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Aaron Rodgers not a fan of giving up control at the line of scrimmage

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Aaron Rodgers not a fan of giving up control at the line of scrimmage

Typically in the system of offense beiong installed in Green Bay this offseason by new head coach Matt LaFleur, the quarterback has been given minimal freedom at the line of scrimmage to change things as he sees fit. 

The Packers, of course, have a quarterback who had been given more and more freedom throughout the years by the previous coaching staff. 

So when it came back to possible pushback from Aaron Rodgers, this was pretty much inevitable. 

Rodgers told Mike Silver,  "I don't think you want me to turn off 11 years. There's stuff that not many people in the league can do at the line. That's not a humble brag. That's just a fact."

I just keep coming back to this quote from Ryan Grant:

All of that said, I suspect this all turns out for the best and LaFleur and Rodgers end up laying waste to the league. Just a hunch.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (60) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bearmeat's picture

This is really my biggest worry about the 2019 Packers. Not the personnel, which I believe is much improved. If things don't start well, and Green Bay struggles to, say, a 3-5 or a 2-6 record, it is possible that ARod goes rogue and tests Murphy's resolve. If MLF shows that he was not actually ready, or doesn't have the chops for the head coaching gig, then this is distinctly possible. ARod certainly has the "diva" gene in his DNA. Just like BLF did.

That said, I'd put the odds on this happening at under 30% chance. I do think GB shows a ton of improvement in 2019, and returns to the playoffs with around a 10-6 record. And 2020 is what I'm REALLY excited about as the young uns grow up, the offense shows improvement in year 2, and Gute's rebuild takes full force.

Hawg Hanner's picture

Your "Murphy's resolve" comment is both farcical and paranoid. Go get a life.

Bearmeat's picture

Hello, ad hominem. My name is thoughtless without a more proven idea.

Bearmeat's picture

To answer your (unasked) question for clarification: This is Murhpy's team. Not Gute's. Not LaFleur's. Murphy has put himself in the Jerry Jones role. Every aspect of the operation reports to him.

I think it's foolish. But it's his right, until the board takes it away - which it will never have the spine to do.

flackcatcher's picture

I have the direct opposite view on Murphy's role. (excuse me while I mount my hobby horse......-:) I believe the board cut Murphy off at the knees following the Thursday night firing of McCarthy. While Murphy still runs the business side, (and I have doubts about how much power Murphy actually has) IAMGUTE has taken sole possession of the front office, Including the hiring of MLF. Now the board did not fire Murphy for his meddling in the personal side, but under intense pressure from former and influential board members they did act. (Mostly to save their own skins) Still, the damage Murphy did, with the support of certain members of the board remains. How long will it take to clean up the mess Murphy made is unknown. A lot of egos got burned at 1265, and the BOD is going to change because of that. Expect to see a lot of 'gold watch' moments with no mention of Murphy's follies. Just so they fixed this mess, and be done with it.

Bearmeat's picture

What's the evidence backing you up? Have you seen or read something that most of us here have not?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

There is plenty of evidence that Murphy was involved in signing LaFleur. I thus discount the notion that Gute took full control of the FO.

Bearmeat's picture

That was my prognosis as well.

flackcatcher's picture

I never said the Murphy was not involved in the hiring of MLF. I said the call to hire was IAMGUTE not Murphy. Murphy on the record made it clear that while he was involved, that the decision was the GM. The board is the final decision maker on hiring and firing and they made it clear that IAMGUTE made the call on MLF, not Murphy. One of results was Murphy's withdrawal from public view and GUTE and MLF becoming the public faces of the Packer organization. If Murphy were still being 'Jerry Jones' than he would have been front and center making that announcement. It's the old story of watch what they do, not what they say. Instead, it's been GUTE who is the voice of the Packers, and only GUTE on front office personal decisions. The result is to bring order back to a storied organization that had lost it way. (If you listen to interviews between GUTE and various sports talk, he has made it clear he makes the final decision, and that started before this years draft. Also, reporting made it clear that the board had been blindsided with the McCarthy firing and that IAM was told after the fact by Murphy, acting with an authority he no longer had. The board had overruled Murphy and had GUTES contract rewritten to give him the final say in hiring and firing front office personal, including coaches. The bottom line is Murphy pushed the board into a corner, and in return they cut him of at knees. Something that should never have to had happen if the board had been doing their damn job in the first place.)

