Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been very vocal about his receivers not playing up to snuff. Throughout training camp and preseason, the reigning back-to-back NFL MVP has chirped about the need for the position group to step up.
Following Sunday’s season opening 20-7 loss to the division rival Minnesota Vikings, Rodgers was once again calling out his pass catchers. His constant chirping has rubbed former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton the wrong way.
During an appearance on the “NFL Rhodes Show” podcast, Payton talked about how Rodgers’ approach “drives him crazy.”
“It drives me crazy,” Payton said. “Here’s the thing, I didn’t think he played well. I don’t think Aaron played well. After the game, we go to the interview in the locker room and the very first question posed to Aaron about bouncing back and he referenced the first play of the game, a dropped pass for a rookie. And I thought, ‘Come on.’ I like Aaron Rodgers, but I didn’t like what I saw.”
Is Aaron Rodgers’ “tough love” approach with his teammates the right one?@SeanPayton doesn’t think so.
“It drives me crazy.”
— Lindsay Rhodes (@lindsay_rhodes) September 14, 2022
Payton is talking about the Packers’ first play from scrimmage where rookie speedster Christian Watson ran right veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson, only to drop a would-be 75-yard touchdown. While Rodgers showed his disdain after the play, it really wasn’t necessary to keep bringing it up in the postgame presser. That’s what Payton is talking about, show some leadership and build your receivers instead of constantly tearing them down.
Rodgers Has Been Hard On His Receivers
Following an August joint practice with the Saints, Rodgers told the receivers this via ESPN:
“The young guys, especially young receivers, we’ve got to be way more consistent. A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route. We’ve got to be better in that area.
“You keep dropping the ball, you’re not going to be out there. It’s going to be the most reliable guys that are out there. The preparation and the job responsibility is most important. There’s going to be physical mistakes, like we’ve talked about, but if you’re going out there and dropping the ball and somebody else behind you is in the right spot all the time and catching the ball, that guy’s going to play.”
Rodgers Had To Know Losing Davante Adams Would Show: Dick Butkus Predicted He Would
In the offseason the Packers traded star wide receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders. Adams was Rodgers’ primary target for eight seasons and is arguably the game’s best wideout. On Sunday, in his debut with the Raiders, Adams had 10 catches for 141 yards and one touchdown. The Packers wideouts combined for 12 catches for 117 yards and no touchdowns.
Aaron Rodgers: Young receivers have to be way more consistent. https://t.co/nsAHyieDg5
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 16, 2022
In August, legendary Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkus trolled Rodgers on social media saying, “Boy, I hope Aaron Rodgers has figured out how to throw passes to himself because if not, Packers games are going to look a whole lot like playing fetch with my dog (miss you Lucy).”
Following Sunday’s loss, Butkus retweeted the tweet, saying:
“Told you so.”
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