Aaron Rodgers has fallen in love again.

No, we're not talking about the once fiercely private Green Bay Packers quarterback's personal life, which remains fodder for entertainment magazines and gossip sites. This "love affair" -- his phrase -- is more of a rekindling of a passion that has been inside him since he was an eighth-grader playing for the Chico Jaguars in his native Northern California.

To be clear, the two-time NFL MVP never lost his zest for the game. Those who watched him up close during last season's run-the-table, eight-game win streak -- or have been on the receiving end of one of his stern admonishments after a mental mistake -- can tell you his intensity hasn't waned.

But as the Packers kick off training camp Thursday morning -- Rodgers' 13th in the NFL and 10th as the team's starting quarterback -- Rodgers does so with a greater appreciation for the journey that is about to begin anew.

"I think it's a change, a slight change that happened the last few years, where it really has become just a love affair," Rodgers said in an offseason interview on Wilde & Tausch on ESPN Wisconsin. "From [being] a game I always enjoyed playing and enjoyed competing and am hyper-competitive [in] to just really loving the process even more -- the practice, the preparation, just enjoying those moments even more."

The result? The guy who used to say he wouldn't be an NFL lifer, who didn't see himself playing football beyond 36 or 37 years old, now has designs on playing into his 40s. He'll turn 34 in December, and inspired by his friend Tom Brady, the seemingly ageless New England Patriots quarterback, Rodgers thinks himself capable of playing for another decade. Brady, who has led the Patriots to five Super Bowl titles, turns 40 next week.