Are things in Green Bay really as they seem?
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ attitude was put under the microscope, including claims that he was unable to coexist with former head coach Mike McCarthy prior to his departure from the team in December. Several former Packers also were critical of the two-time MVP.
Rodgers had his first chance to respond to the allegations in an interview with ESPN Milwaukee on Monday — and he certainly didn’t hold back.
“This was a smear attack by a writer looking to advance his career talking with mostly irrelevant, bitter players who all have an agenda, whether they’re advancing their own careers or just trying to stir old stuff up,” Rodgers said, as transcribed by ESPN.
In response to the claim that he couldn’t work with McCarthy, Rodgers had a few things to note.
“One, if they knew that, why would they offer me a contract last year?” Rodgers said in the interview with former Packers tackle Mark Tauscher and radio host Jason Wilde. “And two … is if I really disliked Mike so much, why would I re-sign knowing that if I play well and we do what we do around here?”
In fact, Rodgers said he’s a big fan of McCarthy.
“I love Mike McCarthy. He’s a great man. He’s got a huge heart. He really cares about his players, and he showed that to us,” he said.
Instead of slamming the Packers’ former head coach, Rodgers reminisced on the time he shared with McCarthy on the Packers, and asked fans to do the same.
“We had a hell of a run,” he said. “We had 13 years, four NFC championships, one Super Bowl, eight straight playoffs, 19 straight wins. So, instead of trashing this guy on the way out, let’s remember the amazing times that we had together.”
In the meantime, Rodgers says he is “excited” to begin working with LaFleur next season.