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Aaron Rodgers: Punt return trick play “not a very intelligent call”

Green Bay Packers v Houston Texans Getty Images

In the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the Bears, Green Bay nursing a 21-10 lead with eight minutes left, and had forced the Bears to punt. All the Packers had to do was get the ball back, pick up some first downs and not make any stupid mistakes, and the game was theirs.

And then they made a stupid mistake.

The Packers called a bizarre trick play on the punt return on which Randall Cobb fielded the punt then turned around and threw the ball across the field to Jeremy Ross. But Cobb’s throw was a little low, Ross flubbed it, and the Bears recovered, setting up a field goal that put Chicago right back in the game.

In the end, the Packers held on to win, but quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not happy with Green Bay’s coaching staff. Rodgers told Andrew Siciliano on NFL Network today that he thought it was a stupid call.

“I wasn’t thrilled about the call, to be honest with you,” Rodgers said. “At that point, I think it was 7:57 on the clock, we’re up two scores, we’ve been moving the ball pretty well. Maybe not the right call in that situation. . . . Just not a very intelligent call at that point in the game.”

Rodgers is right about that: The call, which Packers coach Mike McCarthy sheepishly described as “not the highlight of my coaching career,” was boneheaded. If the Packers were losing by 11 points in the fourth quarter, a trick play like that might have made sense. But when trying to nurse a lead, McCarthy would be wise to let Rodgers be the only one to throw the ball.

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66 Responses to “Aaron Rodgers: Punt return trick play “not a very intelligent call””
  1. mazblast says: Dec 17, 2012 6:54 PM

    Cobb played a lot of QB in college. He showed us one reason why he doesn’t play there in the pros.

    Dumb, showy overcoaching.

  2. brewcrewfan54 says: Dec 17, 2012 6:55 PM

    I think everyone on the planet knew that was a terrible idea except for the 1 guy making the decision to do it.

  3. seattlecoug says: Dec 17, 2012 6:57 PM

    An entire article without the crybaby Rodgers complaining about the Seahawks victory over the pack? Something is wrong here – I hope the crybaby pack fans bring up the hail mary TD again —- losers.

  4. bennyb82 says: Dec 17, 2012 6:57 PM

    The Lions will get game tape of this play so that they can use it down the road as another way to blow a victory.

  5. renaissanceman87 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:00 PM

    Huge Packer fan, but what does Rodgers have to gain by saying this? Show support for your coach, or your teammates. Do you think Tom Brady would ever call a Bill Belichick ‘not very intelligent’ just because?

  6. wwwfella says: Dec 17, 2012 7:01 PM

    its only a bad call if it doesnt work. you dont know if it works unless you make the call. you never know if its a bad call when you make the call its only afterwards that you find out if the call was bad or not……LMAO

  7. shaggytoodle says: Dec 17, 2012 7:06 PM

    So now that he answered another question honestly, people come out and bash him for it.

  8. skittlesareyum says: Dec 17, 2012 7:06 PM

    wwwfella says:
    Dec 17, 2012 7:01 PM
    its only a bad call if it doesnt work. you dont know if it works unless you make the call.

    —————————–

    False. Even if it worked it would have been a bad call.

  9. j972 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:10 PM

    Rodgers needs to learn to keep his yapper shut.

  10. thetruuf says: Dec 17, 2012 7:10 PM

    If it worked there would be a post about bad sportsmanship.

  11. ghoul11 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:13 PM

    agreed skittles. If they score a TD on it, the call should still be criticized. Just not smart…

  12. supremekingz says: Dec 17, 2012 7:16 PM

    What’s amazing is Flacco got away with checking down to a 2 yard pass on 4th and a million a few weeks ago

  13. cabby782 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:20 PM

    Why is a Seattle fan on here bringing up a play from what 12 weeks ago? Must have a guilty conscience about calling that game a win! I think every body including MM thinks it was a bad idea to try that play but hey it is over

  14. murty77 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:20 PM

    As a Bears fan, what upsets me most about that play call is it showed no respect to the Bears. It was a very arrogant call that showed the Packers thought they could whatever they wanted against us. I’m not saying this to chastise the Packers coaches either. They have owned us recently and have a right to be arrogant, which is what hurts the most.

  15. 49er33 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:28 PM

    Rodgers keeps it honest with everything as I’ve observed. And it was a stupid play call. If it was a success great, but why even risk a fumble when you’re up two possessions. Funny how some are commenting the contrary then again its the comment boards.

