Pack­ers’ dis­cord, drama re­vealed

BR story goes into Rodgers-McCarthy rift

The Buffalo News - - NFL - NEWS WIRE SER­VICES

A day af­ter ESPN aired an in­ter­view with for­mer Green Bay Pack­ers coach Mike McCarthy dis­cussing how he was dis­missed by the team last De­cem­ber, an ex­plo­sive re­port looked at the com­pli­cated and dis­as­trous re­la­tion­ship be­tween McCarthy and quar­ter­back Aaron Rodgers and how it im­pacted the team.

Re­porter Tyler Dunne dis­sected the sit­u­a­tion in a lengthy story for Bleacher Re­port, pub­lished Thurs­day, and con­cluded that the coachquar­ter­back duo had a frosty re­la­tion­ship since the be­gin­ning of McCarthy’s ten­ure in 2006. That was the year af­ter McCarthy, who pre­vi­ously was the of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor for the San Fran­cisco 49ers, fa­vored Utah quar­ter­back Alex Smith over Cal quar­ter­back Rodgers.

The 49ers took Smith with the No. 1 over­all pick of the 2005 NFL Draft. Af­ter an ag­o­niz­ing wait of more than four hours, Rodgers heard his name called by the Pack­ers with the No. 24 over­all pick.

“Aaron’s al­ways had a chip on his shoul­der with Mike,” said Ryan Grant, a Pack­ers run­ning back from 2007-12. “The guy who ended up be­com­ing your coach passed on you when he had a chance. Aaron was up­set that Mike passed on him – that Mike ac­tu­ally ver­bally said that Alex Smith was a bet­ter quar­ter­back.”

Dunne in­ter­viewed dozens of play­ers and coaches who gave in­sight into the com­pli­cated re­la­tion­ship and tried to help him place blame on why the Pack­ers never turned into a New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots-like dy­nasty. McCarthy and Rodgers won just one Su­per Bowl to­gether – Su­per Bowl XLV in 2011. Other points made in the ar­ti­cle: • McCarthy missed team meet­ings to have mas­sages in his of­fice, sneak­ing the ther­a­pist up the back stair­way as meet­ings took place in the build­ing.

• For­mer Gen­eral Man­ager Ted Thomp­son used to fall asleep in meet­ings.

• Rodgers rou­tinely would dis­agree with McCarthy’s play calls and im­pro­vise his own plays. One source said Rodgers claimed McCarthy had “one of the low­est (foot­ball) IQs, if not the low­est IQ, of any coach he’s ever had.”

• As­sis­tant coach Alex Van Pelt, who had de­vel­oped a good work­ing re­la­tion­ship with Rodgers, wasn’t brought back when his con­tract ex­pired because McCarthy felt threat­ened by Van Pelt.

Chiefs sign AAF’s Reaser

Cor­ner­back Keith Reaser be­came the first player from the Al­liance of Amer­i­can Foot­ball to move to an NFL team, sign­ing Thurs­day with the Kansas City Chiefs, ac­cord­ing to mul­ti­ple re­ports. The AAF an­nounced ear­lier Thurs­day that league play­ers now could sign with NFL teams.

In the wake of the sus­pen­sion of play of the strug­gling AAF on Tues­day, the NFL had told its teams not to con­tact AAF play­ers because they re­mained legally un­der con­tract and had not yet been re­leased.

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