The Green Bay Packers 2022 opener didn’t go well. The team traveled to play the Minnesota Vikings, and the home team jumped all over Aaron Rodgers and company, 23-7. The frustration on the reigning NFC North champions’ sideline was obvious. Several times during the game, cameras caught Rodgers getting on his teammates about their play on the field. At one point, TV mics even got close enough to pick up some salty language from the quarterback. On Rodgers’ regular Tuesday spot on the Pat McAfee Show, the Packers captain explained, as McAfee put it, what he was “mother****** about on the bench.”
Aaron Rodgers laid into his teammates during the Packers Week 1 loss
Aaron Rodgers Tuesdays on the Pat McAfee Show are almost always filled with fascinating confessions and interesting tidbits. The QB’s appearance after Week 1 of the 2022 season was no exception.
As McAfee, Rodgers, and A.J. Hawk discussed the Packers vs. Vikings game, the conversation turned to the game’s first offensive play for the Packers. Rodgers revealed that the plan coming into the game was to throw a deep ball to rookie second-round wide receiver Christian Watson right off the bat.
The play happened as planned. Watson got open then promptly dropped what would have been a huge gain and likely a “walk-in touchdown” to start the game (and the season).
On McAfee’s show, Rodgers was diplomatic about that specific play. He said, “drops happen,” although he did point out that there were a lot of “mental mistakes” by the Packers offense they need to clean up.
That’s when the host asked if those mental mistakes were what Rodgers was “mother****** about on the bench” during the game.
The QB chucked and admitted, “probably, yeah.”
When asked to expound on the mistakes his teammates were making that set him off, Rodgers was typically philosophical about the situation:
I think it goes to the why, which is the most important thing in football and often in life. It’s understanding the why. So, we have a play, and you talk about it, and you install it. That’s paper football. To get into it, the next level before you get onto the field, is the understanding of the concept of why. What are we trying to accomplish with this play? And how does that affect my specific role on that play? That is the why part.Aaron Rodgers on Packers’ mental mistakes
This soliloquy was seemingly aimed at the QB’s young receivers — like Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Amari Rodgers — as Aaron Rodgers said that understanding the why will come with experience. However, he also noted that some of it is “in the preparation” as well.
The Green Bay QB needs to take more responsibility for his young WRs struggles
Last season, the Packers got off to a slow start (to put it nicely) in Week 1 with a 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The biggest reason that happened is that Aaron Rodgers missed nearly the entire training camp and preseason while debating if he wanted to come back for 2021.
This year, Rodgers was in camp the entire time. However, he didn’t play a single preseason snap. This is despite the fact he has a young, inexperienced wide receiver group this year.
The decision for the 38-year-old not to play in preseason games is understandable, given his age and his own familiarity with the offense. However, it seems that not playing did a disservice to the young WRs and, in turn, the offense as a whole.
Rodgers admitted these issues have to be solved in games but pushed back against criticism that he should have played in the preseason.
When discussing players understating the why of football, Rodgers told the hosts, “It’s not something that could have been figured out in training camp or some offseason throwing session. These are live rep things, with the pressure of regular season games. With the pressure of it counting.”
Aaron Rodgers knows what he’s talking about when it comes to football, but it’s hard to imagine that even a few reps in preseason games — even if they don’t count as much — would have helped his pass-catchers look better on Sunday.
Now that they do have some live, regular-season reps, though, let’s see how they look on Sunday night in primetime vs. the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field.