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Green Bay Packers: What did not work in 2018?

Will he say it?

Twice a week, every month, last month, Aaron Rodgers stood in front of an ocean of recorders, cameras and phones, all patiently waiting to pick up the speech. In 2014, it was "R-E-L-A-X". In 2016, let's run the table. But now, it's getting late. Rodgers and the Packers just lost a Sunday evening football play in Minnesota, falling to 4-6-1 on the season. These journalists, like the rest of the world watching football, are still waiting for the quarterback to say something – no matter what – that will ensure the Green Bay Packers' 2018 season runs smoothly. Instead, Rodgers stands on the podium, his left foot casually crossed in front of his right, and stoically repeats a variant of this phrase: "We are going to need help."

We do not feel like in 2016, when they fell to 4-6, they then ran the table to get to the NFC championship. We do not feel like 2014, when they were eliminated in two of their first three games before turning the switch, finishing 12-4 and getting closer to the Super Bowl rebound. In November, the Packers may miss the playoffs with a healthy Rodgers for the first time since 2008 – his first year as a starter. Observers can not help but wonder: what's wrong with the Packers?

It has been almost a year since Ted Thompson stepped down as General Manager. But to understand what is happening in 2018, you have to look back a few years. A large number of people interviewed for this story say that the Packers' difficulties go back to Thompson's last years as GM; others who do not say so always suggest it with their actions.

Thompson, of course, had an extremely successful course in Green Bay. He started his career in Green Bay in 1992 after spending five years in Seattle. He then joined the Packers as General Manager in 2005. Aaron Rodgers was selected for the first time. The team went on to playoffs nine times during 13 seasons of Thompson's tenure, including a Super Bowl XLV title. He will be legitimately inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in May.

Thompson was committed to a strict design and development model, rarely signing autonomous agents or making transactions; that's the success of Green Bay for most of his term. But the draft and development model crumbles quickly if the team does not write well. For example, of the Packers' eight draft picks in 2015, only one remains on the list, linebacker Jake Ryan (currently on the injured pool). Davante Adams and center Corey Linsley are the only players in the nine-man class of 2014. But even though the holes in the lineup have begun to appear in recent years, the Packers have remained conservative in terms of autonomous players.

Some members of the organization felt that the reduced number of talent on the list placed constraints on coaching staff. And many at the reception were also frustrated. Sources close to the internal workings of the organization said that lower-level employees were exploring trades and starting conversations with other teams, about three or four times a year, but that they could never go very far without the ability to counter the offer, which would require Thompson's cooperation. and approval. Scouts on the professional side were often frustrated because they felt like they were losing all their work. They would spend weeks writing reports on all available free agents and Thompson would seldom sign. At various times during Thompson's tenure, the Packers had the chance to land Randy Moss, Marshawn Lynch (a Rodgers teammate) and Tony Gonzalez, but did not move. (A spokesman for the team declined an interview request for Thompson.)


Ted Thompson, in the fighting hall at the 2014 draft, was the Packers General Manager from 2005 to 2017 and still consults the team.

Evan Siegle / Press Green Bay Press / AP

Several sources have pointed out the low tolerance of Packers to "strong guys", a generic term for players who speak openly with the media or even those who complain privately about the organization. Thompson was extremely private and famous. If he had had it, he would not have released any press release at all, even for good news as a player signing a contract extension. The term "villain" has been used by the team's decision makers, a descriptor that can range from a guy with a sordid past, or just a player who talks too much. (Example of the latter: Martellus Bennett, last season. "Yeah, it would never work," says a person familiar with the inner workings of the front office.)

Thompson had complete autonomy over football operations. The team's president, Mark Murphy, who arrived in 2007, said he meets regularly with his general manager, but does not get involved in any football decision. Some members of the organization felt that since Green Bay did not have a real owner (Murphy was the de facto owner), Thompson's power was not controlled. The reception as a whole has become too comfortable. And the conservative and traditional culture being created has become stifling for some.

Ron Wolf, general manager of the Hall of Fame who led the Packers from 1991 to 2001, had a saying: Football is the most important thing. If we do the football game correctly, the result will be a winner. It was a message about seeing the situation as a whole, not sweating the little things and taking care of what really mattered. Some members of the organization felt that this message had been lost.

