Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Obvious friction returns to the Aaron Rodgers/Mike McCarthy relationship

Aaron Rodgers was clearly not happy with Mike McCarthy's playcalling after the team's win in Week 4, but the Packers head coach was quick to respond.

Two years ago, evidence emerged of palpable dysfunction in the Aaron Rodgers-Mike McCarthy relationship, with Rodgers openly questioning the energy level on the sideline (something for which the coach is primarily responsible) and separately lamenting the absence of a sense of fear that chronic poor performance will result in a loss of employment (something for which the coach is primarily responsible). Rodgers bristled at the suggestion that his words represent proof of a problem between him and McCarthy, dubbing my effort to connect the dots “crap” not worth reading.

Well, get ready for some more crap.

On Sunday, Rodgers shared concerns about an attack that doesn’t sufficiently feature key weapons like receiver Davante Adams and tight end Jimmy Graham. The quotes point clearly and unmistakably to the game plan. Something for which the coach is primarily responsible.

This time, McCarthy opted to engage Rodgers, fighting passive-aggressive fire with passive-aggressive fire.

“Aaron’s given a lot of responsibility, and rightfully so,” McCarthy said Monday. “He’s earned that, at the line of scrimmage and during the preparation process.

Translation: If Aaron has a problem with the game plan, he should say something about it during the week; and if Aaron has a problem with the plays that are called, he should do something about it by changing the play before the snap.

The next questions for Rodgers should thus be these: What is his role in the game-planning process, and is he speaking up? What freedom does he have to call audibles, if he sees Adams or Graham in a favorable matchup?

Some will say we’re making too much of it. The truth may be that we’re not making nearly enough of it. Regardless, the 13-season relationship continues to show signs of wear and tear, and if push ever came to shove Rodgers probably isn’t the one who would be pushed or shoved out the door.