by Jason Butt
June 24, 02014
Aaron Rodgers, regarded as one of the top four quarterbacks in the NFL, took some time before he became Green Bay's starter.
After all, he had to back up Brett Favre for some time, while the Packers' legend couldn't make his mind up about returning summer after summer. But Rodgers was able to learn while backing up Favre and ultimately has become one of the game's greats.
That approach should be applied to young quarterbacks nowadays, Rodgers told Sports on Earth, and especially to those that are drafted to bad teams. In his explanation, Rodgers commended Jacksonville's approach of wanting to give Blake Bortles at least a year before trotting him out there.
"Some of these guys who are going to bad teams are expected to play well right away," Rodgers said. "It's hard to do that. I've seen a couple guys able to do it. [Ben] Roethlisberger was able to do it. He had a team kind of around him. [Joe] Flacco had some success early but he had a team kind of in place. You go to a place that has some pieces and you can have some success early. But if you go to a team that doesn't have the pieces… it can really mess with your confidence."
Rodgers has a great point. Looking back over the years, it's clear David Carr and Joey Harrington faced uphill battles from the start, given the amount of sacks they took very early in their careers. That kind of punishment early on definitely affects the mental aspect of the game.
For some football coaching staffs and front offices, seeing Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III shine as rookies two years ago probably causes them to think they could draft a quarterback and the same could happen. However, Luck and Griffin are special talents, once in a lifetime type quarterbacks.
Rodgers' recommended approach works for those quaterbacks in bad situations, such as Bortles and perhaps even Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel. Even if the three quarterbacks do get game action this year, the case could be made for all three to at least begin the 2014 season with a clipboard in their hands.
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