Packers QB has a leg up on Vick

MIKE RUTSEY,QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:36 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA - Aaron Rodgers has always been a big Michael Vick fan.

It started back when he played at the University of California and his admiration for Vick has only grown this year in what for Vick has been a season of rebirth.

"Oh yeah, oh yeah, I was definitely a fan," Rodgers said of Vick Wednesday in a conference call.

"I had a real good conversation with him on the field in Week 1 where I wished him luck and was looking forward to watching him again at some point.

"I didn't know when it would be, but it happened to be that day (after starting Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb was knocked out of the game following a hit by Packers linebacker Clay Matthews). Thankfully we escaped with a win, but he's had a great season. It's fun to watch.

"He's a guy who paid his debt to society, was given an opportunity and made the most of it. I'm very happy as a colleague of his to see how well he has played and it's fun to watch."

While the Packers QB is known more for his arm, and up until this season Vick was known more his scrambling and running ability, Rodgers is no slouch when it comes to tucking the ball in and heading up field when he has to.

In fact, with 356 yards, he's the second-leading rusher on the Packers and is the third-leading rushing quarterback to Vick, who churned out 676 yards.

"It's definitely something that adds to the offence, my ability to extend the play," Rodgers said.

"I like to be a pass-first guy inside the pocket but at times, it's been a necessity to make some yards with my legs and I've always felt like that's been maybe an underrated part of my game, even in college when I was coming out.

"So, it's just something I add to the offence."

One big advantage that Rodgers has over Vick, meanwhile, is how he performs when the opposing defence blitzes.

In those situations, Rodgers has completed 66.5% of his passes, has thrown 11 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. He has also been sacked just eight times when blitzed.

Vick, by comparison, has completed 55% of his passes when the blitz is on and has been sacked 19 times.

What's the secret to Rodgers success?

How about his O-line.

"We do a pretty good job protection-wise and it starts with Scott Wells (Packers centre), who's my right-hand man in the protections schemes, getting those in a good situation with his call and may potentially adjust with whatever call he makes. And having two guys at guard who've played together for a good amount of time who can make sure we're all on the same page," Rodgers said.

"The biggest difference between this year and last year is that we've had pretty good continuity up front, not missing a ton of games with our starters. Just the fact that we haven't had to make wholesale changes in the offensive line has allowed us to do a better job in protection and those guys give me a little bit of time."


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