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Packers QB Aaron Rodgers played matchmaker for Lovie Smith and Jeff Tedford

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers connected his old college coach with the former head coach of an NFC North division rival.

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

There's a side to Aaron Rodgers that we never knew before. The Packers All-Pro quarterback apparently has some World Wide Wes in him.

According to a very interesting report by USA Today's Jim Corbett, it was Rodgers who hooked up his former college coach Jeff Tedford with Tampa Bay headman Lovie Smith.

The winningest man in Cal's football history was flattered to learn a fellow unemployed head coach was recruiting him through Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback whom Tedford once lured to Berkeley.

"I got a text last fall from Aaron, who said, 'Lovie Smith is going to be calling you,' " Tedford told USA TODAY Sports. "Then Lovie asked, 'Can you come here to Chicago in a few days?' "

Done deal.


"Having played against Aaron, I really respected him as a player," Smith, who was hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January, told USA TODAY Sports. "I wanted a guy with an expertise at the quarterback position. ... I talked to Aaron a few times. He was in the room with Jeff, knew how Jeff helped his career.

"He gave Jeff a ringing endorsement."

So not only does Rodgers exchange texts with the former head coaches of NFC North division rivals, but he's now also a go-to resource for pivotal coaching staff recommendations. In contemporary sports, only LeBron James possesses the power to affect major change outside of his own organization. Rodgers certainly is a member of the NFL's elite class, but hardly anyone could or would have drawn this comparison before.

Corbett also notes that Tedford and Smith "hunkered down" in the latter's basement for several days to discuss philosophies. Such is a rather fascinating portrayal of the meeting of the minds between two successful coaches. Tedford cautions against comparisons between his offense and that of Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly, but the Buccaneers plan to be "multiple with different tempos and the ability to run the ball."

If the Buccaneers match Lovie Smith's defensive acumen with a competent offense -- something with which the Bears struggled during his tenure -- they'll have Aaron Rodgers to thank.

Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as a contributor at various publications. His work has previously appeared on Hook’em Headlines, Beats Per Minute, and Lombardi Ave.