Green Bay Packers: Will Aaron Rodgers be a problem for Matt LaFleur?

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images /

The Green Bay Packers will be in for an interesting season if Aaron Rodgers doesn’t buy into Matt LaFleur’s culture next year.

The Green Bay Packers Twitterverse was rocked by stories this week. Former head coach Mike McCarthy gave his first extensive interview to ESPN reporter Rob Demovsky since being fired, and Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report released a piece with multiple interviews from former players that detailed what led to the downfall of a team that had been one of the best for the previous decade in the NFL.

Neither of them gave all sides to the stories that were told, and that’s just how life is going to work. While everyone has to share part of the blame for the struggles the team has dealt with for the past few years, one person that took body blow after body blow was two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers was called a bad leader and uncoachable by some, and he was deemed part of the main problem by others. McCarthy is gone, and the relationship between he and Rodgers soured long ago. However, there is a new sheriff in town in the form of first-year head coach Matt LaFleur. Rodgers caused issues with a coach he won a Super Bowl with. Could he end up doing the same thing under LaFleur?

Young receivers had to deal with the pushing and pulling between the quarterback and head coach last season on many occasions. It often got them yelled at by position coaches for running what was the wrong route for the called play, but it was the right route for the quarterback that had changed the play to something he liked better. If LaFleur allows Rodgers to do the same things under his watch, will that stunt the growth of the receivers and other players?

Rodgers sets the tone for the entire team. When team president Mark Murphy tells you, “Don’t be the problem.” There is clearly some smoke with this fire. That statement could be read a couple of different ways. It’s more than likely that Murphy was saying fall in line under LaFleur and the rest of the team is going to follow. There isn’t anyone on the roster left from the team that won the Super Bowl at the beginning of the decade other than Rodgers and kicker Mason Crosby.

Rodgers is closer to the end of his career than the beginning, and, due to some unfortunate coaching and roster decisions, the team has captured just one title despite playing with one of the most gifted quarterbacks the game has ever seen. They’ll want to get at least one more before he’s done, and that’s evident with the roster moves they have made since Brian Gutekunst took over as GM from Ted Thompson last year.

So, will Rodgers fall in line and be the leader by example that LaFleur will need him to be during his first head coaching gig? He may never be the loud outspoken fire and brimstone guy that Drew Brees is for the New Orleans Saints, but, if he can just buy into the system and immerse himself in the culture, there won’t be a player on the roster that doesn’t do the same.

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Rodgers wants to be challenged when he’s lining up under center. Having to learn a new offense for the first time in over a decade will likely do that for him, but LaFleur will have to be active to keep him engaged. Rodgers is going to know everything that’s going on, but LaFleur has to be that young guy that wants to be better every week. If he takes a play out of his mentor Sean McVay’s playbook, Rodgers should fall right in line to lead this team back to its former glory.