GREEN BAY — Believe him or don’t. Aaron Rodgers doesn’t really care at this point.
Nevertheless, the Green Bay Packers quarterback insisted on two things Wednesday: That he was held accountable plenty during coach Mike McCarthy’s nearly 13 years as head coach, and their relationship wasn’t the way it has been depicted of late.
Asked Wednesday whether he’s been held accountable enough — in the wake of ex-linebackers coach Winston Moss’ critical Tweet a day earlier — by the team’s coaching staff in recent years, Rodgers replied, “There’s nobody that holds me more accountable than myself. I’m always checking myself on my preparation habits and my practice habits and my mindset, but there’s always been a great deal of accountability under Mike’s program for the last 13 years. There’s consequences for actions that are outside of what’s in the best interest of the team, and there’s never been (an issue).
“I used to always tell him, I said, ‘Hey, if you need to call on somebody in the meeting to let everybody know we’re all on equal playing field, call on me first. Call me out. Just so everybody knows nobody is off limits, we’re holding everybody to the same standard.’ And I feel that’s the way it always was.”
As for the narrative that Rodgers got McCarthy fired — one that has been bandied about on national television and locally — Rodgers didn’t deny that he and McCarthy sometimes clashed. But even when they didn’t see eye-to-eye, Rodgers said, it didn’t create a personal rift between them. Rodgers also said that he has indeed spoken to McCarthy since his Sunday firing.
“I don’t know many times I’ve got to stand here and tell you, (but) I don’t feel like I need to convince anybody about Mike and I’s relationship. It’s a close-knit relationship,” Rodgers said. “We would finish every time that we talked, whether it’s Monday afternoon up on his office or the Thursdays we used to spend in the team room or Friday upstairs or Saturday in the QB room, and we’d hug each other and tell each other we loved each other. I mean, we had a close-knit bond.”
Philbin: Moss no longer ‘fit’
For interim head coach Joe Philbin, the decision to fire Moss Tuesday wasn’t so much about Moss’ Tweet — although make no mistake, Philbin was aware of it — as it was about how Moss fit on the staff. One source said the mercurial Moss, who was no longer speaking to reporters after a bizarre offseason news conference, had not spoken to defensive coordinator Mike Pettine in two weeks.
“I think it’s important obviously that everybody’s on the same page, that we’re all moving forward in the same direction,” Philbin said. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I just didn’t feel like the fit right now was where it needs to be.
“It’s never about one thing. Again, you’re talking to a guy who’s never Tweeted in his life, doesn’t even know what Twitter is, so again, it’s not about a Tweet or anything like that. I just think the fit right now isn’t where it needs to be.”
Philbin said he and Moss spoke twice on Tuesday, and that at no point in those conversations did Moss express unhappiness with the team choosing Philbin as the interim coach despite Moss’ associate head coach title.
“He and I had two discussions (and) that never came up,” Moss said. “I have no idea.”
Philbin said defensive assistant Scott McCurley will assume Moss’ coaching duties with the outside linebackers.
For the second time in as many years, cornerback Kevin King will finish the season on injured reserve. He was placed on IR Wednesday with the hamstring injury that has forced him to miss the last four games. King, who had a groin injury earlier in the year, has played in only six games this season after a shoulder injury ended his rookie season early last year. Running back Tra Carson (rib) was also put on IR. … To take their spots, the Packers claimed ex-University of Wisconsin cornerback Natrell Jamerson on waivers from the Houston Texans and defensive lineman Fadol Brown from the Oakland Raiders. Jamerson, drafted in the fifth round by New Orleans in April, played in 10 games for the Texans, registering five tackles, a pass break-up and two special teams tackles. … On the injury report, four of the team’s five offensive linemen were listed. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) and right guard Byron Bell (knee) did not practice, while left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) practiced in full and left guard Lane Taylor (foot) was limited.