A rookie head coach and a second-year general manager trying to make an impression, yet it’s the two-time MVP quarterback that faces the most pressure heading into the 2019 season.
Even before Tyler Dunne’s article, the pressure was going to be squarely on the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers. Whether it’s just perception or reality, many felt Rodgers played a large role in the dismissal of Mike McCarthy.
But the article may have exposed more than we may have known and increases the already Everest amount of pressure on Rodgers. Not only does it confirm what many have already perceived about McCarthy and Rodgers, it also further questions Rodgers’ leadership.
A rift that was presumed to be growing throughout the 2018 season had apparently been around since 2006 when McCarthy was hired as Green Bay Packers head coach. According to Dunne, Rodgers despised the hiring and held a grudge from being passed over by McCarthy, while at the 49ers, in the 2005 NFL Draft.
The grudge reached its crescendo during the season. Rodgers knew the pressure on McCarthy’s job was growing and at any point could have given his coach an endorsement, but it never came. He instead criticized game plans and player usage while allegedly telling rookies to ignore the input of their coach.
This, under any circumstance, is not a recipe for success. Insubordination destroys any unit regardless of realm.
For as great as Rodgers is, it is horribly wrong for him to ask rookies to disobey what they are supposed to do and ignore the guy in charge.
To make matters worse for Rodgers, the article uncovers when Equanimeous St. Brown did what he was told by Rodgers, Rodgers hung him out to dry and let him get reamed by his position coach without coming to his defense.
Any and all of these things, whether true or not, is not a good look for Rodgers. Rodgers already doesn’t have the best reputation — he’s been called arrogant, hard to coach, a bad leader and now disobedient.
For all these reasons, the pressure is now fixed on Rodgers. It won’t matter what gameplans new coach Matt LaFleur comes up with, the outside presumption will be if the offense or Rodgers plays bad, he could be tanking because he did not want the new hire.
Should a receiver run what is thought to be the wrong route, it could put doubt into the new coach’s mind.
For Rodgers, the pressure will start before he even takes the field for a game. The offseason training program begins Monday, and with that comes the first media sessions for players.
He will no doubt face questions regarding the report, and how he decides to handle them will be telling. Meet them head on and he shows he can handle it, dodge them or become irritated and it could show/prove he’s as sensitive as described.
The pressure will come from multiple fronts for Rodgers this season, and it should. He’s the man behind he most important position on the field. He’s the one that will make this team go. And it is now his time to show he’s not all that’s reported of him.