By now you’ve all read that scintillating piece of journalism from Tyler Dunne in the Bleacher Report about the dysfunction between Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and their former head coach Mike McCarthy.
If not, go read it right now.
Here’s the Cliff-Notes version in case you didn’t take my advice to read that article. Rodgers is a sensitive baby and a bit of an asshole, and McCarthy is a doofus that gets massages during team meetings.
Who knows where the truth lies when a tell-all piece like this comes out, because not every person in a locker room will like everyone. SB Nation’s Stephen White, a former NFL player, wrote about this very thing in 2014. What you, as the reader, chooses to believe is up to you, but speaking from a Chicago Bears’ fan perspective, I tend to believe most of, if not all of it.
And yes, I’m sure the enjoyment I took from the read is guiding my judgement.
Meanwhile Packer fans and Packer media-fanboys, who already have their guard up after watching their team stumble through consecutive losing seasons for the first time in 27 years, have been in full spin mode since the story broke.
The rift between Rodgers and McCarthy started before Rodgers was even drafted by the Packers and when McCarthy was still the offensive coordinator of the 49ers. McCarthy thought Alex Smith was the best QB of the 2005 draft class and his ‘Niners took Smith number one overall, while Rodgers slipped all the way to the Pack with the 24th pick.
That’s a Hell of a grudge.
“Aaron’s always had a chip on his shoulder with Mike,” says Ryan Grant, the Packers’ starting running back from 2007 to 2012. “The guy who ended up becoming your coach passed on you when he had a chance.Aaron was upset that Mike passed on him—that Mike actually verbally said that Alex Smith was a better quarterback.”
Another longtime teammate agrees: “That was a large cancer in the locker room. It wasn’t a secret.”
A grudge that was cancerous in the locker room and a cancer that Rodgers had no intention of ever healing.
McCarthy was fired last year and is currently not coaching, while Rodgers, at 35-years old, will try to get the Packers back on track under new head coach Matt LaFleur who is just four years older than his disgruntled quarterback.
And don’t think that just because McCarthy is out, that Rodgers will all of the sudden be a locker room saint. Rodgers wasn’t consulted before LeFleur was hired, in fact, it was mandated that he needed to simply accept the hire.
Right before the Packers announced LaFleur as their new head coach, the source close to the team says Murphy called Rodgers to tell him who they were going with. He didn’t ask for permission—he told him who the choice was. There was a brief pause on the other end of the phone before Rodgers eventually spoke. Murphy made it clear that Rodgers would need to accept coaching. “Don’t be the problem,” he told him. “Don’t be the problem.”
In the article Rodgers is described as “self-entitled,” a “bad leader,” “arrogant,” “not as smart as he thinks he is,” “passive-aggressive to the extreme,” and “real sensitive.”
The source close to the team says the president is “tired of the diva stuff.”
He has iced out younger teammates if they don’t do what he says or if they make mistakes. He selfishly was more concerned about his own stats and audibled out of running plays all the time. He undermined his former head coach and he’s never held accountable.
Will a 39-year old, first-time head coach have the stroke to hold a future Hall of Famer accountable?
We’ll have to wait and see.
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I’ve seen a few other articles pop up about the drama in Green Bay and they’ve all been fun to read, so be sure to not only read the one spotlighted above, but search out all the others too.