Rak47's picture

I can kinda see Murphy wanting to look much more involved in front of the BoD after failing miserably to get involved with TT's declining health and mismanagement of the roster over Ted's last few years there.

flackcatcher's picture

Murphy had every right as President to become more involved. But, and this is the one issue I have with Murphy on Ted, is that Ted made it clear he was ready to leave as GM as early as 2014. Ted again in 2015 made it clear in interviews that he thought he would be out by 2016. And as we all know, Ted Thompson as a rule does not talk on the record. I have my own views which I have made clear here at CHTY over the past year. (And too be honest, no one wants to gossip about back room stuff, when we know so little about how the decisions are made at 1265.) Basically, Murphy held his GM search for a year and announced.... that Ted would stay on, that as GM Ted was irreplaceable. That forced the BOD to force Murphy to hire Gute as GM 'or else'. The rest you know. It's messy and all of this is on the public record, and I'll leave it at that.

WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

If your biggest worry is about Rodgers, I wouldn't spend much time worrying. He certainly does not want another season looking at the playoffs from the outside. He's competitive enough to do whatever it takes to get the offense going again. He had a very off year last year and suddenly everyone is claiming he's got an ego and only cares about long completions. He's got every reason in the world to apply his 11 years of experience to this new offense and make it click. I think the guy likes having fun. Losing is not fun. He will not be a problem.

Bearmeat's picture

And that is why I said less than 30% chance. Rodgers (like most star QBs) has a MASSIVE ego.

Packers2019's picture

Honestly, if AR does that he should be ripped a new one. If he continues, he should be traded. No one player is bigger than the team.

It is like being a CEO of any business. If you have an employee that is causing negativity and disrupting the team, you get them out if they do not change.

I love AR just as much as the next person but as I said, no one is bigger than the team.

Since '61's picture

If the team is winning why does it matter if Rodgers calls his own plays. The goal should be to win games, not for the coach to prove that he knows how to call plays, like it was for MM. Thanks, Since ‘61

Coldworld's picture

The objective is to win as many as possible though. We need to get the right balance between the coach and Rodgers. That will take a little time and will require learning and a willingness to adapt in the interests of the team on both sides.

When Rodgers is in sync with the rest of the offensive players, his improvisational ability is indeed a lesson. As we saw last year, without that not so much. This is why he needs a heavy camp load in the new system and we need the likes of Allison and Adams available. Hopefully MVS is getting there from the sound of it. That’s what camp is for. It also why Kumerow makes the team.

Since '61's picture

Agree, see my posts below. Thanks, Since ‘61

jannes bjornson's picture

Either way he's calling the plays designed by LeFleur. All the top QBs audible to better looks, especially if the defense is sitting in spots waiting for you. Selective memory for some of these Fans..... A nod here or there and Jennings, Nelson or Adams iare off to the races for a TD etc. They need to Watch the total game.

draftnut59's picture

With the Packers facing the Bears on the road in week 1, MLF better be ready. If he is innovative enough to beat their defense, it will go a long way in building confidence in AR. If not, we all know that AR knows how to beat Chicago, and he won’t hesitate to go his own way to do so.

Since '61's picture

And he shouldn’ hesitate. Thanks, Since ‘61

TheVOR's picture

I think Rodgers went rouge on MM in the last few years, and especially last year, and he couldn't make the plays that made them both famous.

I would never say you want to tak away Rodgers ability to audible, but I sincerely hope it's when he sees it, he knows it, and it's a TD. I think last year he was just like, I don't like that play call we';re calling this! And we all saw the result. He just got tired of MM, and perhaps for good reason.

