Aaron Rodgers At The Front Of The Pack

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It’s time for the questions about Rodgers and his leadership abilities to stop

At the risk of repeating some of the content that Adam Czech posted earlier, I felt it necessary to weigh in on the continual questioning of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ leadership.  Point blank: it needs to stop.

For this piece, I am going to depart from throwing stats and calculated theories and just speak off the cuff.

What more do we expect from Rodgers?  Yes, it would be nice if the Packers were in a conference championship game and appearing in Super Bowl after Super Bowl, but that’s just not how it works in the NFL.  While the quarterback is the most important position on the field, this is still very much a team game.

I didn’t play on an organized football team until my senior year of high school, which was 20 years ago this year.  I was even more under-sized than I am now and I barely saw the field.  I was, however, fortunate to have a great head coach who is the reason why I became so passionate about the game.

That man happened to be Tim Beck, who is now offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the University of Nebraska.  Beck treated everyone equally and had us doing the most remedial drills in practice.  Some of the starters probably loathed it but to me, it was the best thing that could have happened to me.  I learned that no matter how much talent you have or how good you are at something, if you can’t do the little things right and be accountable, you are letting the team down.

Today, Donald Driver chimed in with his thoughts on what Greg Jennings has been saying about the Packers and Rodgers.  If you haven’t heard or read them, go and check out Adam’s post.  As of this very moment, it has not published so I have no hyperlink yet.  To me, what it boiled down to is that some guys want to benefit from having a stellar quarterback like Rodgers and what he does for them, but they don’t want to be accountable for their missteps.  And somehow because Rodgers doesn’t shoulder the blame for others’ mistakes, his leadership is under review?

I’ll pick on Driver’s example of route running.  That is a fundamental part of being a wide receiver and no NFL wide out is going to succeed if he can’t run proper routes.  But if a paid professional screws up and runs the wrong route, Rodgers should cover for him?  I’m as disappointed in Driver as I have ever been.  Should I be worried that squeaky-clean Donald Driver is going to continue to throw subtle barbs at Rodgers too?  I doubt that he will.  There can only be one Greg Jennings in this world but this incident further solidifies my contentment with Driver’s retirement.  Stick to dancing with the stars, Quickie.

The Green Bay Packers, all 53 of them and the coaching staff, need to be accountable for their actions or lack thereof.  Without that simple piece of culture in place, they will struggle to find high success.  In continuing to hold his teammates (even the “cool kids”) accountable, Rodgers is a leader.  In responding to repeated questions about others’ questions about his leadership in a collected and professional manner, after all that he has accomplished, Rodgers is a leader.  For being a catalyst for his teammates to help him be an All-Pro quarterback, win a league MVP, a Super Bowl championship, and a Super Bowl MVP, Rodgers is a leader.

The man is in the middle of the pre-game huddle more often than not.  On NFL Network’s Sound FX, Rodgers can be heard calming his teammates down in a pressure situation on the road in a loud stadium.  He’s on the sidelines collaborating with head coach Mike McCarthy at every chance during a game.  Why?  Because he wants to succeed and he knows he needs everyone around him at their best to help him do it.  He wants to win and when the Packers head into battle, it’s always Rodgers who stands in front.  If Aaron Rodgers is not a leader, then this team has never had one in its storied history.

 

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.com

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  • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

    Well said. IMO Driver’s comments came off differently than he intended. His words are not very clear…. but still… just leave it at “They’re both good friends. I had great times on the football field and in the locker room with each of them and I wish them both success.”

    • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

      Just thought about something else. Remember in 2011 when ARod would angrily point at WR’s and OL guys when they didn’t do what they were meant to on national television?

      None of us liked that, and his teammates certainly didn’t enjoy it.

      Maybe that’s what DD is referencing?

      Even if that’s so, he should have kept his mouth shut.

      • Keith Hendrickson

        Some of the great QBs do the very same thing as Rodgers. Payton Manning, remember when Payton blamed his Oline when they lost to the Patriots several years ago? Payton is very demanding of everybody under him and as with Brady. Amazing that is why those 3 are in the top 3 QBs in the NFL.

  • ZeroTolerance

    Bravo!

