GREEN BAY – If Aaron Rodgers doesn’t get all kinds of grief when the Green Bay Packers players return to work on Wednesday for it being Aaron Rodgers Day in the state of Wisconsin, the Packers quarterback figures to get teased plenty for his lackluster Lambeau Leap from Sunday night’s victory over Detroit.
Rodgers has always taken issue with those who questioned his athleticism – dating back to his high-school days in Chico, Calif. – and while he looked quite athletic on the 27-yard touchdown run that gave the Packers a 17-14 lead, he did not look so good on his leap. Rodgers has previously said the key to a good Lambeau Leap is getting enough elevation to push up with your arms at the top of the wall and then turn your body into the crowd; on his jump Sunday night, he only made up part of the way up the wall and never actually made it into the stands.
“I was really tired,” Rodgers explained with a laugh during his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com Tuesday. “I was not committed; you have to be fully committed, I was about 50/50. I got in the end zone, my legs were definitely heavy at that point.
“The distance that I ran, it had to be close to 50 yards. That’s a long sprint – I haven’t been doing a lot of those lately. Once I scored, I was debating whether or not to jump in the stands. I felt like I might get some grief if I didn’t, and as I approached the wall I could feel like I wasn’t going to get a lot of lift in my legs and just wanted to make sure that I got my arms over the wall so I didn’t totally embarrass myself – only partially.
“The fans there did a great job of pulling me up, I appreciated that. It was wonderful. And then I knew that I was definitely going to take some grief this week. Especially Saturday night when they show the highlight video, I’m sure they’ll show that. The guys will be hooping [hooting] and hollering about my lack of athleticism. I actually got a nice text from Charles last night, Woodson, just kind of telling me how bad the leap was. That was very nice, thanks Charles. Yeah, so it’s just beginning I’m sure.”
In fact, tight end Tom Crabtree started the process by teasing Rodgers during Crabtree’s weekly internet show Clubhouse Live from Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers. Crabtree pointed out that defensive lineman Mike Daniels’ leap was as good or better than the QB’s.
“Crabtree was kind of getting after me a little bit yesterday on his show. But after his long run (for a 72-yard touchdown vs. Arizona Nov. 4), it was a poor effort by Tom,” Rodgers said. “You know if Jordy (Nelson), or Donald (Driver), or Greg (Jennings), or James (Jones), any of those experts want to talk to me about it, fine I’ll take all of the criticism from those guys. But Mike and Tom probably should keep those comments to themselves.”
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