The elephant in the room for the Packers continues to be the relationship between quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the next head coach. But everyone involved in the process is trying to downplay that reality, Rodgers included.
The 35-years-and-one-day-old quarterback met with reporters on Monday, and he tried to walk the line between making his preferences known and minding his own business.
“I’m obviously an older player in the league, I still have a number of years on my contract, would love to still play to 40, and I think there’s an interest on who the next guy would be,” Rodgers said, “but Mark [Murphy] and Brian [Gutekunst] and I have always had good lines of communication. Their offices like they say are always open . . . . I’m not needing to be involved in that process.”
So he doesn’t need to be involved, but he has an interest in who the next guy would be. Which meshes with statements from Murphy and Gutekunst from Monday that Rodgers is free to provide input, but that he’s not going to be involved in the process. Because Rodgers made it clear that he doesn’t want to essentially be his own offensive coordinator, Peyton Manning style, but that Rodgers instead wants to be coached.
“I enjoy being coached,” Rodgers said. “I think any player does. You love the conversations, the feedback, and I think any great player holds himself to really high standards so first you have to be very critical of your own performance, but it’s always nice having a voice in there that’s gonna hold you accountable. I think any player, especially an older player, you want that, you want that feedback, somebody holding you accountable, someone coaching you up.”
That’s all the more reason for Rodgers to be fully on board with whoever is coaching him up. Especially since the goal will be to get him and everyone else coached up quickly, so that the next coach can win a Super Bowl faster than McCarthy or Mike Holmgren did — in their fifth seasons on the job.
“Brian and Mark are committed to winning now,” Rodgers said, adding that a quick turnaround is “definitely doable in this day and age.”
It is, if they hire the right coach. And the right coach will be the coach who can get the most out of Aaron Rodgers, ASAFP.
Good luck doing that if Rodgers isn’t involved in the process.