The Green Bay Packers quarterback has been critical of the annual AFC-NFC game in the past, and he went down that path again Wednesday, suggesting last season's tilt reached new lows.
"I just felt like the intensity level was higher (in 2009)," Rodgers told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "You didn't see a ton of big hits or anything, but you didn't see some of the efforts or lack of effort we saw last season. On the flip side, I understand. Drew (Brees of the New Orleans Saints) was playing without a contract, and some of these guys didn't want to be out there. I understand that. But if that's the case, then maybe we shouldn't have a game at that point."
Last year's gala, in which the AFC defeated the NFC 59-41, virtually was devoid of defensive strategy. Rodgers said his first Pro Bowl, in 2009, was played at a higher level, pointing to defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (then with the Tennessee Titans) as someone who forced the NFC to stay alert. Not the case last year, and Rodgers wasn't the only Packer to question if the Pro Bowl still has meaning.
"There's nothing riding on it," Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings said. "Whereas in baseball you have home field (for the World Series) riding on that all-star game. Basketball, I mean it's basketball. Nothing riding on the game, but you can still showcase your talent. Nobody's getting hit, setting hard picks, but you can still play the game. Other sports can do that, (but) we can't. You can't arm-tackle a guy and expect him to just fall. It doesn't look good."
Nobody is mistaking the Pro Bowl for some high-octane test of wills, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell previously has taken a hard look at if the event should be eliminated. It's pretty clear where these Packers players stand.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.