Before the season, the departed Greg Jennings left a few parting shots for his former team -- and specifically his former quarterback.
In an interview with the Star Tribune before the season Jennings said about Rodgers, "Don’t get me wrong, ‘12’ is a great person, but when you hear all positives, all positives, all positives all the time, it’s hard for you to sit down when one of your teammates says, ‘Man, come on, you've got to hold yourself accountable for this.’ It’s hard for someone to see that now because all they've heard is I’m doing it the right way, I’m perfect. In actuality, we all have flaws."
After the Packers' victory Sunday night in Minnesota, it is no longer fair to criticize Rodgers' leadership.
This isn't Rodgers best season statistically, but it may be his best season as a professional. The Packers have won four straight games without the benefit of many key players on offense and defense. It takes a lot of personal skill, and yes leadership, to keep a team focused during a stretch of injuries that would cripple most teams.
Since week 3 the Packers have lost Brad Jones, Clay Matthews, James Jones, Randall Cobb, and Jermichael Finley. How many teams could lose that many weapons and continue to hum along? The answer is not many, and that reflects on Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers is the longest tenured player on the roster, the quarterback of the team, and the unquestioned voice in the Packers' locker room. It has been Rodgers' leadership, as much as his arm, that has held the team together and helps it keep winning despite the injuries.
I realize Rodgers isn't doing it alone. He got a lot of help from a defense that managed to hold Adrian Peterson to only 60 yards, from Micah Hyde on a 93-yard punt return for a touchdown, and from his only healthy weapon left -- Jordy Nelson. However, there is no doubt the team looks to Rodgers to lead them as a football team.
Just ask Ryan Pickett, the oldest player on the roster. Speaking to reporters after the game Pickett said, "He is the best (quarterback in the NFL)."
One thing is at least clear, the 52 other guys in the locker room believe in Rodgers, and -- as long as he is the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers -- there won't be a lack of leadership in the locker room.