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#1 Posted : Sunday, August 24, 2008 11:53:25 AM(UTC)
Advice helps turn Rodgers game

Green Bay - It was only one half of football, but Donald Driver had seen enough.

Disgusted at the Green Bay Packers offensive performance in their 34-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Aug. 16, Driver told anyone and everyone it was garbage and was visibly frustrated in the locker room after the game.

So bothered was Driver, he didnt wait until the next week of practice to do something about it. He went to quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the plane ride back to Green Bay and essentially told him it was put-up or shut-up time. For the Packers to excel this season, Rodgers training wheels had to come off now.

I told him, Its your team. You have to take it over, Driver said after Friday nights 27-24 victory over the Denver Broncos. He proved that.

Sure, Rodgers completed 18 of 22 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown (he added another rushing TD against Denver), but Driver didnt feel Rodgers throwing was the problem after San Francisco. It was how he operated the huddle and exhibited leadership.

Against the 49ers, the Packers offense was effectively rudderless without Rodgers taking charge under center. The result was 6-of-19 passing for a whopping 58 yards and four sacks against.

Me and Donald talked this week about the opportunities we have to be leaders on the football team, Rodgers said Friday night. I didnt consciously make a bigger effort, but I think the urgency we had a sense of urgency tonight, the first-team offense, we needed to have a good showing I think all 11 of us really felt the need to be vocal, be good, encourage each other and say, Hey, lets get going here. This is an important night for us tonight.

Driver was impressed by Rodgers turnaround, to say the least.

Getting into the huddle, telling guys, Hey, hush, let me call the plays, it was great to see him do that and take the team over like he did, Driver said. I think at first he didnt know how to do it, but I think now he knows what he has to do and he has to be the leader. When hes the leader, it seems like everything goes smooth.

Hes always growing and hes going to continue to grow over the course of his career. And I think thats the thing I loved about him tonight, is that he proved he could take over this team.

Line shuffle? The Packers on Saturday declined to disclose the results of the tests done on the left knee of starting right guard Josh Sitton, who was injured in the first quarter when Broncos defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson rolled up on Sitton.

The Packers appeared to take the injury seriously after the game as trainer Pepper Burress tightly wrapped Sitton, who immediately clutched his knee when the injury occurred, before boarding the team bus.

Combine Sittons status with that of center Scott Wells, who has been battling injuries in his back muscles since off-season practices, and the Packers could once again have another offensive line in practice this week.

Assuming Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz remain at left guard and center, respectively, Allen Barbre could take over at right guard. But he has seemingly been in the doghouse for no visible reason since the first exhibition game against the Cincinnati Bengals despite entering camp as the favorite to beat out Colledge.

The more likely scenario is for Tony Moll, who replaced Sitton against the Broncos and played solid, to get the first look. Moll was an emergency starter at right guard in eight games over the previous two seasons.

You try to stay focused when they say the first team is going to play the first half, Moll said. As one of the other guys you try to stay focused for reasons like this. I felt like I was able to go in there and perform right away. I think I helped us.

Going into my third year, just with the experience Ive had with the amount of games Ive played, every year it just seems like my knowledge of the playbook is getting stronger and stronger. So I just know that if I just have patience on my pass plays and I just get mean in the run game, Ill do just fine.

Titans to play it out: Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher said he will play his starters at least one series into the third quarter Thursday night in Green Bay.

I have no idea what coach (Mike) McCarthy is going to do with his guys, but were going to go up there and just play, Fisher said.

Lee fined: Rookie cornerback Patrick Lee was fined $7,500 for his hard hit on 49ers running back DeShaun Foster in the second quarter of the San Francisco game.

According to a league spokesman, Lee was fined for impermissible use of the helmet striking an opponent in the chest area with his helmet.
Greg C.  
#2 Posted : Sunday, August 24, 2008 11:59:07 AM(UTC)
This is a very encouraging article. It's good to see that kind of off-field communication between the QB and the #1 receiver. It should really pay off in the regular season.
#3 Posted : Sunday, August 24, 2008 12:10:09 PM(UTC)
Thats cool that Driver is taking a stronger leadership role. We have alot of young kids on this team. They NEED that kind of direction. Him telling Rodgers to make it HIS team was sweet to see!
#4 Posted : Sunday, August 24, 2008 3:03:26 PM(UTC)
I know there are different opinions about who the defensive leader is, but I was just wondering is Driver the leader on offense.
#5 Posted : Sunday, August 24, 2008 4:39:36 PM(UTC)
According to a league spokesman, Lee was fined for impermissible use of the helmet striking an opponent in the chest area with his helmet.

Isn't Jared Allen claiming he is going to put his helmet into Aaron Rodger's spine?
#6 Posted : Sunday, August 24, 2008 4:53:53 PM(UTC)
I think Driver fixed the problem. As far as Allen goes I'm not sure.
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