As you know, by reading the previous post if nothing else, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be making weekly exclusive appearances this season over at ESPN 540 and ESPNMilwaukee.com. I'll do my best to bring you the highlights of his appearance with host Jason Wilde, whose decent rapport with Rodgers would probably be better if the two had participated in offseason workouts together.
You can listen to the entire interview through this on-demand podcast. But since you brought it up -- Oh, wait. Was that me? -- I think it's only fair to bring you Rodgers' extended explanation for his sarcastic rebuttal last week to those who criticized the Packers for passing on players-only workouts during the lockout. I found the comments funny but also thought they made Rodgers look petty. Was there any doubt about the Packers' offensive precision following a 21-point first quarter?
Regardless, let's allow Rodgers to have the final word on this issue and then move on. Here's what he said, leaving out some parenthetical stories to keep the topic focused:
"I felt like we were unfairly attacked on air and by TV personalities that really had no idea what they were talking about when it came to offseason workouts. Whether you did them, you didn't do them, you did them with the people you started the season with or you did them with people that are on different teams, I didn't feel like they would have a large impact on the game. ...
"Whether we had won the game or lost the game, my sentiments didn't change. But because we won the game, I felt like it was necessary to air my feelings and move on with that and kind of put that to rest. I just felt that that was a really ridiculous topic."
Rodgers admitted that he has played much of his career with a "chip on my shoulder" but said the issue of offseason workouts was more something that got "on my nerves" than actual motivation. He admitted that he has at times made mistakes with "timing" or "location" in expressing barbed thoughts but added: "I tell the truth."
"You can say it was inappropriate," he said. "Was it delivered 'PC' or how you're supposed to deliver it? But you can't attack the actual nature of the things I said. You can't attack the fact that I thought that everybody was slamming us about the offseason workouts. A lot of people did it. A lot of people took shots. You can't deny that."
This episode reminds us that Rodgers consumes a lot of what is said and written about the Packers and himself in particular and takes much of it to heart. As a Packers captain, he took criticism of team leadership personally and admitted that can "be hard to forget sometimes." That's part of who he is.
With that, however, we'll move on -- with plans to work harder next offseason.