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Golden Nuggets: Richard Rodgers Jr. on His Father and the Journey to the NFL

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Richard Rodgers Jr. talks about the role his father played in his success...even if Rodgers Sr. couldn't quite pass his ping pong skills along to his son.

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

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."
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"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."
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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.

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