Marcedes Lewis detailed tension between Aaron Rodgers, Mike McCarthy in Green Bay this season

As Mike McCarthy’s time in Green Bay came to a close this season, rumors grew of increased tension between the former head coach and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The once seemingly perfect duo — who reached the playoffs eight times together and won a Super Bowl — reportedly started butting heads this season as the Packers struggled. Rodgers even apparently started calling his own plays on the field, completely ignoring McCarthy’s play calls at times.

The Packers eventually fired McCarthy in December after 13 seasons, and finished the year with a 6-9-1 record while missing the playoffs for the second straight season.

Though a lot of the details of the reported feud between the two may never surface, Packers tight end Marcedes Lewis did say that what he saw in Green Bay this season wasn’t like anything he’s seen in his 13 years in the NFL.

“I think all of that stuff that happened towards the end in Green Bay all came from the top,” Lewis said on Yahoo Sports’ “Mostly Football” on Thursday. “I feel like Aaron had his own set of things that he wanted to do, then obviously McCarthy had his things that he wanted to do. I just think there was a little dysfunction.”

Lewis had just three receptions for 39 yards this season in Green Bay — his first with the Packers after spending 12 with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He did, though, have a front row seat to the growing beef between Rodgers and McCarthy.

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Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy's relationship
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Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy's relationship
Mike McCarthy, left, and Aaron Rodgers, right, during Green Bay Packers football training camp, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008, at Clarke Hinkle Field in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, right, congratulates quarterback Aaron Rodgers after Rodgers completed a 30-yard touchdown pass during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lambeau Field on Monday, Aug. 11, 2008, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) talks with head coach Mike McCarthy in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers of their preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008 in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy talks with quarterback Aaron Rodgers during a timeout in the first half of a NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008, in Seattle. Rodgers led the Packers to a 27-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks, breaking a three-game Green Bay losing streak. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy smiles with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 48-10. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy talks to quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and cornerback Charles Woodson (21) during NFL football practice, Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers face the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship on Sunday in Chicago. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, right, and head coach Mike McCarthy celebrate after the NFC Championship NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011, in Chicago. The Packers won 21-14. (AP Photo/David J. Philip)
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, right, talks with Aaron Rodgers, left, during practice, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, in Dallas. Green Bay will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL football Super Bowl XLV Sunday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers (12) is congratulated by Packers head coach Mike McCarthy after Jordy Nelson scored a touchdown during the first half of NFL Super Bowl XLV football game Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, left, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers celebrate after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in the NFL Super Bowl XLV football game Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy talks with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) in the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Grieshop)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers leaps into the arms of coach Mike McCarthy after throwing a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy talks with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) before an NFC divisional playoff NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers, left, talks to head coach Mike McCarthy during NFL football training camp Friday, July 26, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy talks to Aaron Rodgers during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy talks to quarterback Aaron Rodgers during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015 file photo, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and head coach Mike McCarthy celebrate after they scored a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif. McCarthy said Monday, July 25, 2016, Rodgers is in great shape as the team starts training camp, and that it's the best shape that he's seen Rodgers in their time together. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2016, file photo, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) chat on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla. McCarthy is confident that Rodgers and Green Bay’s struggling offense will get better. Two games into the season, the results have been uncharacteristically ugly. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, left, talks with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) before an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers smile during NFL football training camp Saturday, Aug 5, 2017, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy looks at Aaron Rodgers as he walks off the field after injuring his leg during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, in Green Bay, Wis. For the Minnesota Vikings, it’s more about whether Aaron Rodgers will have his full bag of tricks while playing with a knee injury than if he’ll be playing at all. Because the Vikings are thoroughly convinced that the Green Bay Packers quarterback will be in uniform on Sunday when they visit Lambeau Field. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer, File)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy talks to Aaron Rodgers during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 28: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers talks with head coach Mike McCarthy during the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 15: Aaron Rodgers #12 and head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers have a conversation in the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during their game at CenturyLink Field on November 15, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
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He even detailed one instance in a game where Rodgers blatantly ignored the play that McCarthy sent into the huddle, simply because he didn’t like it.

“One time I really saw it for the first time, we were in the huddle. I guess McCarthy called in a play, and Aaron was kind of like, ‘Nah,’ ” Lewis said. “He gave a direction and a protection to the line, and went. It was a four-minute offense, he threw a 40-yard bomb for a completion. I’m like, ‘What’s really going on?’ I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life.”

Rodgers does have one of the best football minds among active players in the NFL, which is why it makes sense that he calls his own plays and runs the offense from time to time. However, it’s incredibly hard to find true offensive success when the head coach and quarterback are never on the same page. A relationship like that won’t last very long — especially if the team isn’t winning.

After hearing Lewis’ account, it’s clear the disfunction in Green Bay was as bad as it sounded. It’s going to be interesting to see how Rodgers works with whoever the Packers hire to replace McCarthy full time next season — especially when he undoubtedly calls an audible and strays from the offensive game plan that coach puts in place.

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