Aaron Rodgers' future was a hot-button topic all offseason. And while he eventually returned to Green Bay for the 2021 season, Rodgers' future beyond this season continues to be discussed by fans and media members alike.
There's been some buzz about Rodgers possibly resurfacing in Pittsburgh in 2022. Rodgers, whose 2-1 Packers will play host to the 1-2 Steelers on Sunday, recently raved about Pittsburgh and head coach Mike Tomlin during an appearance on the "Pat McAfee Show".
"I've been around a lot of Pittsburgh people over the years. I have loved my time with all of them," said Rodgers, whose first coach, Mike McCarthy, is a Pittsburgh native. "I have learned to speak the [Pittsburgh accent] really well, which is actually allowed me to follow and become a big fan of Pittsburgh Dad. ... It's a great, blue-collar town. There's a lot of great people that live there. There's a lot of history in that city."
Rodgers spoke highly of Tomlin, who in his 15th season is the third-longest-tenured head coach in the NFL behind Bill Belichick and Sean Payton. Tomlin's team fell short in its quest for a second championship in a three-year span against Rodgers and the Packers 11 years ago in Super Bowl XLV.
"I have a ton of respect for Mike," Rodgers said. "I think he's a fantastic coach. I love the way that he leads. I love that way that he talks after the games. He always seems to keep things really even keel. Looks like he's somebody that players love playing for."
The two teams appear to be heading in opposite directions. After a lopsided Week 1 loss to the Saints, the Packers have rebounded with impressive wins over the Lions and 49ers. Rodgers has particularly looked sharp, with six touchdowns and no interceptions in Green Bay's last two games.
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After defeating the Steelers in Buffalo, Pittsburgh dropped consecutive home games against Las Vegas and Cincinnati. Along with allowing big plays on defense, Pittsburgh's offense has scored just four touchdowns in 12 quarters. The Steelers' offensive line has struggled to protect Ben Roethlisberger, who has been sacked eight times and hit numerous other times through three games.
Despite their recent struggles, Rodgers is expecting Pittsburgh's best punch. It's also clear that Rodgers -- despite the constant speculations about his future -- is solely focused on this season and how he can keep the Packers in the running to capture the NFC's lone playoff bye.
"There's anomaly games," Rodgers said. "This is early in the season. ... T.J. got hurt in Week 2 against the Raiders. He's one of the top two or three -- at the most -- defensive players in the league. Having him back is a total game-changer this week. They're 1-2 right now, coming off a tough divisional loss. That seems like a dangerous football team, so we've got to be ready to go."