Sports

Bill Belichick heaps praise on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

FOXBOROUGH – A few weeks ago, Bill Belichick said the Broncos’ Peyton Manning is the best quarterback he’s ever coached against, but judging by his comments on the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers Wednesday morning, the Patriots coach is bracing for quite a challenge this Sunday.

After a 1-2 start, the Packers have won seven of their last eight games, and their offense is routinely torching opponents. Rodgers has 30 touchdown passes and three interceptions, with two of the picks coming in their last loss, in New Orleans a month ago.

“He’s a great player. He does a tremendous job, at everything. No weak points,” Belichick said. “Makes every throw. Handles the team very well at the line. Checks and adjustments, he certainly sees the defense well, uses all of his weapons, makes great throws, the short ones, intermediate, down the field, sideline, back shoulders, deep routes, then he has a great ability to extend plays, either sliding in the pocket or at times scrambling outside the pocket, they’ve made a lot of plays this year on things like that, where he either buys extra time or flat-out gets away from the rush and lets the receivers uncover.

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“He’s a hard guy to tackle, hard guy to get, very hard thrower, very accurate thrower, has great vision. He’s really good.”

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A reporter began a question to Belichick about the number of mobile quarterbacks the team has faced recently, like the Colts’ Andrew Luck and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford, but Belichick cut the questioner off.

“Not like him,” he said.

What makes Rodgers different?

“He’s great. He’s quick, he’s big, he’s fast, throws the ball very accurately and has great vision down the field. He finds guys that there’s not a lot of space, but he finds ‘em and then he hits ‘em. Not taking anything away from anybody else, but this guy’s a really good player,” Belichick said.

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Asked if there are any similarities between Rodgers and Tom Brady and how both have been able to elevate their respective games this season in leading their teams onto the short list of teams who look like legitimate Super Bowl contenders, Belichick said, “They both wear No. 12.”

With that, he exited the room.

Follow Shalise Manza Young on Twitter at @shalisemyoung.