I’m not sure whether or not there is some kind of unwritten rule that states that your quarterback is supposed to be your favorite quarterback, but if there is one, then cornerback Joe Haden didn’t follow it. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers veteran was very clear in his fondness and appreciation of his next opponent, the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers.
“He’s still my favorite quarterback ever in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers”, he said. “His arm talent is unbelievable, the way he can throw the ball, he can move. When I say arm talent, it’s literally arm talent, throwing receivers open, putting it in places that it’s like throwing darts. He’s a very, very, very special quarterback”.
Rodgers has, of course, done some remarkable things, though perhaps the most impressive thing is his career interception percentage of 1.4. It is the best percentage in NFL history among qualifying quarterbacks, with Patrick Mahomes second at 1.5 percent, and far longer to go.
Rodgers is a three-time MVP, ranks 10th all-time in passing yards, seventh in passing touchdowns, and 13th in completion percentage. Imagine if he didn’t have to sit behind Brett Favre for three years. There isn’t much you can do to make him make mistakes.
“You’ve just got to try to confuse him”, Haden said about what few tools a defense might have in its arsenal against him. “He’s been in the league for such a long time, you just can’t let him know before the play starts, because then he’ll tear you apart”.
Unfortunately for him, the Steelers’ secondary hasn’t been very good this year. Nobody has played particularly well on the whole, individually, nor have they excelled collectively, and they have been really exposed when their pass rush isn’t on point. Rodgers has the skills to make them look awful
“It’s everything. It’s his release time, it’s the flick of the wrist”, Haden said of what makes Rodgers the best in the game. “He can just effortlessly throw it 50 yards, 60 yards. The pinpoint accuracy. He knows where he wants to go. His familiarity with his receivers, especially Davante [Adams], you just can’t teach what Aaron’s got with the way that he can place the ball”.
After an ugly game in the season opener, Rodgers has completed 45 of 60 pass attempts for 516 yards with six touchdowns to zero interceptions over the course of the past two weeks. He even managed to be credited with a reception, albeit for a loss of four yards.