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 coach-quarterback 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.
According to Dunne: “One ex-Packers scout puts it on both. He describes Rodgers as an arrogant quarterback quick to blame everyone but himself — one who’s ‘not as smart as he thinks he is’ —yet kindly points out that McCarthy basically quit on his team.
Other points made in the lengthy 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.
—Field Level Media