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Packers Daily Links: Concerns Raised on Rodgers' Leadership

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Packers Daily Links: Concerns Raised on Rodgers' Leadership

An article at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Packer Plus publication, brought to light a moment inside the Packers locker room on the final day of media availability for the recently-completed season, a day after the loss to the 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs. First quarterback Aaron Rodgers declined to be interviewed. Then, as Rob Reischel of Packer Plus writes, "Instead of preparing for the NFC Championship Game, Rodgers was now critiquing reporters." Rodgers did it in a joking fashion, but to joke about the way the media handles its business after declining to be interviewed appeared to be in poor taste. Also in the article were several examples of individuals questioning Rodgers' leadership this season. It's important to note that none came from within the Packers' locker room, however.

Aaron Rodgers also threw his support behind teammate Charles Woodson during his weekly radio show on the ESPN Radio affiliate in Milwaukee, 540 AM WAUK. “I think it’s got to be one of the top priorities,” Rodgers is quoted as saying by host Jason Wilde. “I’m not sure what that’s going to look like, but I know he is under contract and that he is an important part of our football team, and I think he adds a lot. He is still playing at a really high level." Woodson's contract could make him cost-prohibitive next season with a contract in the neighborhood of $10 million in 2013. There's little doubt in my mind that Woodson is a better option than M.D. Jennings at safety, but with such a big contract, there's worry about the law of diminishing returns.

More on Aaron Rodgers and his opinions on the Pro Bowl comes from ESPNMilwaukee.com and his thoughts on working for CBS during the Super Bowl appear at Fox Sports Wisconsin.

The Packers Hall of Fame class of 2013 was announced on Tuesday. "Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and Chris Jacke have been announced as the headliners of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame 2013 class," writes Paul Imig of Fox Sports Wisconsin. Congrats to Gbaja-Biamila and Jacke, two members of the Packers renaissance of the 1990s. They're joined by contributor Emil Fischer who served several roles within the organization during its early years and will be inducted posthumously.

More on the Packers Hall of Fame class of 2013 comes from ESPNMilwaukee.com, JSOnline, Press-Gazette, Packers official website and Associated Press.

Articles specifically on Chris Jacke come courtesy of the Press-Gazette and Fox Sports Wisconsin. Video comes from Fox 11.

A blog post on Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila appears at PackersNews.com.

New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo shared his thoughts on fellow defensive coordinator Dom Capers during an interview that took place at the Senior Bowl practices. "Let me tell you something, Dom Capers is one of the finest coaches in this league," Spagnuolo is quoted as saying by Tyler Dunne of JSOnline. "I have a great deal of respect for him. I know how hard this business is. We didn't do well this year defensively. But I'm going to tell you what, I think people who know football -- if you talk to anybody down here about Dom Capers -- they'll tell you how great they feel about him."

More Senior Bowl coverage included thoughts on the read-option offense in the NFL and a post on Alabama linebacker Nico Johnson.

Position profiles on the offensive line and the running backs come appear at Packer Plus.

Blog posts at AllGreenBayPackers.com include a stock report, thoughts on free agency and the 3-4 defense.

Packers broadcaster Wayne Larrivee shares some season-ending thoughts in a blog post at JSOnline.

Video: Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila talks to the media after it was announced he'd be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame...

Brian Carriveau is the author of "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and an editor at Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (45) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

I wouldn't be opposed to Rodgers just throwing the ball and keeping his mouth shut, call me crazy. Blast away!

GBP 4 LIFE

bryce's picture

If he didn't say anything, they'd paint him as a poor leader then too.

T's picture

"Instead of preparing for the NFC Championship Game, Rodgers was now critiquing reporters"

Why would Rodgers prepare for a game he isn't even in?

California Cheesehead's picture

My thoughts, exactly.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Who cares? As long as he "continues" to be a leader on the field, the people that matter (us) will know what's up. I just have little use for most media, that's just me.

jmac34's picture

Until actual players come forward and say Rodgers is a terrible leader, this isn't an issue

Derek's picture

totally agree. reporters can say anything, but if the players aren't saying it, it doesn't matter.

Chad Toporski's picture

It's a little sensationalist, if you ask me. There's reason to be wary about Rodgers' increasing commentary on the team, but three anecdotes from non-players hardly builds a foundation to build this case on. Let's get something more concrete.

MarkinMadison's picture

So Finley's agent saying things, Jennings' sister saying things, Shannon Sharpe saying things that he allegedly has an inside source for, none of that worries you even a little? "Where there's smoke there's fire" rings a bell with me. The other thing is, if it ever gets to the point where other players are openly saying it, then it will be too far gone to fix. #12 needs to look in the mirror and ask himself if there is anything that he can do better.

Chad Toporski's picture

"...none of that worries you even a little?"

Nope.

Derek's picture

then ask the players if they think they can get a better QB with a better chance to win a Super Bowl. Answer: they can't.

If ARod does one thing wrong we all see, it's holding the ball too long. But at least he doesn't throw 15-20 INTs per year.

Evan's picture

And that's never going to change. Sacks > INTs.

