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Rodgers Struggles But Displays Potential


Rookie Aaron Rodgers may not have led the team to any points, but he responded with his best preseason performance and perhaps secured the No. 2 quarterback position during the Packers' 27-3 loss to the New England Patriots on Friday night.

"I felt pretty comfortable out there, and I thought I made some pretty good reads," Rodgers said. "We moved the ball pretty well. Some penalties put us in some tough situations."

After completing only six-of-15 passes for 28 yards and an interception through two preseason games, Rodgers answered with a 5-of-9, 52-yard performance.

The first round draft pick started the second half and played until J.T. O'Sullivan entered the game with 4:40 remaining in the fourth quarter. Brett Favre played the first half, and Craig Nall did not take any snaps.

Friday's highlight came on his turnback route to Ahman Green. Rodgers' pass converted a third-and-six play late with 9:16 left in the third quarter.

Rodgers began the second half on a rocky note with a play reminiscent of his first two preseason outings. He fumbled his second snap of the game before recovering it for no gain.

His worst moment occurred when he forced a fourth-quarter pass to tight end Sean McHugh while rolling to his right.

"He shouldn't have thrown that one. There really wasn't anything there," Sherman said. "He tried to make a play with his feet and his arm, and it didn't happen."

That play killed a drive into Patriots' territory. Rodgers should have chucked the ball out of bounds instead of heaving it across his body.

"I'd love to have that ball I threw to McHugh back," he said. "You can't make mistakes like that. Experience will allow me to throw that ball away. In that situation I'm trying to make a play. ... I take full responsibility for that."

He did earn applause from the crowd by scrambling seven yards behind the right side of the line with 8:11 left in the fourth quarter. Rodgers converted the third down while shrugging off a wicked hit to his shoulder from cornerback Ellis Hobbs.

"He made a couple of throws he moved around with his feet a little bit," Sherman said.

The ground game racked up only 96 yards on 29 carries. Once the Packers run the ball effectively, Rodgers will have less of a burden offensively.

"Everyone needs to understand the sense of urgency to make every play the most important play," fullback William Henderson said, "To make every play that's designed to go two yards into a 40-yard-gain, to give an explosive guy like Ahman Green an opportunity to unleash his threat."

Rodgers took a step forward on Friday night, but he and the Packers team have much to work on. He remains confident both will improve.

"I'm in a great situation. I have a great coaching staff and a great group of guys to support me," he said. "We're going to get this ship turned around. Brett's not worried. The coaching staff is not worried."

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