    And also Seahawks do owe it to replacement refs they were handed a win. Not complaining though, 49ers wouldn’t be in the front for the second seed in the playoffs if not for the call. Regardless Seahawks will be tough next week, heres to hoping 49ers clinch the #2 spot in the playoffs next week, and maybe a shot at the 1 pending Falcons.

  16. dtrb10 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:30 PM

    I got something for the Packers. I can’t wait to run through you like a hot knife through butter!

    Signed,
    Adrian Peterson

  17. teal379 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:30 PM

    murty77 says:
    Dec 17, 2012 7:20 PM
    It was a very arrogant call that showed the Packers thought they could whatever they wanted against us.

    To be fair, the Bears haven’t exactly done anything to make them think they CAN’T do whatever they want to the Bears.

    Bears were rather close to the goal line several times and couldn’t get in.

  18. acmepacker says: Dec 17, 2012 7:32 PM

    eattlecoug says:
    Dec 17, 2012 6:57 PM
    An entire article without the crybaby Rodgers complaining about the Seahawks victory over the pack? Something is wrong here – I hope the crybaby pack fans bring up the hail mary TD again —- losers.
    ————————–
    Losers? Have you checked the records on GB vs
    Seattle? And let’s not forget that famous Seahawks quote, “We want the ball, and we’re going to score.”
    I think we all remember how that worked out. With a little luck, we’ll see one another again soon.

  19. renaissanceman87 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:32 PM

    I’m surprised at the number of people on here who think it’s okay for a player as popular and looked up to as Rodgers, to just throw his head coach under the bus. So he can do what? Score media points? Get your average football fan to go “You tell it Rodgers! You tell it!” What a great example he’s setting. Packer fans dislike Jermichael Finley because he likes to give his 2 cents on everything, whether it’s criticizing his QB for not getting him the ball or the coaching staff for not using him very much. I don’t care if Rodgers is a world-beater or an average pro, but he’s better than that and can show a better example to his teammates on how to let your playing do the talking for you.

  20. packfaninvikeland says: Dec 17, 2012 7:42 PM

    seattlecoug says: Dec 17, 2012 6:57 PM

    An entire article without the crybaby Rodgers complaining about the Seahawks victory over the pack? Something is wrong here – I hope the crybaby pack fans bring up the hail mary TD again —- losers.
    ————————-
    There is nothing to bring up. I am a Packer fan, the TD was the right call and I’ll defend it forever.
    ——————————————
    renaissanceman87 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:32 PM

    I’m surprised at the number of people on here who think it’s okay for a player as popular and looked up to as Rodgers, to just throw his head coach under the bus. So he can do what? Score media points? Get your average football fan to go “You tell it Rodgers! You tell it!” What a great example he’s setting. Packer fans dislike Jermichael Finley because he likes to give his 2 cents on everything, whether it’s criticizing his QB for not getting him the ball or the coaching staff for not using him very much. I don’t care if Rodgers is a world-beater or an average pro, but he’s better than that and can show a better example to his teammates on how to let your playing do the talking for you.
    ——————————–
    Rodgers can say whatever he wants and Pack fans will support him. But Rodgers isn’t wrong, was a stupid call. Other Packer fans ignore when Rodgers does something that they would rip other players for its that simple. THey will vote thumbs down watch, because they know its true. Rogers will always get a pass even if he calls a former Packer “Stupid”, which he did.. even if he Calls an anaylist “horrible at his job” which he did. Doesn’t matter.

  21. beedubyatoo says: Dec 17, 2012 7:43 PM

    dtrb10 says:Dec 17, 2012 7:30 PM

    I got something for the Packers. I can’t wait to run through you like a hot knife through butter!

    Signed,
    Adrian Peterson
    ———————
    Peterson did that the first time the two teams met. How did that work out for Minnesota? One man can’t win a game. Vikes need a qb and sooooo much more.

  22. jerrytagge says: Dec 17, 2012 7:45 PM

    The execution failed, not the play call.

  23. jonny42671 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:46 PM

    This guys true colors are slowly coming out.

  24. mattolikesthevikes says: Dec 17, 2012 7:49 PM

    I think we know who wears the pants in that family

  25. killface4prez says: Dec 17, 2012 7:50 PM

    If the guy evades the question, people read between the lines anyway and say he was covertly knocking the coach.

