The moment Bill Belichick took Lambeau Field ahead of Sunday’s Patriots-Packers matchup, he sought out Aaron Rodgers for a quick pregame conversation.
That gesture meant a lot to the Green Bay quarterback.
“The thing that touched me that I really appreciated was him coming over pregame,” Rodgers said Tuesday on “The Pat McAfee Show.” “Because postgame, you’re always going to have a moment with the other quarterback or head coach or somebody you know, but there’s so many cameras and microphones, it’s hard to really have a real conversation. But he stopped over when we were just starting our throwing lines and got to chat for 45 seconds or a minute, and that was really meaningful because there’s no cameras around, there’s no microphones.
“To have a good conversation, share mutual respect and admiration like that was really cool. And obviously, he’s a phenomenal coach.”
Belichick and Rodgers also embraced on the field after Green Bay pulled out a 27-24 victory, and the former opened his postgame news conference with effusive praise for the latter.
“I’d say in the end, Rodgers is just too good,” Belichick said. “He made some throws that only Rodgers can make. We had pretty good coverage on some of those, and he’s just too smart, too good, too accurate, and in the end, he got us. We just couldn’t quite do enough in the other areas to quite offset it.”
The Patriots’ defense stymied Rodgers during the first half (4-for-11, 44 yards, one pick-six) but faltered down the stretch. Over the final two quarters and overtime, the four-time NFL MVP went 17-for-24 for 207 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers, complementing a potent Packers rushing attack that racked up 199 yards on the ground.
“(Belichick) had those guys ready to play,” Rodgers said. “They shut us down in the first half, kept us out of a rhythm. Second half, we got things rolling and started to put things together, hit some plays, finally hit some throws and kind of look more like ourselves. But I have so much respect for Bill.”