GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers appreciated his coach’s concern, but the Green Bay Packers quarterback said Tuesday that he was glad he pounced on James Starks’ fumble during Sunday’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals and considered it his best play of the game.
And, one of the best plays of his career.
After the game, coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers “scared the hell” out of him by diving on the loose ball at the Packers’ 25-yard line, and that he was “not a fan” of Rodgers’ decision to go after the fumble. The play kept possession with the Packers, and Rodgers capped the drive with a 28-yard touchdown to James Jones.
“I’m not sure why (McCarthy) feels that way, but that, in my opinion, was one of the better plays of my career,” Rodgers said Tuesday on his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com. “We’re not talking about a big playoff game or a game late in the season that determines whether we get into the playoffs, but I believe it was 14-7 at the time and I was just carrying out my fake on the backside and was able to keep a possession alive that we ended up scoring a touchdown on.
“It’s a fun play for me because I’ve thought about that before. I used to love in college (at California-Berkeley) coming out on the backside handoffs on my boot fake and trying to get a block that could spring a guy. Most of the time it wasn’t very successful, but one time I did get a block for Marshawn Lynch against Stanford in 2004 which kind of sprung him for a touchdown on the backside of a run. It’s one of those moments where you can surprise people and surprise yourself by making an important play like that. I just kind of saw the ball out, I saw it kicked out to the side and thought that I had a chance to sell out and get that ball and that’s kind of why I did it.”
Of course, when he envisioned the play in his mind, he did more than just recover the fumble.
“It kind of scoots out to you, you pick it up, stiff arm a couple guys and run a 4.5 into the end zone,” Rodgers joked.
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