The rift between former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers is reportedly worse than we thought.
Tyler Dunne’s Bleacher Report exposé into the long-standing tension between the two constants of the last 13 years of Packers football paints a picture of a quarterback who didn’t respect his coach’s intelligence and held a personal grudge after McCarthy bypassed him in the NFL draft for Alex Smith while an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers.
But in a report that goes into great detail about sniping, disrespect, anger and insubordination, it’s a quip about massages that stands out.
Report: McCarthy skipped meetings for massages
Dunne’s piece recounts a time in the Packers locker room that described McCarthy as “more and more checked out.”
An example of McCarthy being checked out included him reportedly skipping team meetings to get massages.
From the report, that cited an anonymous “longtime Packer:”
About once a week, a meeting would start up and McCarthy was MIA. Players weren't quite sure where he was while, for example, an assistant coach would run the team's final prep on the Saturday before a game. Eventually, word leaked that McCarthy, the one calling plays on game day, was up in his office getting a massage during those meetings.
One player had the same massage therapist, and she let it slip that McCarthy would sneak her up a back stairway to his office while the rest of the team prepared for that week's opponent.
"That was when guys were like, 'What the heck?'" says one longtime Packer. "Everybody was like, 'Really? Wow.'"
McCarthy: Report is ‘utterly absurd’
McCarthy responded to the story for the first time Thursday evening in an interview with NFL Network’s Tom Pellisero.
It appears, like with the rest of us, the massage aspect of the report stood out to McCarthy. He described the report as “utterly absurd.”
“I wouldn’t even know where to start and stop with the article,” McCarthy said. “But to say that I skipped a team meeting for a massage is utterly absurd.
“I have a massage scheduled tomorrow, and I can promise you I will not miss my primary responsibility of picking up my two kids from school.”
While it’s not a flat-out denial from McCarthy, it’s clear what he thinks about the report.
Until and unless we get more clarity from Dunne’s anonymous source, we may never know the whole story of McCarthy’s massage breaks.
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