If AR really gives this a chance, and they execute, I think the times he will audible will be home runs and be big plays. I hope he stays in the system, and I hope they execute it..

jannes bjornson's picture

Who could blame him?

Since '61's picture

Rodgers ability to read the opposing defense and call plays at the LOS is a unique skill set.

IMO when you have a QB like Rodgers you let him call his own plays. Bart Starr did it and it worked out very well for Lombardi’s Packers.

Now if the OC in the booth notices that the defense is making adjustments they can always communicate that down to the field and Rodgers can adjust accordingly. It may take a few games for the new offense to get into sync but once that occurs, probably by game 6 - 8, Rodgers should be given increasing flexibility for the play calling. Especially during the division games where Rodgers will know the opposing personnel better than MLF.

Rodgers should be the OC on the field. He’s earned it and he is certainly getting paid for it. If we had a young QB I would agree that MLF or the OC should call the plays. But when you have an HOF QB like Rodgers then it becomes an ego thing for the coach to be calling the plays like it was for MM.

When you have someone who has done and can do the job successfully the best thing to do is often to stay out of their way. Grant is correct, the Packers live and die upon Rodgers greatness. Thanks, Since ‘61

Bearmeat's picture

If by "live and die upon ARod's greatness" you mean, "die" then you'd be correct. One player, even at QB, no matter how good, can't win a Super Bowl. The Dolphins in the 80s proved this time and again.

ARod needs a good TEAM. Which requires team ball be played. Yes, he can and will be brilliant personally, but if the system requires him to check his ego at the door (and it does), then ARod needs to do that. He can't win by himself. He's tried that... 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018. It worked until they ran into a great TEAM in 2016, and other than that, it's been a disaster.

ARod needs to see this. I think he does or he wouldn't have re-signed when he did.

Since '61's picture

Bearmeat -I’m not saying that Rodgers can win by himself. But I am saying is that as everyone gets in sync with the new offense Rodgers should be given more flexibility to call plays at the LOS.

I doubt that the offense will be in sync before mid-season.
We’ll see, but let’s not take the ball or his decision making away from our best player.

As for the seasons that you mention in your post Rodgers often seemed to be playing alone. At least he was playing without an NFL level defense. I’m sure that we are both hoping that we have seen the last of the “no tackle, get off the field only after allowing a score” defense.
Thanks, Since ‘61

Bearmeat's picture

I would say that Rodgers played with an NFL average defense in 2014 and 2015. They weren't great. But they were good enough to win most weeks if the offense did its job. Or, at least, they were good enough to not cost the team the game.

ARod was just that good in 2016...

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Specials Teams made some pretty negative impacts during those years.

carlos's picture

Improved defense and “special” teams is so key and I think Matt L and Rogers are smart enough to do a little give and take. He is running a “system “ and it will be a real , what’s best for the team, ingredient. I’m sure If Rogers sees an opportunity he will get the green light.

Coldworld's picture

Hmm, yes but we became too reliant on that due to roster weakness and particularly to MM’s schematic insistence on neither scheming to get players open or using half the weapons. To win, we need to do more. Based on comments Adams and others that may be coming. Rodgers needs to get used to spreading the ball around again. I hope he takes advantage of what is going on around him. I suspect he will. He is no fool.

Rossonero's picture

By virtue of what the Packers have invested financially in Aaron Rodgers, plus his talent and extensive experience, it would be foolish to not let him have some level of freedom at the line of scrimmage.

Peyton Manning did a lot of that later in his career, as I'm sure Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and other veteran QBs are afforded as well. It's part of the territory. Veteran QBs with a proven track record of success should not be micromanaged, not should they be given carte blanche to do whatever they want.

I just hope Rodgers, LaFleur and Hackett work out the kinks in pre-season. It'll take some mistakes in regular season games and won't be perfect vs. the Bears in Week 1, but everyone needs to make compromises.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I wish we didn't see this coming....

I really wish we knew more about what was built in into terms of line calls. Much of the talk of MLFs scheme is they run a bunch of different concepts out of the same formation so the D (nevermind the fans) doesn't know before the snap what is coming.

