Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Bears quarterback Jay Cutler don’t have much in common.
But despite their divisional rivalry, Rodgers said he’s upset about what Cutler has been through in recent weeks.
Speaking specifically about Cutler being the victim of an unnamed source (who later named himself) ripping him to an NFL Network reporter, Rodgers told another NFL Network reporter that kind of treatment is unfair.
Rodgers told Mike Silver that he was “baffled” by the account of Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer taking veiled shots then unveiling himself, and that he “would have a major problem” with such a situation.
Of course, they haven’t had such situations often under General Manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy, at least that we’ve heard much about.
“I think there’s a way of doing things when you have issues, and it’s keeping it in-house,” Rodgers said. “We talk about that with our group a lot, and Mike always talks about, usually on Mondays or Wednesdays, ‘Here’s some of the media topics [that we’ll be asked].’ It gives guys a chance, if there are any questions or anything we need to talk about, to get it out there.
“The great thing about our team is that we’ve always had really open lines of communication. You know, we’ve had a couple of guys over the years be those unnamed sources, but thankfully Mike and Ted have weeded those guys out. So we’re not worried about these guys ripping on people and going out and doing things. Because if something happens like that, we address it directly.”
Of course, there’s the small matter of chickens and eggs here.
First, Rodgers has avoided the need for having coaches rip him, because he’s been a lot better at his job than Cutler has. The first step in avoiding anonymous criticism is being above it.
And that level of play has helped breed a stable workplace atmosphere in Green Bay, and when teams win there are usually less reasons for the boat to either rock or leak.
That’s not to say he or they are perfect, they’re just better at managing problems than their neighbors to the south.
Rodgers has aired out teammates on the sideline and on the field before too, but because he wins more often, it gets described as “fiery” while Cutler can bark at offensive linemen and be called “immature.”
But in addition to being a much better quarterback, Rodgers apparently works for an organization better at weeding out moles, which helps everyone except those who trade in information.