Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers sounds off on critics

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 23: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers signals from the line in the second half pass against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 23, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 23: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers signals from the line in the second half pass against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 23, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

In a recent radio interview, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers shared his thoughts on an article that brought into question his leadership amongst other things.

It wasn’t long into Aaron Rodgers’ interview on the Wilde & Tausch show before he broke his long-awaited silence and went off on the recent Bleacher Report article that came out last week:

"“This was a smear attack by a writer looking to advance his career talking with mostly irrelevant, bitter players who all have an agenda.”"

Initially, I was floored by the article that came out last week talking about the drama surrounding the star quarterback and this great franchise.

However, since a few days have passed, I realized my initial reaction to it was completely unnecessary. There’s some truth to it, of course, but all the parts that really shook me at the time consisted of unnamed sources and “sources close to the team.” That’s why I’m not too worried about the impact it will have on this football team anymore. However, it was critical enough to where I think Rodgers needed to speak on it, and maybe even something he should address with his teammates before the season starts.

The Green Bay Packers have always been an organization that flew under the media radar and just stuck to playing football. But as for this offseason, this team has gotten more than enough attention.

When all this drama started brewing, long before the Bleacher Report article came out, I was feeling a bit uneasy. You have a brand new head coach coming in; a young guy with no NFL head coaching experience, along with several new assistants unfamiliar with the organization.

Also, you’re dealing with all the noise that the face of the franchise is this uncoachable, stubborn, bitter man who will listen to no one but himself. However, I commend Matt LaFleur for handling all those ridiculous questions thrown at him. Since Rodgers has spoken, I feel it will set a more comfortable vibe as the offseason program begins.

Now, let’s talk about The City of Green Bay’s favorite celebrity; Greg Jennings. Oh Greg, the guy who came on in 2006 as a second-round pick and immediately became one of Brett Favre’s favorite targets. Heck, he even caught Favre’s touchdown that broke Dan Marino’s all-time record in 2007.

Even after Aaron Rodgers took over in 2008, the two seemed to gel immediately. If you listen to the mic’d up version of the 2010 NFC Championship game, you’ll hear Jennings tell Rodgers something along the lines of “I’m like the bread, and you’re the butter,” or vice versa. However, Jennings play declined in 2012 after posting 3 straight seasons with 1100 yards and a combined 25 touchdowns over that span.

That 2012 season opener was the dreaded game that Jennings can’t seem to get over when Aaron Rodgers reportedly joked with 49ers CB Carlos Rogers that they should pick up Jennings when the season is over. Jennings has been quoted saying Rodgers is the type to hold a deep grudge, but really? This guy is still crying over a comment that was made seven years ago and from the gist of it, it did not sound malicious coming from Rodgers.

Bottom line is this; Greg Jennings struggled without Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers. Given the fact that he was getting out of his prime when he left for Minnesota in 2013, he never replicated any of the numbers he put up with those two under center.

The fact that he continues to make negative public comments about Rodgers is downright childish. I used to follow Greg Jennings on Twitter when he was with the Packers and he always promoted the hashtag #BeGreat. Well, I know free speech is a constitutional right in this country, but I don’t think it’s “great” to publicly bash former teammates and stir up drama within a great organization. Perhaps that’s the reason why that hashtag has since been removed in his bio.

Throughout the interview, Rodgers had some strong words for Jennings and Jermichael Finley:

"“If it’s not an article about me, do you hear their names anywhere else?”"

Now onto probably the most talked about portion of this wacky ordeal; Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy. While I have no ties to this organization whatsoever other than loyalty and fanship, I always thought the so-called “feud” surrounding these two guys was incredibly over exaggerated and only gave the media something to talk about.

I actually had a good laugh when I read the part in the article that stated McCarthy would get massages instead of going to meetings. I would’ve loved to see a name tied to that unnamed source. But on the other end of the spectrum, sure, McCarthy and Rodgers had their share of squabbles, perhaps most notably against the Bengals in 2013, but can you blame two competitors who expect nothing but success?

As a fan, it was upsetting to see the offense go stale over the last couple years, and I’m sure Rodgers felt the same way. The most critical part of Rodgers criticism with McCarthy was him constantly changing the plays and never running the ones McCarthy called in. Marcedes Lewis talked about this briefly when he went on a talk show with Martellus Bennett.

The Bleacher Report article would also make a claim that Rodgers insisted Equanimeous St. Brown run a post route when the play called for a corner route. What people don’t understand, according to Rodgers, is him and McCarthy had a mutual understanding of the freedom Rodgers has in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage. Was he likely doing it too much as the offense began to grow more stale? Maybe. But to assume Rodgers was doing it out of spite for McCarthy and his supposed “low football IQ” is downright unintelligent.

Here is what Rodgers had to say on McCarthy’s playcalling:

"“I had a lot of latitude. He knew that and I knew that. I called the two-minute, I’d call stretches of no-huddle offense. … A lot of times, he’d send two plays in. ‘Hey, do you like this or that?’ That’s what it grew. The trust level was really high. I know it might make it tough on a play-caller when I’m going in a no-huddle period or I’m going in a two-minute of knowing exactly what’s called, but that’s the trust that we had and that’s why I appreciate getting to play for him for so many years.”"

Mike McCarthy was an excellent coach and Rodgers is right when he stated that fans and critics should honor McCarthy and respect him the correct way. Nobody was more frustrated than me seeing what was once a dynamic offense go right down the drain. It was definitely time for a change, and McCarthy was resistant to that change, which is understandable given the success he had as the head coach with the Green Bay Packers.

More from Dairyland Express

When you win 135 games over a 12-year span including playoffs AND a Super Bowl, you have every right to believe you’re doing the right thing. However, the game of football is going to continue to evolve. Just because things that worked a few years ago, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll continue to work now; no matter the personnel you have.

Overall, Rodgers speaking out on this matter needed to happen, regardless of whether the article was true or exaggerated. The last thing this team needs is silly distractions as they prepare to make another Super Bowl run and get back to their winning ways.

Hopefully, all these “sources close the team” are out of that locker room. What’s comforting as a fan is seeing former teammates reach out in support of Rodgers being a good leader like Jordy NelsonMicah Hyde, and James Jones. We will likely see current teammates and other former ones do the same as the offseason rolls along.

Speaking for all Green Bay Packer fans born in the mid-90s, we are very lucky. This is the first bit of animosity we’ve experienced amongst this organization and the first ever consecutive losing seasons we’ve seen since we’ve been alive.

dark. Next. Should Rodgers have played through his leg injury?

Regardless of all the social media noise surrounding Rodgers’ behavior on and off the field, we aren’t the ones in that locker room, so who are we to make these crazy accusations? What I do know is that Rodgers doesn’t want to do anything but win football games. He could put up a career game but the one bad throw or read he made will keep him from sleeping for days

That’s the kind player and leader you want on your football team.