Aaron Rodgers not consulted on Packers' QB coaching change
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was busy Thursday morning making the media rounds at the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. Between lighthearted stories about his golf game and how his offseason is going, Rodgers also expressed unhappiness that he wasn't consulted about the team's decision to part ways with quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt.
After noting on ESPN's "Golic and Wingo" show that the Packers had brought in new coordinators on both sides of the ball in Joe Philbin and Mike Pettine, Rodgers referenced “some other changes that are a little ... strange, maybe? But we’ll see how they all play out.”
Host Trey Wingo circled back later in the segment, asking Rodgers about the other changes.
“Well, my quarterback coach didn’t get retained," Rodgers said. “I thought that was an interesting change, really without consulting me. There’s a close connection between quarterback and quarterback coach, and that was an interesting decision.”
Hired in 2012, Van Pelt was the Packers' running backs coach in his first two seasons. He then replaced Ben McAdoo as the team's quarterbacks coach after the 2013 season and worked with that position, and more importantly Rodgers, through the 2017 season.
During his season-ending news conference, Packers coach Mike McCarthy indicated that it was Van Pelt's desire to move on. Beginning in 2016, McCarthy said, Van Pelt expressed a desire to let his contract expire in order to explore other options. It meant both sides entered the 2017 season knowing it could be Van Pelt's last in Green Bay as he looked to find a coordinator position somewhere else.
“He's pursuing other opportunities,” McCarthy said, “a personal contractual decision that him and I both mutually agreed on, so he will not be back as our quarterback coach. … Frankly, this decision was made last year. I don’t want to speak on his thoughts, but this is a moment he’s prepared himself for.”
Van Pelt was hired to coach quarterbacks for the Cincinnati Bengals in early January.
Rodgers also was asked on ESPN about how close the Packers are to a return to the Super Bowl and what it would take to get them back to playing the way they were in 2010, when the team won the Super Bowl, and 2011, when the Packers went 15-1.
After noting the strength of the teams that played in the AFC and NFC Championship games tended to be on the defensive side of the ball, Rodgers had a simple remedy for the Packers.
“We've got to get back to playing championship defense,” Rodgers said.
Continuing on with his media tour, Rodgers next stopped by the "Dan Patrick Show," where he was asked about the continuing controversy over what a catch is and is not. Needless to say, he had some thoughts on the subject.
Patrick also asked Rodgers to read the negative notes from various scouting reports on him when he was coming out of college.
Finally, Rodgers was asked to throw a couple balls to Andrew Perloff and, well, let's just say he left his mark.