On December 3, 2018, Mike McCarthy was relieved of his duties as the Green Bay Packers Head Coach. After an ugly loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy knew it was time for a change. Despite a historic legacy left behind by McCarthy, the second-winningest coach in Packers history, there seemed to have been quite the bit of controversy sparking throughout Green Bay.
In an article by Tyler Dunne from Bleacher Report, Dunne went in-depth about the whole situation and what really happened in Green Bay. There were several times during McCarthy’s tenure that he was considered “lazy”. For example, one person stated that McCarthy would skip Saturday walkthroughs for massages in his office.
The article also said that Rodgers and McCarthy had an on and off relationship for 12 years. He would call his teammates and rant to his players saying, “Mike McCarthy has a low football IQ”.
The Tyler Dunne article drew big attention from several Packer fans including Josh Amacher, Packers writer for Cream City Central.
“My first reaction was of surprise and disbelief,” said Amacher. “I couldn’t believe that McCarthy would skip team meetings for massages, there is no way that actually happened. Sure, I knew there was tension in the locker room but I never imagined it was on that level.”
McCarthy was not the only person in Green Bay that garnered attention from Packer fans. Several players expressed their views towards Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his character.
“My other teammates and I were afraid to say hello to him because we were afraid of making him angry,” said former teammate Greg Jennings towards Aaron Rodgers.
Jennings also stated that he was scolded by Rodgers for talking to Brett Favre after Favre signed with the Vikings in 2009.
Former Packers Tight End Jermichael Finley was also frustrated with Rodgers during his time in Green Bay.
“Self-centered Aaron Rodgers isn’t a natural-born leader,” said Finley.
These comments from former Packer players are astonishing because many people thought of Rodgers as a humble person, not arrogant, according to his former teammates. If he is that arrogant, then he hides it because he is a winner.
Rodgers fired back a few weeks later saying it was a smear attack on him and that Dunne was using anonymous sources for quotes.
“If I hated McCarthy that much, why would I re-sign?” said Rodgers. “We made the playoffs eight straight years until I got hurt and we missed the playoffs. Is the money that important to me? I’ll tell you it’s not. Quality of life is important.”
In an interview with Bill Schmid, sports radio host for 105.7 The Fan, he went in-depth about the whole situation and discussed his relationship with Tyler Dunne.
“We talked to Dunne and he knew a lot about the situation,” Schmid said. “He is a trusting guy and has covered stuff with the Packers before.”
Dunne has covered the Packers for about eight years now, and he and Schmid have had a growing relationship for five to seven years.
Many people did not believe any of the quotes stated in the article because they were either said by unknown sources or reading them made it hard for Packer fans to believe.
“As a Packer fan, this was very disheartening to read,” said Christian John, die-hard Packer fan and Cream City Central writer. “You never want to see two people have that much resentment for each other let alone two people you actively cheer for 16 plus weeks a year.”
Hearing these quotes from Packer fans make you wonder what the 2019 season will look like under the Matt LaFleur regime. LaFleur was asked about his thoughts on the Green Bay drama.
“Yeah, I know about it,” said LaFleur. “Quite frankly, I don’t really care.”
The Packers need to move on from the Mike McCarthy era and look ahead into their bright future. According to reports, LaFleur and Rodgers met up in California before offseason workouts began.
“I think it’s going to be a fun process,” said Rodgers. “He’s a super energetic guy. A real straight-shooter and honest guy. I am excited about working with him.”
When it comes to a team like the Packers, a Quarterback-Head Coach relationship is very important. LaFleur had studied Rodgers as a player before he was hired as head coach. This shows a lot about LaFleur and what he will do to be a winning coach. They are also only four years apart in age, and that will help them to relate to each other both on and off the field.
In addition to the LaFleur hire, the Packers also hired former Jacksonville Jaguars Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett for the same position. LaFleur wants to clean house in Green Bay and get rid of any remnants from the past.
As the NFL Draft concludes, we are one step closer towards the 2019 season. As the time comes, the closer fans will analyze the LaFleur-Rodgers relationship. It will take time for LaFleur to gain the trust of Rodgers.
“He needs to prove it with his play calling and personnel decisions,” said John. “Rodgers has wanted more unpredictability by showing off his football mind and his intelligence for Rodgers to gain his respect. This is the best way for LaFleur to persuade and win over the face of this Packers franchise.”
Trust is a huge factor to look at for a new head coach, and LaFleur has quite the history of working with veteran Quarterbacks.
“Rodgers is close with Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan, who LaFleur coached to an MVP season,” said Schmid.
It is a new era in Green Bay and Packer fans could not be more excited. LaFleur and the rest of the new coaching staff hope to bring home a Lombardi Trophy before the 35-year-old Quarterback retires. With lots to look forward to, we can only hope for the better and Packer fans can move on from the old and into the new.