Thursday, August 15, 2013
Don’t expect Rodgers to react to Driver
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- If you were expecting Aaron Rodgers to come out firing on Thursday, after another one of his former receivers made critical remarks, you have the Green Bay Packers quarterback all wrong.
Earlier in training camp, after Greg Jennings offered a public apology of sorts for the comments he made that were critical of Rodgers, I asked Rodgers if he would like to react. He politely said no.
So it wasn’t a surprise that Rodgers remained low-key after Donald Driver went on ESPN’s "Mike and Mike in the morning" on Thursday and more or less reiterated Jennings’ critical remarks. At some point, likely in his next scheduled media availability either after Saturday’s preseason game at St. Louis or at his locker next week, Rodgers will address it. Or at least be asked about it.
To review, Driver said during his radio appearance: “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.”
But Packers coach Mike McCarthy took it head on when asked on Thursday whether it’s ever the role of the quarterback to take the heat when a receiver runs the wrong route. Although Driver’s name was never mentioned, it was clear McCarthy knew the genesis of the question.
“We can talk about Donald Driver’s comments … I didn’t understand it,” McCarthy said. “And frankly, I think Aaron manages his job responsibility very well. To answer your question specifically, accountability is throughout your whole football team. The quarterback position, we take a lot of pride in the way it’s coached. That’s the most overly criticized position on our whole team internally.”
At almost the same time McCarthy spoke on Thursday, Driver posted a series of Tweets attempting to clarify his comments: