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Packers' Aaron Rodgers on Mike McCarthy: 'We had amazing times and times we butt heads'

·Yahoo Sports Columnist
·3 min read
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When Green Bay Packers players entered their building on Monday, things were a lot different than when they’d parted ways hours earlier, after their home loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Longtime head coach Mike McCarthy had been fired, the first time in team history a coach was fired in-season, and offensive coordinator Joe Philbin had been named interim coach.

On Monday, quarterback Aaron Rodgers weighed in with his thoughts.

‘We accomplished a lot together’

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he and now-former coach Mike McCarthy had good times together, and times when they would butt heads. (AP)
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he and now-former coach Mike McCarthy had good times together, and times when they would butt heads. (AP)

Rodgers, whose suddenly rocky relationship with McCarthy was part of a Sports Illustrated story last week, said that the things that have come out about him and McCarthy have been frustrating.

“Like any relationship we’ve had amazing times and times when we butt heads,” Rodgers said at his locker. “We accomplished a lot together.”

Rodgers added that he hadn’t yet spoken to McCarthy, but intended to reach out once he was done with the day’s obligations.

“Like I said, it’s tough. You spend that much time together, so many years, and you have a close working relationship and a close friendship off the field,” Rodgers said. “It’s tough. I’m sure he’s going through the grieving process, as many of us have known him for a long time and worked with him are as well.”

Players caught off-guard

Rodgers and other Packers players said they got the news of McCarthy’s firing via social media and television and that McCarthy didn’t get a chance to address the team one last time.

“I think we were all surprised last night. There was a great deal of frustration about the performance [against Arizona], individually and collectively as a squad losing a game we should have won, and surprised about the timing,” Rodgers said. “But those are decisions [team president] Mark [Murphy] is making with [general manager] Brian [Gutekunst’s] help and we’re going to keep moving forward.”

Rodgers won’t have a say in next coach

Murphy and Gutekunst also met with media and said Rodgers is free to offer his opinion, but won’t be part of the process of choosing the Packers’ next head coach.

Rodgers didn’t sound like he wants to be part of it.

“I’m obviously an older player in the league [he turned 35 on Sunday], I still have a number of years on my contract, would love to still play to 40, and I think there’s an interest on who the next guy will be,” he said. “But Mark and Brian and I have always had good lines of communication, their offices are always open, I’ve had conversations with them like I had with [former GM] Ted [Thompson] over the years, and I’m not needing to be involved in that process.”

Though he was in the same offensive system for well over a decade, Rodgers isn’t worried about having to learn a new playbook. “My football aptitude, I’m able to adjust as I need to.”

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