First, the “audible thing.” Then, the “joint practice thing.” It’s hard not to wonder what “thing” will come next between one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history and his first-year head coach.
For now, it’s clear that Packers coach Matt LaFleur likes joint practices, and that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers doesn’t.
“[A]bsolutely 100 percent I want to do this again,” LaFleur said Tuesday, before Rodgers gave a candid and biting assessment of the practice of engaging in joint practices. The quarterback’s criticism included an element of whistleblowing.
“I don’t think doing live special teams drills is very smart,” Rodgers said. “I think the [NFL]PA is going to look at that, for sure. The kickoff especially is one of the most dangerous plays in football, and that’s why they’ve tweaked different things over the years. Close to a live kickoff drill I don’t think is best use of a [joint] practice.”
Well, it’s LaFleur who decided to have joint practices, and it’s LaFleur who decided to permit “close to a live kickoff drill” that “for sure” the NFL Players Association will look at. And it’s Rodgers who decided to call out his team and his coach for doing it.
So why did Rodgers do it? Well, who’s going to stop him from doing it? And what are they going to do about it? Trade him? Bench him for DeShone Kizer?
Rodgers continues to be the most powerful employee in the organization, and he’s showing everyone who wears the championship belt. They’ll let him gloat for now. The moment he shows real signs of slippage, however, the Packers will cut the cord and Rodgers will be playing for another team — just like his predecessor in Green Bay.