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Monday, January 20, 2020

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers blasts Bleacher Report story as ‘smear attack’

Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has come out strongly against a recent Bleacher Report story that painted a rather unflattering picture of both himself and former coach Mike McCarthy.

Appearing on ESPN Milwaukee on Monday, Rodgers called the story a “smear attack” consisting of anecdotes from “irrelevant, bitter players who all have an agenda.”

Rodgers denied specific aspects of the story as well, including an allegation that Packers CEO Mark Murphy told Rodgers “don’t be the problem” upon informing him of new coach Matt LaFleur’s hiring.

The Bleacher Report story was not flattering for Rodgers. One portion of it claimed that he consistently undermined McCarthy’s coaching, going as far as to force his wide receivers to choose between listening to him or the coach. Obviously, it’s in his best interest to shoot this stuff down as quickly as he can.

If Rodgers is telling the truth, it would seem he knows who’s behind the leaks. It may be worth dealing with that behind-the-scenes.

Report: Aaron Rodgers made WRs choose between listening to him or Mike McCarthy

Aaron Rodgers

The situation between Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy in Green Bay last season got uglier than most people imagined, and it apparently had a significant negative impact on the development of some of the Packers’ young wide receivers.

In a lengthy feature that examines what went wrong in Green Bay leading up to McCarthy’s firing, Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne was told by numerous sources that Rodgers frequently undermined McCarthy’s coaching decisions and play-calls to the point where he made his receivers choose between listening to their quarterback or their head coach. One source close to the Packers estimated Rodgers changed about one of every three plays McCarthy called, and that put rookie receivers Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in difficult spots.

On one play during a loss to the New England Patriots last season, Rodgers reportedly told St. Brown to run a post route when McCarthy called a flag. The play was unsuccessful, and St. Brown later had to tell a position coach he was “improvising” so he would not upset Rodgers by throwing him under the bus.

Other sources told Dunne that Rodgers would simply stop throwing to St. Brown and Valdes-Scantling when they made mistakes. When Valdes-Scantling began running the routes that were called from the sideline, Rodgers supposedly started freezing him out of the offense. Valdes-Scantling chalked it up to the MVP quarterback simply not liking him.

Regardless of what Rodgers said about his personal relationship with McCarthy, it seems clear that their working relationship became extremely toxic. Between Rodgers freezing out rookie receivers for listening to their coach over him and the opinion he reportedly held of McCarthy’s football IQ, it’s no surprise the Packers decided the coach-QB combo could no longer coexist.

Report: Aaron Rodgers was frustrated with Mike McCarthy’s ‘low football IQ’

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers seemed genuinely distraught when the Green Bay Packers fired head coach Mike McCarthy last season, but there are more than a few reasons to believe the Pro Bowl quarterback was not sad to see him go.

In an explosive piece that provides an inside look at the relationship between Rodgers and McCarthy, Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report spoke with sources who say Rodgers held a grudge against McCarthy for passing on him in favor of Alex Smith when McCarthy was the offensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers. Rodgers apparently also became frequently frustrated with McCarthy for what he perceived to be a lack of football knowledge from the coach.

“Mike has a low football IQ, and that used to always bother Aaron,” a source told Dunne. “He’d say Mike has one of the lowest IQs, if not the lowest IQ, of any coach he’s ever had.”

The same source said Rodgers used to call him regularly to vent about McCarthy frequently calling the wrong play and using plays that hardly ever worked in practice.

Former Packers running back Ryan Grant confirmed that Rodgers never fully got along with McCarthy, and that had a lot to do with McCarthy at one point thinking Smith was a better QB.

“Aaron’s always had a chip on his shoulder with Mike,” Grant said. “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 Packers player called the dynamic between Rodgers and McCarthy a “longtime cancer in the locker room.” A Green Bay personnel guy added that it is difficult for a quarterback who thinks he’s smarter than his coach to respect the coach.

Rodgers opened up about his relationship with McCarthy shortly after the coach was fired, and he made it seem like the two were close. Even if there was truth to that from a personal standpoint, the way Rodgers openly questioned Green Bay’s offensive approach and supposedly butted heads with McCarthy over play-calling said an awful lot. The latest just confirms what many already knew.

Astros OF Josh Reddick channels Aaron Rodgers in latest tweet

Josh Reddick Astros

Josh Reddick channeled Aaron Rodgers with a tweet he sent on Wednesday night.

Reddick’s Houston Astros were shutout by the Texas Rangers 4-0 to drop to 2-5 on the season. After the game, Reddick, who went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in the loss, told fans it was early and that they needed to “chill.”

Rodgers famously told Green Bay Packers fans to R-E-L-A-X after a 1-2 start in the 2014 season. The team rallied to go 12-4 before losing in the conference championship game. He has since made similar comments to his fanbase.

Reddick knows the Astros have too much talent to be a 2-5 team and that they will turn things around. The main issue has been their offense; they’ve only scored more than two runs in a game once this season. Once they get everyone going, they’ll start winning games.

Aaron Rodgers leaves game with potential concussion

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers’ season may come to an end a bit early after suffering a potential concussion against the Detroit Lions.

Rodgers left the game early in the second quarter to be evaluated for a concussion, and was replaced by backup DeShone Kizer a little less than midway through the quarter.

Rodgers had been just 3-of-5 for 26 yards before departing.

The Packers were down 14-0 when Rodgers left the field, and they have nothing to play for. With all that in mind, it may be that the Packers simply opt against bringing him back. While the quarterback himself won’t like it, there’s no reason to risk further injury in a meaningless game at the end of a lost season.

Aaron Rodgers explains why he won’t be shut down for 2018

Aaron Rodgers

Though the Green Bay Packers have been eliminated from playoff contention, Aaron Rodgers won’t be sitting out any time if he can help it.

Rodgers cited his competitiveness and desire to lead as reasons why he will refuse to sit against the New York Jets despite the Packers having nothing to play for.

One team out of playoff contention has shut down its quarterback for the season, but Rodgers isn’t hurt, even with a fragile injury history. The Packers and Rodgers both seem to believe that there’s more reason to keep Rodgers in the lineup than there is to sit him down and let him rest the remainder of the way.

Aaron Rodgers bothered by groin injury in loss

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers did not look sharp in the Green Bay Packers’ loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday, and the quarterback says he was bothered by a groin injury in the game.

Rodgers said after the 24-17 loss that he hurt his groin on a Hail Mary attempt before halftime and it bothered him in the second half.

Rodgers made some throws, but he missed plenty — many more than usual. He even saw his interception streak come to an end.

Rodgers talking about a groin injury after not playing well will probably lead many to recall the tweet a fired Packers assistant sent about the QB.