JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – What do you do when you meet your hero and have to beat him?
That’s the question facing at least two Jaguars this week. Wisconsin native Joe Schobert and quarterback Jake Luton will both try to defeat Aaron Rodgers, despite their feeling about the Green Bay quarterback.
Schobert grew up in Wisconsin and was a big Packer’s fan as a kid. He faced the Packers once before in his career, during the 2017 season, his second in the league when Schobert collected nine tackles in an overtime loss to the Packers. But that was the year Rodgers was hurt and Brett Hundley started at quarterback in that game.
On Sunday, he’ll get his shot at Rodgers.
“Growing up as a Packer fan I was spoiled with Brett Favre, transitioned to Aaron Rodgers for my whole childhood watching them play. He’s just done a lot of great things in Green Bay,” Schobert said. "As you get into the NFL and you understand how hard the game is and how fast and how good defenses are and defensive backs are, [it] makes you appreciate it a little bit more than he’s still doing it at such a high level when he was doing it for a long time since I was in third, fourth grade.
At least one other Jaguar grew up idolizing Rodgers. Luton says he was a fan of Favre, and then Rodgers because he like the way Rodgers played and continues to play.
“It’s pretty surreal. He’s a guy I have a lot of respect for, was a big fan of growing up, and a huge fan of his game,” Luton said. “A lot of things that he does, no one else really can do. He’s a wizard with the football in a lot of ways. Like I said, [I have] a lot of respect for him. It’ll be really exciting to get out there and get to play ball against him.”
While Luton will lead an offense that may have to try to keep pace with the Packers, it will be up to Schobert and his defensive teammates to try to hold down the league’s third-highest scoring offense.
“But at the same time, you’re up here and you see things on film, you realize he’s a person. He’s made mistakes,” Schobert said. “He doesn’t make as many mistakes as some other people, but he’s still a person, can still be affected by pressure, throw some balls that are up for grabs. So, we just have to be ready to take advantage of it because he will give an opportunity. He’s a human just like the rest of us.”