Given that so much can be run out of the same formation what I hope is that Rodgers has detailed directives in terms of line changes. For example if he sees the Defense in X alignment he can change the call from A to B and if he sees the Defense in Y alignment he can change the call from C to D.

If what Rodgers wants is to do WTF ever he wants when he wants like it seams that he did with MM "in charge", I don't support that.

The fact that Rodgers appears to be advocating in the media for changes in MiniCamp is a sign I don't care for.

Old School's picture

I've seen this movie before.

2005. Packers have a losing season, and part of the problem is that their future HOF QB is playing not very well.

So, a rookie HC is brought in for the 2006 season. A guy with no prior HC experience, but a reputation as an offensive innovator.

The QB makes a number of remarks that find their way into the press to the effect of "I'm going to play the way I play". "We need to make plays". "If I see something, I'm going to go for it".

In two years, the QB is gone in one of the most acrimonious splits in sports history.

IMO, this is not going to end well. In my experience in the military, in business, and in sports, as soon as you have any confusion about who is in charge it has a negative impact on the unit, organization, or team.

A ship can only have one captain. Coaches should coach, players should play, and officials should officiate. Obviously, the coach should be communicating with this QB, and working together, but the QB needs to do what the coach says even if he disagrees. It's not going to work any other way.

I'd lots rather have heard Rodgers say "Coach LaFleur calls the plays and I execute them. I think that sometimes it's better if I can audible to a play that is better in a given situation, but that's the coach's decision as to when I can do that."

Of all the offseason moves and developments, this is the one I was most afraid of happening.

Mojo's picture

"Of all the offseason moves and developments, this is the one I was most afraid of happening."

Agree. This was my highest concern too.

I feel that Rodgers going rogue, taking unnecessary hits or holding the ball while waiting for the big play would be the most likely cause of a dysfunctional offense, much like the last few years.

This isn't encouraging unless LaFleurs system is so bad we're better off with ARod as the de facto OC. Then just let him run the whole show. At least then, we'll know.

Bearmeat's picture

Extremely well put. If ARod is "the problem" (yes, that is a Ty Dunne ;) then ARod will prove to be the problem and the team will have to stick him with the "conduct detrimental" label (if Murphy has the balls). And yeah, that would be just about the worst ever.

Coldworld's picture

I think that this is a possibility, but I think it’s very far from a probability. It’s not like we have a “he won’t”: “I will” direct response. LaFleur hasn’t said Rodgers won’t have latitude and Rodgers hasn’t said he will decide whether to listen to his HC.

There seems to be a tendency here to either refuse to accept even the notion that there might be a problem or, as here, to start planning to jump off the bridge at the suggestion of one.

Rodgers and the offense seem genuinely excited by the new potential of the new offense. Seems a big jump to take the above and determine that the two are at odds and Rodgers is planning to go rogue.

jannes bjornson's picture

If Rodgers didn't fall to Ted in the 2005 draft, Farve would have finished his career in green and gold. The next guy up was just as good and capable of taking the reins. It sure as hell would not have been Brian Brohm or Christian Ponder or Matt Flynn etc. Farve was definitely on top of things and saw he was not going to get free agent playmakers to augment the squad and get to another SB with a garage sale mentality in the front office.

Mark Gaedtke's picture

This feels like a question of degree. Let's hope that our smart QB is smart enough to use his expertise to augment our new offense rather than hijack it. Personally I believe he is. Atlanta MVP Matt Ryan should be the model. I'm not ready to panic, but it's a quiet time of the season and so we lend ourselves to speculation.

flackcatcher's picture

Smart comments for a smart post. Two things stand out for me. One. Rodgers sending messages thru the media. In response, his teammates (Adams etc.) sending messages thru the media to him. Welcome to the pro sports world of the 21st century, oh joy. Two. MLF and IAMGUTE keeping silence about Rodgers, but showing what their priorities are making in front office and on the field decisions. By their actions, the two are treating Rodgers comments as 'white noise' for now. So far neither of them are letting Rodgers ego get in the way of doing their jobs, As a side note, it is clear now that GUTE runs this team, and both Murphy and Ball stepped aside, or were pushed aside, meaning no more back doors for Rodgers. He knows he can not play the' whisper game' on MLF like he did on McCarthy. Good for team, and yes, good for Rodgers too.

