The Divorce: How Aaron Rodgers' Greatness Hurt His Legacy
After the way this year has went for the Green Bay Packers, it seemed almost certain, Mike McCarthy will be fired. Let me dive into this real quick.
Now first and foremost, I am a hardo Dallas Cowboys fan, so I have known mediocrity my whole life. Growing up in Wisconsin, I have had to at least pay attention to the Packers through the years. One of the most stable franchises when it comes to having continued success led by great drafting, building from within, and having legends at the quarterback position.
Bart Starr. Brett Favre. Aaron Rodgers.
Now, let’s talk about how these last couple of years could’ve been different. I have been on record for a long time now saying Aaron’s greatness will bite him in the long run. Mike McCarthy will obviously get another gig as a head coach somewhere with his resumé, which he rightfully deserves.
But, for the team, over the passed couple of years, the success of the Green Bay Packers has lived and died on the shoulders of #12. When he got hurt, the team stunk. When he didn’t, they won the NFC North and made the playoffs. This is how Mike McCarthy and the organization failed him. Their success is built of the draft, growing from within, and playing it smart. But, when you start to miss on draft picks that you usually dont, it comes back to bite you. When you finally pay your franchise QB what he deserves, you must rely on the draft in order to keep the budget set where you can spread the remaining money around. Within the last couple years, the Packers have missed a couple times in the NFL Draft.
Now, lets get to why Aaron’s greatness having an averse affect on the Packers. Over the passed couple years, I have noticed that Aaron has been able to hide the play-calling problems with his greatness. Have you not noticed that their offense doesn’t actually look as easy as.. say the Kansas City Chiefs? Los Angeles Rams? It’s because Aaron Rodgers has been able to create immediate offense using his after the play creativity in getting the ball down the field once it has broke down. He is able to hide the dull play-calling by moving around the pocket and creating it all on his own. AND when he cannot create the exciting play, he gets sacked. Look at it this year… with some injuries at WR and not being able to have the weapons getting open in broken plays as it he used too, he is getting sacked way more or throwing the ball away. He has thrown the ball away over 40 times this year, twice as much as the next QB on the list!
So, put that equation together. Without a fully healthy WR corps, Aaron has to hold the ball once the play has broken down which then results in sack or throw away. It’s finally starting to show. Mike McCarthy has been calling the same plays for about 5 years now. In my opinion, would any other top-tier HC not adapt to the league changing and grow? I’m not saying the firing is completely McCarthy’s fault, Aaron has had one of his worst years to his standards, but I think injuries and play-calling has some say in that.
So, whose on the short list. I believe the list should include offensive coordinators like McDaniels of New England, John DeFilippo of Minnesota, Eric Bieniemy of Kansas City, or DC Vic Fangio of Chicago, and lastly HC Lincoln Riley of Oklahoma. Or maybe just bring Brett Favre to resurrect Aaron’s legacy. Wow, wouldn’t that be a banger headline.
With Aaron’s contract, he is going to have to play with younger players. They wont be able to sign all the veterans that they would before his max contract. Will he get along with others? Will he get along with the next HC?
Where do they go from here? I have seen that some experts think they should go with defensive QB and allow Aaron to pick his Offensive Coordinator to run the offense. Or try to pick a young HC with an offensive mind. All in all, #12 should have a say. Would Aaron respect a younger coach with less credentials? Would he rather have a defensive minded coach to help the other side of the ball and let him do his own thing? Will the Green Bay Packers decision making in the offseason change to make sure they take advantage of Aaron’s last 5 or so years in the league?
Only time will tell. The only thing we all realize is that they MUST take advantage of the ladder years of his career for the sake of the fans, organization, and obviously Aaron Rodgers.