After showing signs of concern during training camp, it took seven games for Aaron Rodgers to lose his patience. The veteran quarterback tried to stay cool despite the Packers' poor start to the campaign, but after three consecutive defeats, he's had enough.
Following a shocking loss to the Washington Commanders on Sunday, Green Bay is on a losing record seven weeks into the 2022 NFL season (3-4). That's certainly not the high standard Rodgers talked about during training camp.
In his postgame press conference, the four-time NFL MVP cited "mental mistakes" as the reason behind the Packers struggles. Rodgers doubled down on those comments on the Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday, suggesting that some players should be benched.
Aaron Rodgers throws Packers teammates under the bus
“It’s definitely not just one play here or there,” Rodgers said, via ProFootballTalk. “It’s 20 percent of the time. If we have 50 plays and we have 10 missed assignments or mental errors, that’s 20 percent of the time. So that’s way too high. In the past we were looking more like, less than 10 percent, so that gives us a really good chance to be successful. 20 percent, that’s way too high. That’s one play a series where you’re really making it tough on yourself. So we’ve got to fix that. I think guys who are making too many mistakes shouldn’t be playing. Gotta start cutting some reps. And maybe guys who aren’t playing, give them a chance."
Rodgers looked calmer a week ago, even when his team was on a two-game losing streak. But the Packers' struggles to turn things around are clearly starting to worry him, which makes sense considering that the Bills are coming up next.
Rodgers says players should take responsibility
"I think when the players really take over, then you're going to see the possibility of us making a run," Rodgers added. "I'm not talking about the players usurping power from coaches. I'm talking about we take over. We take ownership of what we're putting on the field. Now, some of that might be in the plan. Some of that might be, hey, 'I really want to do this,' offense, defense, (special) teams, whatever it might be.
"But the other part is taking ownership of your daily habits and your routines. Just cause we're a young team, we just can't write that off as, 'Oh, we're figuring it out.' ... We need everybody on the same page to make the plays that are possible. We need them Monday to Saturday to put in the time to be ready to play Sunday. Because there's too many times in the game where there's simple, simple things just are not being accomplished."
These are all fair points, though Rodgers himself also has a lot of work to do. This is one of the most challenging moments for the Packers in years, we'll see if being on the national spotlight on Sunday gets the best out of them.