And he doesn’t sound too happy about it.
Appearing on ESPN Radio’s Golic & Wingo from the Super Bowl in Minneapolis on Thursday, Rodgers said some of the Packers’ offseason coaching changes were “a little strange.”
“Well, my quarterback coach didn’t get retained,” Rodgers said when asked for specifics. “I thought that was an interesting change, really without consulting me. There’s a close connection between quarterback and quarterback coach, and that was an interesting decision.”
The changes came after the Packers missed the playoffs for the first time in nine years. They went 7-9, playing half the season without Rodgers because of his broken right collarbone. Packers president Mark Murphy replaced general manager Ted Thompson with Brian Gutekunst, while coach Mike McCarthy fired defensive coordinator Dom Capers and offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett, as well as several other assistant coaches.
McCarthy indicated last month that Van Pelt decided to let his contract run out in order to pursue an offensive coordinator job. It allowed Van Pelt to become a free agent and prevented the Packers from blocking him for other jobs as they have done with assistants in the past. McCarthy brought back Joe Philbin as offensive coordinator, and Van Pelt ended up as the Bengals’ quarterbacks coach. The Packers hired Giants assistant Frank Cignetti Jr. as their new quarterbacks coach.
“When you get to this point, frankly this decision was made last year,” McCarthy said last month of Van Pelt. “I don’t want to speak on Alex’s, his thoughts, but this is a moment he’s prepared himself for.” Van Pelt had been with the Packers since 2012 and served as quarterbacks coach since 2014.
Among the other changes was the hiring of Mike Pettine as defensive coordinator.
When asked how far off the Packers are from being in the Super Bowl, Rodgers said: “I’d say we’re not too far off. If you look at the final four teams that were in it, three of the four have dominating defenses, and the other one is the Patriots, who are often the most well-coached in the NFL. So you’re looking at what Jacksonville did this year with their defense, what obviously Minnesota, they do with their defense, and Philly was phenomenal.
“We’ve got to get back to playing championship defense. We’ve got a new coordinator, actually on both sides. Joe Philbin came back, and his last year with us was ’11, and we had a pretty damn good offense that year. So it’s exciting having him back. Some other changes that are a little strange, maybe, but we’ll see how they all play out.”
Rodgers, who finished the season on injured reserve after a one-game return from his broken collarbone, said there are no lingering issues from his surgery or recovery.
“I was swinging a golf club yesterday in Scottsdale,” said Rodgers, who played in the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Pro-Am with Jordan Spieth and Ryan Moore on Wednesday. “So I’m feeling good.”