Aaron Rodgers Q and A

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by Sean Hamilton

wfaa.com

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 3 at 1:26 PM

QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS 

(on how practice has gone this week at Highland Park High School’s practice facility) “It’s been one day, but they have a great facility over there. I think about back to my high school days – I hope those kids realize how fortunate they are to be able to practice in a facility like that.”
 
(on whether they were limited by practicing at a high school facility) “No. The roof is lower than our indoor center in Green Bay, but other than that – we didn’t kick in there, but other than that it is not a big deal.”
 
(on what he has learned about leadership) “I learned a lot about how to motivate guys. As a young 18-year old, you’re trying to be the field general to guys who have been there and done that – had life experiences, been in the work force, been in jail, been in the military, had leaders before. Coincidentally, I also took a coaching class at the same point. That was one of my classes at Butte College – an elected class. It was taught by the basketball coach who coached for about 40 years and who also played in the NBA. It was a good time for me to take that class and learn how to be a leader, but also how to figure it out on my own.”
 
(on whether the spread offense against the Steelers exposes the Packers to the Steelers pass rushers) “We’ve had success with that against a lot of teams. It often defines pressure a little better in a condensed formation. It’s definitely been used at different times for us. We’ll see if it makes the final cut this week.”
 
(on Troy Polamalu) “He has great instincts. Any time you play against a guy like that who really understands the game – is a reactionary guy, makes a quick decision and goes at it 100 miles an hour, you realize he is a very special player. It’s going to be important to figure out where he is every play and try to get a feel for if they’re going to use him in their pressure packages or more in their coverage stuff as the game goes on. He’s definitely a talented player and very worthy to win the award he won.”
 
(on James Harrison) “James is a great player. He’s had a great season. He is a guy that you have to figure out where he’s at every play. He’s been a great player. I like his story – a guy who was released a couple of times with them, practice squad maybe at some point. He’s worked his way up and become one of the top players in the league.”
 
(on where he found the strength to take his ascension to starting quarterback in stride) “Having parents who raised me the right way really helped. Having a foundation and a passion outside of football so I didn’t get caught up with the way I was being portrayed or how well I was playing or how poorly I was playing. Having a good support system off the field has kept me grounded through this whole thing.”
 
(on how he would evaluate his play) “It’s probably not a fair assessment to those guys who have accomplished a lot more than I’ve accomplished.”
 
(on whether he is nervous about Sunday) “I’m excited. I might be a couple of minutes before the game, but I’m excited right now.”
 
(on how they are motivated my pictures of past Green Bay championships in their meeting room) “I gave Mike (McCarthy) that idea in the offseason. He might not tell you that, but a good friend of mine who is also a professional athlete, talked about how his coach motivated them in that way. I thought that would be a cool thing for us to see every day in the meeting room because we start a day off in that room. To be able to think about the entire season what we’re really playing for by having that empty picture up on the wall.”
 
 (on how he has spent his down time) “I haven’t been out carousing. I am a homebody so I’ve been spending a lot of time in my hotel room watching film. I think it is important at the same time that you are sticking with your normal routine. I like to go out to dinner when I’m back home in Green Bay so I’ve gone out to dinner, to a couple of really nice spots, and then come home, relax and watch film.”
 
(on whether you can over-prepare) “You definitely can over-prepare, but I’m going to stay focused and keep doing the things that I have been doing the past few weeks to prepare. Hopefully the rest of the team does the same.”
 
(on whether it is difficult to keep the same routine) “Not for me. I’ve been able to keep my same routine. Starting last week, with the kind of preparation I put in and this week just relying on that preparation.”
 
(on whether the team is going to script the first 15 offense plays for visualization preparation) “No. We don’t do that anymore. We thought about first thoughts – things we might call early on in situations. We don’t do the first 15. I think the biggest reason was we didn’t always follow it to a tee because things come up during a game that throws off your rhythm. So instead of trying to follow some script we just like to talk about first ideas instead of a list that we might not be able to follow.”
 
(on Bart Starr comparing the Packers five-wide to their sweep) “A comparison like that is a bit premature. I appreciate it. Bart is a great man and friend. They won a lot of championships with that sweep, but we still have a goose egg.”
 
(on how he feels about the game day schedule) “We’ve had a good opportunity to go through that schedule in the playoffs. We started late in Philly. We started late in Atlanta. We had a 2 o’clock game against Chicago. I think guys look forward to the extra amount of sleep on Sunday morning. We just keep ourselves on the same schedule – same wake-up call. It is a little bit different because there is only one bus system. I usually like to go over on the second bus so that I have an extra hour in my hotel room to relax and get my thoughts together. There is one bus. There are different times when you go out on the field as opposed to you usually go out 10 minutes before the game.”
 
(on whether James Starks has changed the Packers offense) “He’s given us a little more balance. Dramatically is too big of a word, but he’s given us a little more balanced. He ran great against Philly. The last two games his average has been lower, but he gives us a little more of a threat to run the football because he has had a little success.”
 
(on what the Packers have to do on Sunday to beat the Steelers) “We have to not turn the ball over. This team thrives on forcing turnovers and if we can hang on to the football and not turn it over we are going to have a good chance to win.”
 
(on what he is going to do to help the Packers win) “Not turn the ball over. Not fumble. Not throw it big. Not do anything real stupid out there.”
 
(on what the support of his teammates meant to him his first year as a starter) “That was huge for me. Those guys knew what kind of person I was and how hard I worked in the offseason, so they’d seen my work ethic. Them rallying around me and believing in me meant a lot to me.”
 

TRANSCRIPT COURTESY OF NFL Public Relations

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