Sportress of Blogitude

Seahawks defenders impressed with Aaron Rodgers’ toughness


With a highly anticipated rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game coming Sunday night, members of the Seattle Seahawks defense took the time to sing the praises of Aaron Rodgers, specifically how he seems able to absorb hit after punishing hit and hop up like it was nothing.

Not only that, Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril, in recalling a play in said title game when he tried to strip-sack Rodgers but failed, said he was left impressed by the Green Bay Packers quarterback’s pocket poise and situational savvy.

“He’s done that to me a couple times where I try to get the ball out, and he just somehow gets it in the other hand and tucks it in,” Avril said, via ESPN. “So those are the more frustrating ones because there’s nothing like a sack/fumble.”

Perhaps most surprising about Rodgers’ play in the NFC title game was that he wasn’t even close to 100 percent as he dealt with a torn calf muscle. That toughness wasn’t lost on Avril, as well as fellow Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett.

“There’s been times when he’ll say, ‘Good hit,’” Avril said. “He’ll wink at you, something crazy like that. But he’s not like a trash-talker or nothing like that. He’s actually pretty chill about getting hit. But he’ll definitely say, ‘Good hit,’ and pat you on the butt after you hit him.”

“You like it in a quarterback, especially if he’s on your team,” added Bennett. “When a guy’s jovial like that, being able to respond the way he does, it just brings energy to the team when he does that. You see a quarterback get hit and he’s laughing, you think, ‘Man, this guy’s tough.’ He takes the hits and he does the things that he does, and you just have a lot of respect for him.”

Rodgers’ toughness and competitiveness have never been questioned. But that doesn’t mean Avril, Bennett and company won’t be looking to knock him down each and every time the quarterback drops back come Sunday night.