While it was mild in comparison to some other QB-coach implosions that have taken place over the years in the NFL, it was probably the first time in recent memory that a rift between the two was made so public. In fact, I don’t really ever remember the two arguing in public – at least one that was broadcast across the nation and world in real time.
“We’re both passionate about the game, and competitive,” Rodgers said after the game. “We want to win very badly and, you know, I went over and talked to him after that. Just got on the same page. Needed to talk; we did, and we moved on.”
A football team’s likeness to a family is well documented and like a family, there are disagreements and discord among team members. Such was the case yesterday as Rodgers was clearly perturbed with the play calling by McCarthy and cleared his mind when he came to the sidelines. McCarthy wasn’t too happy with Rodgers’ reaction and seemed to tell him so, like any good parent would.
At first, I was a bit surprised by the outbreak, later understanding completely how and why it happened – Rodgers was nearly decapitated on the play when he seemed forced to try to run for the score. Knocked out of bounds just short of the goal line, Rodgers was probably pretty well rocked on the play and made McCarthy aware.
It took defensive lineman B.J. Raji to play referee and to separate the two, but like most family members, after the separation they seemed to make up – realizing their exchange was caused the emotion of the moment.
When Rodgers was asked whether the exchange was initiated over a play call, he said, “Yeah, I’m going to leave that between Mike and I.”
But he went on to say, “I think we were both frustrated all day. We couldn’t have a lot of success in the red zone, kicked way too many field goals and turned the ball over.”
While emotions were running high yesterday, the exchange between the quarterback and his coach was understandable, but my only regret is that it didn’t light a bigger fire under the team – one that would have lasted for the entire second half. After building a 16-point lead, the Packers attack fizzled in the fourth quarter and … well, we all know what happened.