In a radio interview with ESPN Wisconsin, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers responded to last week’s article by Bleacher Report.
“This was a smear attack by a writer looking to advance his career talking with mostly irrelevant, bitter players who all have an agenda. Whether they’re advancing their own careers or just trying to stir old stuff up,” said Rodgers.
In the story by Tyler Dunne there were accounts of the tension between Rodgers and former head coach Mike McCarthy. As well as details of a reported conversation between Mark Murphy and Rodgers where the team president told his QB “don’t be the problem,” prior to Matt LaFleur being hired.
“It’s ridiculous. It’s one hundred percent, patently false. It’s either he made that crap up, or what he would probably do as a writer is say ‘oh, this is my sources problem. They told me something.’ I talked to Mark [Murphy] like last week, and I said ‘Mark, did you tell somebody about the conversation?’ He goes, that’s ridiculous, because that’s not what happened. Of course that’s not what happened. We had a great conversation, like we always do. That’s just one point in that article, amongst a number of highly questionable things. Not to mention unnamed sources. Put your name on to something,” said Rodgers in the interview with Wilde and Tausch.
According to Rodgers the conversation was between him and general manager Brian Gutekunst where Rodgers was asked to talk to LaFleur. Rodgers outright denied the reported quote from Murphy ever happened.
That wasn’t the only part of the story Rodgers refuted in the interview. Rodgers also talked a lot about his relationship with McCarthy. Starting with denying he held a grudge against McCarthy after the 49ers picked Alex Smith with the top pick in 2005.
“As far as a player to a coach, it’s just two Alpha males who are hyper-competitive and love winning and are both a little stubborn. But, again, we talked through so many different issues over the years and that made us a lot stronger,” said Rodgers.
“I love Mike McCarthy. We had our issues. But we dealt with those issues face-to-face.”
In the end Rodgers and McCarthy will be best known for their 125 wins in Green Bay, including a victory in Super Bowl 45 against Pittsburgh. For Rodgers honoring their legacy and his former coach is what he hopes happens next.
“I think it’s very important that we as Packers fans, because I was a fan long before I was a player, I think we as Packers fans and Packers people honor Mike and respect him the right way. We had a hell of a run. We had 13 years, four NFC champioships, one super bowl, eight straight playoffs, 19 straight wins. We did some incredible things. Instead of trashing this guy on the way out, let’s remember the amazing times that we had together,” said Rodgers.
“My favor I would ask of you is, If you see Mike, shake his hand. Tell him thanks for the memories. Thanks for the coaching job that he did. Tell him how much you appreciate of what we built here.”