From NY Bozo to Can to Oscar; Rodgers keeps them guessing

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY)- Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur refers to the options he gives his quarterbacks for any play "Cans"; it’s his version of an audible. So it may have been a little alarming to viewers watching the Packers-Vikings game last Sunday when Aaron Rodgers started barking out “Can, Can, Can” several times at the line of scrimmage. I mean, Rodgers wouldn’t be THAT obvious about changing a play, would he? “Very possibly,” Rodgers answered on Wednesday with a Cheshire cat grin.

When the NFL started allowing television network microphones on certain players back in 2011, it allowed the public to hear the chess game that has always gone on at the line of scrimmage. But it also raised the stakes.

Rodgers explains. “If you can hear, you know they can hear it; and they are watching, they're studying it. They're studying cadences and checks, so you have to mix up the stuff that's live and the stuff that isn't. You can't just keep the same wordage every week unless you switch what they actually mean, and thankfully we do some of that.”

Most of us were introduced to this clever word play during the Packers playoff game against the Cowboys following the 2014 season, when Rodgers famously barked out "New York Bozo, New York Bozo!”

Eight months later against the Seahawks, there was a new Bozo in town, orange Bozo. And against the Vikings, Rodgers introduced “Oscar, Oscar, Oscar” to the cast of characters.

Oscar’s identity remains a secret. “We don't talk about Oscar a lot,” said center Corey Linsley. “He's a good dude, though.”

Is he a better dude than Orange Bozo? “Ha ha, no comment,” commented Linsley.

But these comments Rodgers is making at the line also stress the linemen. "That guy's mind moves faster than anybody else's. He's on another planet in terms of football knowledge. We're all just trying to get on the same page,” says Linsley.

As for right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who has been dealing with Rodgers' line of scrimmage antics for 10 seasons now, “When he speaks, or he makes an adjustment or whatever he is doing back there, we have to be in tune with it. There's a lot of things that he says throughout a game that may or may not mean something.”

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