So for the past year or so its been the cool thing for former Packer players that left the organization because of reasons they didn’t like to take a shot at Aaron Rodgers and his leadership for the Packers.
Most notably, almost every week on FS1 it seems like Greg Jennings is brought on to poke at Rodgers legacy and criticize him because Jennings is butt hurt that he sucked after the Packers let him walk and Rodgers didn’t do for him, what Rodgers did for James Jones. Jennings left the Packers because he wanted too much money, the Packers said go ahead and get the money if you can, we can find a way to replace you. Rodgers didn’t put up a fit, but he did for James Jones because he felt Jones was more valuable to the team a few years later. Also, Jones is much cheaper and the Packers obliged. Then you have this past year where the Packers cut Jordy Nelson and low balled him so Jordy went and got his money with the Raiders.
There similarities between Jordy and Jennings exist from Green Bay. Although they were in different parts of their career, both guys got low ball offers from Green Bay and jumped ship to another team even though both guys more than likely wanted to stay in Green Bay with Rodgers as their QB.
Since then Greg Jennings has gone on national television shows, radio, and podcasts to say things like this on Cowturds show.
Or you can read this Bleacher-Report article from 2013: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1718050
Now to be fair to Jennings. He has also praised Rodgers talent on the field and has argued he is a better player, talent wise. So not everything coming out of Jennings mouth is negative, but its obvious his still kicking and screaming inside over his departure in Green Bay.
Jennings isn’t the only guy though, during Super Bowl week this year guys like Jermichael Finley, KGB, and Jeff Janis criticized Rodgers.
Finley said “He’s coachable to a point. Once you try to over-coach him, that’s when he’s going to do his own thing.”
Finley also said this: “He’s got a trust issue. For what reason, I don’t know. He’s a guy that has to see you work on the field and throw the ball to you and hope you run the right route. He goes off football. He doesn’t go off personality when he first meets you. You’ve got to gain his trust through the game. It’s crazy to say, but I played with the guy for 6, 7 years, and I had to gain my trust by running the right routes and knowing the plays. It’s crazy.”
Okay, let’s unpack this one for Finley. NO SHIT you have to work on the field to gain his trust. That’s the exact point of practice. Just stupid. This comment literally makes no sense. You’re right Finley, it is crazy to say that you gain trust with your teammates by doing what your supposed to do.
I’m not sure what Finley’s issue with Rodgers is but I think he’s disappointed he never got the ball more. That could have strictly because of Rodgers but I would guess after Michael Bennett and Mercedes Lewis comments that it’s a combination of a poor offense for a TE under McCarthy, and Rodgers decisions. Finley’s career was also cut short because of a neck injury and he could have gone down as the best TE in Packers history. The guy had all the talent in the world and maybe he blames Rodgers for not being able to show case it as much. Just like Jennings, Finley as also said some very nice things about Rodgers but he seems to come back and take jabs at Rodgers every now and then.
Jeff Janis was also a previous WR for the Packers that a legendary playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals in the 2015 Divisional Playoffs.
Sidebar: After watching these two plays I’m ready for the NFL to be back. Need it.
Anyway, Janis had this to say on a podcast in late January:
“I think positive reinforcement works a lot better than negative. … It can tear you down and break a player. You take a really good player and just keep doing that stuff to them, he’s going to start being one of those guys you can’t count on because he’s feeling like he’s inconsistent and starting to get down on himself. It’s one of those things you can’t really change because (Rodgers) is the way he is.”
Janis was somewhat of a folk hero in Green Bay that a lot of fans were waiting to break out. Many thought it would come in 2016 after that playoff game but Janis couldn’t do much more than ever run a fly route, or be a special teams guy hence why he is currently out of the league. Janis is by no means as critical as Jennings but he obviously has some biased against a guy who wouldn’t get him the ball.
Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila comments came out of nowhere because he played with Rodgers for four year, only one of those (2008), Rodgers was the starter. KGB said “I think positive reinforcement works a lot better than negative (for Rodgers).” KGB is different perspective because he’s on the defense, but he only played one year with Rodgers. He has no idea how Rodgers has changed and developed as a player and leader for the Packers.
These criticisms of Rodgers leadership and personality from these guys and from the media are nothing new to Rodgers. If you ask these people a lot might say Rodgers is a “bad teammate” and “doesn’t care enough” about some of this teammates.
Finally, Jordy Nelson decided to set the record straight in a story that came out yesterday in the Wisconsin State Journal. He had this to say about everybody shitting on Rodgers:
“Everyone knows negativity sells,” the ex-Packers and current Oakland Raiders wide receiver said in an interview on ESPN Wisconsin earlier this week. “People don’t want to hear (the good). People feel better about themselves when they hear bad things about other people. And that’s why that gets more pub.”
“I mean, no one wants to hear that Aaron’s not only obviously a great quarterback but a great leader and does everything right. All right, there’s your story. What fun is that? So whenever they can, they go back to the well and get the same people to say the same stuff.”
Jordy finally said what every Packer fan already knows. Rodgers may not lead like a Tom Brady, or Peyton Manning, but he is still a great leader. He is still a great human being. He is still a great friend to many guys on the team. Rodgers isn’t for everybody, I can see that he comes off as arrogant or cocky, but I love that. But arrogant or cocky to the media or during a game doesn’t translate to a bad teammate or a poor leader. The guys that are coming out trashing Rodgers, are doing it for attention, are doing it for headlines. They’re doing it so they can go on a stupid sports talk show at 8 AM in the morning where they spew the same bullshit day after day and never say anything intelligent.
And I’ll end with this, anybody whose played team sports knows you’re not best friends with everybody on the team, you don’t have to be. What you have to be is dependent to do your job and that’s all Rodgers asks of his teammates and what he does for his teammates every day of the week. However it is obvious Rodgers has created great relationships with guys on the Packers. Just take a look below at the picture of Randall Cobb and Rodgers potentially playing their last game together in Week 17 of this year. If that doesn’t tell you who Rodgers is and can be as a teammate, well then nothing anybody says will help your heartless attitude.