This is the opening for my Thursday article on what makes Aaron Rodgers special.
SANTA CLARA — The 49ers face Keyser Soze this Saturday night.
I’m not talking about the mythical villain from the 1995 movie The Usual Suspects. I’m talking about Aaron Rodgers, the Packers’ quarterback, the best quarterback in the NFL.
When he played at Cal, NFL scouts mistook him for Verbal Kint, Soze’s diminutive, handicapped alter ego. Rodgers was unorthodox, he held the football next to his ear when he stood in the pocket, and he was relatively short and awkward for a quarterback.
Twenty-three teams passed on him in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft. He sat in the green room for hours and smiled sheepishly at cameras while TV analysts talked about how sorry they felt for him.
And then the Packers drafted him. Rodgers walked onto the stage, shook Paul Tagliabue’s hand, held up a Packers jersey and left.
And like that, he was gone.
You could imagine him as Verbal Kint, limping off the stage, leaving the building and then all of a sudden losing the limp, lighting a cigarette and becoming Keyser Soze, the most feared man in the world.
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