Is Aaron Rodgers capable of leading the Packers?

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When he’s not reading crap like this, there’s plenty of other stuff on the Internet that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers surely would dismiss as crap. Including a new article from Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report.

Dunne previously covered the Packers for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and he takes a lengthy and detailed look at a quarterback whose career seems to be at a crossroads — and who for the first time in his career is receiving a healthy dose of criticism. It’s not the first time Rodgers has been criticized, but it’s the first time that it seems to be simultaneously sticking to his skin and burrowing under it.

Articles posted at PFT over the past few weeks have focused primarily on post-game comments from Rodgers that, on the surface, criticized others in the organization with a broad brush. I interpreted Rodgers’ rants about a lack of energy on the sidelines against the Colts and the absence of a fear among players that they’ll lose their jobs after a thrashing in Tennessee as not-so-veiled shots at the head coach, and as tangible proof that the two men don’t see eye to eye. Dunne dug more deeply in an effort to understand the role of the quarterback in the struggles of the Packers.

Among others, Dunne spoke to former Packers tight end Jermichael Finley, a teammate whose relationship never developed to the point where the quarterback gave his cell phone number to Finley. Balanced against opinions of current teammates like tackle David Bakhtiari and defensive lineman Letroy Guion that Rodgers is indeed a capable leader is the assessment from Finley, who spent six years with the Packers from 2008 (when Rodgers became the starter) through 2013.

“In my opinion, he’s a different guy,” Finley told Dunne. “I didn’t really know how he showed his leadership. He wasn’t a vocal guy. He really wasn’t a hands-on guy. To tell you the truth, it was all about his game and his stats in my opinion. . . . He was a guy that kept it all in. He kept grudges close to his chest. If you did something, he never really let it go. He always kept it close to his heart. I just don’t think he was a natural-born leader. He wasn’t put on Earth to lead.”

In calling out the rest of the team for lacking energy in the Colts game, Rodgers admitted that he isn’t a “rah-rah” guy. Dunne explains in his article that Rodgers kept to himself during the game, rarely interacting teammates whom he believed needed a kick in the ass.

“Aaron Rodgers is so scared of what guys are going to say that he doesn’t say nothing at all,” Finley said. “He doesn’t get vocal. He goes into his little shell. He’s not a guy who hangs out with the fellas. He’s real self-centered.”

Dunne also explores some of the variables beyond football that may be affecting Rodgers. It’s the kind of territory that, if not tiptoed through properly, can get a reporter labeled a hot-take short-order cook (or worse) and/or draw the ire of Olivia Munn. But the details Dunne has mined are nevertheless intriguing, even if they are: (1) anonymously sourced, for the most part; and (2) irrelevant to the current state of the quarterback’s career.

“You come to work, punch in and punch out,” Bakhtiari told. “No matter what’s going on back at home, with wives and kids and family members there’s going to be a lot of other stressors in your life. A lot of guys may have family issues we don’t know.”

I tend to agree with Bakhtiari. But in this ongoing effort to figure out how a Hall of Fame quarterback who should be entering the thirtysomething sweet spot where lingering physical skills intersect with sufficient knowledge of the game to make him a coach on the field, every stone is being turned.

The real question is when things will turn around for the Packers. Not for one game against an inferior team, but for the duration of the season, propelling the team into the postseason and toward the top of the playoff tree.

I still think they’ll win the NFC North, and that they definitely can be a dangerous team in the playoffs, just like they were as the No. 6 seed in 2010, when they ran the table and won the Super Bowl.

46 responses to “Is Aaron Rodgers capable of leading the Packers?

  1. jermichael finley?!?

    Who cares what jermichael finley says?!?

    Remember when jermichael finley attacked Aaron Rodgers (in 2011) while Rodgers had a 122 QB rating and 45 to 6 touchdown to interception ratio?!?

  2. Not a Packer fan by any means, but I’d gladly take Rodgers. The real problems goes higher up, draft picks not working out and very few free agents brought in to help out. It’s almost criminal that his career is being wasted.

  3. This is so overblown.

    The Packers are badly coached, mediocre management, and bad defense and people want to blame the quarterback? Rodgers has masked the flaws with his great play for a long time. He can’t do it forever.

