Star quarterback Aaron Rodgers will not be involved in picking the new Green Bay Packers head coach, as he also denied talk of him having a hand in Mike McCarthy getting fired.
McCarthy was let go by the struggling Packers after 13 years at Lambeau Field and one Super Bowl title, with his team slumping to 4-7-1 after losing at home to the woeful Arizona Cardinals.
Rodgers, the best paid quarterback in the league, has long been thought of as one of the best QBs in the league but just one Super Bowl title, from his only appearance, is a bad return given his obvious talent.
Although being an integral part of the team, and even though the new head coach’s job will hinge on how Rodgers performs, the quarterback will not be involving in the decision-making process.
"Obviously, he's free to provide input and talk to us," Packers president Mark Murphy said of Rodgers. "But he's not going to be a part of the process. The other thing I would say, Aaron was no part at all in the decision to move on from Mike."
Rodgers leaves coach decision to executives
For his part, Rodgers said he would leave the decision to the executives as he focuses on salvaging some pride in the rest of the season under interim coach Joe Philbin.
"I think that those are decisions that will happen down the line and right now I'm just focused on these next four games and the direction we're going with Joe," Rodgers said.
"I'm obviously an older player in the league, I still have a number of years on my contract, would love to still play to 40. I think there's an interest in who the next guy will be, but Mark and Brian and I have always had good lines of communication.
“Their offices, like they say, are always open. I've had conversations with them like I've had with Ted over the years. I'm not needing to be involved in that process."
While McCarthy has been on the hot seat for a while, some talk of a power struggle between him and Rodgers has emerged but the quarterback was keen to play down those rumours.
Getting the best out of Rodgers the key
Rodgers has not been at his best this season and, while McCarthy must shoulder some of the blame for that, Rodgers hopes it wasn’t purely down to him that the coach was fired.
"I hope that's not the reason," Rodgers said. "I think him and I, like any relationship, we have our amazing times, we have our times where we butt heads. But the basis, like I said, was built on mutual respect and communication.
“We spent a lot of times here talking off the field, in my house, in his house. We spent time together and growing our friendship and we accomplished a lot together."
The biggest indictment of McCarthy as Packers coach is that he only got to one Super Bowl, losing two other NFC Championship games during his tenure.
The Packers always seemed to have a chance with Rodgers under centre, but he never seemed to have the strongest team around him with offensive line and defensive troubles along with the lack of a consistently strong running game to lean on.
These issues will need to be addressed quickly by the new coach, with Rodgers just celebrating his 35th birthday on Sunday so time is running down on his best years.