Before anyone accuses me of being fixated on Aaron Rodgers and the woes of the Packers, can I present in my defense that the article around which this post is based was sent to me by a colleague who is a Packers fan. If even he can see the dysfunction across the border (and worry about it), who am I to disagree?
So let me point you to a piece in Forbes, written by contributor Rob Reischel, a self-described longtime Packers writer for various outlets. Reischel takes an interesting piece-by-piece look at a lot of ex-Packers being critical this offseason of their former teammate and current Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers — and specifically about how the relationship between Rodgers and new 39-year-old head coach Matt LaFleur will play out.
As someone on record as both poking fun at Rodgers height sensitivity and also proclaiming he’s the greatest quarterback I’ve ever seen, I am here for this.
First, there was former tight end Jermichael Finley: “He’s coachable to a point,” Finley said of Rodgers. “Once you try to overcoach him, that’s when he’s going to do his own thing. With (former coach Mike) McCarthy, McCarthy used to call a play and Aaron would look at him and (then) it’s a whole different play.
And former Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings: “We all saw what Mike McCarthy was unable to do, which was get the best out of Aaron Rodgers that he possibly could,” Jennings said. “You’re going to be coming in, starting from scratch (with) a guy who has one of the highest IQs in football, who believes he knows just about everything, if not all of everything.”
Wondering what Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila thinks? Of course you are: “When Aaron became ‘The Man,’ he was ‘The Man’, especially in his own eyes,” Gbaja-Biamila said. “Let’s just put it that way. Things just changed. … With everything that Brett (Favre) accomplished, you would think he’d be a little more arrogant, but he was actually more humble. And I felt that Aaron was a little bit more on the arrogant side.”
But wait! What about former wide receiver Jeff Janis: “I think positive reinforcement works a lot better than negative. It can tear you down and break a player. You take a really good player and just keep doing that stuff to them, he’s going to start being one of those guys you can’t count on because he’s feeling like he’s inconsistent and starting to get down on himself. It’s one of those things you can’t really change because (Rodgers) is the way he is.”
All the players except Janis have been off the team for several years, so maybe they aren’t experts on the Rodgers of 2019. But they certainly paint the picture of a guy who has a large ego and doesn’t accept a share of the blame easily.
How he and an offensive-minded coach four years older than him can get along and work together figures to define the rest of Rodgers’ career.