It will be something of a homecoming for Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Saturday as his Packers will square off against the 49ers in San Francisco. The Chico native and former Cal star has so many ticket requests this week that he took care of his family and told his friends they were on their own.
There was a time when Rodgers dreamed about playing at Candlestick with the 49ers, but as he makes his first career regular season or postseason appearance at the historic stadium, he’ll do so as the enemy.
“A lot of good memories growing up watching Steve Young and Joe Montana on TV and the Super Bowl wins,” Rodgers said on Tuesday’s conference call with the Bay Area media. “Being a 49er fan, that was a team I enjoyed watching and dreamt about playing for. Eight years removed here (from the draft) and I’m obviously real happy with the situation that I’m in.”
Truth be told, Rodgers won’t be the only quarterback facing his favorite team from childhood, as Colin Kaepernick revealed on Tuesday that he grew up a Packers fan.
The only other time Rodgers has played at Candlestick was during a preseason contest in 2008. The stakes will be a bit higher when the 49ers and Packers play this time around.
Following last week’s 24-10 home victory over the Minnesota Vikings, Rodgers and the Packers visit San Francisco with a trip to the NFC Championship at stake. The NFL’s top-rated passer knows how good the 49ers defense can be, having suffered a 30-22 defeat to the team in Week 1.
“It’s one of the top defenses in the league, if not the best,” Rodgers said. “A lot of playmakers all over the field at every level – d-line, linebackers, secondary. They make a lot of plays on the football, fly to the football, tackle well, get after the passer. … It’s a big-time defense.”
The Packers may have defeated Minnesota’s mobile quarterback Joe Webb last week, but Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy isn’t using that as a primer for Kaepernick. In going 5-2 as a starter since taking over, Kaepernick has shown McCarthy and the rest of the league that he’s one of the NFL’s rare talents.
“We’ve been very impressed with what he’s done on film,” McCarthy said. “He’s a strong athlete that can do everything from the pocket, out of the pocket and I think he’s put together a very nice stretch.”
Likewise, Rodgers has taken note of the young signal-caller and how he’s performed in his first NFL action.
“I’ve seen a couple of the games on TV, bits and pieces of him,” Rodgers said. “He’s a big, strong, athletic, young player with a really bright future.”
Tags: Aaron Rodgers, Mike McCarthy
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