Some rules of the team became Byzantine. No hat back on the sidelines. No underwear visible under the practice sweaters. All players must coordinate and wear the same colored shoes as determined by the team. When the players leave the locker room to train, the equipment staff arranges each locker, thus removing any unsightly hangers or any additional equipment.

Thompson set the rules and it was Russ Ball, vice-president of football administration and player finance, who was considered the only person in the building, with Thompson's confidence, to enforce them. A former Packer said that over time, these little rules add up and exhaust players, which has led some to wonder why some things are the way they are.

"It's an insane level of control," says someone close to the organization. "No fun, it's the Packer brand and its role as vice president. The most important people in the organization are the vice-presidents. The players and all that, it comes later.

After Thompson's resignation, Murphy reorganized Green Bay's energy structure. During the interview process with a new Executive Director, Murphy decided that the Thompson position would be better divided into two distinct roles. In January, Player Personnel Director Brian Gutekunst was promoted to General Manager, while Ball was promoted to a new role, Executive Vice President / Director of Football Operations. And Murphy made another change: instead of McCarthy and Ball reporting to the GM, they, now like Gutekunst, report directly to Murphy. Green Bay calls the triumvirate "football leadership", creating natural checks and balances in the front office.

Brian Gutekunst

Brian Gutekunst joined the Packers in 2012 and was promoted to Managing Director in January.

Detroit Lions / AP

At Gutekunst's preliminary press conference, he stated that it was incumbent on the fans to "communicate clearly". He also made one last statement that seemed to create a separation between him and his predecessor: "We will not leave any stone unturned in all player acquisition routes."

It was the first time that the hierarchy of football in Green Bay had changed since 1991, when Wolf took office as general manager and had gained full control of the football operations. Wolf stated that he would never have accepted the offer if she had had anything less than total control. According to Murphy, Gutekunst was pleased with the new division of power when he informed him of the changes. (Through a spokesperson, the Packers declined interview requests for Gutekunst, McCarthy, and Ball.)

Murphy denies any meaning that the change of hierarchy could send about Thompson's last seasons. He added that 17 other NFL clubs had similar organizational structures, in which the head coach was the owners and not the general manager. He says the Steelers are a club that the Packers consider a model. In Pittsburgh, General Manager Kevin Colbert and Head Coach Mike Tomlin both report to owner Art Rooney II.

The first returns are promising from the point of view of the constitution of lists. A scout for an NFC team said that he thought the Packers rarely had a full project under Thompson, but that Green Bay still had Rodgers. So it never hurt them like a team without an elite quarter. However, he thought that the 2018 project, under Gutekunst, was particularly powerful from the top down.

Thompson is still involved in the team, as a senior consultant, although he has returned to his hometown of Texas. While Murphy is confident in the reorganization, many familiar sources of the workings of the franchise are wondering if the Packers have created a new problem: too many cooks in the kitchen.

When the quarterback is the type of singular talent that can mask flagrant weaknesses and give an average cast an elitist appearance, he invites complacency. "I think the whole organization has become lazy," says another person familiar with the internal workings of the team. "We are counting on Aaron. Aaron will do it. "

Rodgers is the smartest guy in locker room, football or whatever, in Green Bay. Every Friday, the Packers quarterbacks, the offensive coordinator and the quarterbacks coach undergo a QB test. This is usually 30 questions about football, then 10 to 15 questions, ranging from riddles to random facts inspired by Sporcle. It is not surprising that Rodgers generally passes the test, which changes every week. Backups run to assemble the questionnaire and do their best to calm Rodgers. "Aaron has always had about 90%," said Joe Callahan, a former Green Bay replacement. "He won a lot." The intelligence of Rodgers is one of his greatest strengths. It also makes him a unique challenge.

That's what Rodgers told the MMQB on the eve of the 2015 season, as the Packers were seven months away from the heartbreaking defeat of the NFC title in Seattle. (Through a spokesman, the Packers declined an interview request for Rodgers.) The quarterback stands at incredibly high standards and his coaches meet the same standards. He does not forget any slight grievance, no matter how big he is. He still mentions the fact that he was drafted in 24th overall, the second quarter after Alex Smith was first in the 2005 draft. Former Packers receiver Greg Jennings told Colin Cowherd in November that Rodgers would warn McCarthy about it. McCarthy, the year before he arrived in Green Bay, was the coordinator of the offensive in San Francisco, a member of the regime that had charged Smith.

