Players Defend Aaron Rodgers and More NFC North News & Notes

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  (R-L) Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 and James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers celebrate the Packers 21-14 victory against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

We have been so wrapped up in the Bears' drama this week that we really haven't talked much about the drama surrounding the Green Bay Packers.

Earlier this week, Jermichael Finley's agent, Blake Baratz, called out Aaron Rodgers as "not a great leader" on Twitter.

@joe_smith07 ARod is a great QB he isn't a great leader. There's a major difference. Leaders take the blame & make every1 better. He doesn't

— Blake Baratz (@blakebaratz) September 14, 2012

Now aside from the ridiculousness of calling a guy out for getting on James Jones for a blown route when your client has a nice big mouth on himself, how valid is this sentiment? Is Rodgers just another Jay Cutler?

It's come up multiple times on Twitter and here on B/R. If Rodgers and Cutler both shouted at people, why does one get a pass an one doesn't.

There are two reasons for this.

The first goes back to something that has been discussed here yesterday. Rodgers plays 'the game'. Not football, but the 'game' off the field. He plays nice with the press, is well respected and his overall demeanor is pleasant.

Cutler has done none of those things. 

The second point is while Cutler's teammates are coming out and publicly criticizing him, Rodgers' guys are speaking in support of him—including the guy he yelled at.

J'Marcus Webb has been pretty silent about the whole Cutler incident.

It's impossible to know for sure, but that just gives you the feeling about who is more respected.

So while Baratz is welcome to his opinion, as I am to mine, perhaps he should reconsider who he is comparing Rodgers to. 

Because as it stands, Aaron Rodgers is no Jay Cutler.

Here's the rest of the NFC North news and notes.


Chicago Bears

In an interview with ESPN 1000 (discussed on, Bears kicker Robbie Gould said that the Cutler drama of the past week could pull the team together and define their season.

The Tribune's Dan Pompei says that Jay Cutler wilts in the spotlight of big games. He also lists Cutler's 12 biggest games as a Bear.

And now for some non-Cutler news: Mark Potash of the Sun-TImes reports that the Bears don't mind the odd trick play, but it rarely works out for them.


Detroit Lions's Justin Rogers looks at why the Lions were unsuccessful running the ball against the 49ers.

Carlos Monarrez takes a look forward in today's Free Press, saying that the Lions could get a break with the Titan's Chris Johnson struggling to start the season.

Bleacher Report's Scott Bischoff does a great job of breaking down the tape of the Lions' loss to the 49ers.


Green Bay Packers

Greg Jennings returned to practice on Tuesday according to the Journal-Sentinel's Lori Nickel.

Back to the Jermichael FInley flap, Bill Johnson of ESPN Milwuakee says he has had enough of the streaky tight end.

The Press-Gazette's Weston Hodkiewicz says that rookie defensive end Jerel Worthy has tremendous respect for Seattle rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.


Minnesota Vikings

ESPN 1500's Judd Zulgad says part of the Vikings' issues are that they have no vertical threat.

For Vikings fans unsure of whether their quarterback can be the guy, take heart—Fran Tarkenton says Ponder can be very good in his piece over at the Pioneer Press.

B/R Vikings featured columnist Mike Nelson breaks down the Week 2 game tape.


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Follow me on Twitter at @andrew_garda.