IowaPackFan's picture

All of these people (aside from Sharpe - who's just a bigmouth) have ulterior motives.

Finley's agent - wants to get Finely the ball more, driving up his worth

Jenning's sister - brother's in a contract year, once again wanting to drive up the worth of her brother.

When we start hearing the same thing from guys who have nothing personally to gain from the situation, then I would be concerned.

PackerPete's picture

ok, we all know that Finley is a head case. I hope his agent doesn't assume his client is a leader, since he most definitely is not. Jennings' sister has to be kidding. First of all, that is the first time I heard he even had a sister. What about her injury prone brother? Just look at Bob McGinn's eval of the offense on JSOnline. #85 was just looking for excuses to fall down the first half of the season. Where was his leadership? I guess lost in the old spice commercials. And maybe Sharpe's insider is Finley. Who knows. All I've heard and seen about Rodgers so far is class. Somthing #4 did not have. Was it all an act? Maybe. Time will tell. But I certainly won't base my judgement on the statements of an agent of a head case, the sister of a disgruntled WR who has most likely played his last game with the Packers, and an ex-player for another team who, while having been a great TE, was never known as a leader himself on said team.

MarkinMadison's picture

#4 was a lot of things, but at least in the locker room, and at least until he was over 32, to the best of my recollection, no one questioned his ability to relate to his team members, and no one questioned his ability to lead the team. Ever. Not once. Not receivers or TEs bucking for new contracts. Not agents, sisters or t.v. personalities. We all heard rumours about him - the drinking the womanizing. It was no shock to anyone when he came out about his Vicodin habit. But more than any of #4's faults, if #12 cannot relate to his teammates and inspire them at this stage of his career, you cannot say it doesn't impact the team. Don't believe me? Go back and read all of the comments on this blog by posters who are talking about Jay Cutler. I would even venture to guess that a few who are disagreeing with me right now have ripped on Cutler as being a d-bag who can't lead his team because nobody likes him.

CSS's picture

"....if #12 cannot relate to his teammates and inspire them at this stage of his career, you cannot say it doesn’t impact the team."

Yet there's no reason to believe his teammates have said anything, even by proxy.

Evan's picture

Twitter didn't exist in Favre's heyday. Hell, the Internet itself hadn't really matured yet. To me, that's what this story - and the majority of today's professional sports "controversies" - come from.

The increase in access and platforms and exposure makes things that would never have even registered on the public consciousness 10-12 years ago into big stories.

CSS's picture

Yes, there wasn't the social media at that point in time. That being said, the nice part about social media is the ability to source your story. Post instant proof, links, anecdotes, whatever. The dumbest part about this story in particular: he's arguing via assertion where you need to post some type of argument from authority to get some traction. Even a bad story would generate an anonymous locker room authority, but his assertion involves these people?!? That's just weak.

MarkinMadison's picture

You're right CSS. And there was no direct evidence of womanizing by Chewy or Brett until one got accused of rape in a bathroom at a high school house party, and the other one started texting photos of his schlong to people. All I'm saying is there is a lot of buzz, #12 should look in the mirror, and folks shouldn't apply one standard to Cutler's alleged leadership problems and #12s alleged leadership problems. Call it what you want.

CSS's picture

Look, I was the first person to point out there was some validity to Finley's statements. Rodgers 'sit and wait for them to come to me' leadership style didn't work for everybody, specifically Finley. He was intimidated and Rodgers needed to seek him out. And he eventually did. Did he recognize this late in the year, absolutely. Did he address the matter with Finley, both parties say, 'yes'.

Outside of that, what figures inside the Packers camp have called him out on leadership? I don't get the Cutler comparison, he's already indicated he has no interest in being the rah rah type of leader. What does Favre's personal life have to do with on the field leadership? You're trying to generate an equivalency with your comparisons that just don't exist.

I'll openly say Rodgers 'chip' get's a bit old from time to time and he should brush some of this crap off, especially when it's anecdotal by fans or media types. But until the lockeroom starts speaking out, openly or anonymously, about his shortcomings, it's really weak.

markinmadison's picture

Ok CSS. So you now admit there IS direct evidence of a leadership issue in how he dealt with Finley, but you don't think there is a leadership issue? And you are sophisticated enough to understand types of argument but not to understand my point about direct evidence by the example of Farve?

Chris's picture

"Disgruntled reporter writes flamatory article". Thats all I can think about when reading this stuff.

Brian's picture

I wonder if JS is chaffed because they didn't get Rodgers' on air weekly but ESPN did?

Packattack88's picture

No, this writer wrote a book about Rodgers (Aaron Rodgers: Leader of the Pack) that he(Rodgers) stated that he didn't like.

Brian's picture

Thanks for the insight. So it seems as though there is a little bad blood between the two?

bryce's picture

You know the media is grasping at straws when they misconstrue a decline for an interview and a joke as a lack of leadership. Get real.

lebowski's picture

My memory must be failing, I thought KGB had one good year as a pass rush specialist, then fell off the map when they tried to make him an every-down player. That's enough for the Packer Hall of Fame??

