Last week the Packers concluded their final week of organized team activities up in Green Bay, and now the team is getting ready to head towards mandatory minicamp to follow. At the end of last week, with the remaining practices of OTA's cut off to the media and public after Tuesday, quarterback Aaron Rodgers sat down with the respective local beat writers for one-on-one interviews. He had a really good sit down with ESPNWisconsin.com's Jason Wilde for roughly 30 minutes that involved him talking about his public life, reaching the age of 30, the changes he made for his body during the offseason; and his relationship with his head coach, Mike McCarthy, to highlight the conversation
Over the last few weeks, pictures of Aaron and his girlfriend -- Newsroom actress Olivia Munn - have surfaced more to the public. In previous relationships, Rodgers always kept his personal life private and "lowkey" as the young kids my age would say, steering away from the limelight of paparazzi. It's different this time around with Munn on how he's handling the spotlight, because now, he's embracing everything that is coming his way.
"For one, I'm real happy in my relationship." Rodgers said. "And I understand what comes with it. And two, the last couple years I've learned a lot about perspective and what's important. And, that you cannot, when you've had success individually and collectively as a team and you are highlighted for the things you've done on the field and off the field," he explained. "You cannot hide from the spotlight. You have to learn to embrace it.
"There's always going to be attention or scrutiny, and you can either understand it comes with the territory and embrace it, or you can lock yourself away. And I just can't do that. I need to be living my life."
As Rodgers now indulges into his 30's, he also incorporated something new into his lifestyle: yoga. The yoga is only part of what the quarterback did to help preserve his body for the coming years, especially after suffering a frustrating collarbone injury that forced him to miss seven games in 2013.
"Your 30s is about achieving your goals and understanding what's really important." Rodgers said. "But flexibility and eating right has really helped. Just making sure I'm eating the right way. And then you add some yoga into that, which is enjoyable and fun, and some workouts, and you lose a couple pounds every now and then."
The severe injury he suffered caused some frustration and depression for franchise player both on and off the field while resting at night. Still, even after going through those pains last season, he isn't changing how he approaches the game on the field.
"Because I'm a side sleeper, you're trying to sleep on your back and you're restless. So yeah, there's definitely moments of depression and frustration. But I think as a good teammate and if you want to be someone who is progressing in maturity, you can't have those moments of feeling sorry for yourself." Rodgers said.
"I'm not changing the way I play. I'm going to keep playing the same way. I've got to be instinctual, I've got to rely on my quick reactions, and I've got to play the way I've always played. At some point, if we're talking in 10 years and I'm still trying to give this a go, I probably won't be exactly the same player. But I'd like to think that as long as I have my legs, I'm going to play the exact same way because that's what gives me those little advantages I can take and make plays with."
The way Rodgers has played for the majority of his NFL career has placed him among the likes of elite quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. He's also played eight of his nine years as a pro under current head coach Mike McCarthy. Throughout his career - including the decision to move on from Packers legend Brett Favre - McCarthy has been connected to Rodgers. Both men share another of the leagues tenured quarterback/head coach duo's to pair alongside Brady and Bill Belichick, Brees and Sean Payton, or Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin.
"There's been a lot of growing, I think, on both sides over the years. You see Mike as he was in '06 as a head coach to now, he's gone through some changes as he's figured out what works best for motivating his players and what works best for the schedule and our bodies," Rodgers explained. "And I've obviously made a lot of changes as far as my body composition and honing my mechanics. And it's been fun to go through the process with him."
McCarthy has worked with Rodgers since he was hired by the team in 2006. They shared the stage inside Cowboys Stadium back in 2010, when the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV. Coming into the league the year before McCarthy began his stint when taking over for then coach Mike Sherman, Rodgers wants only one outcome with the only team he hopes to play for, and the man who has watched his career jolt from the beginning after being passed on throughout the first-round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
"There's a lot to be said about, for me, starting and finishing with a team, which is my goal. And for him, being a head coach for a number of years and probably getting another deal done soon. We've talked about finishing this thing out together, which would be a lot of fun. We've had a lot of successes, we've had just a couple rough spots, a couple disappointments that we've shared together, but I have a lot of respect for him as a person." Rodgers said.
"He had my back, as did the organization, in 2008, which meant a lot to me and I never forgot that. And he's believed in me through it all. I think there's a lot of mutual respect that continues to grow and is there from a lot of time spent together - talking one-on-one, practice time, spending time outside the facility - and I think that only enhances our relationship. And I think it would be really fun to win a couple more and then go out together."
With Rodgers currently signed through 2019 and McCarthy approaching a contract extension with the team soon - along with general manager Ted Thompson -- he very well might get that chance.