Green Bay Packers fans think Aaron Rodgers always says “319,” but he’s actually shouting out “Green 19.” The call, often overheard during TV broadcasts of Packers games, is part of the cadence the athlete uses to communicate with his teammates.
“Actually, he says ‘Green 19,’ not ‘319.’ That’s his cadence,” a Yahoo! Answers user wrote in 2012. “The ball will be snapped on either the first or second call. If he wants to do a hard count, he will add the words ‘set’ and ‘hut’ after saying ‘Green 19.’”
Around the same time, a Quora user posted a similar take, saying the call is “cadence filler” tied into the snap count. “The colors don’t necessarily mean anything, [but] the vowels in the colors are relatively easy to hear above the crowd noise,” that user wrote.
“Green 19” is a reference to the Packers’ origin.
A recent PackersNews.com article confirmed Aaron’s call really is “Green 19,” which is a reference to one of the Packers’ colors and the team’s establishment in 1919. PackersNews.com reporter Ryan Wood observed that Aaron “has built maybe the most elaborate cadence in NFL history, a hard count that gives opposing defensive coordinators chills, and makes even the league’s best defenders helpless.”
Aaron and the other players on the Packers’ offense can decode the cadence, but their opponents often misunderstand the cues and jump offsides, landing the defending team a five-yard penalty.
“There is much more to the hard count than meets the ear. There is rhythm and staccato, a deep vocabulary, situational feel. It is an art, pulling defenders’ strings like puppets, and Rodgers has been the NFL’s best for years,” Wood added.
Cadence is crucial for quarterbacks.
It’s good that Aaron has a gift for cadence, as it can make or break a quarterback.
“In football terms, simply put, a cadence means that a quarterback uses either a regular or irregular voice rhythm to communicate with his on-field offensive teammates,” AFCA Insider explains. “Quarterback cadence is one of the most important factors in maintaining momentum in an offensive system, and there are many ways for the quarterback to accomplish this task.”
Inside the Pylon, meanwhile, puts it this way:
“Cadence refers to all of the verbal signals delivered by the quarterback before the start of the play. Cadence is not to be confused with snap count, which is the signal for the football to be snapped by the center. The snap count is merely one component of the quarterback’s cadence. Teams use cadence to adjust protection, shift, motion, call audibles, make play calls and even identify the coverage, which ends with the snap count and the snap of the ball.”
Aaron’s cadence is “very, very complex.”
Aaron’s hard counts have second-year offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett in awe. “I’ve never experienced anything like this before,” Nathaniel told PackerNews.com.
“I always heard these rumors about Aaron and the snap count and his ability to get free plays. I think until you’re there and you see it consistently, it’s the darnedest thing you’ll ever see, the way that it’s choreographed, how the guys react. Both the offensive line, running backs and wide receivers, and the intricacies in how those guys disperse, it’s unbelievable.”
And though Aaron’s cadence is seemingly random to the untrained ear, his teammates can parse out the timing. “It’s very, very complex,” Packers center Corey Linsley explained to the site. “It’s not like we’re sending rockets up into space. It’s not that, but it’s complex.”