During a recent interview, Packers TE Marcedes Lewis answered questions about the tension between QB Aaron Rodgers and former coach Mike McCarthy during this year’s season. Among other reasons, this tension and lack of cooperation between the two is what led to the Packers letting McCarthy go after 13 seasons with the team recently. Sports Illustrated wrote a detailed piece about this and other issues in the team. In it, SI gave the details of this troubled relationship:
McCarthy, like Rodgers, is an alpha male. When people familiar with the two were asked to describe their relationship, most say it is defined by tension. Until this year, it was a healthy tension that lifted both quarterback and coach. In 2018, something has been different.
McCarthy is the play caller, but because Rodgers is so intelligent and such a good improvisational player, the quarterback has the green light to change plays on the field as he see fit. He does, so often that it can be hard for McCarthy to get into a rhythm as the play caller. McCarthy might call the same play three times in a game, without the play actually being run as he called it. And if McCarthy calls a play that Rodgers doesn’t like early in the game, that can sour the mood for the rest of the game. Several sources familiar with the inner workings of the organization say that it devolved into a competition over who can call the better play, and both want the credit when things go right.
Winston Moss also had some interesting things to say last month:
Former #GoPackGo coach Winston Moss isn't done roasting the organization after being fired: "Aaron Rodgers has been the coach for 9 years." 😲
As for the Marcedes Lewis interview on Yahoo Sports Mostly Football, he corroborates some of the earlier reports of the tension and Rodgers’ tendency to try and act independently of McCarthy’s direction.
“I think all of that stuff that happened towards the end in Green Bay all came from the top. I feel like Aaron had his own set of things that he wanted to do, then obviously McCarthy had his things that he wanted to do. I just think there was a little dysfunction.”
“One time I really saw it for the first time, we were in the huddle. I guess McCarthy called in a play, and Aaron was kind of like, ‘Nah,’ ” Lewis said. “He gave a direction and a protection to the line, and went. It was a four-minute offense, he threw a 40-yard bomb for a completion. I’m like, ‘What’s really going on?’ I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life.”