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Cal in NFL: Cross Bears Off List of Aaron Rodgers' Possible Future Teams

Ex-Golden Bears QB Jared Goff answers critics regarding his reluctance to throw downfield

Ever since former Cal star Aaron Rodgers made it known he wanted out of Green Bay, people have speculated about which team he would join in 2022 or 2023.

Well, you can cross the Chicago Bears off the list.

The Packers face the Bears in Chicago on Sunday, and Rodgers spent much of his press conference this week talking about how much he enjoyed Chicago and playing the Bears. It started with his story about a chance meeting with fan while he was walking to dinner the day before a game against the Bears and it went on to his recollection of watching Chicago Blls games and Cubs games on TV when he was growing up.

"I've always enjoyed the city, enjoyed the fans even though they haven't enjoyed me, I get it," Rodgers said. "Maybe there'll be a little more love when my time comes to an end playing here. But I do have a lot of respect for the city and the sports fans."

So the question had to be asked: Are the Bears a team he might consider joining?

Rodgers did not provide the non-answer most players would give. No “Well, let’s wait and see,” or “I’m just focusing on the next game” avoidance quotes. No, Rodgers was direct and adamant.

“No, no,” he said about the possibility of someday playing for the Bears. “It’s just not going to happen.”

Why Rodgers was so adamant that he won’t wind up in Chicago is not clear. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that the Packers would never trade him to a team in the same division.

In any event, you can judge for yourself in the video below of his weekly press conference. Rodgers’ press conferences are always interesting, but the part about Chicago and the Bears begins about 15 minutes into the video.

The Packers are 4-1 and Rodgers is playing well, but things have not gone as well for former Golden Bears quarterback Jared Goff in Detroit.

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The Lions are winless heading into Sunday's game against the Bengals, and Goff is facing the same complaint that he faced in his final two seasons with the Rams: that he checks down to receivers for short passes and seldom throws the ball downfield. 

Goff is averaging 6.65 yards per passing attempt, which is among the worst in the NFL but better than Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan, among several others.

Goff was asked about his reluctance to go deep during his press conference this week.

“I’m trying to find the guy that’s open every play,” Goff said, and if that happens to be all the way down the field, that’s the guy. If it’s not, then it’s not. I’m not concerned with my yards per attempt or completion. Just trying to find the guy who’s open. If you guys want me to improve my yards per attempt, I’ll overthrow everybody 50 yards over and over again, and my yards per attempt will go through the roof.”

He addresses that issue at the start of this video of this week's press conference:

As Goff presumably knows, overthrowing receivers on deep patterns won’t improve his yards per attempt. In fact it would worsen it. Quarterbacks have to complete those deep passes to increase their yards per attempt. An incompletion of any distance gives the quarterback zero yards for that attempt.


Cover photo of Aaron Rodgers by Albert Cesare, The Enquirer, USA TODAY NETWORK


Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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