On his weekly show with former NFL punter Pat McAfee and his former teammate A.J. Hawk, Aaron Rodgers touched on some of the hottest button topics coming out of this weekend’s game: his interaction with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, the breakout of his long-time friend Randall Cobb, and the “sack” that T.J. Watt recorded after a questionable no-call by the referees.
Hawk started off the segment by telling Rodgers that he was “flirting” with Tomlin on gameday after Rodgers said some nice things about Pittsburgh on the show last week. This is how Rodgers responded:
I’m a big Mike Tomlin fan. I have been for a long time. I like the way he speaks about his team. I like the way he goes about his business. I like his confidence. I’ve heard nothing but good things from guys who have played there. I like Mike Tomlin. I also liked it when he called that timeout when we tried to catch him with 12 on the field. He was kinda smirking about that.
Aaron Rodgers and Mike Tomlin. Pals. pic.twitter.com/gA6BbbPxAA— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 3, 2021
After those two got it out of the system, the question came up about how different defensive minds handle him on the field. McAfee brought up that former Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia used to stare him down in a sort of game of chicken, while Rodgers noted that Rod Marinelli, formerly with the Buccaneers, Lions, Bears, and Cowboys in the NFC, used to flip him off from the sideline.
When asked about how he handles teams that send blitzes from all angles, like the Pittsburgh Steelers, he shed some light on both his process and some miscommunication from the last game.
It’s about percentages, Pat. A lot of protection and decision-making is choosing the highest percentage success probability. So when it comes to protection, with a team that brings a lot of exotic pressures, you have to rely on where your eyes go at the snap and where your best hot option is or the best adjustment to the route called is. So the one time they got us on the first drive, I thought we were actually adjusting the protection to Devin [Bush] and the communication obviously wasn’t where it should be. He came free scot free and sacked me. That didn’t happen again.
He later clarified, “I thought the protection was good.” He also said that he was hoping that Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s injury was an opportunity to get Randall Cobb on the field more, stating that Cobb’s 16 snaps per game offensively heading into last week was “not enough.”
When the conversation looped back to the offensive line, he claimed that defenses were not sending their young linemen many “pressures” over the first three weeks of the season, but that Pittsburgh did. He then said, “I don’t consider a five-man pressure out of base a pressure,” and then fine-tuned his definition of “pressure” by saying, “To me, pressure is second-level pressure.” Rodgers also stated that the best defenses in the league during his time in the NFL were teams that would get to the quarterback with four pass-rushers and drop seven into coverage.
Given the chance to talk about T.J. Watt’s “sack,” the hosts poked the bear, asking if it was a trip. Rodgers’ answer couldn’t have been more clear: “No doubt.”