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Aaron Rodgers is 'coach-smart,' Mike McCarthy says

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When Aaron Rodgers knocked off Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to emerge as the MVP front-runner in late November, coach Mike McCarthy raved that he had never seen a quarterback play at a higher level than the Green Bay Packers' signal-caller has this season.

Silver: The Toast of Titletown
Aaron Rodgers is becoming an NFL icon, but the QB's path to greatness hasn't been paved in gold. Michael Silver explains. READ

Both McCarthy and Rodgers addressed that assertion in an outstanding longform piece published by NFL Media columnist Michael Silver this week.

Although Rodgers dismissed the notion as "idle talk," McCarthy explained that his quarterback has reached the point where he's "coach-smart" in his pre- and post-snap recognitions.

"Nobody plays faster in the league than this guy," McCarthy added, "the way he sees the game, the way he gets the ball out of his hands."

Rodgers has reached the point that he is calling more than half of the plays in an average game.

"Mike might call two plays, and then they'll go no-huddle," former Packers backup quarterback Seneca Wallace told Silver. "So of the 70 plays in a game, Aaron might end up calling 40. But it really eats at Mike when he doesn't know what play Aaron is calling. He'll be like, 'What the f---? What is he calling?' "

Remember Matt Flynn's franchise record-breaking performance featuring 480 yards and six touchdown passes in the meaningless 2011 regular season-finale?

"I think Aaron called 100 percent of those plays, or darn near close, from what he told me," Wallace revealed. "That just tells you the respect level Mike has for him, and the level that they're both on intellectually."

Silver's piece, The Toast of Titletown, is an overview of Rodgers' career, from Butte College to his current spot atop the NFL's mountain.

Among the interesting topics covered: Linebacker A.J. Hawk comparing Rodgers' Week 17 calf injury to former New York Knicks legend Willis Reed's famous "Tunnel Game" in the 1970 NBA Finals, Packers fans' off-the-wall remedies for Rodgers' broken collarbone in 2013 and how Rodgers feels about Brett Favre returning to Lambeau Field for a jersey retirement ceremony next season.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Wild Card game and looks ahead to the Divisional Round. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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