Ex-Packers star defends Aaron Rodgers after multiple former teammates criticize the QB
Former Packers tight end Jermichael Finley blamed Green Bay’s ugly 2018 season on Rodgers and the front office. Finley has also said multiple times . Along those same lines, former Packers defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila called Rodgers “arrogant” during an interview just before the Super Bowl.
One former Packers player who isn’t buying any of this is Jordy Nelson. The Raiders receiver, who spent nine seasons as Rodgers’ teammate in Green Bay, came out in defense of his former quarterback last week, calling the criticisms “comical” during a recent interview with ESPN Wisconsin.
“I think if you look, there’s two guys — now three (with Gbaja-Biamila) — saying it, compared to the hundreds that are saying the opposite. It doesn’t make sense,” Nelson said, via Madison.com. “I think it’s comical when I read those comments.”
According to Nelson, the reason Rodgers is being criticized by his ex-teammates is because they know it will make headlines.
“Everyone knows negativity sells,” Nelson said. “People don’t want to hear (the good). People feel better about themselves when they hear bad things about other people. And that’s why that gets more pub. I mean, no one wants to hear that Aaron’s not only obviously a great quarterback but a great leader and does everything right. All right, there’s your story. What fun is that? So whenever they can, they go back to the well and get the same people to say the same stuff.”
Nelson took particular issue with Finley’s recent comment about Rodgers’ perceived trust issues.
“When you actually read the comments and what they say, it makes absolutely no sense,” Nelson said. “A quarterback expects you to practice well and do what you’re supposed to do on the practice field in order to be successful in a game? That’s pretty well what’s expected.”
Although Rodgers can be demanding, Nelson said that’s part of what makes him a great leader.
“I don’t want to have to be on the phone and defend Aaron,” Nelson said. “He’s a great leader, we all believe that and believed that and still do. He’s hard on people, he demands a lot, but he demands a lot from himself. And I think any great quarterback out there does the same thing.”
One current teammate who seems to agree with Nelson is running back Aaron Jones. During a recent interview with NFL Network, Jones referred to Rodgers as a leader and said the Packers quarterback won’t have any issue getting along with new coach Matt LaFleur.
“I don’t think Aaron will have a problem,” Jones said, via Pro Football Talk. “He’ll pick it up very quickly. He’s coachable, and he wants to win, and he’s a team player, and he’s a leader, so we’re all going to get behind our leader and we’re going to be ready to go this year.”
One thing is for sure in the NFL, winning seems to cure all issues, and if the Packers return to their winning ways in 2019, we probably won’t hear anyone complaining about Rodgers.