The so-called “audible thing” hovers over the Packers, and the contours of the conundrum are clearly drawn.
New coach Matt LaFleur’s offense entails two plays being called in the huddle, and the quarterback (via application of specific parameters) selecting one of them at the line of scrimmage. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers wants more freedom, saying this last month: “I don’t think you want me to turn off 11 years. There’s stuff that not many people in the league can do at the line. That’s not a humble brag. That’s just a fact.”
Rodgers recently repeated that non-humble-brag fact during a golf course stroll with Chris Simms.
The veteran signal-caller at one point said that “too much is made” of the audible issue, “because there’s audibles in every play.” Of course, that would tend to justify making it a big issue, however.
Simms said he doesn’t see the fact that the issue emerged publicly as a negative, acknowledging however that a lot of people do. Rodgers then subtly and deftly shifted the focus from the question of whether the public nature of the disagreement is negative.
“There’s nothing negative about having a lot of experience,” Rodgers said. “With me, I will do things that other quarterbacks just can’t do or haven’t done.”
He’s not wrong about that, but it underscores the conflict between LaFleur’s system and Rodgers’ preferences. He wants the freedom to do whatever he thinks needs to be done at the line of scrimmage. The system, for now, doesn’t give that freedom to him. At some point before Week One, the issue needs to be resolved.