MVS: Rodgers A Good Teammate, Doesn't Sugarcoat

Aaron Rodgers had a not-so-subtle chat with Marquez Valdes-Scantling before the rookie even stepped on the field last season

Tiki and Tierney
July 15, 2019 - 12:34 pm
Packers Marquez Valdes-Scantling

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Marquez Valdes-Scantling was a fifth-round draft pick in 2018. The South Florida product was immediately thrust into the NFL fire, which is what happens when Aaron Rodgers is your quarterback.

In fact, Rodgers had a not-so-subtle chat with Valdes-Scantling before he even stepped on the field.

“From the day I walked in, he told me what it was: ‘We’re going to need you to play, and you got to produce. If you don’t, you won’t be here,’” Valdes-Scantling recalled on Tiki & Tierney. “That’s just the bottom line. That’s what it is. You don’t want it any other way. Don’t sugarcoat it. That’s what the NFL is.”

Some rookies might get performance anxiety after a conversation like that. Valdes-Scantling, however, did not.

“At the same time,” he said, “(Rodgers) was like, ‘You wouldn’t be here if you couldn’t be here. We’re here for a reason, and we know you can play. Don’t be afraid of the moment because your moment is going to come. You got to go out and play.’ He’s been nothing but a good teammate to me. He’s open. The media makes him seem like this terrible person, and I don’t know why. I guess because he doesn’t talk much to them or he doesn’t give them much. I think that’s just why.”

Valdes-Scantling finished his rookie season with 38 catches for 581 yards and two touchdowns, but the Packers went 6-9-1 and missed the playoffs for the second straight year. Former head coach Mike McCarthy was relieved of his duties following a 20-17 home loss to the Cardinals in December.

“For me, it was crazy,” Valdes-Scantling said of the behind-the-scenes drama. “You hear all these great stories about Mike McCarthy and the Packers, and then you walk into it and it’s like, ‘Man, he’s about to get fired.’ I’m a rookie, I’m just trying to play, I don’t know what’s going on, it’s above my pay grade, I’m just trying to go and produce, and it was a crazy experience. Just a whirlwind. Everything you could ask for to not go right, it did. But it taught you how the league works. You got to produce.”

Rodgers, who finished with 4,442 yards, 25 touchdowns and two interceptions, was steady throughout the season.

“He kept it on the same way,” Valdes-Scantling said. “He just wanted to go out and win, no matter what the situation was. If he didn’t agree with the coach at times or whatever it was, he just wanted to go out and win. He made sure everybody understood that at all times: no matter what’s going on above us, we’re still out here to play football.”

Click below to listen to Valdes-Scantling’s interview in its entirety.