  • LMB

    Bravo, indeed. I also agree w/bearmeat (love that name)…..I do believe DD was trying to rationalize what GJ has been saying. Forget it DD. He’s wearing Purple now and like Coach said…..something happens when they put on that purple.
    I haven’t heard any complaints from the fans or the current team. That’s who counts and lots of Ws too

  • Tarynfor12

    Why does Driver even feel the need to attempt an explanation of what Jennings may or may not have intended.Perfect time for the ‘No Comment’ or ‘I take the 5th’.

  • Chad Toporski

    Charles Woodson showed his wisdom when he was asked about this issue. GJ and DD have a thing or two to learn from him, apparently.

  • http://allgbp.com/category/authors/jason-perone/ Jason Perone

    When I was putting this together, the only “benefit of the doubt” rational I could give Driver was that he was literally repeating what Jennings had said about his feelings towards Rodgers as a leader. But even so and if that WERE the case, Driver failed to make that clear and hence, his words came off as his own. Agree with Bearmeat and the general consensus that Driver’s statement was not very clear.

  • Dobber

    **Yawn**

  • http://network.yardbarker.com/ Butch

    And your reply is like an anus…, everybody has one…, who cares! And I’m sure you’re probably in Aaron Rodgers’ inner circle of friends to give an opinion of what he’s really like!

  • http://Yardbarker Aaron

    Hey pantyraid, not only does your name sound like something a twelve year old would call himself..But your post is just as immature, Ive met Aaron Rodgers on many occasions and he is as down to earth as anyone on the team.The wr position has long been known as one for the diva’s and Driver and Jennings are just pissed cause Rodgers didn’t lobby to have them back in uniform. As you might relate its what we call sore losers. I worked at a restaurant that DD owned and he isn’t as humble as the media makes him out to be. So to you “PANTY RAID” bring your uneducated ass back to the mens locker room where you got those panties from and read some books, than sit in your lazyboy and criticize the best QB in the NFL. You, PantyRaid, are the douche bag!

    • http://allgbp.com/category/authors/jason-perone/ Jason Perone

      I took panty’s comment down. Clearly he/she is a troll and just looking for a reaction, which is fine, but the wording was unnecessary.

      Carry on, friends:)

  • PantyRaid

    You took my comment down because I was right. I didn’t know the word “asshat” was so offensive. I am a Packer fan. It looks like all signs are pointing to Rodgers being a douchebag. But I don’t care as long as he wins games. It’s sad that fans like you, or more accurately “fanatics”, think that because a guy wears a green shirt and throws a leather ball to another guy in a green shirt to score points for your team, he must be a swell, stand-up guy. You all are clinging to your childsih fantasy that Rodgers is some amazing human being. If you can’t handle reality feel free to remove this comment as well.

    • http://allgbp.com/category/authors/jason-perone/ Jason Perone

      Well, you’re improving. This one I can leave up.

      This piece has nothing to do with Rodgers off the football field. You calling him a douchebag and an asshat clearly refers to him as a person. I’m talking about Rodgers the football player. I could care less what he does at home and much like you, I’m fine with it as long as they are winning.

      But to address your theory, no, you’re not “right”. I disagree with your assessment. My being a fan has nothing to do with what I wrote. Not all writers are die-hard fans. It was meant to promote discussion and so it obviously worked

      • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

        Rodgers has some rough edges. We all do. I know that if I were under the microscope like he is there would be some things in public that I would not like to be.

        Has ARod been a jerk sometimes? Yep. But who are you to judge like that?

  • MJ

    All generals have their way of leading. Patton, Eisenhower, Bradley each led their men in different ways. What’s important is that the men follow them. I’m not worried about the past performers, I’m interested in the current fighters…How do they perceive Rogers as a leader?

  • http://Allpackers.com Nick Perry

    I was getting ready to walk out the door when I heard on Mike&Mike that Driver was going to be on. I called my office, said I’d be late and thought I’d hear DD tell America that Jennings has lost his mind and what a great leader Rodgers was. Like everyone when I heard the comment that Rodgers needed to help shoulder the blame for a route ran wrong, I hit the rewind a few times to make sure I wasn’t hearing things. The two of them kept poking and probing Driver. At the end I thought to myself, this isn’t good. Next thing I know it’s on every talk radio station! My hope is Rodgers does what he always does when the chips stack up on his shoulders. He whips the crap out of you! I know this, I’d hate to be a Viking defensive back this year. He’ll make them pay with his arm, just like he always does. … One thing..WHEN IS COBB GOING TO BE HEALTHY?????