GREEN BAY, Wis. — In this week’s media session, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers discussed Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings, the upcoming game on the road against the Minnesota Vikings, and much more.
Here are five question-and-answer highlights from the interview with Rodgers:
1. Greg Jennings said in our conference call with him that he was just razzing you in some of his previous comments. Did Jennings burn a bridge here?
RODGERS: “You know, anything that’s said by individuals or pundits out there who aren’t in this locker room; I think I can speak for the guys, they don’t really factor into our day-to-day lives and we don’t spend energy thinking about those comments. We try and stay focused on the guys in this locker room, on this team, and what we have to do to get this team ready to play. There’s always going to be people out there saying stuff about myself, this team, or Mike (McCarthy) or Ted (Thompson). I think we’ve done a good job over the years just staying focused on what we can control and that’s our preparation and the way we play on Sunday.”
2. Do you have hard feelings towards Jennings?
RODGERS: “I don’t get into what is said out there about myself. There’s been plenty of stuff over the years since I was drafted, to when I was a first-year starter and we were 6-10. There’s always going to be things said and you just can’t focus on them. You can drive yourself crazy if you look at all that stuff or read stuff out there. With the way my life is right now and with my job as a leader on this football team and as a quarterback, I just don’t have the energy to spend time thinking about those things.”
2, b. You’ve remembered so many of the negative things said about you over the years, so how are you able to just forget the things that Jennings said?
RODGERS: “I didn’t say anything about forgetting; I just said focusing. It’s about what you should spend energy focusing on and thinking about and worrying about. Those are things that are important to this team. Those comments by anybody out there just aren’t important to what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to do some great things here, our team is. That’s what we’re going to focus on and as a leader what I’m going to focus on.”
3. Any concern about playing football when you see someone leave the field like Finley did?
RODGERS: “Yeah, it’s tough. I’ve been through a few of them now with Terrence (Murphy) my rookie year, and Nick (Collins) obviously; two big ones. Both guys drafted in my draft class. It’s tough. Very tough to see that, to see Jermichael on the field. It’s sobering about the kind of job that we do, and we put our bodies on the line and get paid very well. And there’s a lot of great things that come with it, but there is the health risk that we deal with. You don’t want to see it happen, whether it’s your guy or another team. There’s a semi, I think, a big-brother system that exists in the league where, hopefully we’re getting back closer to that where you look out for your fellow brother in the league. And you’re not intentionally trying to hurt anybody. I don’t think (Tashaun) Gipson was trying to hurt Jermichael. It was one of those plays where J-Mike lowered his head a little bit as his arms were getting grabbed, and those things happen. You hate to see a guy not able to walk off the field.”
4. Does the noise in Minnesota at the Metrodome (Mall of America Field) make you change your offensive game at all?
RODGERS: “It’s one of the, for sure one of the three or four loudest places. Obviously Kansas City and Seattle are very loud for outdoor environments. Detroit is a loud place, Atlanta is a loud place that we played in. It ranks right up there with those, if not more, especially when there’s a late third down in a tight game late in the fourth (quarter), it’s almost impossible to hear. So you really have to rely on the non-verbal communication and trust that everybody gets off on the count and gets off on the ball and does their job.”
5. Has Jared Allen replaced Brian Urlacher as the guy in the division you like to play against the most? And what does Allen do that’s so disruptive as a challenge for David Bakhtiari?
RODGERS: “(Allen) is a great guy to be around. I have a lot of respect for him. He plays the game very hard, he’s got a great motor, but I think he plays it clean. He plays between the whistles. He’s had some success against us in the past. He’s a great competitor; I enjoy playing against him. He gives you a lot of different challenges, especially for a young guy like David with the many things he can do with his pass-rush ability. Also really enjoy playing against Chad Greenway; had a lot of battles against him and got to know him briefly at the Pro Bowl a couple years back. I think he plays the game the right way, he plays it tough. He’s a smart, heady player and it’s a talented defense. Played against these guys, Kevin (Williams), Brian (Robison), E.J and Erin Henderson, a lot of games. I always enjoy the matchup, and there’s a lot of respect.”