IF VAULT: "Who is Aaron Rodgers?" Our cover story of September 21, 2015

McCarthy, like Rodgers, is an alpha male. When people who are familiar with the two were asked to describe their relationship, most said that it was defined by tension. Until this year, it was a healthy tension that raised both the quarter and the coach. In 2018, something was different.

McCarthy calls the game, but as Rodgers is so smart and so good at improvising, the quarterback has the green light to change the game as he pleases. He does it so often that it can be difficult for McCarthy to have a rhythm like calling. McCarthy could call the same game three times in a game, without the game being actually performed as he called it. And if McCarthy calls a play that Rodgers does not like at the beginning of the game, the mood will be bad for the rest of the game. Several sources familiar with the internal workings of the organization say that it has turned into a competition to determine who can call the best game and that both want credit when things are going well.

Aaron Rodgers, Mike McCarthy

"Aaron will not be sorry that this story is being written and that some of these frustrations are spreading," says a source close to Rodgers.

Questions about the coach-quarter relationship have warmed with every Packers defeat this season. Even after a win over Buffalo, Rodgers criticized the offensive and blamed the game plan. "It was as difficult as having played in offense with so many yards in a long time," he said. "There was no flow to the match … Today we were at the defensive level of the championship and at the offensive level of the team without playoffs. It was not great, far from it. (Rodgers later explained that he blames himself for himself and not the coaching staff.)

This mini-controversy was in no way comparable to what the CBS cameras had captured in a win over the Bengals last season. After taking a bag at the end of the third quarter, Rodgers took a look at the sideline. It did not take an expert lip reader to decipher his message. "Stupid call!" And again for good measure. "Silly call!" The following week, when Rodgers attended his one-on-one meeting with McCarthy, the head coach aired the clip broadcast on the screen, ready to be reviewed and discussed. Early in Rodgers' career, McCarthy spent a lot of time teaching him to better control his body language when he was frustrated. That day, they had a refresher course.

"If you stay with someone for so long, you're going to have minor disagreements," said offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga after the Packers' Week 10 win over Miami. "They both want the best for the team. It's like arguments between family members, that's what happens. It's inevitable. "

When Monday night football set up at Lambeau Field for the 6th Packers vs. 49ers game, the crew sat down with Rodgers and then McCarthy individually for production meetings the night before. Sideline analyst, Booger McFarland, a right bowler, leaned back in his chair and questioned Rodgers on his relationship with McCarthy and asked if there was any. had problems between them.

According to McFarland and commentator Joe Tessitore, Rodgers responded calmly. "There is a compromise. According to Tessitore's notes, Rodgers said Rodgers. "But the most important thing is that there is a resolution. We are closely related on the game plan. We are fierce competitors and there is a lot of confidence … We have evolved. He has, with the way he prepares himself. Every Thursday we spent three hours discussing the entire game plan. Now we have learned to communicate better. "

McFarland asked the same question to McCarthy, and the coach was ready to do it. "I want the contribution of Aaron," McCarthy said, according to Tessitore's notes. "I think we have good relationships. When he said that the offense is terrible, I think this only represents his competitive spirit. "

McFarland says he felt something was wrong: "It may be their personality, but for me, I find it very difficult. [unusual] you have two people who really like to work together and like to be close to each other, but you can not feel or see that [they do]. I did not feel it from either Aaron or his trainer. "

There is no need to go too far back in the Packers tradition to understand how this tension can help nurture greatness. Former Packers head coach Mike Holmgren and quarterback Brett Favre were also known for their fiery gaiters. Matt Hasselbeck was a substitute quarterback at Green Bay from 1998 to 2000. He said Holmgren would threaten to dismiss Andy Reid, Favre's beloved head coach at the time, every time he felt the quarter was coming out of the game. line. "If you change the game one more time, I will dismiss Andy Reid. Do you want him to be unemployed? In all honesty, it was a good way to reach Brett, "says Hasselbeck. "Brett loved Andy, so it was like, No, nothing! I think that kind of tension is pretty normal. "

On Saturdays before games, McCarthy and Rodgers wonder what games Rodgers likes and wants to keep and what games he wants to cut out of the game plan. Although the two men meet individually three to four times a week during the season, a source close to the quarterback said that, with McCarthy assuming other duties as head coach, he misses several meetings Offensive installation or quarterback meetings, frustrating source for Rodgers. because McCarthy will add or modify games during the Saturday procedure that upset the established game plan.

