Packers the cream of the crop

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, left, and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees...

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, left, and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees shake hands after their NFL football game in Green Bay, Wisconsin, September 8, 2011. The Packers won the game 42-34. (REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:27 PM ET

TORONTO - It's not so much the numbers that Aaron Rodgers put up in the Packers relentlessly entertaining win over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday that jump out.

It's the way he looked doing it and his response after doing it that should put the fear of God in every defensive coordinator out there.

One championship is obviously not enough for this young man.

First the look. Every time the cameras showed Rodgers unless he was under centre or in the huddle (and even a few times then) he was smiling. It was that half cocky, half happy smile that only a guy completely at ease with what he is doing ever wants on his face.

On another quarterback the smile might have been covering something else up, but not Rodgers. He was having a ball out there no matter how many blitzes Gregg Williams and the Saints threw at him.

If you watched the game in its entirety, you walked away thinking the game was almost too easy for Rodgers.

Now the aftermath. Following the game, Rodgers didn't just respond to questions about the game, he made sure some of the same reporters who suggested the Packers were fat and lazy for not doing the off-season lockout workouts like other teams got a taste of their own medicine.

This one in particular, when a reporter asked about the impact of rookie Randall Cobb was telling. Cobb had both a return touchdown and a receiving major.

"Randall did a great job," Rodgers said. "It's exciting watching him with the ball in his hands. The kickoff return was incredible. The catch and run, he actually ran the wrong route but I was able to read, surprisingly. We didn't have off-season workouts but surprisingly I was able to read his body language there and he made a nice catch and run for a touchdown."

Rodgers didn't appreciate hearing that his team was fat and lazy and let the media know it.

It probably cost him a few friends in the press, but in the locker room his stature is bigger than ever and growing.

His head coach, Mike McCarthy knows this only too well.

"Aaron's there right now with Joe Montana as far as playing so much faster than everybody else," McCarthy told USA Today recently. "Aaron's so smart and in that same groove as Joe with how easy he makes the game look. There's nothing we feel we can't do with Aaron."

SANER HEADS PREVAIL

Apparently the NFL uniform police have learned from its past mistakes. With Sunday marking the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City, a few NFL players have publicly stated that they would flaunt league rules and wear the red, white and blue of the U.S. somewhere on their uniform. Bears linebacker Lance Briggs said earlier this week he would wear the tri-colour gloves and shoes to show his support for those lives who were impacted by the downing of the towers. He said he knew he would be fined by the NFL uniform police and he didn't care. The league has since informed all its teams that they will allow players to make their patriotic gestures as long as the gloves and shoes used are made by those companies that have sponsorship deals with the league.

QUICK HITS

Fittingly, that Saints-Packers was most-viewed kickoff game in NFL history with a total of 60-million viewers. That's up 5% versus last year's record 57.2 million according to NFL public relations ... Just what the Seattle Seahawks needed in Week 1. Both their expensive free agent pickups -- WR Sidney Rice and guard Robert Gallery -- are injured and unable to play. They could be in for another very long season in Seattle ... It's going to be an injury-depleted lineup that travels to Washington for the New York Giants this weekend. Defensive end Justin Tuck, who suffered a stinger during the Giants third pre-season game and hasn't practised since and will sit out along with cornerback Terrell Thomas, defensive Osi Umenyiora, middle linebacker Jonathan Goff, linebacker Clint Sintim, and first-round pick Prince Amukamara ... Texans running back Arian Foster sat out practice again on Friday, although he did work on the sidelines by himself. Foster will be a game-time decision. If he does not play, Derrick Ward would get the start ahead of Ben Tate ... The New York Giants opted not to re-sign receiver Steve Smith for fear that his knee injury would keep him out for a substantial amount of time. The Philadelphia Eagles stepped in and signed him anyway. Now the Eagles are saying Smith may actually play in Week 1, which would not go down well in New York where Johnson was very popular and supposedly an injury risk ... NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wants what was promised to him. During negotiations for the new collective bargaining agreement this past summer, Goodell says the NFLPA agreed to HGH testing. Both the league and the association agreed they would get something done by Week 1, but Week 1 is here and Goodell is still waiting. He made the point with NBC's Bob Costas during the Saints/Packers pre-game broadcast and again on SiruisXM NFL Radio later Thursday night. Goodell is like a dog with a bone. He's not going to let this go until he's satisfied and good on him for that. The NFLPA is balking at the WADA (World Anti-Doping Association) testing saying it has asked WADA for some clarification on its testing procedure and so far WADA has refused to supply an answer according to the union.


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