Watch: Rodgers talks leadership

Bill Huber

After the Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, a game in which Lucas Patrick replaced Corey Linsley after the ironman center exited with a concussion, quarterback Aaron Rodgers mentioned how proud he was of Patrick and briefly told a story about how Patrick regrouped after a slow start to training camp.

Part of Patrick’s run to a roster spot stemmed from a lunchtime conversation with Rodgers.

“You know, everyone likes to think you’re always the belle of the ball or you’re always having a great day, but I didn’t feel like I was having the best OTAs or camp,” Patrick said on Tuesday. “I didn’t think it was up to my standards, let alone up to the Packers’ standard. Or Aaron’s – it wasn’t even remotely there. He took time out of his day to talk to me and encourage me that it’s not just one day that turns you into a bad player and it’s not just one day that turns you into a great player. It’s stacking a few days on top and it’s a mentality of approaching it with hard work and determination.”

It was a conversation that meant the world to Patrick, who was trying to adapt to a schematic change to retain his roster spot. The turnaround was immediate, he said.

“If you feel like 12 has your back, it’s like the whole state of Wisconsin has your back,” Patrick said. “Everyone knows he’s special. Everyone knows what he can do on the field. But I don’t think many people truly know what he does off the field to help guys like me. I mean, I think if you went around to a bunch of guys in the locker room who are just fighting to stick in this league, he’s probably talked to 99 percent of them and has expressed words of encouragement, ‘Keep sticking it out.’ Or, ‘This is what you need to work on.’ It’s not always peaches and cream. He’ll shoot you straight. But I appreciate that. Because at this level, we need people who are willing to say, ‘This is where you’re deficient, or this is where you need to get better.’ And he’s not afraid to do that. And it makes this team so much better.”

Just as Patrick appreciated Rodgers’ words, Rodgers appreciated Patrick’s words. Click on the video to hear Rodgers’ response.