Green Bay quarterback Kizer and third-string quarterback Tim Boyle are doing their best to correct any disconnection during games. As part of their substitute roles, they both work to improve communication in the game between the head coach and the starter. Kizer and Boyle are acting as translators on the sidelines, rekindling the checks that Rodgers could argue McCarthy does not have the angle to see, or that the coach misses the target by looking at his game sheet. " We're sort of the link between Aaron and coach McCarthy, "said Boyle. "Our eyes are always on Aaron, seeing what he's checking out, what he's adjusting to, so when he comes back on the sidelines, we can pass it on to coach McCarthy."

Because Rodgers has a lot of freedom, McCarthy's frustration often comes from not knowing what his watch check was and why. Kizer and Boyle have generally had more conversations with Rodgers throughout the week and sometimes explain his decisions to McCarthy to better organize his next games. At the start of the fourth quarter in Detroit this season, the Packers offensive was not unanimous. Before the series, Rodgers and Kizer had a few conversations on the fringes of the game. They wanted to create confrontational problems with Lions cornerback Darius Slay, bringing Adams inside instead of lining up outside. The QBs decided to launch a series of three games targeted at Adams, making him run in the crossers or sit in the apartment to finally define a clear course that would have resulted in a touchdown in the red zone. McCarthy was not part of those conversations, so the quarterbacks explained that series later.

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Boyle does not dress for games. He stays close to McCarthy on the sidelines for most of the game and reviews the footage after each practice. Kizer is sitting on the bench with Rodgers and quarterback coach Frank Cignetti Jr. "I'm trying to help him see what Aaron sees and improve on that coordination," says Boyle. "Aaron is so locked up, coach McCarthy is so locked up, I kind of try to help them communicate."

McCarthy is in his 13th season at Green Bay, linking him with Sean Payton of New Orleans as the third member of the current 32 coaches of the NFL (behind Bill Belichick of New England and Marvin Lewis of Cincinnati). He survived the rock transition from Favre to Rodgers. He brought the Packers to the playoffs nine times, including eight consecutive seasons. He won a Super Bowl. Is it enough to save his job if the Packers miss the playoffs for the second season in a row? Almost all the sources who participated in this story are of the same opinion: McCarthy's time in Green Bay is probably over.

Several sources who are very familiar with the internal workings of the organization say that McCarthy did not do much to keep cool and change from one season to the next, other than changing the training schedule based on information provided by the players. McCarthy has sometimes tried unconventional ideas, but they usually do not. For example, a former player remembers the year of OTAs where, after a season in which the Packers did not force a lot of turnovers, McCarthy tested a new exercise where the 11 defenders had to touch the ball and unstick the ball. This quickly turned to madness – the ball carrier was held in the line of scrimmage until each player shot, or the defensive line ran 70 yards. to recover their shot.

McCarthy meets all the lineup players for a departure interview before they return home in June, but a source close to the organization says that most players do not feel at home. comfortable going to see McCarthy with problems during the season and expect rather the start interview, even if it is early in the season and that the season is long, the problem could be solved. A Packers spokesman denies that McCarthy's door is closed to players and adds that for those who are not comfortable going to see McCarthy, the Packers have a board of players composed of one representative from each group of positions who meets the Director of Player Development. and can take things in the chain. McCarthy has never been particularly close to the players, but sources close to the organization say that as the culture intensified in Green Bay under Thompson, McCarthy was increasingly closed to players.

When quarterback coach Alex Van Pelt was not retained during the off-season, Rodgers made his displeasure public. "I thought it was an interesting change – really without consulting me," Rodgers told ESPN's Golic and Wingo show during Super Bowl Week. "There is a close connection between the quarterback and the quarterback. And it was an interesting decision. "

Van Pelt has a story with McCarthy; he was a quarterback at the University of Pittsburgh when McCarthy was a postgraduate assistant to the QB (1989-1991). Van Pelt spent six years on McCarthy's staff in Green Bay, the last four as a QB coach, and he and Rodgers came together. Rodgers often went to Van Pelt for a dinner with the Van Pelt family, the coach's wife and three children.

Van Pelt (who declined an interview request for this story) refused a Packers contract extension after the 2016 season, wishing to keep his options open in the hope of securing a coordinator position (NFL teams may prevent coaches under contract from engaging in interviews elsewhere.) While Rodgers was injured for most of 2017 and replacement Brett Hundley was not ready to step in, the Packers had a bad year and Van Pelt did not land a coordinator position. McCarthy chose to go in a different direction by hiring Cignetti, the coach of the QB Giants for the past two years, to the same position. A source close to Rodgers said the relationship between the quarterback and Cignetti was not nearly as close as those of Van Pelt, who is currently the quarterback coach for the Cincinnati Bengals.

