Aaron Rodgers leadership drama adds a Donald Driver chapter
AUG 15, 2013 3:31p ET
"We've always said that the quarterback is the one that needs to take the pressure off everyone else," Driver said Thursday morning on ESPN radio. "If a guy runs the wrong route, it's easy for the quarterback to say, 'Hey, I told him to run that route' than for the guy to be like, 'Well, I ran the wrong route.'
"Sometimes you ask Aaron to take the pressure off the guys so we won't look bad, but he didn't want to do that. He felt like if you did something bad, you do it. But I think that's the difference. You want that leadership, and I think sometimes you may not feel like you got it. You have to earn that respect at the end of the day, and I think that's what Greg (Jennings) was probably referring to."
It was because of Jennings' series of negative comments about Rodgers in recent months that Driver was asked about this topic. But four hours after Driver made that statement about Rodgers and it had become a hot topic around the NFL, the now-retired receiver tried to paint a different picture of the day's events.
"Tweeps: Listen I can't believe people would think I'm talking about Aaron," Driver posted on Twitter. "Aaron is a great person and a good friend. He will tell you that. I've always told him never forget where you came from. He knows that. But the issue is between him and Greg. I love them both. Great friends."
Driver's tweets were published just minutes before the post-practice press conference from Packers coach Mike McCarthy. Typically, the chatter in the media auditorium at Lambeau Field can be heard online through the team's website. There's even a sign hanging on the wall to inform reporters that their conversations are being streamed live.
However, according to fans who were watching the video online, as Driver's tweets were being read aloud by media members waiting for McCarthy, the Packers turned off the in-room microphone and didn't turn it on again until the press conference officially started.
Driver then tweeted: "Haha! Media, can't live with them can't live without them. That's why I love you all. Smile!!!!!!"
McCarthy was made aware of Driver's original comments about Rodgers by Green Bay's public relations staff before he came to the podium.
"I didn't understand it," McCarthy said of Driver's remarks. "Frankly, I think Aaron manages his job responsibility very well. Accountability is throughout your whole football team. The quarterback position, we take a lot of pride in the way it's coached. That's the most overly criticized position on our whole team internally.
"As far as Donald, I'm very fond of Donald. I know he's going through a tough period right now with his loss (his father's death), and my thoughts and prayers are out to him and his family. But I don't know what to really say about the comments."
A day earlier, Rodgers was credited by McCarthy for being "humble" and "in a good place." Rodgers, who is constantly talking and joking with teammates on the field and in the locker room -- things that most would likely consider a sign of a good leader -- was feeling good about his role with the Packers.
"I like the leadership opportunity I have, especially with some of these young guys," Rodgers said Wednesday. "I like how other guys are stepping up and taking on more of that role with some of our older veteran leaders gone. It's been a good camp. I like the vibe of this team, I like the atmosphere surrounding this locker room.
"I'm just one of those guys who has an important role on this team, as we all do. You've got to know your role and execute it well, and I'm trying to do that."
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