‘I love Mike McCarthy:’ Packers QB Aaron Rodgers responds to Bleacher Report article

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GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 16: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers talks with head coach Mike McCarthy during the fourth quarter of a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on September 16, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

GREEN BAY — Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers on Monday, April 8 spoke out for the first time since a story was published by Bleacher Report that suggested Rodgers is a “tuned out QB,” and former Coach Mike McCarthy was a “checked out coach.” The report detailed chaos in the organization as Tyler Dunne explored “what happened in Green Bay?”

Dunne wrote in Bleacher Report that McCarthy missed team meetings while he was upstairs at Lambeau Field in his office getting a massage — which McCarthy has since disputed.

The headline to the piece called McCarthy “a checked out coach.” The same headline called Rodgers “tuned out,” and the article painted the quarterback as taking over the offense and ignoring coaching.

Dunne quoted named and unnamed sources about the quarterback influencing receivers to run routes the he prefers, with one play from the Patriots game in November used as an example. Rookie Equanimeous St. Brown broke one way, allegedly after being encouraged to do so by Rodgers. McCarthy had called the play the other way, and pressure caused Rodgers to have to throw that way. St. Brown was in an unenviable position.

Dunne’s article estimated Rodgers was ignoring the plays sent in from the sidelines and calling his own plays about a third of the time last season, and that doesn’t really even account for plays that could be altered at the line of scrimmage.

Rodgers spoke with ESPN Milwaukee radio Monday — calling the story a “smear attack.”

ESPN’s Rob Demvosky reported Rodgers “disputed the notion that he and former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy couldn’t coexist, and denied that team president Mark Murphy told him not to the be the problem when the two discussed new coach Matt LaFleur.”

Rodgers told ESPN Milwaukee radio, “If I really disliked Mike so much, why would I re-sign? If I really disliked him that much, do you think I’d re-sign? Is the money that important to me? I’ll tell you it’s not. Quality of life is important.”

According to ESPN, Rodgers didn’t deny there were disagreements with McCarthy, but said, “The beauty in our relationship was that it grew year after year and we learned how to communicate with each other.” He described their relationship as one with “a ton of trust,” and said he had “a lot of latitude.”

He even went as far as to say, “I love Mike McCarthy,” and asked fans to honor him and “show him the respect he deserves.”

According to ESPN, McCarthy said last week of Rodgers, “It’s been a privilege to watch him grow in so many different ways and see him do so many great things on the field and off. To think you can be in a relationship that long and not have any frustrations, that’s unrealistic.”

ESPN reported Rodgers said the hiring of new Coach Matt LaFleur “is going to be a great thing moving forward.”

CLICK HERE for Rob Demvosky’s article on Rodgers’ comments.

CLICK HERE for the Bleacher Report article by Tyler Dunne.

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