- Green Bay Packers tight end Marcedes Lewis said Aaron Rodgers would ignore former head coach Mike McCarthy’s play calls in the huddle.
- Lewis told a story about Rodgers getting a play call from McCarthy, saying no, then telling his teammates what to do.
- Previous reports indicated that Rodgers and McCarthy battled over play-calling, with McCarthy struggling to get some plays run all game. Things reached a new level in 2018, and amid team struggles, McCarthy was fired.
Things between Aaron Rodgers and former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy apparently got so bad that Rodgers was simply ignoring play-calls.
Packers tight end Marcedes Lewis said on Yahoo Sports and Complex’s “Mostly Football” that he first became aware that Rodgers and McCarthy were not on the same page during a huddle early in the season.
According to Lewis, Rodgers received the play call through the headset, but chose to run his own play.
“I guess McCarthy called in the play, and Aaron kinda was like, ‘Nah,'” Lewis said.
“He was like, ‘Davante [Adams], give me this. ‘Cedes, come off the ball, give me this.’ Gave a direction and protection to the line, and went. It was four-minute offence, and he threw a 40-yard bomb for a completion. I’m like, ‘What’s really going on?’ I had never seen nothing like that before in my life.”
Lewis said Rodgers and McCarthy both seemed to have things they were trying to get done, calling the situation dysfunctional.
Lewis’ story is not the first anecdote about Rodgers and McCarthy not being on the same page, but it’s a rare instance of a player acknowledging it.
Prior to McCarthy’s firing in December, Sports Illustrated’s Kalyn Kahler reported that though Rodgers had the ability to change the calls at the line (not unusual for advanced or veteran quarterbacks), McCarthy had moments where he simply couldn’t get his plays run.
“McCarthy is the play caller, but because Rodgers is so intelligent and such a good improvisational player, the quarterback has the green light to change plays on the field as he see fit. He does, so often that it can be hard for McCarthy to get into a rhythm as the play caller. McCarthy might call the same play three times in a game, without the play actually being run as he called it. And if McCarthy calls a play that Rodgers doesn’t like early in the game, that can sour the mood for the rest of the game. Several sources familiar with the inner workings of the organisation say that it devolved into a competition over who can call the better play, and both want the credit when things go right.”
During the 2018 season, Rodgers often criticised the offence, both in play-calling and execution, sometimes putting the blame on himself, other times making clear he didn’t like the coaching.
Other reports have indicated that Rodgers and McCarthy, for most of their time together, had a competitive, combative relationship, but a healthy one. They might argue, but they’d resolve it and respect each other’s opinions.
But the team’s struggles seemed to change that in 2018.
The Packers are in the process of interviewing head coaching candidates. Surely, a big focus will be a coach’s ability to work with Rodger and build an offence Rodgers likes, so that there aren’t play-calling battles.
Watch Lewis’ comments and the segment below (Warning: language):
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