The Green Bay Packers came away with their seventh win of the season against the Miami Dolphins in Week 16, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers made a point to meet with budding young signal caller Tua Tagovailoa after the game as the players made their way off the field. He seemed to feel an obligation to help mentor his younger counterpart and told reporters after the game about what he said to Tagovailoa in their brief encounter.
“Some of the stuff I actually said this week,” Rodgers explained. “I just really appreciate the way that he handles his business, his professionalism, just the way he goes about, speaks about his teammates. I think he’s got a really good humility about him. He’s a good, humble kid. Very talented. I enjoyed watching him play in college. I like the way he goes about his business.
“I think he handles things the right way, with a lot of class, a lot of respect. I told him to take care of himself, too. He’s had some pretty vicious hits this year. He’s a good kid. Got a long career in the league to look forward to. There’s days like this, but he still threw for a hell of a lot of yards and they got a lot of great weapons and they’re still in the hunt, as well.”
Rodgers turned 39 at the beginning of the month and is in the twilight of his illustrious NFL career. Perhaps some of his more bizarre behaviors this year can be explained by his age and accomplishment. As a four-time MVP and Super Bowl champion, he has earned the right to do or say as he pleases given that he no longer has anything to prove or much time to prove it anyway.
It would seem that he is now more focused on helping to pave the way for the new generation of quarterbacks, taking in what he can from his last bouts on the gridiron and cherishing the chance to provide insight to the new wave of supremely talented signal callers.