GREEN BAY, Wis. – The passage of time can bring wisdom and patience. During training camp, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers suggested he had grown a “little gentler” when it comes to dealing with mistakes.
But the fire still burns hot, as tight end Tyler Davis and center Josh Myers – and the viewers on CBS’s telecast – found out.
With about 1:30 left in the third quarter, tight end Tyler Davis motioned from right to left. Rodgers, not-so-kindly, suggested Davis go back to the right.
“I heard they caught maybe something I might’ve said to Tyler. Those are private conversations,” Rodgers said with a smile. “Listen, simple things like rights and lefts. I’m not judging here. Every now and then, I might think I said right and it came out a left, but I know for a fact I was right on my direction that time and Tyler lined up in the wrong spot. The play is very simple play. It’s his play for that week, so that’s why I was a little bit upset about that, but I apologized to Tyler and only to Tyler for what I said.”
Then, with about 11 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Packers faced a key third down while trailing 24-17. With the Patriots substituting, Rodgers rushed the offense to the line. The clock was stopped before the snap, and Rodgers was furious.
“Snap the f***ing ball,” Rodgers yelled at center Josh Myers and to however many millions of fans were watching from home.
CBS broadcaster Tony Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys and Burlington (Wis.) High School star, provided a humorous translation.
Turns out, Patriots safety Adrian Phillips was injured and the referees stopped the clock for the injury rather than a New England timeout.
“Josh sometimes snaps the ball a little to the right, and I have no patience for that. But I love Josh,” Rodgers said.
After the timeout, Rodgers made one of the big plays of the game. He faced immediate pressure from defensive end Josh Uche. Rodgers bought time with a shuffle to the left – and got a helping hand from what might have been a holding penalty on left tackle David Bakhtiari – and flicked a perfect pass to Randall Cobb for a gain of 24 yards to the Patriots’ 47.
“I’m going to be there. Third down, I’m there. I’m waiting and ready,” Cobb said. “I try to make the most of the opportunities that I get. I know it’s not like times before when I’m going to have a lot of targets, I’m not going to be on this field as much as I was in the past. Just trying to make sure that I stay to the routine and be able to provide a spark whenever I get that chance.”
That play set up the game-tying touchdown pass to Romeo Doubs, a big-time back-shoulder connection on third-and-3.
Doubs drew the ire of Rodgers during training camp for dropping too many passes, but the kinder and gentler quarterback kept throwing him the ball. He did on Sunday, too, even though Doubs fumbled on the opening drive.
“I’m not going to lose confidence in him,” Rodgers said. “Obviously, we’ll hold him accountable but he’s a great kid. I threw a third-down back shoulder fade to him for a touchdown. I’d say I’ve got some confidence in him.”