Goodness, gracious. I don't know how the guy does it. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers fields more asinine questions than anybody in the NFL. It sure seems that way to me at least. Rodgers is constantly being asked about Brett Favre, the transition to a new era in Green Bay, blah blah blah. Must be infuriating for a guy that's been unwaveringly polite but also consistently uninterested in providing any sort of interesting fodder when it comes to talking about Favre or his relationship with the former Packers legend.
As you'll see below, Rodgers couldn't escape the questions during his Tuesday press conference. Sandwiched in between all the unimaginative questions though are plenty of interesting tidbits worth reading as we continue with our Super Bowl week coverage here on SB Nation Pittsburgh.
Other Monday/Tuesday Press Conference Transcriptions:
- Brett Keisel (on SB Nation Pittsburgh)
- James Farrior (on SB Nation Pittsburgh)
- Mike Tomlin (on BTSC)
- Hines Ward (on SB Nation Pittsburgh)
- LaMarr Woodley (on BTSC)
- Dom Capers (on SB Nation Pittsburgh)
QUOTES FROM PACKERS MEDIA DAY
QB Aaron Rodgers
(On the lowest point of the season for him) "For me this season it was Wednesday and Thursday of the (New England) Patriots week because I had a concussion from the Detroit (Lions) game and had to go home. I'd been sent home from school before, but never from work. So it was tough to be away from the guys - I really missed them, missed being around them, missed the meetings, missed practice, and eventually had to miss the game. So that was the toughest couple of days there."
(On what he looks forward to the most this week) "The game. I enjoy this right here (the media session), but I get paid to play, not to talk to the media."
(On if he called Brett Favre or if Brett Favre called him to talk about expectations for the Super Bowl) "No."
(On his favorite quote or scripture or verse that gives him the most inspiration) "I've got a few. The whole psalm 91, and also John 10:10."
(On Bart Starr and what inspiration it has been to play for the same organization all these years) "Yeah, it's great to be able to play for the Packers. It's a privilege. Bart has been incredible to me - in the last three years especially - with the e-mails and conversations that I've been able to share with him. He's an incredible man and a guy I'd love to model my career after."
(On Cowboys Stadium and what he hopes the environment will do for the Packers offense) "I hope it's great. I hope it's great for our pass game. We've played pretty well in the domes. That's a pretty big screen up there - I'm sure (Packers punter) Tim (Masthay) will be trying to hit that in warm-ups. But this is a great stadium, a great set-up, and we're excited."
(On what the whole Super Bowl experience has been like thus far) "It's been great. It's nice to get out of Green Bay and get down here to this experience. Last night was exciting getting off the plane and seeing all the people there. It's a special feeling. This is what you dream about as a kid growing up in Northern California, watching the (San Francisco) 49ers win all those Super Bowls. It's special to be a part of this now."
(On what job he would like to have if he wasn't in the NFL) "I think if I wasn't playing in the NFL I would like to be in the military - my grandfather served proudly in World War II. So either in the military or some sort of sports connection, like coaching or administration."
(On what his expectations are for his first media day) "I'm just trying to get through this 60 minutes without saying anything stupid."
(On if Charles Woodson had any media day advice for him) "No, not really. He just basically said, ‘Don't say anything stupid.'"
(On who owns the Lombardi Trophy historically - the Packers or the Steelers) "I think they've (the Steelers) won it six times and we've (the Packers) only have three, so they have us beat right now."
(On the Lombardi Trophy being named after a Green Bay Packers coach) "Of course, well Green Bay is ‘Title Town'."
(On who the better quarterback is, him or Ben Roethlisberger) "[Laughter] I don't make those decisions or answers. I'll let you figure that out."
(On the toughness of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense) "Yeah, they have a great defense. They're very well coached. Coach (Dick) LeBeau is one of the greatest coaches this league has ever seen and he gets them prepared every week to play. It's going to be a tough challenge for us and we'll be ready."
(On the success the Arizona Cardinals offense had on their 2008 Super Bowl run and if that is a reference point for the Green Bay Packers offense against the Steelers) "Yeah, I've seen that film. That's one of the films that we watched this week - I've seen a ton of film. I mean you have to look at that, but also realize that was two years ago. The film we're going to focus on is more the film from this season."
