The Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy relationship was always a complicated one. However, at the end of last season (and on Rodgers’ birthday, nonetheless), the Green Bay Packers moved on from McCarthy, who won a Super Bowl with the team in 2011. The Packers new coach, Matt LaFleur, seems to be getting on Rodgers’ good side, however. Could it be the beginning of a new friendship?
The Aaron Rodgers-Mike McCarthy relationship
Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy had plenty of success with each other during their 13-year relationship. However, according to Bleacher Report, the tension between the superstar quarterback and his coach began almost immediately. Some of that reportedly had to do with the fact that McCarthy, who was previously the offensive coordinator with the 49ers, was part of the team that passed on Rodgers in the 2005 draft.
That meant that Rodgers had some issues with his coach from the get-go. Dunne points out that Rodgers has a knack for holding grudges, and the grudge wasn’t a case of his coach growing distant with him, it was a case of him not liking him from the start. Despite that, however, the Packers had many successful seasons with the McCarthy and Rodgers, so moving on wasn’t going to happen unless something changed.
After some recent disappointment, however, the Packers finally pulled the trigger — siding with their aging quarterback over coach McCarthy. Heading into his final years, perhaps it means that Rodgers will be able to milk some more superstar performances out of his career, and if he is to be believed, Matt LaFleur is the right coach for the job.
The Packers hire Matt LaFleur
If it is true that Aaron Rodgers had it out for Mike McCarthy, it appears that his relationship with Matt LaFleur is going well. LeFleur has worked across the league for the likes of Gary Kubiak, Mike and Kyle Shanahan, and Sean McVay. Now, he will be able to take all of the things he has learned from these coaches and make them his own.
With all of the attention on the coach and quarterback, all of the focus is on them. So far, things appear to be fine, as the two have spoken like two old buddies instead of a head coach and a player trying to forge a relationship.
LaFleur said that he doesn’t even think of his like a normal coach and player relationship. After all, Rodgers has been the face of the Packers’ franchise for about a decade-and-a-half, and he has some wisdom to share himself.
“From a play caller’s mentality, I’ve always viewed that relationship as more of a partnership,” said LaFleur (per NBC Sports). “Because he plays the toughest position in all of sports, and you want to always be sure he’s comfortable with all that’s going on. I know he’s confident with what’s going on, the 10 guys in the huddle are going to be comfortable with what’s going on.”
Does Rodgers agree?
Aaron Rodgers downplayed the idea that it’s a partnership, although he didn’t shy away from praising his new coach. “I tell him all the time, ‘You’re the boss,'” Rodgers said. “He usually retorts with the same, ‘No, it’s a partnership.'”
LaFleur appears to be ready to change up the tempo for Rodgers’ 15th season. That could be a challenge for both he and Rodgers alike, but if the two are as close as they want us to believe, it doesn’t mean that the veteran quarterback can’t adjust his game during the latter part of his career. If all sides buy in, the Packers could be one of the most fun teams in the NFL this season.
Aaron Rodgers has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but adjusting this late in his career could be a challenge. However, the Packers appear to be supporting one another, and in a league where age is increasingly just a number, Rodgers best years could be ahead of him.