Carolina Panthers

Panthers assistant watches his son catch Packers’ Hail Mary miracle

Tight end Richard Rodgers #82 of the Green Bay Packers catches the game-winning touchdown as time expired to defeat the Detroit Lions 27-23 at Ford Field on December 3, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan.
Tight end Richard Rodgers #82 of the Green Bay Packers catches the game-winning touchdown as time expired to defeat the Detroit Lions 27-23 at Ford Field on December 3, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. Getty Images

Carolina Panthers assistant defensive backs coach Richard “Rock” Rodgers can spot his son anywhere.

Richard Rodgers II, who is 6-foot-4, has been called Biggie since he was a kid. So when he went up and hauled in a 61-yard Hail Mary on Thursday Night Football from Aaron Rodgers, Rock Rodgers knew his son had it.

“I saw Aaron get outside and I thought to myself, if he can get it up there, he’s going to go get it,” Rock Rodgers said Friday. “And that’s just me being a dad thinking he’s going to go get it. And he went and got it.

“Then it was, get him out from underneath that pile.”

Rock Rodgers has long been known for one of the most exciting plays in football history. He had two of the five laterals on “The Play,” the epic ending to the 1982 Cal-Stanford game that saw Cal score while the Stanford band had taken the field presuming a Cardinal victory.

“This I think tops it. I think he’s got me,” Rock Rodgers said. “He had laterals and he caught the winning touchdown. I think he got me.”

Rock is referring to the lateral Biggie had a play earlier. The Packers were in desperation mode and started performing laterals with no time left.

Biggie threw it back to Aaron Rodgers, who had his facemask grazed and was tackled. The officials ruled it to be a 15-yard facemask penalty against the Lions and granted Green Bay one untimed down.

“It’s the complete scenario,” Rock Rodgers said, explaining his stance. “If you look at it, from my perspective, Rodgers throws it to Rodgers. Not Aaron to Richard but Richard to Aaron. That started the whole thing. The penalty gets called and then Rodgers throws it back to Rodgers again.

“I couldn’t write a better script than that.”

Jonathan Jones: 704-358-5323, @jjones9

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