(On talking to Steve Young and Kurt Warner earlier in the week and what they specifically told him about this week) "They said, ‘Good luck with the distractions.' I think that's what the biggest thing is, is trying to manage your schedule and keep it as similar as you can to what it would be like in a normal week. There's going to be a bunch of different things pulling at you - stuff like this (media session), your family once they get in. Thankfully the charter doesn't come in until Thursday. There's going to be a lot of different things that could disrupt your week if you let them, but they said just focus on keeping your preparation the same."
(On how his faith has helped him on his journey from a three-year backup to Brett Favre to where he is today) "I was fortunate enough to be raised in a Christian home and modeled what a healthy relationship looks like and what a God-centered life looks like as well. It's been a big part of my life. In the tough times I lean on him and my family, but it's been a lot of good times as well."
(On how faith has helped him lead the Green Bay Packers) "I just try to follow Jesus' example, leading by example. One of my favorite quotes is by St. Francis of Assisi, who said, ‘Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words.'"
(On what the bus ride was like to Cowboys Stadium) "A lot of guys we're sleeping [laughter]. It was a slow ride. We've been in weather like this. This was nice to be in this kind of venue. I'm happy to be here."
(On the biggest thing he learned from Brett Favre) "I think consistency. The best players in this league are consistent week-in and week-out, and that's something I've tried to do. It's important to be consistent not only with your preparation each week, but with your personality and trying to be the same guy every day in practice that you are on the field on Sundays."
(On what the biggest challenge will be for him this week) "I think just trying to keep on a schedule. It's important, like I've heard. You just want to stay on the same schedule you've been doing the entire season, so I'm going to try to stay as close to that as I can."
(On if his faith helps gives him the confidence he needs to go out and play every Sunday) "Well, that, and the preparation. I spend a lot of time preparing each week in the film room and at practice, I've got a great quarterbacks coach (Tom Clements). We watch film of the other team, we watch film of ourselves, and he's highly critical. He's also a great teacher. We're always looking for ways to improve."
(On the keys to victory) "I think the key to coming out with a victory here on Sunday is going to be the turnover ratio. You look at the last 10 Super Bowls and eight of the nine teams that have won the turnover ratio have won the game. So you can't turn it over against them and expect to win."
(On the international attention the Super Bowl receives) "I love the global nature of the NFL and the fact that it's spreading all over the world. We appreciate our fans everywhere. Thank you."
(On working out with Todd Durkin) "Todd Durkin deserves a lot of credit. He trained Drew Brees last year - he's pumping his chest up a little bit. Todd is a great trainer. He's really helped out myself and a lot of guys over the past couple years and I enjoy working with him."
(On how much time he gets to train with Durkin in the offseason) "Well, I get a month in the summertime and it depends on what happens Sunday how much time I'll have (with him)."
(On Jay Cutler) "Yeah, Jay and I are buddies. I really felt like some of the comments (toward Cutler's toughness) were definitely inappropriate."
(On if he thinks all the steps with concussion recovery are necessary) "I think it's a process that makes you be honest with the way you're feeling. I think the most important thing as a player and as a team is to make sure that you're not putting your player, or yourself, at risk by going on the field. I think the steps that the NFL has put in place are great. The testing - there's no way to skew the results on the testing. If you're not ready to go, like I wasn't ready to go against New England, then you're not going to play."
(On the transition the 49ers made from Joe Montana to Steve Young and if he would feel that same sense of fulfillment that Young felt after stepping in for Montana and winning a Super Bowl) "Not really. It would be a fulfillment of this season and nothing more. I think there's obviously other correlations that people are going to take depending on how we do, but I'm just focused on this season. It would be a fulfillment of a long up and down, adverse season with a great ending."
(On if he knows how unusual it is for a guy to step into someone's shoes and continue to make that team successful) "Yeah, I've been told it's pretty unusual. But I think I'm fortunate to be surrounded by a number of very talented men - coaches and players."
(On what type of relationship he had with Brett Favre) "We had a great relationship, a working relationship, and I enjoyed the time we got to spend together."
(On Green Bay's wide receivers) "My receivers make me look really good. I've got five really talented guys who I'd match up against any guy in the League. Greg Jennings is as good as any receiver (in the League). Donald (Driver), Jordy (Nelson), James (Jones), and Brett (Swain) all have a lot of talent and different things that they can do for us. It's tough for us to get them all on the field at the same time, but we try to draw plays for each of those guys every week."
