Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been under fire by former teammates over the past few months. First in line was his former wide receiver Greg Jennings, who turned in his green and gold jersey for a Viking horned helmet and purple jersey in the offseason.
Jennings, who has been noticeably hostile to his former team for not resigning him in the offseason, was interviewed back in late July and a question about his former quarterback which questioned his leadership abilities was raised. Jennings responded with the following quote:
““Don’t get me wrong, ‘12’ is a great person,” Jennings said. ”But when you hear all positives, all positives, all positives all the time, it’s hard for you to sit down when one of your teammates says, ‘Man, come on, you’ve got to hold yourself accountable for this.’ It’s hard for someone to see that now because all they’ve heard is I’m doing it the right way, I’m perfect. In actuality, we all have flaws.”
Basically, Jennings was calling into question Rodgers’ ability to lead a team and stating that Rodgers focusses more on himself than the team.
As if that wasn’t enough for the Packers and their fans to handle, Packers’ all-time leading receiver and recent retiree, Donald Driver added to the feud between Jennings and Rodgers in an interview with ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the morning Driver had this to say:
“We’ve always said that the quarterback is the one that needs to take the pressure off everyone else. If a guy runs the wrong route, it’s easy for the quarterback to say, ‘Hey, I told him to run that route’ than for the guy to be like, ‘Well, I ran the wrong route.’ Sometimes you ask Aaron to take the pressure off the guys so we won’t look bad, but he didn’t want to do that. He felt like if you did something bad, you do it. But I think that’s the difference. You want that leadership, and I think sometimes you may not feel like you got it. You have to earn that respect at the end of the day, and I think that’s what Greg was probably referring to.”
Aaron Rodgers has taken the high road as all these leadership allegations continue to swirl in the media, refusing to comment on any of the comments. Rodgers’ handling of the situation has caught the attention of another former teammate of his, Charles Woodson. In an interview with ESPN Milwaukee Woodson had this to say about the shots fired by Jennings and Driver:
“I’m not sure where all this stuff is coming from,” Woodson said. “I just don’t understand.. . . I think A-Rod would consider these guys his friends, so for stuff like this to be coming out about him now that the guys are gone, it’s got to be hurtful to him because what are they talking about, to question his leadership ability, his leadership skills? The guy is one of the best players in the NFL, and I think he does a great job as far as leading them into battle.”
Woodson went on to add:
“I’m not sure where the attacks – and believe me, they are not warranted, for sure – I don’t know where it’s coming from.”
Hopefully Woodson’s comments put to bed this one-way media battle and all players involved focus on the upcoming 2013 NFL season.