Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers calls report on hand signals “dumpest Nietzsche article” this season

Like every Tuesday when Aaron Rodgers goes on “The Pat McAfee Show,” you never know what to expect. And this week was no different after the Packers’ victory over the Rams on Monday night.

Sure, there was football talk, as he broke down the Packers’ path to the playoffs, he gave a brief update on his broken thumb (it’s “a lot better” after parting, he said), he described his failed Hail Mary- effort at the end of the first half, Keisean praised Nixon and his returning abilities, and as always spoke of his NFL future. Then there was alien and UFO talk and this week’s book club recommendation brought us back to one of his favorite pastimes from COVID.

But the Packers quarterback also wanted to set the record straight on another subject: hand signals.

And No. 12 wasn’t about to release a report calling him out on how he handles signals with his teammates leading up to games untouched.

A story published last week in The Athletic titled “Signal meetings and Aaron Rodgers’ ‘little death stare’: What it’s like for Packers’ rookie receivers” detailed how 18-year veteran Rodgers uses hand signals from years ago, but that the young recipients must learn more than 30 in an instant because they have not learned or written them anywhere. Instead, they are passed on by players while the coaches are not even aware of them. And there are quizzes on Saturdays, which can put players in awkward situations, according to the report. Several current and former players were interviewed for the story.

“What’s up with all your signals,” AJ Hawk asked Rodgers, not so subtly, on the show. “Are you the only one who knows what’s going on?”

Rodgers then left.

“It’s by far the dumbest Nietzburger article I’ve read all season,” said Rodgers. “I won’t say in my career because last year there were some of the dumbest articles imaginable. I don’t think you could ever top the COVID teen Wall Street Journal.

“But this was by far the dumbest article.

“Ninety-five percent of that article is absolutely complete horse (expletive),” Rodgers continued. “The other five percent is exaggerated nothing.”

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McAfee gave an example Monday night when Rodgers used a hand gesture brushing his arm and looked in the direction of rookie wide receiver Christian Watson before making one of the final plays of the game with the Packers with the Packers on the 4. yard line. Watson apparently didn’t get the signal, as he never looked back for the ball, resulting in an incompletion.

“If you want to catch touchdowns, you run the right routes,” Rodgers told ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters on the field after the game, laughing.

Rodgers said that each week backup quarterback Jordan Love lists the signals the team could use that week and then selects a few offensive players to question them. Rodgers explained that he did this when he was back up.

“It can be nerve wracking the first time you do it,” Rodgers continued. “But listen, any signal used in a match will probably be used in practice that week.

“It’s not like there are so many signals,” Rodgers continued. “There are some cues in the 2 minute drill. I think we may have missed one or two for the entire season. It’s not hard at all. The fact that this was made into a story is the most ridiculous thing that I’ve been reading all year and that says a lot.”

Rodgers is a fan of Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, and Erin Andrews, other TV analysts

While Rodgers objected to that report, he made it a point to praise other media members on Tuesday, particularly TV crews who mention his games.

He said he’s a longtime fan of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, the long-time Fox announcers who made the switch to ESPN for “Monday Night Football” this season.

He also named sideline reporter Erin Andrews, who is still on the No. 1 Fox broadcast team, as a favorite.

“That’s my all-time favorite team,” said Rodgers, referring to the former Buck-Aikman-Andrews trio. “There’s a trust that grows with the information that’s shared because part of it is helping them do their job and another part is because we’re friends. We start talking like friends do. Often that’s what it yielded to.”

He added that because his favorites are Buck and Aikman on ESPN, he has now “turned the sound back on” on the channel.

“Those guys and Lisa (Salters) are doing really well,” said Rodgers.

The late John Madden, Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Jim Nantz and Tony Romo are also on his list of favorites, Rodgers said Tuesday.

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This article originally appeared in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Aaron Rodgers explodes report on hand signals with Packers teammates

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