The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talks with rookie tight end Richard Rodgers about his journey to Green Bay and the role his dad played in his success.
"Sometimes it's hard when you're a player to find someone to talk about the game with," said the 6-foot-4, 257-pound third-round pick. "Obviously, you can talk to your coaches. You can talk to people who are on your team. But when you can go to someone like your dad on vacation or Thanksgiving or Christmas, whatever, you sit down at the table and talk about football, talk about things that happened during the season, that's a big help."
"All coaches have a strenuous schedule," Rodgers Jr. said, "but he did his best to come to everything that I have and support me. He did everything he could to help us. At the same time, as a coach, he was putting food on the table."
The relationship endured by phone through Rodgers' turbulent collegiate career. Together, they analyzed each game. There were many tough-love conversations, too. Banished on special teams as a freshman, Rodgers wanted to play. His dad told him to "keep going...keep driving."
Now, son usually knows what his dad is going to say before he says it. The two had a soul-searching conversation when Sonny Dykes replaced Jeff Tedford at Cal and the new staff demanded Rodgers trim his 278-pound frame into the 240s or he wouldn't play.
Rodgers Sr. asked his son if he wanted to transfer, to which his son said he'd ride it out.
"I think he took it as a challenge as he does most things," Rodgers Sr. said. "He really did. He wanted to be there. He wanted the challenge. He knew he could play the position that they want. So he put his head down and lost 30 pounds."
Good thing Rodgers Sr. is no longer a defensive coach because defending the Rodgers to Rodgers connection this season could be extremely difficult.
- Former Cal Chancellor Robert Birgeneau cancelled his appearance at the Haverford commencement after a handful of students and faculty protested Cal's handling of a 2011 Occupy protest. Replacement speaker William Bowen chastised students for placing a set of unusual demands on Birgeneau should he decide to speak.
- The no. 2 men's team finished 2nd at the Pac-12 Championships. The fourth-ranked women's team finished 3rd to end their six-year reign atop the Pac-12.
- Max Homa won the BMW Charity Pro-Am with a final score of 266 (20 under).
- The Bears earned a 5-seed for this weekend's NCAA Championships.
Track and Field
- Freshman 2B Robbie Tenerowicz hit three doubles to help propel the Bears to a 6-4 win over Arizona. The win gave Cal the series victory.
- The Bears defeated San Francisco 12-4 to move within two games of .500.
- ESPN ranks this offseason's coaching hires ($) and gives Cal a B for hiring Martin. The article says this would be a fantastic hire in the Midwest but expresses concerns about how long it will take Martin to build recruiting ties on the West Coast.