Mike Holmgren was accustomed to dealing with brilliant and occasionally difficult quarterbacks during his time as head coach of the Green Bay Packers, winning a Super Bowl with Brett Favre under center. He says his former franchise has flubbed its handling of the Aaron Rodgers situation.
Holmgren, who led the franchise from 1992-98, appeared on ESPN Chicago’s Carmen and Jurko radio show this week to discuss the potential Rodgers/Packers breakup. Hours before the NFL Draft, Adam Schefter reported that Rodgers wanted out of Green Bay. Some former Packers teammates of the quarterback have pushed back against that notion a bit, but it is very clear that the relationship isn’t good right now, dating back to a few notable moves including the release of Jake Kumerow and, of course, the 2020 first-round selection of Jordan Love.
The old adage is that no player is bigger than the team, but as we all know, a superstar quarterback is basically irreplaceable, unless a Favre-to-Rodgers transition falls into your lap. Holmgren says that the team could have made the Rodgers situation work even while targeting Love, but had to loop him in and treat him like the superstar player he is.
“With a franchise quarterback and a guy as good as Aaron, you don’t treat all the players the same,” he said, via TMZ. “You have a line that no one crosses, but I would call him in and say, ‘Look, we’re going to do this. This is how it’s going to affect you.'”
Mike Holmgren Blames Packers For Aaron Rodgers Drama, I Would've Handled It Betterhttps://t.co/mxiudeYbBg
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) May 7, 2021
Holmgren acknowledged that the NFL has changed quite a bit over the years, and admitted the San Francisco 49ers didn’t tell Joe Montana about bringing in Steve Young (he was the team’s quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator from 1986-1991). Still, based on how the league, and sports at large, have transformed, he does not think the Packers have handled it well, and he insists that he would’ve done things differently if he were in charge of the situation.
“They didn’t handle it very well, I don’t think.”
“I can’t imagine a relationship between the coach, or management, or whoever is making the decisions and a star quarterback like that getting to this point,” Holmgren says.”I just can’t imagine it. I wouldn’t allow it. It wouldn’t happen.”
We’ll see if general manager Brian Gutekunst can reset the relationship, or if he will really need to be on the chopping block for Aaron Rodgers to guarantee a return to the Green Bay Packers for the 2021 season.