interest. One unnamed team, in fact, showed its zeal by asking the NBA team in the city it shares to reach out to Wiestling for Black's number. His agency actually got a call from an NBA team on behalf of an NFL team."Pretty cool, pretty cool," says Black.So what does this mean? It's unlikely Black gets drafted next week but it is possible he gets invited to a rookie minicamp. If that happens, Black says he would lean toward going. There is, however, another sport with a draft this summer."Basketball is my love," Black says. "I'm definitely going to put effort into making basketball my life. But an opportunity presented itself and I want that opportunity to hold."Even if he has to settle for chasing only one of his one-in-a-million dreams, Black still has the phone number of his favorite player on his favorite team. That's something."It'll be cool to text Aaron Rodgers," he says.Aaron Rodgers helped Jeff Tedford get Bucs' OC job By Chris Wesseling Around the League Writer NFL.comPublished: May 2, 2014 at 12:33 p.m.Josh McCown can thank noted quarterback whisperer Marc Trestman for his unlikely late-career renaissance with the Chicago Bears last season.Now in Tampa, McCown has gone from working with one of professional football's great offensive minds to one of the NCAA's most widely respected quarterback gurus of the past two decades in offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford.As it turns out, McCown has Aaron Rodgers to thank for his new tutor.Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith told NFL Media columnist Michael Silver that he reached out to Tedford last November after receiving a glowing recommendation from former NFC North rival Rodgers, who developed into a top prospect under Tedford's guiding arm at Cal.Smith then flew Tedford to Chicago to see if their philosophies would mesh."Hey, we were both unemployed," Smith explained to Silver. "He's got a long history of (developing) guys who made it to this league. Also, I knew he'd be refreshed."Rodgers isn't the only college star to succeed under Tedford.In stops at Cal, Fresno State and Oregon, Tedford had a hand in the development of Trent Dilfer, Kyle Boller, Joey Harrington, Akili Smith and David Carr -- all of whom went on to become first-round NFL draft picks.If Tedford can transfer that magic to the NFL level, McCown and the Bucs could surprise as an NFC South title contender this season.
The Tedford hire is the only thing that got me on board with the Lovie Smith hire. I expect big things
We all know what to expect from Lovie. This Tedford is a complete unknown. Just because he ran a certain type of offense in college, is no guarantee he sticks with it in the pros. I would have to think he will get 2-3 seasons to do his thing, unless he has a complete flameout that would put Schiano to shame. But I think he is going to work out. Fingers crossed. It would be nice to have a potent offense for once. He has a few nice weapons to work with, and maybe he will get a couple more next Thursday/Friday.
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