Following the Green Bay Packers‘ Week 2 victory over their division rivals the Minnesota Vikings, they sit alone atop the NFC North. However, the media is focused on a made-up saga between starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers and head coach Matt LaFleur. Prior to this season, Green Bay struggled so much on the field, the media insisted on finding out why. Now that the Packers finally seem to have a complete (albeit developing) offense and defense, the media is still trying to make drama the story in Green Bay.
Media Trying to Force Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur Saga
In 2016, the Packers got off to a sluggish 4-6 start. The media speculated, as usual. They kept asking – What’s wrong with the Packers? What’s wrong with Aaron Rodgers? Because Green Bay struggled on the field, the media searched for answers as to why. This became a rather invasive dive into Rodgers’ personal and family life. This was the same year Rodgers said he thought his team could “run the table,” and they did. Still, the media’s focus was the quarterback and his personal life.
The 2017 season essentially ended as soon as Green Bay placed Rodgers on injured reserve with a broken collarbone. The talk for most of that season was about how Rodgers’ recovery was progressing and the Pack’s waning playoff chances.
In 2018, the Packers again struggled, and the media obsessed with the relationship between Rodgers and Mike McCarthy. They took everything Rodgers said to mean he was throwing his head coach under the bus. Following the Packers’ 22-0 win over the Buffalo Bills, Rodgers said, “We were terrible on offense. […] I think a lot of people played really good, but there was no flow to the game. There was a little bit in the first half, after that,” he trailed off shaking his head. He went on to say, “I mean Davante’s a tough cover for anybody, but he should’ve had 20 targets today.”
This may have been a confusing response to a shutout victory for some. However, Rodgers could tell that team wasn’t playing championship offense and wanted more. Suddenly, that means he has issues with McCarthy?
Sunday’s Spirited Discission
After the Packers’ failed drive to end the first half, Rodgers and LaFleur argued and both were visibly frustrated. Reporters asked what the discussion was about. Rodgers explained, “It was about the look on defense. I was actually kind of surprised that he was coming over to talk about that, but we got it all sorted out over there on the sideline. It actually wasn’t a big deal. … We’re a little animated at times. I can’t say we were yelling how much we love each other, but we definitely weren’t MF-ing each other or anything. It was talking about the look there and getting on the same page.”
In LaFleur’s post-game press conference, the media also asked him about the spirited exchange. They asked if he was okay with Rodgers’ response to him. The coach said, “That’s just two competitive guys, and I’m sure it’s not going to be the last one we have. But you know, just competitors, heat of the moment and it is what it is. I would much rather have that than anything else because you want guys that are extreme competitors, and that’s what he is.”
This season began with the new coach and the veteran quarterback figuring out how their strategies would mesh together best. Any relationship is bound to have some growing pains. Why is this forced saga still the focus? Green Bay is 2-0. Both wins have been against division rivals. This is huge. Yet, here we go again, focusing on what could be going wrong and trying to force a Rodgers/LaFleur saga. The Packers are finally winning and have a shot at winning the division back, and no one is talking about that.
Matt LaFleur is the only first-year head coach who is undefeated. Why is that not the narrative? Why is the media constantly looking for issues within the Packers’ locker room— namely Aaron Rodgers and his coach? How many games do they need to win until that’s the story?
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