fastmoving's picture

AR has his favorit players and his favorit plays and that was not always a good thing. Standing in his way a lot of times. So Im all for MLF to call the plays and AR to execute them…….

sam1's picture

If Rodgers doesn't listen and La Fluer is a real coach, he benches for two reasons, show who is coach and leader! If not bench him for a game or two to teach a lesson and maybe find a new QB who is better. Remember Favre was replaced, all are eventually!

EddieLeeIvory's picture

I worry about injuries & health. With Rodgers pushing McCarthy out & being given the new young mind in MLF, Rodgers will be all in. 100%. No excuses.
I still think he's the best QB in the NFL, but he doesn't have the great WR1/2/3 that he had for many years.

Mojo's picture

I've read that ARod was audibling out of a lot of McCarthy's calls last year. Their 32.5% run percentage, lowest in the league, supports that.

Last year ARod had 59 throwaways, easily the record since they've been keeping track. He also was sacked 49 times last year.

It's my opinion that if Rodgers were to run more of the plays that were called the ball would come out sooner on pass plays, there would be a better rhythm ( i.e. less snaps right before the clock runs out, plus less timeouts) and more stress on the opposing D.

Some of the benefits would be way less sacks and throwaways, less of a beating taken by Rodgers and a more productive offense.

Two of the most successful QB's over the last dozen years (Brady and Brees) are excellent at running their teams systems. Neither take a lot of hits, instead deliver the ball on rhythm. The have options within the play, but rarely run around trying to create. They both throw into tight single coverage if need be and if they lead their guy properly then a completion, else it's knocked down and once in a while picked.

If the offensive system is solid we need Rodgers to run it to a much higher percentage than he did with MM. If he wants to go all Bob Ross on us, wait until his career is over for all the creative stuff.

Samson's picture

Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare.
The fans & the media are also funny when they draw conclusions based on extremely limited info.
I'm more than willing to wait for the real show. -- The Packer beat-down of the NFC & the NFL starts with mopping up da Bears on 9/5 led by their "D" & AR.
Some of you will be choking on your own misguided words.

Lare's picture

I agree, I think many people are making a mountain out of a molehill. Let's see what happens during the season before we start worrying about what might happen.

carlos's picture

Exactly Lare

jannes bjornson's picture

If the Fans want to keep crying about a HOF QB not meeting their hazy expectations, they should just think back to 1972-92 and play that nightmare over in their cracker box. His surrounding cast is a bit better than any time since 2014. He cannot cover for the other 52 on the squad, tackle and cover for the defense on a two-point conversion or field a damn onside kick in the Seattle debacle.

Lphill's picture

Some quarterbacks never had a season like Rodgers off year 25 TD s and 2 interceptions and over 4 ,000 yards passing. I am tired of reading about his OFF season , the team was bad last year that’s why so many changes were made , for Rodgers to have numbers like that last season was proof of how good he is. Watch him this year with a better O line and an actual defense to support him .

fastmoving's picture

Im a big AR fan too, but he was not anywhere near a top 5 QB since at least two years. And just last year, he left a lot on the field with open WR and enought time.
He is our man, 20% of the SC and we are going to be just as good as he will be. But ist funny that if we win its all because of him and when we loose its about everyone elses fault. He is just as human as the next guy and he has his shortcomings too and not just on the field.

jannes bjornson's picture

I believe he was injured most of 2017 and he played with a broken bone in his leg and a MCL tear to boot. A lot of these frauds playing the game today would sit it out and worry about showing up at the strip clubs. Have any of you taken a shot to the kneecap from a 300# beast and then get another hit later in the year when he was starting to heal? Right, now let's move back into reality.

