North Rumors: Rodgers, Steelers, Bears

Tasked with adjusting to a new offense for the first time in his tenure as an NFL starter, Aaron Rodgers showed a bit of resistance to Matt LaFleur‘s new attack this week. At least, the Packers‘ future Hall of Fame quarterback does not want to be limited at the line of scrimmage. The first-year head coach’s system does not feature the same kind of pre-snap flexibility Rodgers previously enjoyed.

I don’t think you want me to turn off 11 years. There’s stuff that not many people in the league can do at the line,” Rodgers said during an interview with’s Michael Silver (Twitter link). “That’s not a humble brag. That’s just a fact.

LaFleur said earlier this offseason the plan will be for Rodgers to either run the called play or switch to one alternative, and Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel anticipates some pushback on this. A detailed story this offseason examined Rodgers’ checkered history with Mike McCarthy, so the Packers are facing a crucial season — one in which their two-time MVP turn 36 — so getting their passer and head coach on the same page figures to be essential. While LaFleur said this week he does not want to minimize Rodgers’ penchant for off-script brilliance, it does appear the Packers have some sorting out to accomplish.

Here is the latest news out of the North divisions:

  • Although Teryl Austin‘s title with the Steelers is senior defensive assistant/secondary, the former Lions and Bengals DC will have another key game-day responsibility. Austin will be Mike Tomlin‘s unofficial replay-review coach. Austin said, via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he will watch every play that generated a replay review from the 2018 season to prepare for his new role. Tomlin has won just two of his past 14 challenges, dating back to the beginning of the 2016 season, Dulac notes, adding the 13th-year coach is 0-for-12 on fourth-down challenges during his career.
  • As for Austin’s role instructing Pittsburgh’s secondary, the Steelers have deviated from a plan that meant for their new hire to coach one position and secondary coach Tom Bradley another. They are sharing responsibilities leading that unit, per Dulac.
  • Antonio Brown‘s exit leaves the Steelers perhaps the biggest void in the NFL, given his production as the team’s top wide receiver for most of this decade, and the Steelers may have to fill the JuJu Smith-Schuster sidekick role as a group. But among the James WashingtonDonte MoncriefDiontae Johnson contingent, Ben Roethlisberger (via Ray Fittipaldo of the Post-Gazette) singled out Moncrief as having the best offseason. Still just 25, Moncrief posted 668 yards for the Jaguars last season.
  • Another North-division surprise factor: large Bears tight end Bradley Sowell. The converted tackle’s switch to tight end appears legitimate, with Jeff Dickerson of called the 6-foot-7, 312-pound veteran a legitimate threat for regular playing time — rather than this being a gimmicky or in-case-of-emergency position change. Sowell played tight end on 30 snaps last season but may be working toward a usage bump.
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26 comments on “North Rumors: Rodgers, Steelers, Bears

  1. mitchrapp

    Aaron Rodgers has been hyped since he came in the league. He’s got one ring but acts like he’s great. Check the stat lines over his career and compare with HOF guys. Rodgers not that special

    • basic white dad

      Look at his numbers. He’s not dog crap either. Especially that TD/INT rate. Yup. That’s garbage for sure. If you watch his career there are more than a handful of times he wasn’t the reason they weren’t better. He’s sucked up the joint a few times but to just say it’s on him and use the SuperBowl argument is laughable too.

    • brewcrewbernie

      Checking the stat lines… highest rated passer in NFL history. Best touchdown to interception ratio in NFL history. Obviously not that special. All righty then.

    • Matthew Heywood

      Actually his stats do say he is special I don’t think you know what you are talking about. If you want to argue his playoff record isn’t special you might have a point and why he only has one ring

    • Stop using the rings argument. If you use rings as the baseline for greatness, then Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, Eli Manning are all great QBs and Marino is garbage.

      • Matthew Heywood

        Winning a title is the point at the end of the day period. Stats are nice but meaningless in the end without any titles behind them

        • Except winning a title is a team effort. Go back and read the original post and he says he’s got one ring and thinks he’s great. Rings does not equate greatness. Once again the Ravens win a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer. Even Manning his last year was just a game manager, letting the D win.

          • Matthew Heywood

            Agreed but to say the stats matter more than winning is also foolish.
            Aaron has had many great stats year even being 15-1 one year.
            That mattered for nothing with playoff losses

  2. jwoh13512

    As a Packer fanatic I can tell you the reason we have one championship under Rodgers is primarily due to Ted Thompson’s failure to field a solid defense with some blame going to Dom Capers. Second reason is McCarthys passing offense was behind the times. Looking forward to a much better defense and a more imaginative offense.

    • pacfan189

      There’s plenty of blame to go around. And the fact that only one team can with the super bowl a year, people seem to forget that.

  3. crosseyedlemon

    Mr. Rodgers won’t be singing “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood” during the season opener. We gonna put some serious the hurt on him.

    • brewcrew08

      Didn’t he spot the bears 20 points and one of his legs and still beat them on the road last years opener?

      • Rondon

        Yep, he did. But then they won 12 games and the division. And I’m thinkin’ it may be a better Bear team this season.

      • Matt M

        This is literally the most tired argument on the internet. Are you aware fans are the reason sports teams exist? If fans don’t watch, buy tickets, apparel, spend money and time on the project teams don’t exist? So yes “we”

  4. leprechaun

    Rodgers should have won more than one Super Bowl plain and simple. He can blame McCarthy all he wants but Thompson was the GM and Rodgers did whatever he wanted with play calling. Rodgers needs to look in the mirror it’s as simple as that.
    As a Fan of neither team JMO the Bears will beat the Packers twice this year and by more than 10 both times.

  5. king beas

    Rodgers most overrated qb in the league. Couldn’t sniff Tom Brady’s jock

  6. radiohead801

    What a mess in Cheeseland. I wonder what’s Rodgers’ tampon of choice?

  7. johnk

    Silly to think one man can win it all. Even Jordan couldn’t do it on a five man team.
    Rodgers did as much as you could ask!

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