Aaron Rodgers defends criticism of teammates, says it’s not personal
Aaron Rodgers laid into some of his teammates last week over what he deemed a “piss poor effort” during a training camp session. The Green Bay Packers quarterback on Monday defended his dressing down of teammates, saying it’s business, not personal.
Further, as a veteran team leader, Rodgers believes it’s his duty to call it like he sees it, regardless of whether or not it results in hurt feelings.
“I hope we’re not that soft,” Rodgers said Monday, via ESPN. “I hope we can hear comments or read comments and not get offended by things. It’s a professional environment; it’s not a personal environment. The things I’m saying, I don’t have some vendetta against any player. I care about winning, No. 1, and I’m going to say and do the things that I feel like can advance us.
“It’s going to be tough at some points. It’s not a popularity contest all the time. Obviously, as a human, you like being liked and appreciated, but I’m trying to win games because that’s my job.”
Rodgers blasted players for a lackluster effort during a session, specifically calling out some players by name, although some were spared of his vitriol. Rodgers continued to insist his role occasionally demands saying things other players may not want to hear.
“Again, I don’t feel like when you make a statement like that that there needs to be some big response or feelings hurt or offense that somebody takes with it,” Rodgers said. “If they do, they’re taking it the wrong way because this is a professional environment. Like I said, I’m doing things that I feel like are in the best interest of the team from a leadership standpoint, and if no one else is going to stand up and criticize a bad practice, then maybe I need to be the one to do it. So I did it.”
The 34-year-old Rodgers mentioned last week his outburst stemmed from “getting older and grumpier.” The veteran obviously knows what it takes to win and if it requires calling out teammates, the ends hopefully justify the means.