Larrivee: Rodgers' leadership ability is unquestioned
Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
GREEN BAY - Much attention has been made about a pair of public criticisms from the quarterbacks of the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears to teammates during last Thursday's Packers win.
Still, Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Voice of the Packers Wayne Larrivee says that even with the public display of disapproval from quarterback Aaron Rodgers to wide receiver James Jones during the game, the current MVP has the respect of a true leader among his teammates.
"Rodgers' leadership ability is unquestioned in that locker room," said Larrivee.
"The media's making a lot out of it. It's almost like spillover from the Jay Cutler situation (with Bears' OT J'Marcus Webb). They're two much-different circumstances."
Larrivee explained that Rodgers has the unique ability to balance being the team's commander in the offensive huddle and the guy with whom Packers teammates want to hang out.
"You can lead in many different ways. Leaders aren't cut from one mold," said Larrivee.
"He's one of the guys, and yet he's one of the leaders. It's hard to be both, but he's a guy who can do the practical joke stuff, who understands where he came from and has never forgotten his road to where he's at right now, never forgotten anybody on that road."
The circumstance that led to Rodgers' nationally-televised criticism towards Jones is one that, according to Larrivee, reflects what Rodgers expects out of his teammates.
"What gets him upset is not when a player gets beat physically. That's one thing. But it's when people make mental mistakes, things they've gone over for hours in practice, in meetings, that's what gets Aaron Rodgers gets upset."
Such a play was the precursor to Rodgers' anger: Jones running a wrong route on a 4th-quarter play led to a Rodgers interception.
Larrivee also addressed the emotional nature of football, the culture of coaches and teammates yelling at each other on the sidelines and the intense and immediate public scrutiny that comes because such tirades can be so much more visible than they used to be decades ago.
"You'd like to not see it because there's so much television attention to it, but it's part of the game. It's been part of the game. The reason it's such a big deal now is that we've got 16 cameras focused on these games. Some of them are focused on the sidelines, where these things often happen. But you have to go about your business, whether it's going to be recorded or not, and you have to do what you feel is right as a leader."