During the broadcast of the Green Bay Packers’ loss to the Chicago Bears on Thursday night, NBC commentator Cris Collinsworth shared some juicy behind-the-scenes details about the Packers’ offensive troubles.
“They had a little players-only meeting this past couple weeks ago before that Minnesota game,” Collinsworth said during the third quarter. “I don't think Aaron Rodgers was too happy with the preparation schedule of some of the young players on this team. A few too many video games being played and not enough homework.”
There’s one big problem with that “little” meeting.
Apparently, it didn’t happen.
“I’m glad you asked that because, first of all, it’s false,” Rodgers said on Sunday. “It didn’t happen in the way that he explained it. I saw something about guys were worried about people playing video games. Sometimes in those production meetings, obviously, the message doesn’t get conveyed the right away or whoever Michele (Tafoya, NBC’s sideline reporter) talked to or Cris, I don’t know what he was referring to there, but I heard the comments and it’s just not true.”
Rodgers said there are full-team meetings, and offensive and defensive meetings and position group meetings. But “there wasn’t anything resembling what (Collinsworth) talked about.” Coach Mike McCarthy hadn’t heard of any players-only meetings, either.
Nonetheless, preparation remains a central theme as the Packers get ready for Thursday’s game at Detroit. After the loss to Chicago, McCarthy and Rodgers said preparation hadn’t been good enough. Rodgers didn’t back away from that on Sunday when asked why the offense has been misfiring so often. Rodgers, half-jokingly, suggested the cold weather should encourage players to study longer and harder.
“Adversity and the elements sometimes can put a stress on you,” he said, “but it goes back to what you’re doing in your spare time and what you’re doing with your time in the facility. Being a pro is all about making sure you’re as ready as possible by the time the game hits. I think that’s the important thing for guys to remember here, especially young guys. We’re 15 games into the season, counting preseason. That’s a long grind for those guys, especially the rookies. And the vets have had some (missed assignments), as well. So, we’ve got to buckle down our preparation and make sure we’re ready to play.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.