Packers' Rodgers welcomes duel with Brees
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- There was plenty to discuss with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers during his weekly media session on Wednesday. Following the controversial way in which Green Bay was dropped to a 1-2 record this season with the loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Rodgers discussed the public outcry from fans, fixing the offense, squaring off with Saints quarterback Drew Brees this upcoming Sunday at Lambeau Field and much more.
Five question-and-answer highlights:
1. What do you think about all of the outrage toward the NFL that has happened as a result of Monday night's game?
RODGERS: I think anyone who saw the play knows kind of what happened. It's something that unfortunately went against us, but we're actually moving on. There's nothing we can do about it. The NFL has made it very clear through their statement that they're moving on, so we are as well. There's no more need to put the blame on the referees. Everyone knows, when you see the play, what happened. We're going to instead choose to look in the mirror and realize that offensively we shouldn't put our defense in that position. We played very poor in the first half and didn't cash in and get seven (points) twice in the red zone. We take that on our shoulders. Obviously a lot of emotion after what happened, and even more frustration reading that bogus report that the NFL put out. So we're just going to move on and move forward and get ready for New Orleans.
2. Is this going to have a positive effect on the team, a negative effect, or no effect?
RODGERS: I think a positive effect. It's got to. It's a good learning experience for us. You hate to go through it but you have to understand there's sometimes things that are out of your control. Just talking to Charles, Charles was a part of the tuck-rule play back almost 10 years ago now. You hate to have to go through it, but hopefully we can build some character and we can learn something from this. I think one thing that we really learned from this is, as frustrating as it is, ultimately it's a game judged by people who are imperfect, and there's going to be mistakes. And you hate it that it affected us and we lost a win because of it, but there's a lot of blame to go around other than referees. They have a job to do, they're trying to do their best. They obviously didn't bring their best in that game and in that play, but there's a lot of blame to fall on the shoulders of guys like myself who didn't play their best game that night. As a man, I think it's more important that you stand up in situations like this and point the finger at yourself first, and let the opinions fall where they may.
3. What is your relationship like with Brees? Do you relish playing one of the other "elite" quarterbacks in the NFL?
RODGERS: Elite is an interesting word. Drew obviously falls into everybody's elite status. It is great, it's great to be friends with a guy like that, because he's got a lot of knowledge, he's played the game at a high level for a long time. We both reside in Southern California in the offseason and have spent offseasons working out together. I've always been impressed by his work ethic and obviously the way he plays. If we have a common opponent, it's always good to put his film on, because you can take away more from the way he plays.
4. Are the Saints more dangerous now that they could drop to 0-4 with another loss?
RODGERS: I mean, they're always dangerous. They're probably like us on defense, trying to find their identity with a new system and some new pieces. We've got to find our identity a little, quickly here this week and start to get back to the way we're used to playing.
5. What does the struggling offense have to do to get back on track?
RODGERS: There's a lot of things that we actually talked about in the preseason, when the questions were, 'How can you improve on last year?' It was a lot of things that the coaches told us. It was red zone TD percentage, third down percentage. We're at 40 (percent), I think, in the third downs. Our red zone probably is around 50, if not lower. You've got to cash in those opportunities, you've got to convert third downs, give you more opportunities. A game like (Monday) night is like the game against Chicago. You feel like you left a lot of points on the board.
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