By David Klein, Lions Insider
So there is this story, from a long time ago, in a land far, far away. A different century in fact. So I’m sitting at a high-top table at a sports bar in Royal Oak, Detroit with a young beat writer for the Detroit Pistons. And we start talking about the Chicago Bulls and what ultimately evolved into the making of Michael Jordan and their dynasty. We were talking about what had infamously became known as the “Jordan Rules.”
I mean, this is about as secretive of information that I have in sporting circles. John Salley walks into the bar, and he’s a baller for sure. Rocking an enterarage and the Versace suit. The whole everything. And I had spoke with him before about it. If you ever have the pleasure to meet John Salley, he is the most down-to-earth athlete I’ve ever met. And even Chuck Daly, the former Head Coach (who laughed it off, claiming there was no such thing as the “Jordan Rules”.) But John Salley is a total character. And he where’s all his rings. From Detroit to Chicago to LA.
But this is what it was. Mike Jordan will lose the game on his own if you isolate him and push him to his left handle. And slam him when he gets in the lane. And grab his ass while you pretend to help him off the floor. Detroit did that from 1986 to 1991, until ultimately the Bulls found more depth and figured it out.
In much the same way, these are the “Rodgers Rules.”
You almost have to think of as Aaron Rodgers in the mode as a hybrid of Barry Sanders in the pocket. He is most dangerous on the move, so contain on the edges are key. If you chase him around, you’re toast. Keep him in the pocket, stay in man coverage with a QB Spy and he will make mistakes.
I met Tony Dungy one time too, in Phoenix, and he said much the same thing. Tony is about as Michigan as it gets. So he says to me, “If you stay in one place, the play will always come to you.” This was when Dungy was coaching Tampa and had just defeated Detroit in the playoffs. They held Barry Sanders in check by just staying in their lanes and not running around like circus animals. In much the same manner, Detroit can not let Aaron Rodgers become that circus clown – like what Brett Favre did to them with Sterling Sharpe in the 1993-or-whatever playoff games. Brett Favre still makes a living selling crappy blue jeans with that same mindset. Wing it.
Much like Jordan, if you push Rodgers anywhere, you push him left. But ideally you do not push him anywhere and keep contain. My philosophy would be to not blitz at all. You are simply playing into his hands and chasing him around. Wasting energy. If he is going to pick you apart, let him try. I mean, at least then you know you suck and your secondary needs an upgrade.