He’s a Super Bowl MVP. He’s a two-time NFL MVP. He is considered by many to be the most talented quarterback the NFL has ever seen. But after stating on the record historically innumerable times his desire to remain a Green Bay Packer for life, a tumultuous post-season absent the playoffs along with a massive front-office shakeup and power shift might have Aaron Rodgers whistling a different tune.
“Coaches coach and players play.”
This is what Mike McCarthy has preached and stated on the record as often as Rodgers has stated his desire to stay in Green Bay. At least that’s what the coach would have you believe anyway. Maybe McCarthy actually believed for a long time what he was professing, but was the coach toeing the line to the letter of his own law a few weeks ago when he interjected himself into the hiring of the Packers’ GM? There has been some buzz Aaron Rodgers was not too thrilled about the supposed choice of Russ Ball as general manager, but the words spoken publicly on the subject came from McCarthy.
In the blink of an eye, Mark Murphy did an about face, jumped off his top pick for GM — Russ Ball — and scrambled quickly to settle for Brian Gutekunst in order to appease his head coach. In that same moment, Mike McCarthy went from embattled incumbent with his backside quickly approaching the hot seat, to an empowered figurehead within the organization who no longer even answers to the GM he helped attain the position.
And somewhere, Aaron Rodgers was watching.
Cut to a few days later when the Packers made the announcement that Frank Cignetti, a Pittsburgh native and old McCarthy colleague from way back in the day, would succeed quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt while the latter exited for the same role within the Cincinnati Bengals organization.
Wait a minute. Say WHAT??? Alex Van Pelt left working with Aaron Rodgers to take the same position and to work with Andy Dalton? Rodgers loves Van Pelt and vice versa. No?
He probably was given no choice but to leave.
Van Pelt wanted career freedom and likely anticipated an offensive coordinator position that never came available for him this year. And because Mike McCarthy, being the stubborn SOB he is took Van Pelt wanting to be out from under his thumb as a personal insult, gave zero consideration to keeping him on with a one-year deal or any other arrangement. The moment Van Pelt expressed he did not want to be under a long-term deal that would prohibit him from being promoted elsewhere, he was likely dead to McCarthy.
So now McCarthy, fresh from his victory of manipulating team president Mark Murphy and hand-picking his choice for general manager, decides he wants to show his quarterback who’s boss. So he scapegoats Van Pelt, blaming him indirectly for Brett Hundley’s stunted development and preparation, lets Rodgers’ friend and QB coach walk without so much as a word and then to twist the knife further, hires an old crony from back in the day — a lifetime quarterback coach who never played the position at a high level.
In other words, exactly what Aaron Rodgers has stated on the record that he does NOT want in his position coach.
“Coaches coach. Players play.”
Were Aaron Rodgers words yesterday nothing more than a little venting in a high pressure, big money business, or was the quarterback dismayed and amazed by not only the power and influence his head coach was able to exude over the last few weeks, but also the subsequent level of disrespect Mike McCarthy paid him by not even communicating with him about the change of his position coach?
There are many questions left unanswered.
What does Aaron Rodgers REALLY think of Mike McCarthy as a coach?
How does Aaron Rodgers feel about Mike McCarthy’s power play in the selection of the GM?
What does Aaron Rodgers think about Mark Murphy atop the football power structure?
How does Aaron Rodgers feel about the Packers passing on other candidates as GM and the subsequent decimation of the Packers’ scouting department as a result of the chaos that has occurred since?
How does Aaron Rodgers feel about re-signing with a team that is in such total disarray?
How much power will Aaron Rodgers wield?