Aaron Rodgers may be a California kid, but he spent most of his professional career with a Yinzer in his ear in former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, who is now with the Dallas Cowboys. The future Hall of Fame quarterback was on the Pat McAfee Show talking up Pittsburgh, as his Packers host the Steelers next week.
“It’s a great blue-collar town. There’s a lot of great people that live there; it’s got a lot of history, that city”, Rodgers told McAfee, who himself is from the area, before going into his appreciation for the Steelers’ head coach, Mike Tomlin.
“I have a ton of respect for Mike. I think he’s a fantastic coach”, Rodgers said. “I love the way that he leads. I love the way that he talks after the games. He always seems to keep things really even-keeled. It looks like he’s someone who the players love playing for”.
The Packers are 2-1 following two strong games, but they, including Rodgers, played terribly in the season opener. The Steelers are now sitting at 1-2 after impressing in the opener with a road victory over the Buffalo Bills.
“There’s anomaly games this early in the season. You guys are overreacting on Mondays and people are crowning MVPs, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year”, Rodgers said, pointing out the number of injuries the Steelers dealt with this Sunday.
“T.J. [Watt] got hurt in Week 2 against the Raiders and then didn’t play last week. He’s one of the top two or three defensive players in the league, so having him back is a total game-changer if he comes back this week, which I’m expecting him to”, he said.
Watt recorded three sacks and two forced fumbles in the first six quarters of the season before suffering a groin injury. He did not play this past Sunday, nor did fellow edge rusher Alex Highsmith. They have two starting defensive linemen on the Reserve/Injured List as well.
“They’re 1-2 right now coming off a tough divisional loss. That seems like a dangerous football team, so we’re gonna have to be ready to go”, Rodgers said. If he completes his precision passes the way he has the past two weeks, though, I would say that they are ready for this secondary.