Green Bay Packers defender Aaron Rodgers did not hesitate to criticize him rookie receivers during the preseason. He also wasn’t shy about showing his frustration with them during their Week 1 loss Minnesota Vikings.
The four-time MVP looked visibly annoyed on the sideline after rookie receiver Christian Watson dropped what would have been a 75-yard touchdown reception on the Packers’ opening drive. Rodgers even stated as much after the game, saying, “There will be growing pains. This is real football, it matters. It’s different, there are nerves. … We have to make these plays.”
While the Packers receivers seemed to take the criticism well, someone who isn’t a fan of Rodgers’ approach is former Saints coach and FOX Sports NFL analyst Sean Payton.
“It’s driving me crazy,” Peyton said on the “NFL Rhodes Show” about Rodgers’ behavior. “It’s driving me crazy.”
Payton had other criticisms of the All-Pro QB, saying he believed Rodgers “didn’t play well” in the loss to the Vikings after throwing for just 195 yards and an interception.
“After the game, we go to the interview in the locker room and the first question Aaron was asked was about the recovery and he mentioned the first play of the game, a dropped pass by a rookie,” Payton said. “And I thought, ‘Come on.’ I like Aaron Rodgers, but I didn’t like what I saw.”
Someone else who didn’t like what he saw from Rodgers was Colin Cowherd of FOX Sports. He’s glad someone other than him said it too, especially someone with Peyton’s track record as a head coach.
“Aaron doesn’t have more Super Bowls than Sean Payton — and Sean Payton has always been known as a big-play coach, while Aaron isn’t necessarily known as a big-play quarterback,” Cowherd said on Friday’s “The Herd.” “Sean Payton and I didn’t like Aaron’s body language or Aaron talking about rookies making a mistake.
“When you have young, small college guys coming into the NFL, maybe you’ll show up to OTAs and play in the exhibition season. If you don’t mean to, then don’t call them out after they drop a ball or miss. They’re kids, kids make mistakes.”
The Packers are moving around with a bunch of rookies or unproven receivers after trading Davante Adams and letting Marquez Valdez-Scantling walk in free agency. While playing without one of the league’s best receivers is a tough challenge, Cowherd noted that another quarterback is going through a similar hurdle, but is approaching it differently.
“[Patrick] Mahomes has a bunch of new guys to work with,” Cowherd said. “Mahomes has a bunch of rookies to deal with. He is not a ghost to them. He understands it. You have to mix it up. He threw to 11 different receivers in the first two weeks.”
The Packers host Chicago in Week 2, and Cowherd suggested they’ll likely win by a lot — a trend he worries about with Rodgers.
“[The losses to big teams] always followed by a dog puke game in their division,” Cowherd said. “They win it and all the cheese heads and fans rally to Aaron’s defense. But you put a little heat or a little crisis into these things [the Packers lose].”
The Packers and Rodgers have notably outnumbered the Bears and Lions since Matt Lafleur became head coach in 2019, going 5-1 in such games. Rodgers has thrown 31 touchdowns to two interceptions with a 118.4 passer rating.
Sean Payton says he “didn’t like what he saw” of Aaron Rodgers’ attitude
Colin Cowherd is happy to have someone with Sean Payton’s credentials criticize Aaron Rodgers.
Cowherd is tired of watching Rodgers perform well against the weakest players and instead focuses only on how he and the Packers play against a handful of teams.
“When I look at Green Bay’s schedule this season, all I care about is five games,” Cowherd said. “I want to see him open against Minnesota — that was a loss. I want to see in Tampa Bay. I want to see in Buffalo. I want to see them again against the Rams and the Vikings.
“That’s all I care about. I’ve seen what they’re doing to Detroit. I’ve seen what they do to the Jets, Giants and bad teams. will work in these games.”
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