Aaron Rodgers spent his first three NFL seasons as a backup behind Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre. For most of that time, Rodgers was constantly in Favre's hip pocket while taking mental notes of what helped make Favre one of the all-time great quarterbacks.
Rodgers also paid close attention to then-Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who had already won three Super Bowls by that point in his career. Rodgers was specifically dialed into Brady's historic 2007 season that saw him launch a then-NFL record 50 touchdown passes while leading New England to a perfect regular season.
"In 2007 I watched every snap that this guy took," Rodgers said while referencing Brady (who was seated to his left) during a roundtable conversation with TNT's Ernie Johnson. "He was unbelievable that year."
While watching Brady, Rodgers noticed something that he had yet to add to his repertoire.
"I didn't have the pocket presence as a young player," Rodgers said. "His ability to made subtle movements in the pocket was something that I just had to add to my game."
Rodgers showcased what he learned from Brady and Favre in 2008. During his first season as a starter, Rodgers threw for over 4,000 yards while throwing more than twice as many touchdowns (28) as interceptions (13). Two years later, Rodgers joined Brady in the fraternity of starting quarterbacks who have won a Super Bowl, as Rodgers won MVP honors after throwing for 304 yards and three scores in Super Bowl XLV.
The two quarterbacks have seemingly gotten better with age. Rodgers was named league MVP each of the last two seasons. Brady won his seventh Super Bowl in 2020 and led the NFL with 4,316 yards and 43 touchdowns last season. Both players are members of the Hall of Fame All-2010s Team.
"Tommy has obviously set the bar so high with playing so many years," Rodgers said of Brady, who will welcome Rodgers and the Packers to Tampa when the two teams face off on Sept. 25.