Bears Jay Cutler caught plenty of heat Friday after bumping left tackle J’Marcus Webb and swearing at him on the field for a bad play.
But in the same game, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers showed some frustration with wide receiver James Jones, when a miscommunication led to an interception.
“I was expecting him to come out flat,” Rodgers said after the game, via Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “He started out flat and then kind of took it up. That’s about as frustrating as it gets right there.”
Granted, Jones made a mental mistake, while Webb was simply beaten. That gives Rodgers more latitude. A quarterback needs to trust his guys to be in the right place at the right time, but he can’t assume they always win one-on-one battles.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he didn’t think the exchange between quarterback and receiver had any malicious intent.
“There’s a line between playing with a lot of emotion and being disrespectful, and sometimes it looks the same,” McCarthy said. “I think that’s the reality of that particular situation. He’s not trying to disrespect James Jones by no means. He’s competing. He’s extremely competitive, and they talked about it immediately on the sidelines. I think that’s the case.”
The difference in the reactions to Cutler and Rodgers is based primarily on the difference in their careers.
Rodgers has won something, which goes a long way. But he also doesn’t have a track record of churlish behavior.
So it becomes constructive criticism when he does it, and not the kind of thing to dominate conversation for days at a time.