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Charles Woodson Disputes Criticism of Aaron Rodgers

Former Packers' defensive back Charles Woodson defends ex-teammate Aaron Rodgers.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

With any luck, this will put an end to the stream of criticism from former Packers Greg Jennings and Donald Driver.

When faced with the question of Aaron Rodgers' leadership ability, Charles Woodson gave a blunt and honest appraisal in an interview with Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin.

I don't understand where it's all coming from. I think A-Rod would consider these guys his friends, so for stuff like this to be coming out about him now that the guys are gone, it's got to be hurtful to him because what are they talking about, to question his leadership ability, his leadership skills? The guy is one of the best players in the NFL, and I think he does a great job as far as leading them into battle. I'm not sure where the attacks - and believe me, they are not warranted, for sure - I don't know where it's coming from.

(Bold emphasis ours)

One of the popular theories as to why Jennings and later Driver were critical of their former quarterback is based on the fact Ted Thompson and the Packers didn't push harder (or at all) to keep them around. However, the fact that Woodson, himself a roster casualty, has stood up for Rodgers debunks this premise. Woodson provided his own explanation for the hostility:

Aaron's job is a tough job. You've got a stud wide receiver in Greg Jennings - and make no mistake, Greg is a great wide receiver - but you have to keep him happy. You have Donald Driver, you have to keep him happy. You have Jermichael Finley, you have to keep him happy. You have running backs on the team, and you're trying to find where they can get carries and keep them happy. You have an offensive line, they don't just want to pass set all the time; they want to run downhill and run block, and you have to keep them happy. You have to keep James Jones, who wants to be on the field, you have to keep him happy. And we haven't even talked about a Jordy Nelson, or a young Randall Cobb. And who does all that fall on? It falls on the quarterback.

One of the few drawbacks to stacked receiving corps such as the one the Packers maintained the past few years is the prospect of jealousy. There are a finite amount of touches to go around, and inevitably somebody will feel they aren't adequately appreciated. Woodson's suggestion that such was the case in Green Bay makes a lot of sense. While there wasn't ever any valid reason for concern, Packers fans can now calm down a bit about Rodgers' leadership ability. Not every ex-teammate thinks he isn't a strong leader.

Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Co. He has previously written for Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is also currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter: @JBHirschhorn

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