    If he says he agreed with the call, he’s a liar and he looks like an idiot to boot.

    So, he took the “honesty is the best policy” approach. Sometimes you can’t win for losing.

  26. Wisconsin77 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:52 PM

    Wow, if Favre ever criticized his coaching staff like this the Ted Thompson fans would hang him out to dry. Double standards in the Green Bay Nation are amazing.

  27. jimmysee says: Dec 17, 2012 7:53 PM

    dtrb10 says:
    Dec 17, 2012 7:30 PM

    I got something for the Packers. I can’t wait to run through you like a hot knife through butter!

    Signed,
    Adrian Peterson

    ===================================

    Adrian won the battle — Vikings lost the war.

    (Football is a *team* sport.)

  28. captainwisdom8888 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:54 PM

    Sitting on an 11 point lead, obviously that trick play was not necessary given the situation, but how easy is it for Rodgers to call that an “unintelligent” play after having seen it fail miserably? VERY EASY. If the play succeeded and his teammate had a monster return, than Rodgers would have been harping on how his coach made a “gutsy” call to try and extend the lead.

    As they say, hindsight is 20/20…too often do people lament a decision made during a sporting event after having already seen the negative result.

  29. angrycorgi says: Dec 17, 2012 7:55 PM

    Anybody who watched Rodgers in college @Cal already knows he’s a perpetual loud mouth. Don’t expect him to change that anytime soon.

  30. billsfan131 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:56 PM

    shows up his coach. cant stand this guy. first class idiot

  31. leatherface2012 says: Dec 17, 2012 7:57 PM

    that throw and turnover caused the non padding of rodgers stats and then he didnt have a chance to wince everytime his jersey got brushed by a hand

  32. leatherface2012 says: Dec 17, 2012 8:01 PM

    i like going to bars being a vikings fan and if AD rips off a 90 yard run i scream at the top of my lungs “catch him rodgers ya lazy pos” or come on raji or golden hair mathews—chase him down. love almost to see gb pick off ponder and as mathews is running and trying to block, but not paying real attention, just get laid out by loadholt, like sapp did to whoever that was

  33. mattspapi says: Dec 17, 2012 8:06 PM

    And let’s not forget this is the guy who celebrated Ryan Braun’s
    botched PEDs miracle with something stupid like “exonerated” or whatever it was.

    One of the more self serving tools on the planet
    Next Drew Brees.

  34. iowahbr says: Dec 17, 2012 8:06 PM

    Rodgers is talking like the play screwed up the US nuclear defense shield. Aaron, it’s a kids game for adults to watch and nothing more. Would have looked very cool if it had worked.
    See last Saints Super Bowl victory.

  35. packfan1996 says: Dec 17, 2012 8:08 PM

    Hey seatlecoug – JUST SHUT UP!! It was a bad call and the mighty Pack got over it and lead their division! The only idiots that bring it up are losers like you! And the only reason you keep bringing it up is you know the seachickens were given a game! SHUT UP already!!! Your embarrassing your self!! Do you really think Rodgers cares what you say – IDIOT!

  36. purpleguy says: Dec 17, 2012 8:11 PM

    If this is the worst thing Packer players and their fans have to bitch about, then life is pretty good — you could be Lions or Bears fans witnessing significant late-season collapses. Lighten up folks (well except for responding to the trolls from my fan base above).

  37. banky74 says: Dec 17, 2012 8:13 PM

    The man certainly never hesitates to criticize his own team.

  38. suhperman says: Dec 17, 2012 8:20 PM

    mazblast says:
    Dec 17, 2012 6:54 PM
    Cobb played a lot of QB in college. He showed us one reason why he doesn’t play there in the pros.

    Dumb, showy overcoaching.

    ====================================

    Actually, Cobb’s throw was right on the money. The guy on the receiving end of the throw just couldn’t catch it.

  39. rikker12 says: Dec 17, 2012 8:24 PM

    I can see it know, Seattle and GB play in the playoffs and GB wins, all of the Seattle fans will be whinning that the league had somthing to do with it because of the fail mary game…. Rodgers will answer the question that was asked, he is the leader of the team.

  40. gbmickey says: Dec 17, 2012 8:44 PM

    For those who dont realize Rodgers has his own talk show and of course this play was going to come up in the discussion. He told it like it was just like McCarthey did in that it was not a very smart call. You fools act like he searches out the media to rip on the coach. what i really see are jealous trolls wishing they had a qbhalf as good as Arod.