(On if it if fair to compare the Packers offense to a type of Los Angeles Lakers fast-break offense of the 1980s) "[Laughter] No, I don't think it is."
(On teams that have lost a great quarterback and struggled to return to the Super Bowl and how he responded to that situation) "First of all, it takes more than one player to get to the Super Bowl. I knew once I came here that we had the nucleus in place to make a run when I became the starter. It's just a matter of executing and bringing in a couple more pieces. We brought in two big studs in 2009 who have made a huge impact on our team in B.J. (Raji) and Clay (Matthews) and we've added guys to the mix this year. A lot of guys we didn't really count on to start the season played big roles (for us)."
(On when the last time he spoke to Favre was) "This year at the Metrodome."
(On the Green Bay fans) "We've got incredible fans. They travel well. We had like 3,000 fans at the airport when we came back from Chicago, which was incredible. We had a bunch of fans see us off on Monday. It's a special place to play and I'm hoping that a lot of them will get down here."
(On why Green Bay is a special place to play) "I think the first thing you look at is there's no owner, so a lot of the fans consider themselves owners and personally invested - a lot of them are personally invested in the team. It's a college-like atmosphere in Green Bay. Everywhere you go you see green and gold, it's a first name basis, and there's just a special connection that's always been there between the players and the fans."
(On what makes people want to play in Green Bay) "[Laughter] Do they? I think you've got to give a lot of credit to our personnel staff. We got to have one of the top number of drafted players on our active roster and a lot of that goes to the scouting that those guys do. We haven't had a ton of big name free agents come in - other than Charles (Woodson) and Ryan Pickett - in the last few seasons, but it's a special place to play."
(On his relationship with Steve Young) "I reached out to Steve when I became a starter - among some other guys, too. I wanted to talk a lot of guys who'd been there and had success in the NFL. Steve obviously had a very similar being a guy who followed a legend. He's been great. Steve has been a great guy to lean on and he's made time for me and somebody who I really appreciate."
(On if he ever looks back on the year he was drafted and think about what could have been if he was drafted higher) "Things definitely could have been different. There were a lot of teams that passed up on me, but I'm just fortunate to be able to be in a situation where I got to wait for three years and learn and grow as a player and become a better player. Then when my opportunity came I knew I had to play well."
(On what it felt like to be named the starter in Green Bay) "I put a lot of hard work in. I think they knew what kind of person they were getting, and at the same time I hope they knew what kind of player they were getting as well. It gave me a lot of confidence that they stood by me through everything that happened. It was a trying time for myself and the organization, but the fact that they continued to stand by me and believe in me was definitely big for my confidence."
(On what his mindset was like during the time before he was named the starter in Green Bay) "I just wanted to be honest through the entire time. It was a difficult situation. It was tough to stand up every day in front of media not knowing what questions were coming at me and how the fans were going to react that day in practice. But the whole time the organization stood by me and they told the truth, and I told the truth, and we moved on together."
(On Donald Driver being more excited than others, knowing that this may be one of his last chances at a Super Bowl) "We all are, but especially a guy like Donald. You never know, this could be your last opportunity. Obviously we feel like we have a three, four, or five-year window right here to make a lot of these. But this is a special opportunity for him (Driver), Charles (Woodson), Chad (Clifton), and for a lot of our older players. We've put the time in and hopefully we can get them a win on Sunday."
(On if he ever doubted himself when he stepped in as the starter at Green Bay) "No."
(On seeing Kurt Warner taking the stage at the Super Bowl and what he has taken from that in the past) "Yeah, Kurt's a great friend and a great guy. He's definitely exuded a ton of class in his career, on and off the field. One of the things that struck me about him is the way that he honored his family and the past teams that he played for in his retirement speech. That was something special I think."
(On Troy Polamalu) "Troy's a great player. Definitely he's deserving of Defensive Player of the Year. He had an incredible season. Any time you play a guy like that you have to find where he is on the field. Baltimore didn't find where he was and he had a sack-fumble that ended up winning the game against them late in the season. He's a guy you got to account for. It's going to be most important for us protection-wise to figure out who's coming and find a way to block it up or get the ball out because they do a great job of disguising their blitzes and playing different coverages behind those blitzes."