Aaron Rodgers-Mike Tomlin in-game exchange explained

Aaron Rodgers is a big fan of Mike Tomlin.

The Packers quarterback and Steelers head coach shared a mysteriously positive moment during Sunday’s 27-17 Green Bay win.

Rodgers — during his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” Tuesday — played coy about his relationship with Tomlin, but spoke highly of the Steelers coach.

“I’m a big Mike Tomlin fan, I have been for a long time. I like the way that he speaks about his team and the way he goes about his business,” he said.

During Sunday’s broadcast, cameras captured Rodgers walking on the field, looking over at Tomlin and smiling and nodding. Tomlin returned the same gesture. The following Monday, a clip of the exchange had gone viral.

Rodgers continued, “I like his confidence. I’ve heard nothing but good things [about him] from guys that have played there. I like Tomlin.”

The moment happened when Tomlin called a timeout, which stopped Rodgers from catching the Steelers defense with 12 players on the field. 

In response to the timeout, Rodgers said he “respected” Tomlin’s move.

Aaron Rodgers and Mike Tomlin showed a little respect for one another during Sunday’s game.
Screengrab/CBS (2)

“He was kind of smirking about it. I like that,” he said.

Rodgers and Tomlin’s exchange had football fans speculating and predicting that the quarterback will land in Pittsburgh next season.

When McAfee noted the fan buzz about the possibility of Rodgers becoming a Steeler, the quarterback said, “I’m just speaking the truth. If you want to take that and run with it, say I’m angling for some sort of next team, I’m not. I’m just answering the question for my respect for what Mike has accomplished over the years.”

After Sunday’s game — which put the Packers at 3-1 heading into Week 5 — Rodgers was asked about Tomlin.

“It’s a lot of respect. I haven’t spent time with him, but I watched him from afar for a long time… a lot of respect for him,” he said, later adding, “I like his demeanor” and saying he “fits that Iron City perfectly.”

While Rodgers has not yet revealed his future plans, it’s widely believed he will exit Green Bay after this season, following his summer standoff with the team.

Rodgers missed training camp and preseason due to issues with the culture in Green Bay, and his apparent lack of involvement in franchise decisions.

He is under contract in Green Bay until 2023.

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