  41. mepackerfan says: Dec 17, 2012 9:06 PM

    It doesn’t matter if this was a stupid call….. What matter to me that Green Bay won. Everyone makes mistakes…. So what….. Remember, the Green Bay record should have been 12-2 (not 10-4) if it wasn’t bad calls from these refs during the early season. I just hope that Green Bay Packers will play again Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta during the playoff…. Love to see Packers to beat Falcons on the road again like they did it two years ago….

  42. electionconfidential says: Dec 17, 2012 9:15 PM

    When exactly did Aaron Rodgers become such a tool? He might want to be careful if he wants to keep raking in the endorsement dollars. The 60 Minutes piece really brought him down in my estimation…

  43. mypercyhurts2 says: Dec 17, 2012 9:33 PM

    leatherface2012 says:Dec 17, 2012 8:01 PM

    i like going to bars being a vikings fan and if AD rips off a 90 yard run i scream at the top of my lungs “catch him rodgers ya lazy pos” or come on raji or golden hair mathews—chase him down. love almost to see gb pick off ponder and as mathews is running and trying to block, but not paying real attention, just get laid out by loadholt, like sapp did to whoever that was

    ——————————————–

    I have many Viking fan friends and they would all be ashamed of you. That whoever is Chad Clifton. You are pathetic.

  44. shelovesfootball says: Dec 17, 2012 9:51 PM

    I got something for the Packers. I can’t wait to run through you like a hot knife through butter!

    Signed,
    Adrian Peterson

    ___

    Keep running to nowhere Adrian. Arian Foster owns you on touchdowns!

  45. garyman1 says: Dec 17, 2012 9:51 PM

    What’s the big deal…. Rodgers said it wasn’t a very intelligent call…. so did McCarthy. Bad calls and plays happen every game but let’s not be too hard on McCarthy. He just coached well enough for yet another Division Championship.

  46. brewcrewfan54 says: Dec 17, 2012 9:53 PM

    It was a stupid idea. It deserves criticism. If he said it was a good play or anything like that people would criticize him for being disingenuous.

  47. honolulubluekoolaid says: Dec 17, 2012 10:19 PM

    bennyb82 says:
    Dec 17, 2012 6:57 PM
    The Lions will get game tape of this play so that they can use it down the road as another way to blow a victory.

    —————–

    Well played Sir!

    I am a Lions fan and this got a laugh out of me.
    I was thinking the same thing when I read this article.

    That said, at least the Packers are good enough to win in spite of a play like that. Something my Lions have never been able to do in my lifetime.

    I will root for the Pack to rep the North in the playoffs.

  48. tiffpats4eva says: Dec 17, 2012 10:37 PM

    I am pretty sure Mike McCarthy hates Aaron Rodgers.

  49. bla bla bla says: Dec 17, 2012 10:41 PM

    It was a stupid call.

    Rodgers said it was a stupid call.

    Some people have a problem with that.

    Strange. Very strange indeed.

  50. lambeauwest says: Dec 17, 2012 11:29 PM

    I’d be curious if Aaron would be as honest about this special teams playcall as what he thinks about whether GB should hang onto Mason Crosby.

    What other team in the NFL would be loyal to a fault like GB is with Mason Crosby? This was a pressure game and Crosby blew it both times. Even if he makes all of his FGs in the next two weeks, these are not pressure games so you’re still left with a question mark in your mind if Crosby can really kick a game winner. Personally GB needs to bring in somebody and give him two weeks to get used to kicking in GB with their holder. I’d like to know from MM what the criteria is for cutting Crosby. Does he have to lose a playoff game first?

  51. filthymcnasty1 says: Dec 17, 2012 11:36 PM

    I’m pretty sure this play happened during the game where the Packers won the NFC North at Soldier Field.

    So nice.

  52. taintedsaints2009 says: Dec 18, 2012 12:00 AM

    Who cares the bears were not going to win that game anyways. If the bears some how in miraculous fashion make the playoffs, I bet they have to go to Green Bay. Should be a nice 3 game sweep.

  53. stellarperformance says: Dec 18, 2012 12:08 AM

    I for one applaud the initiative with the play-calling shown by McCarthy and the high-percentage of success he has with unusual and unexpected special teams plays, beginning with the occasional onside kick. This one didn’t work, but what better time to pull off a trick play than when nobody in the world expects it? If it had worked he’d be a genius. The comments made by Rodgers are shared pain, with the entire team, including the coaches. Yeah, after the fact, it looked a little stupid.

