We have all heard the rumors.
We have seen the tiffs on the sideline.
But according to a new report by Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report, the tension between Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy was much greater than either has publicly admitted.
Allegedly, it goes back to the beginning for Rodgers when McCarthy was the 49ers offensive coordinator and was influential on the team drafting Alex Smith and not Rodger.
“Aaron’s always had a chip on his shoulder with Mike,” former Packers RB Ryan Grant told Dunne. “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.”
It gets worse.
“Mike has a low football IQ, and that used to always bother Aaron,” said an unnamed source who was close to Rodgers. “He’d say Mike has one of the lowest IQs, if not the lowest IQ, of any coach he’s ever had.”
The report says Rodgers grew frustrated with McCarthy’s offense and its lack of innovation, as talented players began to leave and opponents were catching up. An unnamed NFL personnel person agreed with Rodgers.
“It’s like, ‘Dude, you have to adjust! The league changes!'” the personnel man told Dunne. “You’ve got to be humble enough to follow it. If you can’t adapt, you die. He definitely didn’t adapt. You can’t run 90 back-shoulders into coverage. I don’t care who you are. Things got so stale.”
The article also alleges there were times assistant coaches would run final team meetings with players on Saturday, while McCarthy was allegedly getting massages in his office.
“If you’re not a part of meetings, and then you’re trying to be pissed about execution, nobody’s going to really respect you,” says one former front-office member from the McCarthy-Rodgers era. “They’re going to look at you like, ‘Where have you been all week?’ It sounded like he was really just chilling.”
The article also points to Rodgers as a major reason Green Bay became the “dynasty that never happened.”
According to a former Packers scout, Green Bay’s QB has been worn down by the expectations many have of what kind of leader he should be.
“Brett Favre 2.0,” the scout told Bleacher Report. ” He used to say, ‘Oh, I’ll never be like that guy.’ And he literally is.”
Other unnamed sources close to the team pointed out how tough Rodgers can be on young wide receivers. The source also says the Packers QB changed “about a third” of the plays at the line of scrimmage last year and young players often were conflicted on whether to listen to Rodgers or McCarthy.
“That’s when it went off the rails,” the source close to the team says. “This s–t was terrible. He f–ked McCarthy over. Aaron undermined him.”
Former teammate and tight end Jermichael Finley hasn’t been shy about his criticism of Rodgers in the past.
“He already had a sense of entitlement, then you give him $200 million,” Finley said. “Then you give him a young head coach. I think in Aaron Rodgers’ heart, that’s what he always wanted. He wanted to take control.”
The Bleacher Report story also pins blame on GM Ted Thompson and Packers President Mark Murphy for the growing dysfunction behind the scenes at 1265 Lombardi Avenue.
“One personnel man recalls Thompson moving ‘really slow,’ with slurred speech, falling asleep during film sessions. ‘I’m like, ‘This is the GM?’ Thompson was dealing with obvious physical issues, and Mark Murphy, the team president since 2007, didn’t step in.”
Perhaps the most telling portion of the report is the interaction between Murphy and Rodgers after new Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur was hired.
“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.”
Whoever’s to blame, Murphy does not want drama engulfing his team again.
The source close to the team says the president is “tired of the diva stuff.”
You can read the Bleacher Report article in full here: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2828649-what-happened-in-green-bay