Mike McCarthy yelled at Aaron Rodgers during sideline argument

Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers got into it on the sidelines during the second quarter of the Green Bay Packers’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Mike McCarthy Aaron RodgersThe Packers started off the game down 14-0, but they caused four straight turnovers to get back in the game. They were down 14-13 upon causing the fourth turnover, which gave them the ball at the Cincinnati 21. Despite getting a first down and 5-yard penalty for defensive holding, the Packers only settled for a field goal. They ran six offensive plays yet were unable to score, and McCarthy may have been upset with Rodgers for pulling the ball down and trying to run for a touchdown on a scramble on 3rd and 3. Rodgers was pushed out of bounds at the one, leaving the Packers to settle for a go-ahead field goal.

[Related: Donald Driver questions Aaron Rodgers' leadership]

There may have been some disagreements about the playcalling or Rodgers’ decisions on the possessions, but Green Bay turned it around after halftime by driving for touchdowns on their first two possessions of the third quarter. They ended up losing 34-30.

GIF via The Big Lead

Aaron Rodgers hasn’t received apology phone call from Ryan Braun

Aaron Rodgers Ryan BraunAaron Rodgers says he still has not received an apology phone call from former friend and business partner Ryan Braun.

Braun has been calling Milwaukee Brewers season ticket holders in an effort to apologize for using steroids and repeatedly lying about it, and to rehab his image. The Green Bay Packers MVP quarterback says he hasn’t received one of the apology calls.

“I haven’t gotten one of those calls,” Rodgers said on his weekly radio show on WAUK-AM.

Rodgers also said he wasn’t disappointed about not getting a call, but he didn’t sound sincere when he said that.

Rodgers and Braun entered business together last year and opened a superstar restaurant called “8*twelve” in Milwaukee. The restaurant dropped Braun following his steroids/lying scandal.

Rodgers joked that he could replace Braun with Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders, who also wears jersey number eight.

Rodgers and Braun developed a friendship around their similarities. Both are California-born star athletes who became league MVPs for Milwaukee sports teams. They supported each other in their respective sports and went into business together. When Braun first tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone, nobody defended him more vigorously than Rodgers. When Braun won his appeal, Rodgers celebrated more than anyone else. It’s no surprise that Rodgers was crushed after Braun turned out to be lying, and it’s no surprise that Braun has yet to call him.

H/T Packers Blog

Charles Woodson surprised by criticism of Aaron Rodgers’ leadership

Aaron-Rodgers-PackersOakland Raiders defensive back Charles Woodson was teammates with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay for seven years. Woodson is as familiar with Rodgers as any veteran who has called Lambeau Field home since 2005, and he has been surprised by the attacks on the quarterback’s leadership ability.

Throughout the offseason, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings has been critical of Rodgers and the way he supposedly refuses to hold himself accountable for things that go wrong. Donald Driver later added that he understood where Jennings was coming from, albeit with a much kinder delivery. All of that chatter confuses Woodson.

“I didn’t understand that part, either,” Woodson told ESPNWisconsin.com. “There’s no question in my mind that A-Rod’s the leader of that team and he does a great job. Maybe he thought he had some friends where he doesn’t have some friends. Now that those guys are gone, they’re voicing this. I don’t know how that’s fair.”

Not only does Woodson feel that the comments are unfair, he said Rodgers has single-handedly won games for the Packers when their defense was struggling.

“I would say this: There’s been times throughout my career there when defensively we put a piss-poor product on the field, and we’ve been in games and won ballgames solely on the arm of Aaron Rodgers and the legs of Aaron Rodgers and what he’s been able to do throwing a ball to a Greg, a Donald, a Jermichael (Finley),” he said. “A couple years ago, we were 15-1, and if we have any other quarterback other than Aaron Rodgers, we’re 7-9.”

Woodson’s remarks about his former teammate sound more in line with what you would expect players to say about a phenomenal talent like Rodgers. He may have some flaws like anyone else, but he is a Super Bowl MVP and arguably the best quarterback in the league. Jennings is likely just bitter that the Packers didn’t want him back. Driver insists he was misunderstood with his comments. Whatever the case, I’m more apt to believe Woodson.

H/T Shutdown Corner

Donald Driver says he wasn’t talking about Aaron Rodgers

Donald Driver Aaron RodgersLifetime Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver joined the chorus of those questioning the leadership of Aaron Rodgers, but then he backtracked from his remarks.

In an interview with ESPN Radio on Thursday, Driver took a stab at interpreting what former Packers receiver Greg Jennings meant when he said it was difficult for Rodgers to hold himself accountable. Driver, who said Jennings spent more time with Rodgers than he did, believes Jennings’ issue may have been that Rodgers would not take the fall for his receivers when the receivers made mistakes. Maybe Driver and Jennings feel like that’s one of the responsibilities of being a leader.

Even though Driver made the comments on the radio and was clearly talking about his ex-teammate, the now-retired receiver quickly addressed his comments via his Twitter account, denying he was talking about Rodgers and blaming the media.