  4. I’m a Jets fan.

    The only solution is to trade Rodgers to the Jets.
    The Jets will send the Packers:

    1. their entire coaching staff
    2. their GM
    3. Darrel Revis
    4. Mohammed Wilkerson
    5. Ryan Fitzpatrick & Bryce Petty
    6. My eternal thanks

  5. after what i read today, about him cutting off his family 2 years ago…they dont have his cell #, he returns xmas gifts, wont talk to his parents, dad buys own tickets on stub hub…i knew i was right about this clown all along..he is a diva in it for himself..period..what kind of doosh cuts off his entire family? he is a spoiled brat diva.

  6. nomdeplume01 says:
    Nov 19, 2016 10:25 AM
    Not a Packer fan by any means, but I’d gladly take Rodgers. The real problems goes higher up, draft picks not working out and very few free agents brought in to help out. It’s almost criminal that his career is being wasted.

    its criminal how he treats his family..self indulged narcissist

  7. It’s clear that Erin has a couple of personal issues. If that translates to his performance on the field is another thing. This is a guy who hasn’t talked to his family in two years? I mean his own father has to pay his own way to Packer games?
    What’s up with that?

  8. When Rodgers is on he leads by his performance on the field. If he gets time to throw and guys get open he can get them the ball. Rodgers hasn’t been himself lately. He overthrows guys or he throws behind them. He isn’t even the best QB in the division anymore. Matthew Stafford is. It used to be that Rodgers could play for your team, your QB could play for the Packers and Rodgers would still win. That’s not true anymore.

  9. Let the numbers talk…. 64.5 career winning percentage, super bowl ring. 2 mvp’s.

    First losing season since his first as a starter in 2008 (and that could turn around)

    A career is more than one bad stretch of games, unless you’re florio and you’ve been shoveling hot garbage on the internet for your entire career.

  10. Rodgers doesn’t have the fire and focus at crunch time that Brady and Russell Wilson do. He is arguably more talented, but games are won and lost in crunch time. Watch his eyes, it just isn’t there.

  11. Favre basically hazed the guy for years. No surprise he let his stats do the talking. If Green Bay thinks there is somebody better out there, they are welcome to look.

  12. Rodgers issues stem from his lady and the problem she has cause between him and his family. Rodgers has all the tools to be the best QB in the league but his problems are between his ears.

  13. This guy is not a leader by any stretch of the imagination. Somebody else has to be the leader of that team he is just the elite quarterback above everybody else. Don’t even look at him funny.

    Sending Christmas gifts from parents back…won’t talk to brothers…what a head-case.

  14. Sad what Ted T did to this team. Jerry J who I dont care for drafted his star running back, star qb and a future star linebacker, and has Tony Romo to dangle out there for more picks. In other words this team can load up on top picks the next two years and put a few more super bowls on the shelf.

    Ted T went with draft and develop and gave Rogers: R Rogers, the slowest tight end in football, Davis who is 5’9 receiver and one hit from senility, Cobb who had his good year already, Davante Adams who after 3 years is now showing up, Abbedaris whose brain is scrambled, and Janis who after four years has no clue on what the playbook says.

    One GM and owner gets skill players and stars and spends the bucks, the other plays cheap ball with guys from schools no one ever heard of and they wonder whats wrong with the team. It caught up with them that’s what.

  15. smithdp says:
    Nov 19, 2016 11:26 AM
    Rodgers doesn’t have the fire and focus at crunch time that Brady and Russell Wilson do. He is arguably more talented, but games are won and lost in crunch time. Watch his eyes, it just isn’t there.

    When I look into your wife’s eyes, she obviously desires other men. That’s what I see. It must be true.

  16. Leather face, you’re one of the biggest trolls on this site, what makes you think anyone wants your opinion?

  17. Rogers proved to me in the Atlanta game something I suspected for two years: He hates man coverage on his receivers. Zone he rules the world, man no so much.
    In Atlanta he put up points and passing yards the first half, life was good no one complained. Zone D.
    Second half they went to man and he will into his run mode, pass ball out of bounds mode and his bitching at his receivers mode and looked anything but HOF material.
    Teams play man and he is a mere mortal.