Coach JV's picture

LaF is smart enough and a good enough coach to know that his biggest resource is Aaron Rodgers. And I bet he's smart enough to know that Aaron has a fairly decent sized ego, and that trying to match him head to head is unwise.

LaF is quite likely smart enough, and studious enough to use his resources to their strengths... and you don't take away Aaron's magic at the line, his vision, his ability to diagnose a defense and make a quick judgment call, just for the sake of "making him fit your system". LaF doesn't need to whip Aaron into submission.

No... I think LAF is smart enough to let Aaron be Aaron to the extent of his knowledge and experience. LaF will use Aaron's - and the rest of the team's - strengths to create new schemes, put new wrinkles in old schemes, and to play lights out.

Like LaF said when he was hired... "It's not going to be MY system. It's going to be OUR system."

And I believe it will be just that.


carlos's picture

Well said JV

IceBowl's picture

This is a pretty silly conversation in this day's NFL.

D's have multiple plays they shift into, O's have plays they shift into to better their advantage.

If a QB has to go to the line and say hike, with no regard to what he sees is not NFL football. Let's just run into a brick wall?? Better options based on the D faced.

Of course NFL QB's option under center. Stupid/worthless if they do not.

D Ernie's picture

It was already discussed and posted that under LeFleur the QB will have two options based on down, position on the field, etc. So the QB has more than one play to call depending on the defense he is seeing.
Yes it would be stupid to have one play being called and the QB has to go with that, but thats not what were talking here.

LambeauPlain's picture

Another tempest in a teapot during the offseason lull.

ML runs multiple plays off a particular formation. MM rarely did. And when Rodgers changed the play due to what he saw presnap, the formation usually shifted too.

Now if the play calls for a run off tackle but then the D shows a blitz in that hole, Rodgers can call it off and send the TE into the blitzers vacated area. And no one on the O moves.

jannes bjornson's picture

Or, Le Fleurs motions will move action away from the blizter or counter his action with the Rb /Wr in the flat if he vacates. Just god old fashioned WCO the way it was supposed to be executed.

cheesycowboy's picture

This could be a similar situation as with Matt Ryan. That was a nice year for the Falcons. I think if STs can progress from Ron Zook, our Packers can compete with anyone.
This defense should keep us in every game. Last year was an anomaly and I expect an impressive week 1 win against the Bears.

IceBowl's picture

This seems to come down to a question or weather MLF will bench ARod?

No one in the room can answer that, it's almost blasphemy in Green Bay.

But if this year's level of play approached last year's level of play, a lesson will have to be taught for the sake of the team.

Qoojo's picture

So a big part of the packers has been the slow methodical approach of trying to get defenses to show their hand with a hard count, and identify blitzes. Last year, it seemed the offense had some its best results when going uptempo. I don't know how successful Rodgers has been when changing calls at line of scrimmage, so I basis for what's best for the team about "turning off 11 years".

I would think it's best to follow the offensive scheme. A QB should have the freedom to change the play when it's clear the play probably won't work. The QB should not have the freedom to change the call because he like something better or disagrees with the play. I wonder if MLF has nerve to rein Rodgers in, if he starts to go rogue. MLF seems so passive that I get the impression Rodgers can/could walk all over MLF. MLF just seems a bit too nice.

Touchdown Fan's picture

I am excited about the possibilities, and have no doubt Rodgers will change plays when he needs to. All teams have to audible or check to different plays; why would LaFleur’s offense be any different? Rodgers has been pretty successful with his audibles and checks in the past, and I expect that as the entire unit grasps the nuances of this offense over time, it could be fun to watch. My bottom line is that I would rather have Rodgers running this show than any other QB.

D Ernie's picture

Going to be an interesting year. I'll give the new coach this much, if he is successful with the brutal schedule the pack have this year I will be impressed. I cant see one easy pick up game on this schedule.
Yes we got rid of dead wood and we needed to and yes we have some new raw talent here but so did the people were going up against. Several teams who were one or two people from being very competitive are all on our schedule: raiders, niners, Chargers, Giants.

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