Aaron Rodgers ‘Bonded for Life’ With Mike McCarthy
Former Packers coach Mike McCarthy moved on years ago, but he’s back in familiar territory this weekend. His Dallas Cowboys come to Lambeau Field to face the struggling Packers in what will be somewhat of a homecoming game for McCarthy. McCarthy is the last coach to lead the Packers to a Super Bowl, and Rodgers said that championship is the root of a bond the two will always share.
Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy were tough to beat
McCarthy had one losing season in the first 11 years of his coaching career in Green Bay. That came in 2008, Rodgers’ first season as a full-time starter. McCarthy coached the Packers for 13 years, winning a Super Bowl in the 2010 season. His career record in Green Bay is 125-77-2. In the postseason, McCarthy went 10-8.
The Packers struggled in his final two years, where he went 7-9 and 4-7-1 before getting fired during the 2018 season. Rodgers said that 2018 season was a tough one and admitted the Packers just weren’t very good that year.
“It was a tough season, 2018, for sure,” Rodgers told Matt Schneidman during a Q&A session with The Athletic. “We weren’t a great football team, and there were a lot of things that kind of happened that year that inhibited us from winning more football games, and it was kind of on the back of 2017, unfortunately, when we started off really hot.
“Felt like we had a really good team coming off of ’16, where we just kind of got hot. Maybe weren’t the best football team in the league, but just kind of got hot and made a run and then ’17, felt like we were a little better football team. Then I got hurt, and obviously, we struggled. I think we finished 7-9 that year or something and then just couldn’t start off the next year.”
McCarthy brings his 6-2 Cowboys into Lambeau on Sunday to face the struggling Rodgers and Packers, who are 3-6 and riding a five-game losing streak. In a rarity, the Packers find themselves a home underdog (+4.5).
Rodgers says he and McCarthy will always share a bond
When McCarthy left, questions arose about the relationship between coach and quarterback. After 13 years, maybe the Packers needed a change. It’s always easier to let go of the coach than the quarterback.
Rodgers told Schneidman that he’s always appreciated McCarthy’s honesty, and he has nothing but respect for him. He said the two will always share a special bond that began with that Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“This may not be an analogy that resonates with everybody, but I do feel this way,” Rodgers said. “There’s a saying when you sit with a plant medicine that when you sit in ceremony, you’re kind of bonded for life and we used to always say, ‘When you win a Super Bowl together, you’re bonded for life.’
“And when I see those guys I played with in 2010 and when I see the coaches that were on the staff, when I see Mike, when I talk to Mike, there’s just always something that’s gonna keep you together because you won that thing together and you went through the adversity to overcome it to win a world championship.
“That’s always gonna connect us and bond us, and with time, it’s just increased the greater gratitude that I have for him, the time we spent together, the love I have for him, and the appreciation for what he meant to my career.”