  18. Frankly, I’m loving it!! When you don’t have a TEAM around you, it is very difficult to carry it all by yourself! Just ask Tony Romo, for almost his entire career……..but he never threw his teammates or coaches under the bus!

  19. I think Troy Aikman’s assessment of the wide receivers is closer to the heart of the problem than Rodgers. However, Rodgers clearly hadn’t been the same since the quad injury two years ago.

  20. Aaron Rodgers admits he likes his footballs inflated more than the NFL legal limit

    Ever since the NFL started closely monitoring football psi, Rodgers has taken a big turn for the worse

    Tom Brady, meanwhile has never been better


  21. As far as the tailspin the last couple years, no coincidence it lines up with hooking up with an oft bat-shat crazy girl who’s going to tell you her inaccurate opinion. Sounds like Rodgers has started to believe it, and if she tells him to ignore the family, then so be it.

    Another theory floated too is rekindling the whispers from earlier this year that he is gay and that’s why he’s seperated from the family.

    Regardless, always has come off as arrogant, so I don’t think some of this teammate stuff is far off at all.

  22. Here’s what it boils down to – Rodgers overachieved from the beginning because he was able to frontrun – his ability to stage comebacks has never existed and it was before the 2012 season that this fact of his game first became publicized. Now he’s in decline to where he can’t frontrun. He was never that good to begin with.

  23. When I look into your wife’s eyes, she obviously desires other men. That’s what I see. It must be true.

    I’m not married, though you may want to be concerned about your own wife. We were in close proximity the other night. Though to be honest, I couldn’t really see her eyes at all.

  24. @leatherface

    I’m no Rodgers fan but IF he cut off contact with his family, he may have a good reason to do so. Rodgers could be a total jerk and is ignoring his family. Or Maybe his parents beat him as a child and now that he’s grown he doesn’t anything to do with them. Maybe his parents have chemical depedancy issues and he cut off contact until they seek help. Maybe we shouldn’t judge someone without knowing the facts.

  25. I feel a bit bad for Aaron. I’m not a Rodgers or Packers fan, my team isn’t even in the NFC but he’s gone and fought back against a liberal with a website. I expect to see 10 articles a day bashing Rodgers now.

  26. When it comes to Rodgers it is never him, it is always you that is the problem. As his skills continue to decline more and more of these stories will come out about him. Holding grudges, being self centered, this is going to end very badly.

  27. he is another overrated Jeff Tedford guy who was handled better than the others and had a great team around him but he still had Plenty of flaws!!! Now the JT is coming out!!!!!

  28. Hasn’t talked to his family in over 2 yrs…..sad, life is soooo short. Wish I still had my mother.

  29. Of course Bahktiari comes to his defense….He is a Mid Level LT who getting paid like a top 5 LT because Rodgers likes him.

    Richard Rodgers…..the absolute WORST starting TE in the NFL. He not only shares a last name with Aaron he shares an Alma Mater. Richard Rodgers is CFL Bench material not a starting NFL TE.

  30. Not even a Rodgers fan, but this article comes off as petty retaliation for daring to question your highness. You run a football blog with no original reporting. Hop off the high horse.

  31. He has missed the playoffs ONCE in his career as a starter which was his first, which is also the last time the team was 4-5. Finley was on a team where Woodson and Driver were on the veterans, maybe Rodgers has stepped he wouldn’t know he hasn’t played for them in 3 seasons.

    Much like any other time there someone who is considered the face of the NFL, there is a group of people who can’t wait for a chance to tear them down.

    The leading rusher the last month is a WR, the Defense has given up 30 plus in several games, and Rodgers has been asked to throw the ball a TON. Which no matter which analyst you ask they will tell you its bad for the offense.

    You put Derek Carr, Tom Brady, or Russell Wilson in that position I promise you there will be frustration, and struggles.

  32. The way the entire offense went after the Titans player who leveled #12 in the end zone suggests that they are behind their QB.

  33. Sounds like he needs a change of scenery. Some place that doesn’t expect perfection.

    The Browns seem to have got a lot of nice receivers. And the fans are starved for a real QB.

    I think he’d like it there.

    Lions fan.

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