GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers believes he knows the No. 1 reason why the Green Bay Packers' offense was so good last season. And he doesn't think it's the fact that he was the NFL MVP for the second time in four years.
The Packers quarterback insists it was the offensive line's continuity and quality of play, which is why the team's re-signing of veteran right tackle Bryan Bulaga on Wednesday was so important.
''It started up front. We had the offensive line that we've never had here in my 10 years,'' Rodgers said on his weekly radio show after the team's season-ending loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC championship game. ''They were able to stay together and really grow as a group. You saw some guys play some excellent football. It starts up front. If we can keep that line together, that's the core of what you need to be successful.''
Terms were not disclosed, but the deal is believed to be for five years and worth about $34 million, including an $8 million signing bonus. Bulaga, who turns 26 next week, was the team's first-round draft pick in 2010 and became the youngest player in NFL history to start a Super Bowl when the Packers beat Pittsburgh during his rookie season.
After suffering back-to-back season-ending injuries in 2012 (hip) and 2013 (torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee), Bulaga played 1,091 snaps over 17 games (including playoffs) last season, missing only Week 2 with a left knee injury.
The Packers have all 11 of their preferred starters from last year's offense returning next season for a team that led the NFL in scoring with 486 points. The five starting offensive linemen are all under contract through the 2016 season.
''I'm very happy to be back,'' Bulaga told Packers.com. ''The whole process is a crazy process, but I'm very happy I'm back in Green Bay . This is one of the top franchises in football, from the way you're treated here to the staff to everybody. We have a very good football team, and I love all the guys that I play with. We have a great group up front, and obviously when you're blocking for the best quarterback in the league, it's fun on Sunday.''