In the @bleacherreport article titled “What Happened in Green Bay”, Tyler Dunne talks about the dysfunctional relationship between Aaron Rodgers and former HC Mike McCarthy. He interviews many former and current players who say that Rodgers is a toxic and arrogant player, who didn’t respect his former head coach. McCarthy on the other hand was described as “checked-out” during his time as head coach, and was said to have skipped out on team meetings to get massages.
While I do think a majority of the details from the story were not 100% true, it is obvious that there were tensions between the two. I believe the combination of Rodgers having to be so heavily relied upon (even with the lack of talent around him), and McCarthy seeing that HIS team turned to Aaron Rodgers’ team, greatly contributed to the downward spiral of their relationship. The offense stayed non-innovative as time went on, and the Aaron Rodgers found an increase in responsibility year after year. Because of this, Rodgers would openly disagree with decisions made by his head coach. In his mind, Rodgers believed he knew what was best for his team’s success. It was said that Mike McCarthy allowed Aaron to make changes in play calls if needed, but after a certain amount of time when Rodgers changed “about a third” of the plays, you begin to question where his privileges end. McCarthy saw himself being pushed and pulled around by his own quarterback, and this struggle deteriorated their relationship until McCarthy was fired in December of 2018. I don’t think either Aaron Rodgers or Mike McCarthy can be 100% blamed for this conflict, as they were both just trying doing their job for 13 years, and overstepped into one another’s boundaries.
As far as former players such as Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley bashing Rodgers, saying he isn’t a “natural-born leader”, I believe these statements were just made for attention by jealous individuals who struggle to stay relevant after leaving Green Bay in undesirable ways. Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Julius Peppers, James Jones, etc., are all guys who praise Rodgers as a great person on and off the field.