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Transcript of Aaron Rodgers' news conference

Apr. 26, 2013
 

Aaron Rodgers spoke to the media after signing a five-year, $110-million extension with the Packers. Here are some highlights from that interview:

Opening statement
Iíd first like to thank everyone who helped make this happen. Mark Murphy, Ted Thompson, Russ Ball, my coaches, Mike McCarthy, Joe Philbin, Ben McAdoo, theyíre all a part of this. Obviously, my junior college, high school and college coaches I owe a lot of credit and thanks to them for getting me to this point. Obviously, Iíd like to thank the organization, the fans for believing in me. Itís kind of ironic eight years ago, the Packers took a chance on me this weekend, took a chance on me again in 2008 afrter seven games and Iím excited to know my future is here and Iíll be here for a lot longer.

What does the extension mean to you?
It does mean a lot. It gives me the security knowing that I have a continued future here. It means a lot that they redid this with two years left on my deal, very thankful to my agent and Russ to be able to get something done. Itís exciting knowing Iím going to continue to have the opportunity to be not only the face of this franchise here but continue to have an impact in this community and the state.

Can team still add talent?
I am, I trust Ted and his staff and Russ. Itís exciting that Clay and I have both gotten our deals done and we can continue to take those leadership roles on the team and excited and what Ted and his staff is going to be able to do in the draft and doing things the way heís done it in his time and in my time here, drafting players, allowing Mike to raise them up through our program and signing the ones that deserve to be signed.

Humbling to be highest-paid player?
Yeah, it really is. I feel like I come from some humble roots and Iím very humbled to have this opportunity to play a sport that I love. Iíve been dreaming about playing since I was a kid watching Joe Montana and Steve Young on TV, now being able to live out that dream and be paid very well. Itís also a responsibility I take very seriously.

Respect important?
For me, itís more of a responsibility and the security knowing that my future is here in Green Bay. Obviously from the West Coast, Iíve spent eight great years here and learned a lot about myself and enjoyed my time here. But for me itís about the responsibility that comes with the opportunity Iíve been given and try to make the most of it.

Still have chip on shoulder?
Iíve got, as I was correcting Mike just a couple of minutes ago, we were talking about April 23, 2005 and he mistakenly said two days ago, eight years ago, and it was actually three. I have a good memory and Iím driven to be the best. Obviously, thereís a couple less critics out there now, but I still put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve the goals I set for myself here and enjoy trying to meet the challenge that those goals bring and also opposing teams bring.

Concessions to the team?
I think the deal is one that weíre both happy with and I trust that Ted and Russ and those guys and their ability to bring in players and make this team very competitive. Obviously, that whole personality department believes in Mike and his staff and their ability to coach and teach and demand and get the most out of their players. Thereís an expectation that guys like myself and Clay are going to continue to take advantage of leadershjip opportunities that we have. I like where weíre at. Obviously, there were some discussions about not doing a lot in free agency. Like I said, this seems to be the Packer way where you draft a guy in your system and you pay them.

Does money mean respect?
Having the respect of my teammates and the fans means a lot to me. This is a special place to play. You look on the walls around the facility as I was walking around a few minutes ago and realizing youíre among greatest. There have been a lot of players who have come before you and allowed you to have this kind of opportunity that we all have and I have. Itís fun to be a part of a special organization like that with an incredible fan base and the relationship with my teammates is very important to me. I think respect is something thatís very hard to get from all the guys, but it takes your character being tested at times and you playing well on the field. I think Iíve done those things and the guys respect me. Iím one of the older guys now. Iím not the oldest yet, but the longest tenured Packer now and itís an interesting position to be in. Iíve seen a lot of friends go to other places and you realize how special this place is when you hear some of the stories from those guys and you also realize how short this period is in our lives and you make the most of those relationships.Ē

On throwing support behind Geno Smith last night:
Tough situation that I was in eight years ago, but thereís a light at the end of the tunnel. As I got in that play in Detroit and it was snowing April 24, 2005, I didnít know exactly what I was in for. I remember a great conversation I had with Neil Diggs that I was reminded of yesterday and the excitement started to grow when I got to the facility when I saw some of the trophies and the names on the stadium. Itís been a great run and hopefully for Genoís situation heís going to have a similar opportunity and obviously heíll have a lot of people to prove wrong.Ē

