Aaron Rodgers has never been shy of sharing his concerns with the Packers and making it public. The Mike McCarthy fiasco left many people questioning Rodgers leadership ability. Since the altercation has been resolved with McCarthy being fired, the Packers have hired first-time head coach Matt LaFleur.
The Packers handled the feud between McCarthy and Rodgers poorly. While I believe McCarthy’s time was up in Green Bay, he should not have been fired in the middle of the season. It was as if the Packers slapped him in the face.
He was not and is still not a bad coach. In 13 years with the Packers, they went 125-77-2 with nine playoff appearances and one Super Bowl.
Many people will say the success came from Rodgers, but even a QB of his stature would not be able to replicate that success without a good coach. All good things must come to an end, and the Rodgers McCarthy relationship had expired.
However, it was wrong to fire him in the middle of the season. The Packers were not even close to being a contender last year, and by that point, their season was practically over. McCarthy himself, even said he was upset about the timing of the firing.
From this, we learned that Rodgers was not afraid to speak his mind, which can be a dangerous quality in a QB. Coaches can have a difficult time controlling those types of players, especially young coaches like LaFleur.
LaFleur has risen in the coaching ranks in a short amount of time. The hiring left me slightly confused since LaFleur lacks experience. Last season was his first opportunity as an offensive coordinator, in which he called plays for the Titans. Rodgers is not one that likes playing with young, unproven players, and I can only imagine he has the same mentality about his coaches.
If the Packers expect LaFleur and Rodger to get along, they are off to a bad start. July has yet to come around, and Rodgers has already expressed displeasure with LaFluer’s decision to not allow him the ability to audible.
LaFluer seems to want to send a message to Rodgers by putting him in his place as just a player. This is simply the wrong move. Rodgers is one of the greatest QBs of all time. A first-ballot Hall of Fame QB does not merely follow the coaches rules. He is a vital piece in the team’s success and can see things from his perspective that coaches cannot.
I have always said football is 60% mental and 40% physical. Rodgers has seen and done almost everything at this point in his career. It does not make sense for LaFluer to throw that knowledge away. It wouldn’t even make sense if LaFleur was an established coach telling Rodgers he can’t call audibles.
LaFleur has a lot of pressure to take the Packers to the playoffs and make them contenders once again. While this disagreement is not the end of the world, it is definitely not the ideal start Rodgers and LaFleur were hoping for.
It is essential for the QB and head coach to have a strong relationship in which both respect each other. Hopefully, both understand that and will get back on track sooner rather than later.