Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers met with reports on Wednesday. Unsurprisingly, the main topic of discussion came from his public criticism of unnamed teammates at 20 percent for making general mental mistakes in games. Rodgers, somewhat surprisingly, did not regret his comments.
“People in this community sometimes struggle to hear the truth,” Rodgers said at one point during a 15-minute press assemblage at his locker.
Rodgers was asked if it was considered good leadership to take his concerns publicly when he could have done so personally.
“I did it privately,” Rodgers said. “I’m not saying anything [publicly] that I haven’t said to those guys. So, it openly talks about the discussion behind closed doors, but the level of accountability is the norm here.
Again, I don’t think listening to criticism is a problem for either of those guys. We all hear criticism in our own ways and we all have to be okay with it and accept and process it. And if that’s not enough, it’s not enough. But if it fits, we have to wear it and enhance those exact things.
“I’m not going to be a robot here. I don’t understand why people have a problem with truthful things. You know, I call things the way I see them. If people think I don’t need to air that stuff, that’s their opinion. But I’m doing what I think is in the best interest of our guys. And I’ve tried a lot of different things from a leadership standpoint this year.
And I told my personal feelings regarding the situation. I didn’t call anyone names.
“I think we all want to know the attributes. And that includes me. If I need to have extra one-on-one discussions with them during the week, I will. And we did that to some extent. But, you know, I’m not just blasting a couple of guys. I warn everyone that this is not enough and we all need to do a little more useful.
You know, if any of them have a problem with that, I’m right here. I want to have a discussion. I enjoy those conversations. do you know I enjoy such conflict because I know that resolution on the other side makes us a better unit, a better friendship, and better coordination in the field?
But nobody comes to me and says, ‘I have a problem with what you said.’ I think Matt [LaFleur] knows everybody, everything has to get a little bit better, a little bit better.
Rodgers was asked at one point if he had specific players in mind when he said some should get benched for persistent mental errors.
“Not necessarily,” Rodgers said. “You know I’ve got to get our best eleven on the field. . . . We can’t have the same double-digit, fifteen-plus mental errors and wish to move the ball efficiently.
Generally speaking, Rodgers believes his teammates should have thick skin.
“We all need to be able to handle criticism,” Rodgers said. “That’s the nature of our job. We look at everything we do, from me to the young players. And whether it’s from one of you, or me, or [coach] Matt LaFleur, it’s important to act in a positive way. We all have to be coachable.”
So what does it take to eliminate mistakes?
“Time,” Rodgers said. “You know, we have a schedule. We are beasts of habit. But when we leave this place, we want to make sure we are doing the right thing when we are home. Some of them are monitoring movies.
Some of them are studying the plan. We are studying some of it. But we have to make sure we’re ready to go every day we step into the establishment.”
And there is an obvious source of concern. Rodgers feels that the boys are not going beyond the bare minimum to improve themselves. It’s an ironic comment given that Rodgers has performed at a bare minimum over the past two offseasons.
Perhaps if he attended off-season workouts and/or rallied his teammates for throwing sessions during downtime, they wouldn’t make the mental mistakes they now make.
Aaron Rodgers on going public with mistakes: “People in this society occasionally have a hard time hearing the truth” originally emerged on Pro Football Talk