When asked why they thought Van Pelt was out of Green Bay, several sources close to the team said that because Van Pelt had Rodgers' ear, McCarthy saw it as a threat.

"Who came first, the chicken or the egg? McCarthy wants credits for Aaron Rodgers, who he is, "says a source familiar with the internal workings of the organization. "I think too many people have tried to say that they created Aaron Rodgers."

The NFL is an imaginary league, but teams rarely seem to raise games or concepts from the Green Bay Offensive. However, this is not necessarily a charge of McCarthy. As a long-time NFL scout says, "Aaron does not necessarily do the offensive, so it's not all coaching. So much of what [Rodgers] This is not the intended execution of the game, which makes it so good and dangerous, but their games are not necessarily run as they are written. "

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Andy Benoit, MMQB, had already emphasized this week's view: criticism of McCarthy's offensive is no longer true. The Packers' offense evolved in 2018, moving away from the scattered formations and isolation routes that defined the system for years. In November, the Packers lined up on formations spread out about twice as often as in September, and their appearance was condensed (like Rams' Sean McVay offensive, with receivers aligned with the formation) about three times more often than in the first match. month of the season. These condensed trainings lead to naturally more interlaced route combinations, create more traffic for the defenders, provide more space for the receivers to execute their routes and better enable them to block the parts in motion. course.

Aaron Rodgers, Mark Murphy and Mike McCarthy

Rodgers and McCarthy won the Lombardi Trophy in the third season of Rodgers.

Perry Knotts / AP

The broadcast system played on Rodgers' strengths as Sandlot's point guard. But this style of play requires great chemistry between the quarterback and the other 10 players, who must have the same idea of ​​how a game develops and what their quarterback will do on the fly. Jordy Nelson, Rodgers 'long-time target, was released in March, when Randall Cobb, the Packers' oldest receiver, missed half of this season with a thigh injury and a third. year. Receiver Geronimo Allison lasted only five games before becoming part of the injured reserve as a result of an injury to the groin. Rookies Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown were invited to take on important roles alongside Adams and Packer Jimmy Graham, a freshman. Valdes-Scantling and St. Brown are too green to follow Rodgers' improvisational style, making a more sophisticated system indispensable. However, judging by the difficulties with which the offense sometimes struggles to find the footing, the change could have been imposed on Rodgers and Co. before they were ready.

The defense has also fought against injuries and inexperience. Le joueur de ligne défensive Muhammad Wilkerson, de l’équipe indépendante de Gutekunst, est absent pour la saison avec une blessure à la cheville. Le directeur général de première année a été agressif à la date limite des échanges, mais il visait à rassembler des actifs futurs plutôt que de trouver une aide immédiate. En plus d'envoyer le demi-offensif Ty Montgomery aux Corbeaux quelques jours à peine après son coûteux revers de ballon contre les Rams, Gutekunst a assuré la sécurité de la cinquième année, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, un joueur autonome imminent qui avait joué toute la seconde pour une équipe secondaire. – et les joueurs de deuxième année, à Washington pour un choix de draft. Le commerce Clinton-Dix a envoyé des signaux mitigés au vestiaire, car il s'agissait apparemment d'un mouvement de reconstruction (bien que celui-ci garantisse à Green Bay un choix supplémentaire dans le projet de 2019, au lieu d'attendre un choix d'indemnisation qui pourrait ne pas arriver en 2020 s'ils sont agressifs en agence libre cet hiver). Récemment, le groupe des demi de coin a été blessé. Le coordinateur de la défense de première année, Mike Pettine, qui préfère une défense agressive entre deux hommes, est dans une impasse.

