Former Pittsburgh Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw has, for better or worse, never been one to mince his words. On the Moose and Maggie show, host Maggie Gray asked Bradshaw about his take concerning the rift between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
Rodgers has been vocal since it was reported the day of the NFL draft that he wanted out of Green Bay. Many sources speculate that the root cause of the dissatisfaction was based towards Packers GM Brian Gutekunst trading up in the 2020 draft to select QB Jordan Love and reportedly did not let Rodgers know.
Bradshaw didn’t hold back in his response: “It makes him look weak.”
It’s not the first time the Hall of Fame QB has been critical of a superstar NFL QB, as both John Elway and Ben Roethlisberger have been targets of Bradshaw’s ire. However, in those cases, there was at least something linking them. When Elway was the #1 overall pick in 1983, he was considered to be the best QB prospect out of college since Bradshaw 13 years earlier. Comparisons were made between the two, particularly in relation to how incredibly strong their arms were as well as their unique athleticism and mobility. Bradshaw took exception to Elway’s refusal to play for the Baltimore Colts in 1983 and again in 1990, as he suggested Elway had been treated soft by his coach, fans and the media. This, was of course, in contrast to how Bradshaw struggled to gain respect until many years into his career. With Roethlisberger, it was a matter of being a Super Bowl Championship QB for the Steelers. Bradshaw took strong exception with Roethlisberger’s off the field behaviors that if he owned the Steelers, he would have seen to it that Roethlisberger would not have been there.
Bradshaw mended fences with both Elway and Roethlisberger later in their respective careers.
But Bradshaw really let Rodgers have it out out of nowhere in comparison. Bradshaw took particular grievance that Rodgers was upset as he was with Green Bay selecting a QB for the future in Love and the reports that Rodgers would only come back if Gutekunst was fired.
Bradshaw, Moose and Maggie – WFAN:
“Him being that upset shows me how weak he is. Who the hell cares who you draft? He’s a three-time MVP in the league and he’s worried about this guy they drafted last year at No. 1?”
Bradshaw thought the Packers should call his bluff and let him retire and go host the game show “Jeopardy.” He also said that Jimmy Johnson once told him that when a player begins talking about retirement, they are “retired.”
In an ironic twist, Bradshaw mentioned that it didn’t bother him when QB Mark Malone was drafted with a 1st round pick in 1980 and that he looked forward to the challenge. However, according to Tony Dungy, this is not the way that Chuck Noll thought drafting Dan Marino in 1983.
Tony Dungy; “Chuck Noll His Life’s Work“, Michael MacCambridge, page 293:
“Drafting Marino, as much as Bradshaw says he didn’t care about his feelings and stuff, that would have killed Bradshaw, and he still thought he was going to play a couple more years. There was a lot to that. It changed the course of the franchise, for sure.”
The original TB12 has had a tumultuous run with the Steelers, both during and after his career. Yet he still remains our QB. However, we’re kind of glad he’s in the studio and not running the team, especially as Roethlisberger has truly turned his life around and it would not be the same without #7 in the black and gold. Be thankful our front office doesn’t think as rashly with their emotions as the 4x Super Bowl winner.
As for Rodgers, Bradshaw does pose some valid points though. Roethlisberger has been criticized his entire career, condemned for playing bad in a Super Bowl that he won, and never gotten so much as an MVP vote. Rodgers has failed in 4 consecutive NFC Championship Games, yet he seems to get a pass from the media. They blame the defense or coach and lump on MVP votes for Rodgers. If Roethlisberger lost 4 consecutive AFC Championships, the media would crucify him. It’s a shame we didn’t see the Aaron Rodgers that showed up for those NFC Championship Games when the Steelers played the Packers in Super Bowl XLV. After witnessing how weak he played in those games with the pressure on, maybe Bradshaw’s comments about “being weak” were on the money and it’s likely there would be 7 Lombardi Trophies on display in Steelers HQ.
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