Seriously Driver, that’s pathetic. Just man up and own your comments. You were clearly saying Rodgers doesn’t take the fall for his receivers. That’s fine. At least now there is a concrete example of what Jennings and Jermichael Finley’s agent may have been talking about.

I seriously wonder how these guys can have so many problems with the best quarterback in the league, but if they’re going to open their mouths, they need to stand by it.

Donald Driver: Aaron Rodgers didn’t like taking pressure off his receivers

Donald-Driver-Prefers-Aaron-Rodgers-Over-Brett-FavreMinnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings has sounded like a bitter ex-girlfriend since he left the Green Bay Packers. He signed a massive contract with the Vikings, but it seems to genuinely bother him that Green Bay did not make an effort to bring him back. As a result, he has made some controversial comments about Aaron Rodgers not wanting to hold himself accountable. He also refused to mention Aaron by name at one point.

But there may be some merit to the whole accountability thing. During an appearance on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike” Thursday morning, former Packers receiver Donald Driver made some interesting comments that gave Jennings’ remarks credibility.

“We’ve always said that the quarterback is the one that needs to take the pressure off everyone else,” Driver said, via ESPN.com “If a guy runs the wrong route, it’s easy for the quarterback to say, ‘Hey, I told him to run that route’ than for the guy to be like, ‘Well, I ran the wrong route.’ Sometimes you ask Aaron to take the pressure off the guys so we won’t look bad, but he didn’t want to do that. He felt like if you did something bad, you do it.

“But I think that’s the difference. You want that leadership, and I think sometimes you may not feel like you got it. You have to earn that respect at the end of the day, and I think that’s what Greg was probably referring to.”

Rodgers is a Super Bowl MVP and arguably the best quarterback in the league, but that makes two former receivers now who have questioned his leadership abilities. Jennings’ remarks sounded like sour grapes, but Driver is considered one of the classiest and most respected players in Green Bay history.

[Read more...]

Aaron Rodgers: I feel bad for Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel OVO DrakeWhen it comes to the many adventures of Johnny Manziel, there are generally two lines of thought. On one side, you have people who think he is a spoiled college kid who needs to focus less on partying and more on football. On the other, there are people who say a 20-year-old kid is entitled to do what 20-year-old kids do without constantly being scrutinized. Aaron Rodgers is part of the latter crew.

During an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, Rodgers spoke about how difficult it must be to be a college superstar in 2013.

“I feel bad for Johnny Manziel,” Rodgers said. “I mean, he’s made some decisions … I just think, he’s a 20-year-old kid, and I wish he could just live like a 20-year-old.

“Ten years ago, when I was in college, nobody was following anyone around. I could walk around campus [at Cal] and no one knew who I was. No Twitter. Facebook was just starting. I didn’t even know what my Berkeley.edu address was. I couldn’t get a Facebook page. So that’s how things have changed.”

Rodgers went on to say that he loves the NFL but feels the media has “too much access” between cameras in locker rooms and social media sites always accessible.

A lot of people feel the same way Rodgers does about Manziel, but even Johnny’s own father has worried about him not being able to handle the fame. Plenty of college quarterbacks and Heisman Trophy winners before him were just as popular but kept a lower profile. Manziel does very little to keep the spotlight off himself, so it’s tough for me to feel badly for him.

Greg Jennings apologizes to Aaron Rodgers

Greg Jennings PackersGreg Jennings has seemed quite bitter since he left the Green Bay Packers and signed with the Minnesota Vikings. You would think a five-year, $45 million contract would be enough to make a player forget his old team, but Jennings has had some controversial things to say about former teammate Aaron Rodgers on more than one occasion. On Thursday, he apologized.

“Aaron’s a phenomenal quarterback,” Jennings told Mark Craig of the Star-Tribune. “He knows that. No one needs to tell him that. What he’s done over the course of the last five years? Phenomenal. He set the bar high for quarterbacks in this league. He set the bar high for offenses in this league. Everything I say is all out of fun. I’m just saying something just to say it. They know that’s not me.”

Jennings finally mentioned Rodgers by name, which is something he has seemingly avoided throughout the offseason. Jennings recently said that Rodgers was praised so much in Green Bay that it became difficult for him to hold himself accountable, and Vikings coach Leslie Frazier later told his new receiver to stop talking about his former team.

“I was on the field and [Frazier] ran over to me and asked me what I said,” Jennings explained. “That was really the gist of it. He said, `Keep it about our guys.’ Literally, that was it. I don’t really recall saying anything negative about Aaron or anyone over there, but, hey, I apologize.”

But did he call Rodgers personally to apologize?

“No. For what?” Jennings asked. “I’m apologizing right now. If it got to him with [the media] right now, I feel if I apologize right here, he’ll hear that, too. Will you make sure he hears that?”

In my opinion, Jennings hasn’t said anything offensive enough about Rodgers or the Packers to warrant an apology. That being said, he has made himself sound like someone who can’t get over his former team not wanting to keep him around. Burying the hatchet and moving forward is probably the best thing for all parties.

H/T Pro Football Talk