The former MVP didn’t back off of his criticism.
During his regular appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said that his team’s own mental errors, and not the efforts of the opposing Commanders, were the main issue in the team’s 23–21 loss last week.
“[Washington] didn’t have to do anything,” Rodgers said. “We had so many mental errors and mistakes.”
Rodgers estimated that the team made mental errors on up to 20% of offensive snaps, and was very frank in stating that “guys who are making too many mistakes shouldn’t be playing… Gotta start cutting some reps.”
The back-to-back MVP-winner was asked about his comments Wednesday and did not back off from saying that some of his teammates should be getting less playing time.
“If one of those guys has a problem with it, I’m right here, and I’d love to have a conversation,” Rodgers told reporters, per ESPN. “I enjoy those conversations. I enjoy any type of conflict like that because I know the resolution on the other side is going to make us a better unit, a better friendship, a better cohesion on the field. But nobody’s come to me and said, ‘I’ve got a problem with what you said.’ I think everybody knows, Matt [LaFleur] included, that everything’s got to take a little uptick, get a little better.
“I don’t understand why people have a problem with things that are truthful,” he continued. “I’m calling things the way I see it. People don’t think I need to air that stuff out, that’s their opinion. But I’m doing what I think is in the best interest of our guys, and I’ve tried a lot of different things from a leadership standpoint this year, and I was just relating my personal feelings on the situation. I didn’t call anybody out by name. I think we all need to be on the details, and that includes me.”
At least one of his teammates agrees. Sammy Watkins, in his first year with the Packers, welcomes getting pulled if he’s not playing up to the team’s standard.
“If you’re not performing or executing or doing the things that you’re supposed to be doing, then I’m with Aaron,” Watkins said Wednesday. “If I’m not playing well and I’m freaking up and busting plays, get me out of the game because that’s not helping the team. I think that’s a wake-up call to everybody, wake-up call to myself. I try to limit myself to having one M.A. a game and that’s my goal. The goal is to have none, but things happen in the fire. I’m with Aaron, man.”
Watkins is indicative of another major issue for the Packers: talent and availability. After putting together a 93-yard performance in the team’s 27–10 win over the Bears on Sept. 18, he went down with injury, returning after a month for the Commanders game. The team hoped to replace Davante Adams by committee, but Watkins, second-round pick Christian Watson, veteran Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard, the team’s top receiver entering the season, have all missed time due to injury. Other key contributors like offensive linemen David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins and pass rusher Rashan Gary have dealt with injuries throughout the year, and Rodgers himself has missed practice time with a thumb injury.
After the Commanders loss, Green Bay sits at 3–4 and enters Sunday as a double-digit underdog against the Bills.
More NFL Coverage:
- Week 8 Rankings: Running Backs
- 49ers-Rams Week 8 Odds, Lines and Spread
- Week 8 Rankings: Flex (RB/WR/TE)
- Packer Central: From Studying to Teaching, Packers Must Improve Preparation
For more Green Bay Packers coverage, go to Packer Central.