When did the negotiations start?
Really this offseason we started talking. The Packers wanted this to be a priority. It kind of went from there and picked up some steam the last couple weeks.Ē

Comfort level with the supporting cast?
Very comfortable. I like what we saw with DuJuan Harris last year. I think he showed flashes of being able to make big time plays in this league. We have some other veteran backs , Alex Green, coming off some injuries and James Starks whoís made some plays for us. At receiver, I think weíre deep and have some young players who can make some plays for us. Randall had 80 catches last year, Jordy is a top receiver in this league and James led the league in touchdown receptions, and Jermichael is coming off one of the best years in franchise history for a tight end. I think the upside for those guys is great. Thereís going to be potentially more opportunity for those guys and opportunities for Jarrett Boykin and Jeremy Ross, and whoever we might bring in tonight or tomorrow. I like the way our offense is shaping up.Ē

Biggest obstacle in way of Super Bowl?
Itís like what we talk about during the year. You have to be playing the right way at the end of the season. You have to have a little bit of luck with injuries and you have to win playoff games. The first order of business is to get them all at home. That usually gives you a little better opportunity. Had that game been at home, you wouldíve had home-field advantage, a home crowd and things might have turned out a little differently. As they were, we were on the road in a tough environment. We won some of those games before, but it definitely makes it easier when you get can those games at home.Ē
Are you planning to give back?
Thereís a lot of things Iíd like to do, but I think itís important to make sure youíre doing it for the right reasons. Iím looking forward to the opportunities that this allows and continuing to support the MACC fund like I have been. Thatís very near and dear to my heart. This is gives me more opportunities.Ē

Important that this didnít get ugly like Drew Brees in New Orleans?
That was important to me, but I think it was natural in this situation because thereís a very good relationship there. It was the Packers wanting to make this happen. This was different in the fact there was two years left on my deal. They had to want to make this happen. Didnít matter where we were at or what ideas we had, it had to be the Packers being on board with this and for that I thank them and itís exciting to know I have the opportunity to finish my career and be a Packer for life.Ē

Do you have to be patient in NFL?
I think so. Itís different for a lot of those young quarterbacks now. when I was drafted, I had the good fortune of playing behind a legend and sitting for three years. A lot of these guys get thrust in right away in Year 1 or Year 2. (They) might not be ready to play at the highest level possible. Youíre seeing job security for not only for players but coaches decrease from the past as the emphasis on winning and winning now has become pretty clear. Coaches arenít getting maybe the three, four years needed to implement their program and get their players into it. So it often depends on the situation youíre in, which is kind of what Iím telling my little brother. Hopefully he gets in a situation where he can compete for a backup job because a lot of times itís about the opportunity and the place youíre at as much as it is about your immediate ability to be successful.

How much did you talk to Clay since you both have Dave as your agent
Not much about the deal. I was aware that they had been talking, but not a whole lot. I mean, this is a business decision and didnít really have a lot of conversation about it.

Contract runs out when youíre 36, plan to play it out and retire?
I mean, thatís a good question. I think I said pretty recently, Iíve played eight (seasons) Ė five as a starter Ė and I think I have eight left in my legs and body, at least, at a high level. So this is like many deals, a lot of times you donít see a deal all the way through if youíre playing well. itís just the nature of some of these contracts. Thatís a long way off. In order to even get to that conversation, itís going to take many years in a row at a consistently high level of play for me, which I expect to do and Iím going to get myself in the best shape mentally and physically to do that, and hopefully we can have that conversation in seven years where I can still play and maybe we can keep this thing going.

Who did you text to tell them about the extension?
The only people that I talked to initially were my mom and dad. I owe them a lot for the way they raised us three boys and values they tried to instill in us, so I wanted them to know before anybody else did, and I figured we signed the contract early in the day, and I was kind of waiting for my phone to start buzzing from the text messages, and a half hour or so ago when it started buzzing, I knew the news had gotten out and you know, itís fun to have a great support system and excited to be able to share some more memories with them here at Lambeau Field.

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