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Mike McCarthy Sends Clear Message On His Former Quarterback Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy

For the first time on Sunday, Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy will face the franchise and quarterback that he coached for 13 years.

McCarthy's Cowboys will travel to Green Bay to face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. McCarthy coached the Packers from 2006-2018.

So, of course, McCarthy fielded quite a few questions about Rodgers and the Packers when he spoke to reporters on Monday. He was very complimentary of his time in Green Bay, but he especially gushed about Rodgers. 

According to Jori Epstein of Yahoo Sports, McCarthy said he has "nothing but love and gratitude" for Rodgers, who he said "made me a better coach."

"Really looking forward to seeing Aaron," McCarthy said. "We've had great communication. I have nothing but love and gratitude for him. I think like anything in life, I think personal relationships are private, and you've got to remember, I was born in the 60's. I'm getting better at expressing myself publicly. Just a whole lot of appreciation, not only for him but for all the players, the team that we had there. We had some great times, great moments.

"When I think of him, when I think of all the one-on-one conversations that we used to have, especially in the younger days, it always ended with a hug and 'I love ya.' And that's, when I think about our relationship, I think he made me a much better coach. You're talking about a man who is one of the premier professional athletes of his generation. I spent the weekend watching him play. He's still playing at an extremely high level, just the fundamentals and the way he plays. He deserves all the accolades he receives."

McCarthy said he has "some great memories" with Rodgers and the Packers. He said he and Rodgers used to end one-on-one conversations with a hug and that the two still keep in touch.

While the Packers have struggled of late, particularly on offense, McCarthy still believes Rodgers is "playing at an extremely high level." Rodgers threw three interceptions in the Packers' 15-6 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, the team's fifth loss in a row.

Rodgers and the Packers might be hard-pressed to break out of that funk on Sunday against a Cowboys team that is coming off a bye and leads the NFL in sacks.