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Packers QB coach Clements: Rodgers’ mind sets him apart

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

ARLINGTON, Texas — Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements has always been impressed with Aaron Rodgers' athleticism. He knows Rodgers has plenty of arm strength and the ability to make plays with his legs, but there may be something else that separates him from the other players at his position, said Clements, a licensed attorney who once served as an adjunct law professor, while sitting in the stands of Cowboys Stadium at media day Tuesday.

"I think he has all the physical tools," Clements said. "He has a great arm, he's accurate and has the athletic ability to move around. One of the biggest things that sets him apart from other guys is his great mental makeup for the game. He's intelligent, makes great decisions out on the field.

"We put a lot of responsibility on his shoulders to get us into the right play — both run and pass protections — and he does an outstanding job with that. He's the complete package."

It's a meeting of bright minds when Rodgers and Clements sit down to work together.

Clements graduated magna cum laude from Notre Dame's school of law, and Rodgers reportedly scored well above average when he took the Wonderlic — the test assesses a person's learning and problem-solving abilities — before Green Bay drafted him in 2005.

"Tom does a great job at never being complacent with the way I'm playing, and we scrutinize every little part of the game — everything from every step in the drop to my play fakes to my keeps off of a run," Rodgers said.

Clements, who joined Green Bay's staff when Mike McCarthy was hired as head coach early in 2006, has had one of the closest views of Rodgers' development in the NFL. He's coached Rodgers since the start of his second season in the league and watched him improve as a player and grow as a leader since he took over as the Packers' starter for Brett Favre in 2008.

"From the time he became the starter, he's performed well on the field," Clements said. "His relationship with the players has been outstanding. He works to develop that. ... Really, the biggest thing is the actual performance on the field. He's performed very well over the past three years, he's gotten better, and now the guys, I think, have complete confidence in him."

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