Football has long been compared to battles in the military and while that may make for great quotes during those slow motion NFL films, its a bit of a stretch to compare any sports competition or game to real life warfare.
Right now you could also find all kinds of cliches that would apply to how the Green Bay Packers could approach the final two games of the season.
General George S. Patton famously said “lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way” and that applies when it comes to players trying to prove their worthiness in terms of a roster spot.
Or those who are simply playing for pride, and others who are just securing a paycheck.
But you also have to consider the other side of the coin and wonder what the front office at 1265 Lombardi Avenue is really thinking. “should they run away and live to fight another day?
Either way, it‘s clear that both Aaron Rodgers and Joe Philbin have given the impression that it’s important to win, but also lead by example.
“Really at the end of the day in football, is being with a bunch of guys you care about in the locker room after you’ve won a football game. There’s no better feeling than that right? And so somebody once said ‘we want to take our jobs seriously but not ourselves’. And for all of us, it’s that obligation we have to one another.” said Philbin.
And he’s likely right when it comes to celebrating success in sports.
But at what price?
The Packers made the largest investment in NFL history to Rodgers back in August, so why would you risk injury to the 2-time MVP, especially when he’s likely to be playing behind several back-up offensive lineman.
Rodgers said that while despite being out of playoff contention is leadership driven, a tangible reason to be on the field would be to get in sync with the rookie receivers who could be a big part of the Packers future.
“I think there’s definitely some value there. I’m very proud of both of those two young guys who have seen a lot of time. I think Quez (Marquez Valdes-Scantling) started off really hot, and had a big game against the Patriots. But the whole time you’ve seen 19 (Equan just continue to improve. He’s had a steady improvement all year, and he’s done some really nice things.”
If Aaron Rodgers is going to show “leadership” by playing in the final two games when they are essentially meaningless, then it would also make sense for him to play during the preseason next year. That would allow him to work on those “details and avoid re-occuring issues” that he keeps referring to.
We shall all find out on Sunday when they face the New York Jets on the road where they haven’t won all season long. If Green Bay loses, it will be the first time since 1958 that the Packers won’t have a single road victory.