Aaron Rodgers has a few words for his critics.
The Green Bay Packers' season got off to a tough start on Sept. 12 when they lost to the New Orleans Saints with a final score of three to 38. Rodgers, who made headlines over his disagreement with the Packers during the offseason and missed voluntary organized team practice activities and the mandatory minicamp, faced criticism for his performance, including from sports analyst Bill Cowher who said it looked like Rodgers didn't care.
"Show me you care," he said during a roundtable discussion on CBS. "Show me it's important to you that the team is more important than who you are, and right now, I have not seen that."
The Wisconsin team came back and beat the Detroit Lions with a final score of 35 to 17 on Sept. 20. But there had been a lot of chatter leading up to the game.
During the Sept. 21 episode of The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers was asked if these comments are just noise to him or if they ever get to him. And while the 37-year-old quarterback didn't name any specific critics, he also didn't hold back on his response.
"To be honest, it's a combination of both," Rodgers replied. "I mean, on one hand, it's absolute horses--t to give a platform to people who have no idea what they're talking about as far as my mental state and, you know, my focus, my work habits. People that have not been around me, that are not in my life, I don't have communication with them, are not in the locker room. I mean, that's just, it's chickens--t. It's so ridiculous that people get a platform to do this, and it's the same type of people."
On the other hand, he said media today is all about clicks and views and that "the actual opinions that are garnering the most attention are the most outlandish."
"So, it's not even overreaction Monday or Tuesday anymore," Rodgers added. "It's overreaction every time a microphone's in your face, every time you have a single shot in the camera and you get to talk to camera. Every time you're on a panel, it's who can say the most outlandish things because that's going to give you the most hits. That's the media we live in, that's fine. But at the same time, I still have this show, I have my weekly stuff. You know most people don't use their platform to defend themselves. I don't think I need to defend myself when people aren't worth spending time on, but I'm always going to give a reminder that listen to the source of some of these things and be reminded it's often the same people in the same tired rhetoric."
Overall, Rodgers said he was surprised "there was such a story out there" after week one.
"What's crazy to me is to let one storyline, by a person who has no contact with me, has zero relationship, that that becomes some sort of narrative that's out there, that now I somehow don't care about ball because of my zen attitude in the offseason," the three-time MVP continued. "That's the bulls--t I was talking about last night."
And he left his followers with a few thoughts. "The trolls are out there, I get it," Rodgers said, "but the truth and fact should not be replaced by conjecture, the old-founded conjecture, and when it is, and I'm thankful for this opportunity and for my pressers to say, 'Hey look, just think about who's saying these things.'"
One thing is for sure: Rodgers knows he can count on the support of Shailene Woodley during this season. "She's still working in Albuquerque, but when she wraps, she plans to support him throughout his season," a source close to Rodgers told E! News about the 29-year-old actress. "They don't like to be apart for too long and are looking forward to being back in the same place again."