The Green Bay Packers are a dumpster fire
The Green Bay Packers have been a giant mess for basically the last decade.
Everyone always loves to praise the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers are one of those organizations that everyone just assumes are run perfectly. Nobody ever thinks anything is wrong on Lombardi Avenue.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report lifted up the curtain at Lambeau and wrote one of the most eye-opening stories about the dysfunction in Green Bay that you can’t even believe.
I’ll warn you. This is a long story. This is an 8000-word mega piece but it’s worth reading down to the last preposition.
The basic synopsis is that Aaron Rodgers hated Mike McCarthy since the day he walked into Packers’ headquarters as the new coach and that McCarthy was increasingly lazy and didn’t have the respect of the team and that Ted Thompson in the front office did nothing to try to fix it.
Besides that, everything was just peachy.
I won’t link to everything individually because everything is detailed in this article, but Dunne talks about (and has video proof) of Rodgers telling McCarthy “Stupid f**king call” in 2017 and basically ready to go to blows in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013.
Dunne details that Mike McCarthy was the San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator when the team chose to draft Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers and McCarthy publicly said at the time that Smith was the better quarterback. Rodgers has held a grudge since that day.
Dunne has named sources (Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings, among others) and unnamed sources as well that spilled a lot of the details.
One unnamed source said that Rodgers felt McCarthy had a low IQ and didn’t respect him because he knew he was smarter than him.
It’s no surprise that the story depicts Rodgers as egotistical and self-entitled, that has been generally assumed for many years now, but to these extents are incredible. Rodgers didn’t respect McCarthy’s play-calling and took it into his own hands regularly.
We all remember the phenomenal throw to Jared Cook against the Dallas Cowboys in the 2017 NFL playoffs. That wasn’t McCarthy’s play, according to Dunne, Rodgers drew that one up in the huddle.
The blame wasn’t all on Rodgers, McCarthy frequently would miss team meetings while he was up in his office secretly getting massages. He would have his massage therapist sneak up a back stairwell so nobody knew it was happening.
Dunne frequently uses the term “checked out” to describe McCarthy over the last couple of seasons, so his firing should have come to no surprise, especially for those in the Packers’ locker room. McCarthy had lost the respect not just of Rodgers, but of many on the roster.
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Dunne talks about how McCarthy didn’t discuss these growing tensions with his star quarterback and Rodgers never addressed any of this with McCarthy and would throw “midgame tantrums” instead.
If Rodgers had a problem with a player? He would hold a grudge, throw them in the doghouse and at that point they were practically dead to him. Rodgers didn’t like some of the young receivers on his team and would refuse to throw them the ball. Not in practice, in games.
The story goes on to depict Rodgers as a player who is overly sensitive to the point that Greg Jennings mentions when he moved on from Green Bay and joined the Minnesota Vikings that when the Packers and Vikings would play, Packers receivers were afraid to talk to Jennings pre or post game because they were afraid how Rodgers would react.
With the organization’s two most important people refusing to talk to each other, one would have hoped that well-respected GM Ted Thompson would have intervened and tried to make it work. He did not. Dunne mentions that Thompson kept “his head in the sand” over this situation on more than one occasion.
McCarthy is gone. Thompson is gone. It’s Packers President Mark Murphy’s show now and his new GM, Brian Gutekunst, is his right hand man. Rodgers remains. Murphy committed to Rodgers with a massive contract but things have changed at Lambeau.
The Packers are no longer letting Rodgers run the show. The Packers are doing what they think is best for the organization and Rodgers has to go along with it.
This quote is interesting about the Packers new attitude towards Rodgers. It comes directly from the story and is about a conversation Murphy had with Rodgers about the hiring of their new coach, Matt LaFleur:
"Right before the Packers announced LaFleur as their new head coach, the source close to the team says Murphy called Rodgers to tell him who they were going with. He didn’t ask for permission—he told him who the choice was. There was a brief pause on the other end of the phone before Rodgers eventually spoke. Murphy made it clear that Rodgers would need to accept coaching. “Don’t be the problem,” he told him. “Don’t be the problem.”"
There it is. The Packers president is telling Aaron Rodgers to not be a headache for the new coach. They aren’t taking his grief anymore.
The article says that Murphy wants a quarterback and not a diva.
Rodgers has been a diva for the last decade. It certainly doesn’t seem like that’s going to be fixed in one offseason. In fact, Dunne quoted Rodgers only public quotes about the LaFleur hiring, “A lot of change, in life in general, it’s tough at first.” According to Jennings, he knows that means that he’s going to be a headache for LaFleur and that the Packers’ issues won’t be resolved any time soon.
Rodgers is one of the greatest QBs to play the game, but he makes Jay Cutler look like a picnic.
So often people have blamed the Packers for failing to put what they needed to around Rodgers to win more than just the one Super Bowl, but after reading this article, the onus might be a lot more on Rodgers shoulders than anyone ever imagined.
Bears fans, the Packers are a dumpster fire. Just try not to smile.