If you thought that Aaron Rodgers would make it to the 2019 regular season before he’s start belittling Matt LaFleur by questioning his coaching decisions, you’ve got another thing coming. The Packers kick off the season exactly four Thursdays from tomorrow, and ARod couldn’t wait for the games to count and settle for bellyaching about his new coach reigning in his precious audibles. Remember this, from mid-June?
“That’s not like a humblebrag or anything; that’s just a fact. There aren’t many people that can do at the line of scrimmage what I’ve done over the years. I mean, obviously, Tommy (Brady) can do it, no doubt. Peyton (Manning) could do it. Drew (Brees) can do it. (Patrick) Mahomes will be able to do it. Ben (Roethlisberger) has called the two-minute for years. There are a few of us who’ve just done it; it’s kind of second nature. And that’s just the icing on the cake for what I can do in this offense.”
Well with Audible War hostilities still a month away, he decided to launch a preemptive strike on the battlefield of Joint Practices. Never mind that his new coach likes them. Or that some of the most successful coaches find them hugely beneficial because they allow you to do self-assessments in a controlled environment against competition you otherwise would not get to face.
No, Aaron Rodgers suddenly doesn’t like them. He doesn’t like them with the thinly disguised passive/aggressiveness of a thousand holiday dinners at my in-laws’. He doesn’t like them because he’s looking out for the … The Little Guy. Those good, decent Wisconsiners who want to come see him work in 7-on-7s and the sweet lady who owns the candle shop on the corner. He doesn’t like them because some times it means going to another city. Because in real football you never have to play on the road, so why practice it? (Unless it’s near where he grew up and went to college. Then he’s cool with it.) He doesn’t like it because kickoffs are dangerous and maybe a union violation and there is no bigger friend to the bottom-of-the-depth chart Special Teams Man than Mr. Discount Double Check.
Cutting through all the bullshit, let’s just call this for what it is. A power move. A total dong-measuring contest in which he saw his first opportunity to establish who’s the Alpha in his pack. To demonstrate that in this Seven, he’s The Homelander and Matt LaFleur is barely The Deep. Grinning. Waving to the crowds. Saying all the right things. Protected by a fawning press. But wholly and completely menacing behind that carefully manufactured, All-American persona:
At least that’s how I read it. But it’s hard to hear Rodgers over his deafening eyeroll as he emasculates his rookie head coach. At this rate, LaFleur will be lucky to have his job by the night of the Bears game.