Tony's picture

Had 6 seasons of 8+ sacks, and 4 straight 10+ (13.5 high). Pretty solid if you ask me.

lebowski's picture

6 seasons?! Wow, my memory did indeed fail me. Thanks.

Point Packer's picture

KGB had 8-13.5 good moments a year for six seasons and had his butt pushed into the secondary the rest. He does not deserve to be in the Packer Hall of Fame. Total junk.

dawg's picture

"Instead of preparing for the NFC championship game, Rodgers was now critiquing reporters."
Why would Rodgers be preparing for the NFC championship game? They just got knocked out!
Rodgers just didn't seem happy at times this year, you could see it at times, hope all is well.
He's not a great leader, but he's a good one
in my book, and I'm sure he feels he could get better, like any other player feels about there game.

Evan's picture

"Why would Rodgers be preparing for the NFC championship game? They just got knocked out!"

Exactly - that's the point the writer was making. It's a random and somewhat meaningless parallel to draw, imo.

dawg's picture

Point made, f*^k the reporters, critique away Mr Rodgers!
They just lost the game, and he's supposed to be chatty, PLUS he was sticking up for his teammate, I'D call that leadership!!!
Critique Away Mr Rodgers!!

Point Packer's picture

I would have liked to hear Rodgers making fun of the reporters.

redlights's picture

While there is likely some truth to some of the beefs being aired, here. If anyone thinks ARodg is in danger of being dethroned as QB; think again.

Aside from niceties; I don't give a rat about his teammates liking him. Yes, it builds chemistry, but this is his team and Finley, Jennings, and anyone else needs to just deal with it. After under-performing again this year, you can bet that many players are frustrated, and some of it will come to the surface.

What will be interesting is his reaction as TT does contracts with existing players. He is being faced with getting his contract (bet it exceeds $100M that his predecessor had), one that he deserves; or watching his teammates get nice paydays because he is reasonable.

imfubared's picture

My take, the guy is first of all shy. Second I think he expects certain people perform to certain standards - that's leadership. Just because a certain tight end thinks he ain't getting the ball enough, ditto Jennings, two guys on the fence at the end of the year and Rogers, hey, you guys got to be healthy and you got to catch the dam ball when it gets there or I'm throwing to others. That's leadership

Clay's picture

So while most franchises plunge in to years of depression after losing a star QB such as Favre, Rodgers comes in and delivers a Lombardi Trophy, adding to the legacy of the Packers.

He does it despite being literally spit on by Green Bay fans on the way to practice, and in the shadow of an all-time great Hall of Fame face of the franchise QB.

Naturally now Rodgers is a superstar and therefore has a high profile and constant media scrutiny.

Now because of a few comments coming from questionable sources (Finley's agent, Jennings sister, JS writer, Sharpe) this narrative of Rodgers not being a leader, and further being some kind of prima donna A hole is getting legs. Oh and let's not forget when he dissed a woman dying of cancer in the airport. Here's guessing he is a communist and member of Al Queda too.

People I really thought Green Bay fans were better than that.

How frickin' fickle! It's true what they say, our memories are so short.

As far as I am concerned until Rodgers chokes a puppy dog to death on national television I don't care whether he is a perfect human or not. He is one out of 6 Billion humans who can do what he does.

For those of you perfect people out there chucking stones around keep it up. I am sure your accuracy is Rodgers' like. Keep it up, his contract is soon up!!!

Maybe you can run him out of town and we can draft Ghandi to play QB for Green Bay.

With his questionable leadership this year he threw 8 picks and 39 TDs and 4,000 yards with no line, no consistent receiving core, and a different running back every week.

This story having any life at all is more depressing to me than the San Fran loss.

Thanks for reading.

Chris's picture

Thanks for posting this! I could not have said it any better!

Denver's picture

I heard Gandhi throws a beautiful deep ball. But, unfortunately, he can't play Sundays.
Or maybe I'm thinking of a different Gandhi....

Clay's picture

Denver I think Hindus can work Sundays...great religion.

Ghandi may have to bulk up a bit though and quit the whole "fasting to prove a point" thing.

Starting too wonder if Ghandi has leadership issues....

Clay's picture

Thanks Chris,

Glad there is some common sense in Packer Nation!

dawg's picture

Mr Rodgers, your Bart Starr quality, don't listen to this drivel!

GBPDAN's picture

Arod maybe a Californian Prima Donna type, but, im glad he's our QB

KennyPayne's picture

I would say ARod's supposed lack of leadership is about #500 on the Pack's list of problems.

Much easier for the milquetoast GB press corps to focus on Rodgers' alleged leadership problems than deal with either poor coaching on the D or a failure to procure appropriate talent on D.

Cole's picture

He pulled for James Jones to be back. He pulled for Wood. I think if you are a hard worker and are trying to get better, and are prepared, Rodgers would do anything to help you and that to me is a great leader.

Only thing I find curious is how he called for Woodson to come back and not Jennings, though it's probably because he wasn't asked about Greg directly.

We don't have leadership problems. We have scheme/coaching/play-calling problems and talent problems on the O-line and D-line. That's it.

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