Good to see Aaron Rodgers at ease

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- You can sense a change in Aaron Rodgers even after spending just 30 minutes with the Green Bay Packers quarterback in a small room adjacent to the Lambeau Field locker room.

Maybe it's because he turned 30 in December.

Or because he missed nearly half of last season due to a freak collarbone injury.

Or because he's found happiness in a new relationship.

Whatever prompted the change -- subtle as it may be -- Rodgers appears to be in a better place with the celebrity that comes from being one of the NFL's most recognizable players.

Asked what prompted the change, Rodgers said: "Just thinking about what's really important and what to spend energy thinking about. I'm tired of worrying about what other people think of me or my relationships."

Wearing a Milwaukee Bucks T-shirt -- but not discussing his reported interest in becoming an investor in the team -- Rodgers appeared at ease Monday during a lengthy interview on the eve of the team's mandatory minicamp.

Of course, it's easy to relax in June, when there are only three days of work left in the offseason before the month-long break that precedes training camp.

"You're not thinking about going home and studying film," Rodgers said.

But it appears to be more than that.

Rodgers showed little or no reluctance to answer questions, other than about his possible business interest in the Bucks.

"I do love the Bucks, though," Rodgers said with smile.

And he did not appear to be as guarded as perhaps he has been at other times in his career.

We will bring you some of Rodgers' comments in a series of posts over the next several days and weeks, but it has to be a good sign for the Packers that their most important player appears to be in a good frame of mind heading into the season.

Among the things he discussed were what he likes about this team, what he would do if he were in tight end Jermichael Finley's shoes, how the offense might be different this season and a sit-down he would like to have with both Brett Favre and Bart Starr together.

Back to the more relaxed Rodgers for a moment. For the record, he said he did not know he and girlfriend Olivia Munn were being photographed when they shared a public embrace recently.

"But," he said, "I'm not going to let that stuff bother me in ways that it used to."