When Tom Crabtree hears people talk about how Aaron Rodgers has regressed or lost a step or is no longer one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, his reaction is usually the same.
“It’s laughter – a lot of laughter,” the former Packers tight end said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Some of the throws he made tonight, I was speechless. I played with the guy for a few years, and even some of those throws I saw tonight, he’s that type of guy. He’s that type of quarterback. You can play with him for a few years, and he can still surprise you and leave you speechless.”
Rodgers finished 30-of-39 for 313 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-13 win over the Eagles in Philadelphia. No. 12 had several jaw-dropping throws, including a 20-yard touchdown strike to Davante Adams that was downright filthy.
“I’m not on board at all with the narrative that he’s over the hill or that he’s done or that he’s lost anything,” Crabtree said. “I don’t see it at all. I don’t agree. Plain and simple. Am I biased? Yeah, I love the guy. I talk to him off the field, I loved him on the field when I was there in Green Bay, but I can’t get on board with that.
While Monday went well for Green Bay, the Packers (5-6) have a long way to go. They ended their four-game winning streak, but they’re still under .500 and still trail the Lions (7-4) and Vikings (6-5) in the NFC North.
The Packers are seeking their eighth straight playoff appearance, but if they fall short, will Mike McCarthy be fired?
“I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion at this point,” Crabtree said. “Again, I’m not a president, a GM, an owner or anything like that, and I have some bias. I love Mike and some of those guys in the front office, but I wouldn’t necessarily point to that. They’ve really struggled on defense and had some unfortunate injuries in that aspect. So I’d probably bring everyone back, let’s get healthy and let’s see where we’re at in 2017. But this is all speculation. It’s early so say, but 2016 could still turn out very well for them.”
Crabtree, 31, played for the Packers from 2009-12. He has seen firsthand the strong relationship that McCarthy has with Rodgers – and all of his players.
“I think he’s very consistent as a leader, and obviously he’s very offensive-minded,” Crabtree said. “But just his consistency and his high expectations from the offense, that’s kind of what I would point to. That’s what makes him a great leader. He doesn’t do anything crazy or magical. He’s very consistent: Here’s our goals. Here’s what we expect from you. At that point, it’s up to each individual and each player to kind of execute.”
Green Bay hosts Houston (6-5) this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.