Donald Driver on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: Blah, blah, blah, blah

Donald Driver made no sense when talking about Aaron Rodgers’ leadership.

Normally I don’t care about off-the-field drama involving the Packers. I like talking and writing about football, not TMZ- or WWE-style storylines involving the Packers.

Unfortunately, Donald Driver decided to weigh in on the squabble between Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings and ended up piling onto the “Lets take shots at Rodgers’ leadership” bandwagon.

I don’t want to discuss what Driver (or Jennings) thinks of Rodgers’ leadership because I don’t care. I do want to address one thing Driver said because it was completely asinine. I’m all for players being honest and blunt in their comments — if you think Rodgers is a bad leader, fine, say so. But one thing Driver said wasn’t blunt, it was just dumb.

Once I’m done filleting Driver for the comment, I’ll go back to respecting him again. Everyone else should do the same. Driver’s a legend in Green Bay. Just ask him.

Driver on if Rodgers is a “me” guy:

We’ve always been in the room and we’ve always said that the quarterback is the one who needs to take the pressure off of everyone else. If a guy runs the wrong route, it’s easy for the quarterback to say, ‘Hey, I told him to run that route,’ than the guy to say, ‘Hey, I ran the wrong route.’ Sometimes you ask Aaron to take the pressure off those guys so we don’t look bad. He didn’t want to do that. He felt like if you did something bad, you do it. That’s the difference. You want that leadership. I think sometimes you may not feel like you got it.

Let’s say you’re a waitress. A group of four sits at one of your tables, orders drinks and food, and waits patiently for you to bring it out. Instead of bringing the group what they ordered, you drink all their drinks, eat all their food, and take a nap on the bathroom floor. When the group complains to the owner about what you did, the owner calls you and your manager into his office.

Is your manager a bad manager if he doesn’t take the fall and tell the owner that the only reason you ate all the customers’ food, drank their drinks and passed out in the bathroom is because he — as your manager, boss and leader — ordered you to do so?



Why is Aaron Rodgers’ Leadership Constantly Under Fire?

Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. This much I know.

I also was firmly in the quarterback’s corner when allegedly unnecessary cheap shots were thrown his way by commentators, former NFL players and relatives and agents of his current teammates.  It appeared to me, at the time, that these comments were driven mainly by jealously of Rodgers’ success.  Rodgers has long stated that success wouldn’t change who he was, and fans took him at his word for it.

That said, after a recent piece by Rob Reischel of Packers Plus that states Rodgers’ leadership ability took some hits this season.  Rodgers’ leadership ability has been coming under fire with so much regularity that I’m beginning to wonder what exactly is going on.

Keeping in mind that none of the critical remarks directed at Rodgers this past year came directly from current (or former) teammate, but sometimes in these types of situations  the same things get repeated over and over so frequently that you cannot help to think that maybe just some of this has merit.

I don’t think Rodgers is a bad person or a bad leader.  His off the field work, both publicly and privately, show how good of a heart Rodgers really does have. The team’s success this year shows he isn’t an ineffective leader and is able to carry a team on his back for a season in which they rarely had a fully healthy group of receivers.

What this constant criticism tells me (as does Rodgers’ responses) is that he is a very sensitive person.  That sensitivity was put under the spotlight in a piece on Rodgers done for CBS’ 60 Minutes news program where both Rodgers and some current teammates were interviewed. Rodgers naturally bristled at the piece and criticized it heavily during his weekly radio show.

Being sensitive is by no means a bad quality in a person but it can hinder one’s ability to lead a group of people. I, as a very sensitive person myself, have seen this first hand in my own life.  It doesn’t make someone a “bad” leader but rather makes them less able to handle criticism and makes them more likely to hold a grudge. Like I said, I’m guilty as charged of this myself. People who follow me on Twitter know how I can get when I come under fire.