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Packers’ Aaron Rodgers zings his 2019 critics: ‘Down years for me are career years for most QBs’

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Aaron Rodgers is back to his scintillating best for the Packers and, on Tuesday, he took aim at those who questioned him during the 2019 campaign.

Rodgers’ superb start to the 2020 season has helped the Packers surge to a 4-0 record as they look to go one better than last campaign when they lost in the NFC Championship game.

Green Bay finished last year 13-3, though many believed the Packers were fortunate to reach that record, with Rodgers’ transition to head coach Matt LaFleur’s offense appearing far from seamless.

There can be no doubts the Packers’ 4-0 start to this year is deserved, with Green Bay’s points differential of plus 41 through four games the highest in the NFC.

Appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers was asked if being in his second year of LaFleur’s offense is an advantage compared to last year.

“It does help being in a second-year [offense] for sure, I feel a lot more comfortable,” he replied. “But … I sometimes laugh when people talk about down years for me, ’cause a lot of times down years for me are career years for most quarterbacks.”

It is tough to dispute Rodgers’ claim. Though his completion percentage in 2019 dipped to 62 – his worst performance in that category since 2015 – he still had 4,002 yards passing with 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions. His interception percentage of 0.7 was the best in the NFL.

Through four games this year, Rodgers

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Aaron Rodgers obliterates his critics after hot start

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Reports of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ demise were greatly exaggerated. After an offseason of speculation that Rodgers’ time with the Packers could be coming to an end, Rodgers is playing some of the best football of his career.

Through four games, Rodgers has thrown 13 touchdowns against zero interceptions. That performance has helped lead the Packers to a 4-0 start to the season. It’s also put Rodgers in the way-too-early MVP conversation.

Rodgers, 36, is well aware there were people who expected him to show signs of decline this season. He punched back at those haters Tuesday, letting them know his numbers in a bad year are pretty good for most other quarterbacks.

Rodgers made those comments on the “Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday. The best part of the clip: McAfee reacts immediately while Rodgers slyly smiles about what he just said. It’s rare to hear any player brag about their career like that, but Rodgers knows he’s done more than enough to back up that talk. Even if you’re a Chicago Bears fan who hates Rodgers with every fiber of your being, you can’t argue his point.

Aaron Rodgers drops f-bomb while calling out media

While the “down years” quote was the spiciest thing Rodgers said during the interview with McAfee, it wasn’t the only statement that deserves attention. Rodgers also called out the media for asking him dumb questions.

That issue arose after McAfee teased Rodgers and the Packers taking on Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6.

Rodgers got a little more animated than that, though. He actually dropped an f-bomb when discussing how his quotes get picked apart by the media.

“Is anybody surprised? All the f—ing media does is write stories to get clicks … I can give a long

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Putin Critics Ousted From Elite University Set Up ‘Free’ Rival

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(Bloomberg) — Professors who say they were dismissed from one of Russia’s most prestigious universities for refusing to curtail criticism of President Vladimir Putin have set up a new institution to counter what they argue is an assault on academic freedom.

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The controversy over the departure of several dozen staff at the state-run Higher School of Economics, a one-time symbol of Russia’s post-Communist transformation, comes amid fears of a widening crackdown on dissent fueled by the near-fatal poisoning of opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

One of the acedemics, Elena Lukyanova, who has co-founded the new “Free University,” accused the Kremlin of reining in the HSE. The constitutional law professor’s contract was terminated after she criticized changes to Russia’s basic law that allow Putin to remain president potentially to 2036.

“The state has started to intervene in academic rights and freedoms,” Lukyanova said. “Every new year of normal-thinking graduates is a threat to the authorities.”

Some 5,500 people have applied for places at the Free University, which began offering online classes to around 500 students last month. It hopes to be able to offer degrees in the future.

Established in 1992 after the Soviet Union’s collapse, the HSE has expanded well beyond economics and now has around 47,000 students. It offers dual degrees with 36 foreign universities, including the London School of Economics and Germany’s Humboldt.

HSE officials deny any political motive for the job cuts. It barred students and faculty this year from expressing political views that could reflect a public affiliation with the university, following the 2019 prosecution of Yegor Zhukov, an opposition blogger and HSE student who received a three-year suspended sentence for “extremism” after attending Moscow protests.

Some critical voices remain at HSE and other prominent institutions, though their number has been shrinking in recent years.