Just a day after ESPN host Pat McAfee said Aaron Rodgers’ weekly appearances during the NFL season were over, the New York Jets star reappeared on his show Thursday to talk Bill Belichick and Nick Saban.
Rodgers’ comments about Jeffrey Epstein, Jimmy Kimmel, COVID and Dr. Anthon Fauci ruffled feathers around social media. McAfee appeared to lament Rodgers’ comments, saying Wednesday he was “happy” it was over as the scrutiny was getting “real loud.”
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But because Rodgers was one of the last to speak with Belichick on the field, McAfee brought him back. Rodgers, for his part, stuck to sports as he talked about Belichick and Saban. Belichick and the Patriots parted ways while Saban announced he was retiring from Alabama.
“It’s too bad. Those are two iconic coaches. I think, in general, when we play this game, we love this game, there’s this idea about game-changers and people who actually change the game and in actuality there’s very few people who really move the game forward – players or coaches – but when you’re talking about people who actually made a difference in the game and moved the game forward and were trailblazers and game-changers, Bill Belichick and Nick Saban are those guys,” he said.
“Bill did things his own way and had a ton of success with it and people try to copy it and couldn’t do it. I think that’s the greatest compliment you can give Bill besides the respect of competing against him. And that’s what I always try to give when I saw him.
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“One of my favorite things about Bill is his love for the game, whether he’s talking about the top 100 players or watching some of those segments or whether it’s him and I BS’ing on the field before Week 18 – ultimately meaningless as far as in the standings – game about a 2019 game that happened at MetLife and throwing a backside post route to Allen Lazard in kind of a torrential snow down, was just the guy he is.”
Rodgers said one of the best things he remembered about Belichick was how he waited for him after the game during matchups between the Patriots and Green Bay Packers in 2018 and 2022.
“Arguably the greatest coach in NFL history and will probably have the record for wins, if he wants to keep going, in the near future. And he waited for me to finish my on-the-field interview to say something nice. So, I have a ton of respect for Bill and Nick as well.
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“Kudos to Nick on a Hall of Fame career and the amount of players and young men that’s he’s impacted is exponential. Bill, love ya man, so much respect. You changed the game and continue to do that. I know you will keep doing that.”