For the first time since April's draft, Aaron Rodgers chatted with members of the Wisconsin media on Friday afternoon, yours truly included.
It was, as usual, a candid and thorough conversation that lasted nearly 38 minutes covering a whole host of topics from the Covid-19 pandemic, to the team's first ever "virtual" off-season and even the Last Dance documentary on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
But let's start with the elephant in the room, one Jordan Love. The Utah State quarterback became the lightning rod for Packer fans immediately when General Manager Brian Gutekunst traded up four spots in the first round to grab the QB of the future even though Rodgers believes he has a productive future in front of him well into his 40's.
The two-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl XLV champion has four years remaining on his contract and he'll turn 37 late in the 2020 season and the question I'm certain most everyone wanted to ask Rodgers came early in the conference call.
What did you think of the pick for the Pack?
(Audio: Aaron Rodgers)
On the hope of finishing his career with the Packers, Rodgers said the selection of Love might take that decision out of his hands, but he still thinks if he plays well through the remaining years of his deal, that decision will be much more difficult for the organization.
Most of the criticism surrounding the choice of Love centered on the assumption the Packers were only one game away from the Super Bowl last January and outside of Davante Adams, there appeared to be a serious need for more playmaking wide receivers.
Which brings us to the question I asked Rodgers. Jimmy Graham's now in Chicago, Geronimo Allison signed a free agent deal with the Lions, so what do you think of your cast of receivers coming back and what are your expectations for that group in 2020 and beyond?
Regarding the expectations of the team as a whole, Rodgers said there's a belief the Packers weren't the greatest 13-3 team of all time in 2019 but he's confident they'll compete again this year, if it comes about.
He admits the virtual off-season has been unusual, not unlike the lock out of 2011 which kept players away from facilities until training camp. Rodgers said the young players will have to stay self-motivated to come back ready, whenever that is.
He says the weekly zoom meetings with coaches have been informative and even creative with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett coming up with funny or innovative video demonstrations.
As for his physical work, Rodgers says he just now has started throwing as he usually does about this time of the year. He gets together whenever and where ever he can with NFL receivers living in the Los Angeles area but it feels at times like being a kid and looking for a park to play a pick up game.
Rodgers understands the state of the country and how carefully it should return to some sense of normalcy but he hasn't given much thought to the possibility of playing in empty stadiums this fall and as of right now, he's not so sure it's even safe for players to play a game.