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.