- Aaron Rodgers was critical of a report that detailed the fallout between him and ex-Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.
- Appearing on a radio show on Monday, Rodgers called the report a “smear attack” that had “outright lies.”
- Rodgers said the report, which contained criticism of Rodgers from ex-teammates, quoted “mostly irrelevant, bitter players who all have an agenda.”
- Rodgers denied the reports of a rift between him and McCarthy, saying they had a “beautiful” relationship and naturally competed as two “Alpha males.”
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Aaron Rodgers did not enjoy Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne’s deep-dive into the Green Bay Packers and the fallout between the star quarterback and ex-head coach Mike McCarthy.
Appearing on ESPN Milwaukee radio on Monday, Rodgers blasted the report as a “smear attack” that featured “outright lies.”
The report dived into Rodgers and McCarthy’s relationship, including details from numerous Packers sources who said Rodgers frequently over-rode McCarthy’s play-calling, which was considered unimaginative and out-dated.
The report included quotes from former Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings and tight Jermichael Finley who both questioned Rodgers’ leadership and ego, with several other sources saying Rodgers can be ruthless in his handling of relationships.
“This was a smear attack by a writer looking to advance his career talking with mostly irrelevant, bitter players who all have an agenda, whether they’re advancing their own careers or just trying to stir old stuff up,” Rodgers said on Monday.
“What happens is the same tired media folks picking it up and talking about it. This just emphasised their opinion about me already. So it’s … the crazy thing is there’s super-slanted opinions in that piece stated as facts, and then there are quote-unquote facts which are just outright lies.”
According to Dunne, Rodgers used to complain about McCarthy’s “low” football IQ. The report said Rodgers used to ignore McCarthy’s play-calls so often that players were left confused about who to listen to.
Speaking on the radio, Rodgers defended his relationship with McCarthy and said that while the two naturally argued, they often had constructive conversations and an overall productive relationship.
“The beauty in our relationship was that it grew year after year, and we learned how to communicate with each other,” Rodgers said. “The beauty in our on-the-field relationship was that there was a ton of trust. When I read stuff like, ‘I’d disrespect him by changing all these plays,’ I had a lot of latitude. He knew that, and I knew that.”
He added: “I love Mike McCarthy. He’s a great man. He’s got a huge heart. He really cares about his players, and he showed that to us. … As far as a player to a coach, it’s just two Alpha males who are hyper-competitive and love winning and are both a little stubborn. But, again, we talked through so many different issues over the years, and that made us a lot stronger.”
Rodgers refuted that things were broken internally in Green Bay, arguing he wouldn’t have re-signed with the team last season if he didn’t like the coach.
“If I really disliked Mike so much, why would I re-sign, knowing that if I play well and we do what we do around here … it’s going to be me and Mike my entire career? So if I really disliked him that much, do you think I’d re-sign? Is the money that important to me? I’ll tell you it’s not. Quality of life is important.”
Rodgers told Packers fans that if they see McCarthy, they should shake his hand and thank him, instead of trashing him on his way out.
“Last year was tough, no doubt about it – but let’s honour him and his legacy as the second-winningest coach in Packers history.”
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