Former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch credits New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers for giving him the chance to play in college
Speaking on Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay podcast, Lynch credited Rodgers for the reason he was given an opportunity at the University of California, where both players attended college.
“Aaron Rodgers, he is the reason why I got my opportunity at Cal,” started Lynch. “I remember we had our spring game, and I mean you know the ones going against the ones, they’re like, ‘Hey put 2-4 in there.’ Everybody’s looking around like what? You fixing to give this freshman an opportunity? Because we had some older guys that still ain’t even got a carry.
“[Rodgers goes] ‘Put 2-4 in there, I want to see what he can do.’ I come in there and they call 24 Power, I’m like ‘I get a power?’ I get back there I’m looking across that defense and I’m like ‘Oh s***, them grown-ups.’ I get in there … and I done went the wrong way. I done went the wrong damn way.”
"Aaron Rodgers is the reason why I got my opportunity at Cal."
Another example of what a "terrible" teammate Aaron Rodgers is 🙄
— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) October 5, 2023
Fortunately for Lynch, Rodgers was able to adjust on the fly. That allowed the freshman running back to make up for his initial mistake.
“But this is how I know A-Rod was special,” said Lynch. “As A-Rod turned around he was looking for me, he saw I was on the other side. A-Rod pulled the smoothest move I’ve ever seen. That boy turned around and handed the ball off to me backwards … I come around and get back into the play.”
After a scolding from his running back coach, Lynch was about to receive a second badgering from his head coach – until the future Jets quarterback stepped in.
“Before [the head coach] could even get over there to open his mouth, I just hear A-Rod telling him ‘No, no, that was me, that was me’. I’m like, what?”
When the running backs coach tried to call out Rodgers’ lie, the Jets quarterback doubled down to defend his teammate.
“I did the wrong thing. Look, I’m telling you I did the wrong thing. Give me the next play so I can run it,” Lynch recalls Rodgers saying. “And I’m sitting there [dumbfounded] because I’ve never seen a quarterback go to bat [for me].”
That moment led to a budding friendship between Rodgers and the 12th overall pick from the 2007 NFL Draft.
“[After that] me and A-Rod built a level of trust where he’s like ‘Hey go out and line up at wideout,” the former Bills RB recalls. “‘If you get a safety or a linebacker on you, I don’t care what the play was, run a go.’ Man A-Rod throwing me fades and some more s***. We built up that trust with each other.”
Rodgers and Lynch may be friends, but that didn’t stop “Beast Mode” from taking a friendly jab at his friend and former teammate – while also heaping heavy praise on the Jets quarterback.
“I would’ve thought he would’ve had more Super Bowls, but he’s the best quarterback I’ve ever played with.”
Despite the criticisms of Rodgers’ personality during his tenure as a Packer, there have been numerous feel-good stories involving Rodgers’ leadership and kindness since he joined the Jets. This hasn’t been limited to just his Jets’ teammates – we’ve also heard it from other quarterbacks and players across the league.
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