Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was ticked off about a story at Pro Football Talk predicting an “implosion” between Rodgers and coach Mike McCarthy.
And for good reason, because author Mike Florio’s story was dripping with bad journalism.
“Don’t waste your time reading crap like that,” Rodgers rightly warned.
Here’s what Florio wrote on Monday:
“Rodgers has been engaged in a passive-aggressive attack on McCarthy in recent days, and if the goal is to rattle McCarthy, it’s working. After an ugly home loss to the Colts, Rodgers declared that the sideline lacked energy, a shot at the man ultimately responsible for ensuring that the players are ready to play. McCarthy said the next day that he thought the energy was ‘pretty good.’ More recently, Rodgers took more clear aim at McCarthy after an embarrassing loss to a team that in past years was hard pressed to score 47 in a month, suggesting that the coach doesn’t instill the proper amount of it’s-not-personal-it’s-just-business fear in players that, at some point, failure will get them fired.”
Two problems with that story — with the most egregious being one completely out-of-context quote.
First, it's the part when Rodgers “declared that the sideline lacked energy,” which Florio construed as “a shot” at McCarthy. McCarthy, however, mentioned the lack of energy to the team in the locker room on that Sunday. Rodgers then took that message to the podium during his postgame news conference. That is made perfectly clear in the ESPN.com story that Florio linked to; he just chose to ignore the second paragraph of the story.
Second, it’s the part about “failure will get them fired.” Last I checked, McCarthy doesn’t make personnel decisions. Second, the team released safety Jermaine Whitehead just a few days earlier for his gaffe on the Colts’ kickoff-return touchdown. And third, everyone knows that players who don’t perform are at risk of being released. That’s a universal truth in sports, not just with the Packers.
McCarthy has defended Rodgers’ play throughout his statistical slump. And Rodgers defended McCarthy on Wednesday. McCarthy, despite guiding the Packers to seven consecutive playoff berths — tied with New England for the longest streak in the league — has come under intense scrutiny for the Packers’ three-game losing streak.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” Rodgers said. “I think people don’t understand how difficult it is to win in this league and win consistently. The success that we’ve had here, it’s tough to do. We’ve set the standard pretty high. But I wouldn’t listen to some of those people out there. I mean they’re not in this locker room, they’re not in the meeting rooms, they’re not in the practice environments. They don’t know what’s going on, they don’t know the type of work ethic that we have here and that Mike has here. Especially guys like Mike Florio.”
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.