Ce fut aussi une saison de quasi-accidents. Une rencontre avec les Vikings en septembre s’est soldée par une égalité, en partie à cause d’une controverse controversée sur la pénalité du passeur à Clay Matthews, qui n’aurait pas été convoquée si elle s’était produite après le mois de septembre. Le botteur vétéran Mason Crosby a raté quatre buts et un point supplémentaire – à l’intérieur – lors d’une défaite contrariée à Detroit. Un retour potentiel à Washington a été contrecarré par un autre drapeau douteux sur Matthews. Les défaites consécutives des Rams et des Patriots sur la route ont provoqué des échappés intempestifs. Et la décision trop conservatrice de l’entraîneur-chef Mike McCarthy de disputer un match aller et retour à Seattle vers la fin du match, leur a coûté une chance de gagner malgré une défense en proie à des blessures aux trois niveaux et à un problème de calendrier qui les obligeait à parcourir deux fuseaux horaires. jouer à un jeu sur trois jours de repos.

«Nous n’avons pas vraiment atteint le point où nous avons cliqué sur tous les cylindres», a déclaré le joueur de ligne offensive Lane Taylor. «Quand on revient au 16e anniversaire, on est allés là-bas [in Week 12] à Philly et les gens ne pensaient pas que nous allions gagner ce match et nous avons eu ce grand jeu à Davante [Adams] pour le touché et il a fait boule de neige dans le succès. En 2014, nous avions une bonne équipe et nous avons bien joué toute l’année. Cette équipe, nous jouons dans des poussées. L’offensive jouera bien, la défense jouera bien, des équipes spéciales joueront bien. C'est frustrant parce que nous ne l'avons pas fait depuis 60 minutes. "

Le «gros jeu de Davante» auquel Taylor fait référence est le lancer parfait de Rodgers à Adams, un touché de 20 verges pour donner à Green Bay une avance indéniable ce lundi soir à Philly. Le jeu de l’équipe n’est pas seulement agité; le moment de galvanisation qui déclenche une grosse course n’est tout simplement pas arrivé.

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McCarthy a été accusé d'avoir «gâché» la carrière de Rodgers, alors que les Packers ont remporté des victoires en saison régulière, mais un seul Super Bowl depuis l'arrivée de Rodgers en 2008, ce seul championnat disputé il y a huit saisons. . Murphy est l'homme qui a le pouvoir de décider de l'avenir de McCarthy à Green Bay. Il a déclaré dans le passé que prendre de grandes décisions, comme retirer un entraîneur, serait une décision de groupe, mais que c’est finalement lui qui a le dernier mot. Il ne prête aucune attention à aucun des récents rapports selon lesquels McCarthy est sur la sellette. Murphy insiste sur le fait qu’il n’envisage pas d’apporter des changements pour le moment. «Il nous reste un tiers de la saison à jouer», dit-il. «Nous ne sommes évidemment pas là où nous voulions être, mais je suis concentré sur les cinq derniers matchs et je pense que nous pouvons terminer la saison en beauté … Je pense que la continuité et la stabilité nous ont bien servis. Vous le voyez partout dans la ligue, je pense que vous devez faire attention à ne pas faire de changements pour des changements. "

Les journalistes du stade américain de la Banque, dans le Minnesota, continuent de pousser, essayant de tirer les bons mots de Rodgers. Ils posent la même question encore et encore, chaque fois avec une touche légèrement différente, chacun essayant de le persuader de défendre passionnément son équipe, comme il l'a fait quand les Packers ont été dans des positions similaires dans le passé. .

Pensez-vous que les séries éliminatoires sont toujours réalistes?

Vous avez essayé de trouver ce moment stimulant pour cette équipe. Craignez-vous que ce moment ne vienne pas et s'il arrive, il soit peut-être trop tard?

9-6-1. Ça vous fait entrer?

Quel est le sentiment de cette saison? Il semble que les séries éliminatoires sont une portée pour le moment.

"Certaines équipes vont avoir besoin de l'aide, puis nous devons trouver un moyen de gagner sur la route", a-t-il déclaré. "Nous sommes 0-6 sur la route."

Rodgers fait une pause et baisse les yeux. Puis le discours de 2018 commence. “Nous devons rentrer à la maison, nous reposer, battre l'Arizona, puis revenir et battre Atlanta, puis aller à Chicago, un endroit où nous avons gagné plusieurs fois, battu, aller à New York autour de Noël, [pause] Bats-les. Et puis rentre à la maison contre Détroit, [pause] battez-les, obtenez un peu d'aide.

Sa dernière pause dura plus longtemps que les autres, alors qu'une lueur familière brillait dans ses yeux, un soupçon de sourire visible sous sa barbe. Mais il était parti aussi vite qu'il était venu. There is nothing more Aaron Rodgers can say.

• Question or comment? Write to us talkback@themmqb.com.

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