Aaron Rodgers says Packers players making too many mental mistakes shouldn't be playing
We're not going to get a R-E-L-A-X proclamation from Aaron Rodgers, or a statement that the Green Bay Packers are going to "run the table" at the moment.
But with the Packers in the midst of a three-game losing streak and with a 3-4 record, their four-time MVP quarterback nonetheless feels there needs to be more accountability.
"You have to really be cognizant of when is the right time to speak and when is the right time to listen," Rodgers said during his Tuesday appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show." "We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. There are times to listen and then there are times where you’ve heard enough. And now it's that time to really crack the whip a little bit. Could be that time. Could definitely be that time. Could be time to look for a little more opportunities to crack the whip a little bit."
Aaron Rodgers says Packers offense having too many mental mistakes, suggests sitting players who aren't performing
In the aftermath of the team's latest loss — the Packers fell to the Washington Commanders, 23-21, and now head into Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills as double-digit road underdogs — Rodgers said Tuesday that players making repeated miscues shouldn't be on the field.
Rodgers said the number of mental mistakes in a game for the Packers this season is consistently in the double digits, which he estimated at about 20% of the total offensive plays. That's "way too high," Rodgers said.
"In the past we’re looking at less than 10%," Rodgers said. "We have to fix that. Whatever that is. Guys who are making too many mistakes shouldn’t be playing. Gotta start cutting some reps. Maybe guys who aren't playing give them a chance."
Among the mistakes on Sunday: he missed "some" throws, the receivers had several drops, Amari Rodgers fumbled a punt and as a team the Packers had nine penalties for 69 yards.
Rodgers claims Commanders defense didn't do anything special on Sunday
Rodgers' quarterback rating has been below 100 in each of the last four games, and on Sunday he threw for fewer than 200 yards for the first time since a Week 1 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. In the second quarter, three straight drives for the Packers totaled -13 yards and the average duration of those possessions was 1 minute, 32 seconds. The drives averaged just over three plays per possession, all of which led to punts. And the team didn't convert a third down all game, the first time that's happened since 1999.
So what did the Commanders defense do to stymy the Packers offense?
"Nothing," Rodgers bluntly said. "They didn’t have to do anything. They rushed four guys, played cover four, a couple weak inserts and a couple man coverages. That was it. They got good players. As far as schematically? (Nothing)."
Again, it boiled down to the "mental errors and mistakes," by the Packers, Rodgers said.
When asked about whether the loss of offensive coaches from last year could be playing a role, Rodgers said while he misses them, there shouldn't be a drop-off in execution because the offense runs through one person.
"This is Matt’s offense," Rodgers said, referencing head coach Matt LaFleur. "It doesn’t matter who is in that place (offensive coordinator). It’s not like they have their own system."
Rodgers told McAfee that this was his "highest-graded" game by offensive coordinator Tom Clements.
Rodgers says players have to 'take ownership'
For his part, Rodgers said it comes down to the players performing.
"I think when the players really take over," Rodgers said, "then you’re going to see the possibility of us making a run. I'm talking about we take ownership of what we're putting on the field. ... We need everybody on the same page to make the plays that are possible.
"There’s too many times in a game there’s simple, simple things that are not being accomplished."
Rodgers later emphasized "it's on the players for sure, some of it is on us. Some of it’s on the coaches making sure we’re getting every detail. But ultimately it’s on the players. Players win, players lose. It’s on us to get this (expletive) fixed. Have to look at the habits, at the details. Those are correctable. We’re not getting dominated man to man. We’re beating ourselves most games."
Rodgers, though, said he's not losing confidence in his teammates.
"I’m too big of an optimist," Rodgers said. "I really think the best in people. I expect that high level. Sometimes they test my optimism, for sure. It’s the good with the bad."
Silverstein column:Packers defense has no margin for error because the offense and special teams are awful right now
Dougherty column:Dougherty: Can Packers run the table like in 2016? It seems much less plausible this time.