GREEN BAY – Mike McCarthy said Thursday that he isn’t concerned about quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ locker-room leadership, any rift that could have been created between Rodgers and tight end Jermichael Finley or any other issues with chemistry that might have come out of agent Blake Baratz’s Tweet about Rodgers’ leadership skills earlier this week.
For his part, the Green Bay Packers coach is chalking it all up to a foolish thing said on the Internet.
“I don’t really get involved with ignorant comments on social media,” McCarthy said Thursday, as the team prepared for Monday night’s game at Seattle. “That is not a locker room issue in my view. We spend a lot of time talking about the culture and more importantly what goes on with the health in our locker room. I feel strongly that we have a very healthy locker room. So that’s something that hasn’t been discussed.”
Finley, who is one of two Packers represented by Baratz, and Rodgers also addressed the mini-controversy. Rodgers said his leadership is something he takes pride in and that he didn’t feel his leadership was in question in the locker room.
“I’m very comfortable with my leadership style and I think the guys are, as well,” he said. “I don’t really have anything to say other than that.”
Finley claimed that whatever opinion Baratz had formulated about Rodgers’ leadership skills didn’t come from him telling his agent anything about his quarterback.
“I’d say zero percent of it. Like I said, he’s got his own opinion,” Finley said. “He’s an agent. He has tons of clients around the league. It’s not my problem what he sends out. I could (not) care less what Blake does as long as he takes care of my business at the end of the day.”
Asked if he was surprised Baratz’s Tweet got so much attention, Finley replied, “Not at all. It’s the media. I expect that.”
As for his relationship with Rodgers, Finley said the two are fine.
“He’s the leader of this team. He’s ‘The Man.’ I respect him as a player. Outside of the locker room, I’m a fan of Aaron Rodgers. We’re all good,” Finley said. “Me and him talk and meet often, so I know his leadership role. I know what he can do. He’s a leader at the end of the day.”
Rodgers did his best to make light of the entire story while also getting his point across.
“It’s silly. I think I made it a point most of my career not to comment on people’s opinions outside of the facility. It’s the same thing if someone down at the Five Guys burger (restaurant) said something about me because he didn’t like the way I was tipping and accused me of something,” Rodgers said. “It’s just people who aren’t in the locker room making comments. There’s no point in having a reaction to it. I don’t have a reaction to it. It’s not an issue.”
Asked if he and Finley had talked about the issue because the criticism had come from Finley’s agent, Rodgers replied, “Regardless of who it was, it’s not something that we worry about in this locker room. It’s not even something that I feel like I needed to have a sit-down conversation with Jermichael about. Because it didn’t come from him. It’s not something that’s an issue.
“Honestly, it’s something I’m very comfortable with, my leadership style, and I feel like the guys in the locker room are as well. It’s not something we’re going to spend any time thinking about.”
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