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Rodgers Spending Offseason Staying Focused on Mental Health

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity to work on my mental health,” Rodgers said on Monday during a news conference to promote Tuesday’s “The Match” golf event.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Having skipped the offseason program in his dispute with the team, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he spent the time away from game working on his mental health.

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity to work on my mental health,” Rodgers, via ESPN.com, said on Monday during a news conference to promote Tuesday’s “The Match,” a made-for-TV golf clash featuring Rodgers and Bryson DeChambeau battling Phil Mickelson and  Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. “I haven’t dealt with bouts of depression or anything that I think, for whatever reason, are OK to talk about if you’re talking about mental health. I’ve just really been trying to think about what puts me in the best frame of mind. What habits can I form that allow me to feel most in my body, most present, happiest? And that’s what I've been doing.”

Rodgers spoke several times last season about his focus on “positivity and love and kindness and integrity” following the team’s surprise selection of Jordan Love. His MVP season was rooted as much mentally as the career-altering changes he made physically.

“It’s obviously fun when you’re winning but it can be fun if you’re in the right head space, and I feel like I have been, really, since the offseason and COVID hit,” Rodgers said in December. “Talked about it at length about just kind of a shift, really, in the course of my life and my habits. I think it’s really helped me enjoy things a little bit more.

"Getting older helps with that, as well. It gives you a slightly different perspective on things. You enjoy the little moments every day a little bit more, whether it’s little things that might have irked you in the past, you just embrace them, or things that you’ve enjoyed but you might overlook sometimes, you relish those times. I think that’s been a part of the fun that I’ve been personally having this year.”

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Rodgers spoke in great detail about mental health before the Week 3 game against New Orleans, shortly after Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott opened up about his issues—and was criticized for it by Fox Sports’ Skip Bayless.

“There’s a weird stigma around it that it’s almost [viewed as a] weakness to either ask for help or admit you’re struggling with things or admit thoughts you might have, negative thoughts about yourself,” Rodgers said. “I think strength is taking care of yourself and taking care of your mind and understanding how important your thoughts are. Waking up each day with the right focus and the right mindset and taking time to be quiet during the day, whether it’s five minutes, 10 minutes, an hour, still your mind, allow your brain to re-wire itself and change the outlook of the cells in your body, get them to get out of protection mode and into growth mode.

“When I saw what Dak said, I applaud him. I think it’s phenomenal speaking out, because that’s true courage, that’s true strength. It’s not a weakness at all. Anybody who attacks them—other people’s opinions of ourselves really have nothing to do with us."

Rodgers had little to say about his future with the team and whether he will show up for the start of training camp on July 27. Tuesday’s telecast of "The Match" will start at 5 p.m. ET on TNT.

“Sometimes, the loudest person in the room is not the smartest person,” said Rodgers, who has left the talking to his surrogates and Packers President Mark Murphy. “Sometimes, the loudest person in the room is not the person who has all the facts on their side or the truth on their side. Sometimes, there’s a lot of wisdom is silence. Sometimes there’s a lot of wisdom in being selective on what you say.”