Let's get this out of the way: The attacks on Aaron Rodgers' leadership are fairly stupid.
Rodgers is the best player in the NFL (even if you don't agree with that, if you don't put him in the top few you're not being rational) and has led the Packers in the last three years to a Super Bowl in 2010, a 15-1 record in 2011, and another division title and a playoff win last year. His results are astounding, and now we're stuck debating nonessential issues like whether he does the right thing when he holds receivers accountable for mistakes.
Charles Woodson can't believe it either.
Greg Jennings has taken odd shots at Rodgers all offseason, and then recently retired Donald Driver chimed in, saying he didn't think Rodgers was doing the right thing in holding his receivers accountable for their mistakes. Sigh.
"We've always been in the room and we've always said that the quarterback is the one who needs to take the pressure off of everyone else," Driver said on ESPN Radio, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "If a guy runs the wrong route, it's easy for the quarterback to say, 'Hey, I told him to run that route,' than the guy to say, 'Hey, I ran the wrong route.'
"Sometimes you ask Aaron to take the pressure off those guys so we don't look bad. He didn't want to do that. He felt like if you did something bad, you do it. That's the difference. You want that leadership. I think sometimes you may not feel like you got it. You have to earn that respect at the end of the day."
Driver later said this quote was taken out of context, that it was one comment out of many that praised Rodgers' greatness. But still, he said it, and Woodson heard it too.
Woodson, who was with the Packers for seven seasons before returning to the Oakland Raiders this offseason, told ESPNWisconsin.com the comments about Rodgers were unwarranted and he didn't understand where they were coming from, especially when it was about Rodgers not taking blame when a receiver messed up.
“I didn’t understand that part, either," Woodson told ESPNWisconsin.com. "There’s no question in my mind that A-Rod’s the leader of that team and he does a great job. Maybe he thought he had some friends where he doesn’t have some friends. Now that those guys are gone, they’re voicing this. I don’t know how that’s fair.”
And here's the real truth of the matter, from Woodson:
“I would say this: There’s been times throughout my career there when defensively we put a piss-poor product on the field, and we’ve been in games and won ballgames solely on the arm of Aaron Rodgers and the legs of Aaron Rodgers and what he’s been able to do throwing a ball to a Greg, a Donald, a Jermichael,” Woodson told ESPNWisconsin.com. “A couple years ago, we were 15-1, and if we have any other quarterback other than Aaron Rodgers, we’re 7-9."
What matters are results, and Rodgers has produced better results than the Packers could have dreamed when they chose to stick with him when Brett Favre wanted to un-retire. Would some of his former teammates rather he be a friendlier leader and the Packers not win that Super Bowl, or not go 15-1 two seasons ago? They might not have a ring, but their feelings wouldn't be hurt!
This is a nonsensical issue. Rodgers has been phenomenal for the Packers. His career rating of 104.9 is eight points higher than any other quarterback in NFL history. He might rub some teammates the wrong way by expecting them to be perfect. So what?