GREEN BAY, Wis. – If anyone inside the Green Bay Packers locker room had an issue with quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ assessment of his offense and who should — or shouldn’t — receive playing time, then he did not solve the problem. with him.
Not his teammates.
And not coach Matt LaFleur.
That’s according to Rodgers on Wednesday, a day after his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” made waves because the quarterback said, among other things, that players “who make too many mistakes shouldn’t to play”. and maybe guys who don’t play, give them a chance.
Rodgers said it was nothing he didn’t share behind closed doors inside the team’s headquarters at Lambeau Field.
“If any of these guys have a problem with this, I’m here and would love to have a conversation,” Rodgers said. “I appreciate those conversations. I appreciate any kind of conflict like that because I know that resolving the other side is going to make us have a better unity, a better friendship, a better cohesion on the pitch. But nobody came up to me and said, ‘I have a problem with what you said.’ I think everyone knows, including Matt, that everything has to pick up a little speed, improve a little.”
Rodgers also didn’t back down from those comments when asked to clarify them.
“I don’t understand why people have a problem with things being truthful,” Rodgers said. “I call it what I see it. People don’t think I need to air this stuff, that’s their opinion. But I do what I think is in the best interest of our guys, and I tried a lot of different things from a leadership perspective this year, and I was just relating my personal feelings about the situation. I didn’t call anyone by name. I think we all have to be on the details, and that includes me.”
Rodgers said he was open to additional conversations with his teammates and coaches during the week to help smooth things over. To that extent, Rodgers, who did not train on Wednesday because of his injured right thumb – which he would not say whether it was broken or not – moved his treatment time so he could attend the practice and continue to play in the huddle. The Packers also moved up their regular weekly meeting between quarterbacks and receivers by one day.
On Tuesday, Rodgers told McAfee they’ve missed missions or had mental errors on up to 20% of their offensive plays in games this season, including Sunday’s loss to the Washington Commanders that dropped the Packers at 3-4 after a 3-1 start.
“If you’re not playing, executing or doing the things you’re supposed to do, then I’m with Aaron,” veteran receiver Sammy Watkins said Wednesday. “If I’m not playing well and I panic and miss games, take me out of the game because it’s not helping the team. I think that’s a red flag for everyone, a red flag for myself. I try to limit myself to having one MA per game and that’s my goal. The goal is to have none, but things are going on fire. I’m with Aaron, man.
Watkins returned Sunday after a four-week absence with a hamstring injury, and rookie Christian Watson could return for Sunday’s game at the Buffalo Bills (5-1) after missing two weeks at cause of the same injury. However, they could be without Allen Lazard, who did not practice Wednesday due to a shoulder injury.
When rookie Samori Toure was active for the game against Washington, it meant every receiver on the roster had a chance this season. So unless Rodgers is referring to practice squad receivers Juwann Winfree (who caught 17 yards in the three games he was raised from practice squad) or journeyman Travis Fulgham (who has never played in a game for the Packers), so it’s unclear who he thinks should play the most.
“I think it’s just that we have to get our best 11 on the pitch and if that means going to different personnel groups then we have to do that,” Rodgers said. “But we can’t have the same double-digit mental errors, over 15 and expect to move the ball effectively.”
LaFleur gave no indication that he had a problem with Rodgers’ comments.
“We have to be honest with each other,” LaFleur said. “Sometimes the truth hurts. … I don’t think he publicly called out individuals, I don’t believe, I didn’t sit there and listen to the whole thing, so I just think you have to be get to the root of truth.”
Green Bay opened as a 10.5-point underdog and by Wednesday night the line had risen to 11.5 at Caesars Sportsbook. Rodgers has never been more than an 8.5-point underdog in his career, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. His 234 career starts (including regular season and playoffs) are the most of any quarterback to never be a double-digit underdog in the Super Bowl era. Rodgers is 0-4, including the playoffs, as a touchdown or more underdog.
“You can be a dangerous team when you feel like you have a lot to prove and you’re sort of knocked out,” Rodgers said. “So I’m glad we’re counted as much as possible. I’ve always enjoyed that feeling. And for those guys who have a lot to prove, I hope they accept that too. It’s time to give you a shout out. name in this league, and a lot of guys are going to have opportunities on Sunday. On national television, with millions and millions of people watching – a good time for some of these guys to step into the limelight.”
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