GREEN BAY, Wis. — Hopefully Jay Cutler won't be hurt by this news, but texting buddy Aaron Rodgers has forged a swell relationship with Brian Urlacher as well.
Green Bay's superstar quarterback plans to enjoy hearing from the Bears middle linebacker early and often during Sunday's NFC championship game.
“Brian is probably my favorite player to play against just because I enjoy the seconds between snaps,” Rodgers said. “He's a very funny guy on the field.”
Rodgers enjoys Urlacher's quips … his jokes … even his gesticulations when he's trying (or not trying) to adjust the Bears' defensive alignment before the snap.
“I know a lot of his calls probably don't mean a whole lot, and he probably knows the same thing about some of my calls,” Rodgers said, “so we have some fun with our banter back and forth.
“Not only between plays, (but) TV timeouts … at the line of scrimmage. A lot of respect, definitely on my side. I don't know how he feels about me. He said he voted for me for the Pro Bowl. I don't know if he's lying or not.”
Rodgers chuckled at that last thought, perhaps because it's absurd to think anyone would decline to vote for him as the NFC's best quarterback.
Decide which measuring stick you like best:
ŸRodgers boasts the best career passer efficiency rating (98.4) in NFL history. That goes for every guy with more than 1,500 attempts.
ŸRodgers boasts the best career passer efficiency rating (129.4) in NFL postseason history, although he owns just three playoff starts.
ŸHe has cranked up his performance level to “all-time great” during Green Bay's first two playoff games.
Rodgers arrives at Soldier Field hitting 78 percent of his passes for 546 yards, 6 touchdowns and no interceptions.
That 134.5 efficiency rating ranks third on the single-season postseason list behind Joe Montana (1989) and Bart Starr (1966). Those two chaps capped off their seasons with two of the more lopsided Super Bowl triumphs in history.
So when Rodgers heard words Wednesday that he's being elevated to the level of the finest quarterbacks — past and present — by some of those quarterbacks, he ignored his numbers and focused on Roman numerals.
“I think to be mentioned in the same category as those guys, we have to put some more hardware around here,” said Rodgers, referring to talk that he'd be the ideal player with which to start a franchise.
“But I appreciate the kind words from Troy (Aikman). But, like I said, I want to win championships.”
That leaves it to Rodgers' comrades to apply some second-party perspective.
“He's in a great rhythm right now,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “He's playing the best football of his career.”
Rookie right tackle Bryan Bulaga can't speak to Rodgers' past, but he's enjoying the present.
“I think he's playing better than any quarterback in the league this whole season,” Bulaga said. “He's doing it right now when we need it.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.