Friday, January 20, 2023

Gronk rips Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers over recent comments

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Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has come under more scrutiny and criticism in the last year than at any time in his career, and former NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski is the latest to pile on.

Rodgers performed weekly The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday, January 17, in which the 39-year-old signal caller affirmed that he is capable of regaining MVP status in 2023 until the “right situation” is in place.

Gronkowski appeared on FanDuel the following day Up and Adams podcast and critiqued Rodgers’ overall outlook for the rest of his career. NFL reporter Dov Kleiman tweeted a video of the tight end’s comments on Wednesday.

“I agree with everything he said except a big part – that’s the MVP again. He should have said, ‘I think I could win another Super Bowl,’ and then that would have been totally fine.” said Gronkowski. “Like bro, why are you thinking of MVP? Don’t you want Super Bowls? In my opinion, Super Bowls are five times bigger than an MVP award.”

“We all know you’ve won MVP a few times now, but what everyone would know even more is how many more Super Bowls you’ve won as MVPs,” Gronkowski continued. “So I’m just a little confused by the quote he just had. I mean it should be Super Bowls. You should never think about MVP.”

The full context of Rodgers’ MVP comments on Tuesday was as follows:

“A lot of people said I was washed [in 2019]He couldn’t play properly anymore, wasn’t the same anymore, and then I won two MVPs in a row without really doing anything differently. I’m sure there’s a lot of the same sentiment this year,” Rodgers told McAfee. “Do I still think I can play? Of course, of course. Can I play at a high level? Yes, the highest. I think that in the right situation I can win MVP again.”

Considering Gronkowski’s long personal and professional relationship with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, it’s difficult to read the tight end criticism of Rodgers as anything other than a comparison to Gronkowski’s old teammate.

Brady has won the Super Bowl seven times, a Lombardi Trophy with the Bucs and six as a member of the New England Patriots. Gronkowski was his teammate for four of those titles in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020.

Strange as it may seem, Gronkowski takes up a uniquely qualified space to criticize Rodgers — who, incidentally, has his own Super Bowl ring — for the QB’s overall football mentality. Gronkowski was a pivotal cog in Brady’s journey to more than half of his championship rings, and for eleven years he observed one of the most successful players in American team sport history up close.

Rodgers has already secured his place in history with one title and four MVP awards during his 18-year NFL career. That includes 15 straight seasons as the Packers starting QB in which the team won eight NFC North Division titles. He was selected to 10 Pro Bowls and named a first-team All-Pro four times.

Rodgers has thrown north of 59,000 yards, 475 touchdowns with just 105 interceptions, boasts a career quarterback rating of 103.6 and has accumulated nearly 3,500 rushing yards and 35 rushing touchdowns over his career, per Pro Football Reference.

Rodger’s regular-season record (147-75-1) and postseason record (12-10) will make his name almost synonymous with the phrase “winning football” for generations to come. And yet, when it comes to winning on the biggest stage, he’ll never be seen as the kind of winner that Brady was — or even Gronkowski, if whoever’s leading the debate wants to get technical.

But winning and losing are judged differently for quarterbacks, and Rodger’s career really needs just one more exclamation mark — a second Super Bowl ring. If he can get there again in Green Bay, or maybe even elsewhere in the league, Rodgers will leave the game as one of the few QBs who can claim membership in the “best ever made it” group.

If he can’t, then perhaps Gronkowski’s criticism of Rodger’s mentality is fair, regardless of the source.

But winning and losing are judged differently for quarterbacks, and Rodger’s career really needs just one more exclamation mark — a second Super Bowl ring. If he can get there again in Green Bay, or maybe even elsewhere in the league, Rodgers will leave the game as one of the few QBs who can claim membership in the “best ever made it” group.



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