Aaron Rodgers Named Sporting News Offensive Player of the Year

27 Jan

Not only did Rodgers lead Green Bay to a 14-1 regular season record, he put up incredible numbers. Rodgers' season stats: 4,643 passing yards 68.3 completion % 45 TDs 6 INTs, 257 rushing yards 3 TDs

via Sporting News

Aaron Rodgers put up the best season passer rating in history (122.5) with other-worldly numbers of 4,643 yards, 45 touchdown passes and six interceptions, and along the way he managed to make State Farm relevant again in the insurance industry. It was that kind of year for the reigning Super Bowl MVP, as seemingly everything he touched turned to gold during the Green Bay Packers’ 15-1 campaign. With 413½ votes from our pool of 632 NFL players, coaches and executives, Rodgers won handily over second-place Drew Brees (112 votes). NFC North opponents were left doing a double-take while trying to slow Rodgers, a seventh-year pro.

A few of their observations on his 2011 season:

Matt Toeaina, DT, Bears: “He’s just so composed. He’s cool in the pocket and very accurate. He’s got a good group of guys around him, and you can’t get him rattled. You pretty much feel that if you can get a quarterback rattled, you can do some damage. But Aaron Rodgers is just a true professional. He trusts the guys around him, and he’s well-deserving of player of the year.”

Tim Jennings, CB, Bears: “He’s consistent. He’s just one of those quarterbacks who is so elite. He knows the offense so well right now that he’s able to throw off defenses. He’s looking one way and then going back the other way without tipping anything off. It looks like he does a good job of critiquing himself because he is getting all flaws out of his game. It’s kind of hard to get a read off of him at all now. It’s like he’s driving a car and knows all the buttons, how to operate it, with that offense. Reading him is something our defense has to do a better job of … and honing in on that. And he’s so accurate. He’s just a good quarterback playing at a high level now.”

Benny Sapp, CB, Vikings: “It’s his work ethic and his will to want to be the best right now (that make Rodgers so effective). That will comes through every game. He’s on fire. His accuracy makes it very hard on a defensive back—very hard. When you have a guy who is as accurate as he is and is throwing the ball with that much velocity, it’s hard because there are holes in a zone. All you’ve got to do is find the holes, and Rodgers does a great job of finding them and getting the ball there in a hurry. He’s also mobile. It’s kind of like he’s got a little bit of (Michael) Vick in him. He can actually really kill you with his feet if you’re not prepared for that.”

Chad Greenway, LB, Vikings: “I think it’s the offense that he’s in and how he’s able to run it with full command that is the key. It’s pretty impressive to watch and very difficult to defend. He and Drew Brees are right up there at the top of that. Aaron has had an unbelievable year and has at times this season played the position better than it’s ever been played before.

“His mobility is tough to deal with, too. And not only his mobility, but how his receivers can react to him when he runs. When he runs, they get right to the sideline and get two feet down and wait for him to throw them the ball. And the accuracy makes it frustrating. You can think you’re in the right spot, and he can throw it right by your ear. It’s hard to play defense, especially zone defense, against those guys because they just know where to go.”

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