GREEN BAY, Wis. — There were no “Tombstone” references this week, but Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked back on the Week 1 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, looked ahead to the matchup with the Washington Redskins, provided his take on rookies Eddie Lacy and David Bakhtiari, and much more.
Here are five question-and-answer highlights from the interview with Rodgers:
1. The offense had five series in San Francisco that were three-and-out (concluding with punts) but four touchdown drives. What went right and wrong to produce such varied results?
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RODGERS: “That’s something we talked about: we’ve got to be more consistent, help our defense out a little bit. We lost the time of possession battle pretty significantly. That puts a stress on our defense, and we also had four scoring drives over 60 yards. So it was the good with the bad. You’ve got to clean that up and at least try — one first down a series is kind of the bare minimum for us. If you do that, you can semi-change field position. We didn’t do a good job of that.”
2. Did the success of the Philadelphia Eagles’ fast-paced offense against Washington on Monday night give you some good looks on how to defeat the Redskins?
RODGERS: “I mean, it’s a little bit of both. We both do some up-tempo. They have a quarterback who is substantially faster than I am, who enjoys pulling the ball down and running it in some of those read options. You’ve got to respect that. They did some really good things with the run game that we need to do. We need to run the ball more effectively and take some of the pressure off the passing game. Teams are going to keep daring us to run the ball; we’ve got to show them we can do it consistently.”
3. What do you think about Washington’s defense?
RODGERS: “I think they’re very well coached. They have a lot of guys who’ve been head coaches on that side of the ball, or coordinators on the defensive side of the ball. They have a good mix of veteran players and young players who are playing well. It’s a talented defense that throws a lot at you. Jim Haslett has done a great job everywhere he’s been coming up with schemes that give offenses issues, whether it’s overload pressure or other types of looks. I’m sure he’s going to have something cooked up for us as well.”
4. How do you think the rookies performed in their NFL debuts?
RODGERS: “It’s Week 1. We’re not going to put too much expectations on them, but I think David (Bakhtiari) and Eddie (Lacy) both had some really good plays on Sunday and had some plays they’d like to learn from. But that’s the beauty of film, and being critiqued very tightly which our coaches do at all position levels — my own included. There’s always nitpicking because we’d like to be perfect out there. We know that’s not reality, but we’re going to strive for perfection and grade each other and ourselves very difficult because we expect a lot out of each other.”
5. When young teammates make mental errors, how do you approach them in terms of looking ahead to the next game?
RODGERS: “Sometimes, it’s making sure you’re communicating to those individual people what they need to hear, and as a leader you have to find those different ways to motivate guys and also figure out how guys respond best when you’re in situations like that. It’s a learning experience. It’s a loud environment. You’ve got to make sure those guys know exactly what they’re doing at times before they get really comfortable. Reading body language and maybe some lip-reading at times because of the noise. But I’m really proud of those young guys. They prepared very well last week. If you look at our missed assignments, they were the lowest they’ve been counting the preseason, so that’s improvement. But again, we’re striving for perfection and we’re going to hold our guys to a high standard.”