Rodgers on Leadership: ‘That’s Why We’re in this Position’

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Rodgers on Leadership: ‘That’s Why We’re in this Position’

Post by admin » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:09 am

Who are the leaders of the Pack?

The players.

With a new coach and an infusion of free-agent talent, the Green Bay Packers have cultivated a strong core of leaders that have played an understated and impossible-to-measure role in the team’s surprising trip to Sunday’s NFC Championship Game at the San Francisco 49ers.

“I saw (a quote) recently that ‘The bad teams don’t have any leaders, the just OK teams, the coaches lead, and the teams that have a chance to be really, really good is where the players have the ownership,’” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said on Thursday. “We’d like to think we have some good guys in the room leadership-wise and they have a really good sense of what it’s supposed to look like. From the beginning, we keep painting that picture, when we show it to them on tape, this is what it’s supposed to look like, so they understand what the standards are. But as far as the other things, like attention to detail and effort, finishing, those type of things, when a player can get on another player before a coach gets to him, that’s when you know you’re headed in the right direction.”

Special-teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga has talked about that for weeks. While the addition of returner Tyler Ervin energized the group, the leaders have been setting the tone for his quickly improving units.

“If something’s not going right like during a practice and they start getting on each other – ‘Hey, that’s not good enough’ – and they start holding each other accountable and getting on each other to make each other better, and it’s not just us getting on them as far as execution and those kinds of things, then I feel like it’s going in the right direction,” Mennenga said on Thursday.

The team’s obvious leaders are permanent captains Aaron Rodgers, Za’Darius Smith and Mason Crosby. It’s more than just those three, though. There is at least one strong personality in every position group to show the way, with Rodgers using Preston Smith and Billy Turner as examples. The players stepping to the forefront “happened organically,” coach Matt LaFleur said.

“Our best teams were led by a good group of leaders, and I’ve talked about who those leaders have been over the years,” Rodgers said on Friday. “But it does help when you have dynamic personalities on both sides of the ball, and I think this year more than some of the previous years, we do have that with those guys I mentioned – with Blake (Martinez) being more outspoken this year, with Ja (Jaire Alexander) in his second year feeling more comfortable, with the veteran leadership in guys like Tramon Williams and Adrian Amos. I think that’s all contributed to guys really having that opportunity to buy in every day and making that decision to buy in and to be a part of the solution, because the opportunities for leadership have been there from the start, and that’s fostered by Matt’s program. But guys actually have taken hold of those opportunities this year.”

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