  54. trapshoot says: Dec 18, 2012 12:23 AM

    Criticize him if you must, but Rodgers is correct in his comments. It was a very stupid call.

  55. makinghtmlcodeforfacebook says: Dec 18, 2012 12:51 AM

    Everyone needs to calm down. Rodgers was obviously just paraphrasing (although much more politely) what every Packer fan was yelling at the TV during that debacle. Including me.

  56. houndog50 says: Dec 18, 2012 12:55 AM

    seattlecoug says: Dec 17, 2012 6:57 PM

    An entire article without the crybaby Rodgers complaining about the Seahawks victory over the pack? Something is wrong here – I hope the crybaby pack fans bring up the hail mary TD again —- losers.
    —————————————————–
    Wow, you got 87 likes with that post, I didn’t know there were 87 Seahawk’s fans that could read!

  57. greenandgoldgirl says: Dec 18, 2012 1:09 AM

    All Aaron was doing was echoing what his head coach said, it was not an intelligent play. His honesty is refreshing and most of you with the exception of about 5 teams would kill to have him as your QB.

    When you have the lead by 11 and the league MVP as your QB, you give him the ball. Period.

  58. stercuilus65 says: Dec 18, 2012 1:17 AM

    A taller QB wouldn’t have thrown his coach under the bus, just sayin…

  59. romeisfallingagain says: Dec 18, 2012 1:20 AM

    A-Rod is the new Tom Brady. People hate him for being so incredibly damn good, and nothing more. They try to act like him being honest makes him some sort of bad guy. It’s hysterical, but understandable. Most fans would absolutely kill to get him on their team, and hate him because they can never have him.

    @ seattlecoug: My gosh, I hope so badly your team has to come to Lambeau in the playoffs. I mean, wow, I can’t wait to see it.

  60. shakau2 says: Dec 18, 2012 1:34 AM

    I’m glad Rodgers called out the coaching staff for their stupidity. Fact is both McCarthy & especially GM Teddy boy Thompson are hugely overrated. Under their “leadership” this organization – without a doubt – has grossly underachieved and should have at least several more Super Bowl appearances – if not wins. But, they happen to work in the one place where they can escape true accountability. I mean, keeping the inept FG kicker Mason Crosby is just one example of some of their failures. Look at the QB’s & the overall talent they’ve had – and only 1 SB? Geez, the Patriots, NY Giants, SF49′ers, and now ATL Falcons look to be stronger than the Packers – yet last year & the start of this year we were regarded by all the pundits as the best team – by far. Frustrating.

  61. larryboodry says: Dec 18, 2012 2:22 AM

    purpleguy says: Dec 17, 2012 8:11 PM

    “If this is the worst thing Packer players and their fans have to bitch about, then life is pretty good — you could be Lions or Bears fans witnessing significant late-season collapses…”

    If the Bears win out against an admittedly easy schedule, and the Vikes split against Houston and GB, Bears are likely in as the 6 seed and MN stays home in January…That said, how does what happened to the Lions this year qualify as a ‘late-season’ collapse?

  62. larryboodry says: Dec 18, 2012 2:24 AM

    As for Rodgers, he was asked a question and gave an honest answer…Nothing wrong with that.

  63. JMil_ATL says: Dec 18, 2012 5:17 AM

    The only call worse this season was his handle bar mustache.

  64. eventhorizon04 says: Dec 18, 2012 6:42 AM

    When the coach himself says it was a bad call, it’s not “throwing his coach under the bus” for a player to call it a bad call.

  65. ronin36 says: Dec 18, 2012 9:30 AM

    He was probably asked:

    “What do you think of the call?”

    and he answered.. as straight forward and honestly as possible.

    Simple as that. Now can we start talking about the Tennessee game?

  66. shavager says: Dec 20, 2012 7:15 AM

    Didn’t have a problem with Cobb throwing the ball-he put it right in Ross’ belly–problem I have is a rookie in that position dropping the first NFL catch of his career so close to redzone and giving opponent opportunity for points that would eliminate a two score lead. The pass was on the money, but being a lateral and Ross dropping the ball could’ve erased Packers’ 11 point lead, just glad the Bears could not challenge GB’s defense in 4th qtr.

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