Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spent a little more that 10 minutes talking football on the Jim Rome Show on Tuesday afternoon. Here are the highlights: I like where we’re at, in the league in our division by a half game. I don’t thing we’ve played our best football, especially on offense. But it’s encouraging to see our defense play the way they did last week against the Jets and hold them scoreless. Offensively we can do a lot more. We’ve been hurt by some injuries, obviously, to a couple key players. We still feel like we haven’t made enough plays on offense and that starts with me. I’ve got to play better in the second half of the season. What kind of changes need to be made on offense? It’s tough when you lose a guy like (tight end) Jemichael Finley, who was such an integral part of our offense. He was a guy who really made things go and teams had to really find a way to try to slow him down, which opened up lanes for other guys. In his absence and Ryan Grant’s absence, we’ve seen a lot of two high safeties, a lot of seven-man boxes. So I think it’s going to be important for us, once the weather gets cold, we’ve got to find way to continue to improve our run game and that in turn is going to help get us those one-on-ones outside and that’s when we make our hay and Greg Jennings has really come on the last couple week and we’ve got to find a way to get him the ball as well. Who has the team managed with so many injuries and new players? I think it’s a couple things. A combination of good leadership in our locker room. Veteran players who’ve been able to hold this thing together. And the guys we’ve brought in have all had the right mindset. They’ve been hungry. We brought in Howard Green last week, who was cut by the Jets, and I think he really wanted to show those guys what they were missing. He played great for us. Charlie Peprah, who’s been cut by us a couple times, he’s been starting at safety for us the last three weeks and had a great game Sunday. Offensively we’ve lot Jermichael and Ryan Grant, but Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn have started to fill that void that Ryan left. And we have Andrew Quarless, a young tight end who’s been trying to do some of the things we did with Jermichael. Tom Crabtree and Donald Lee, as well, have been picking up some of the slack. It’s a combination of the guys filling those voids, improving their play and good leadership keeping the guys focused on the things that we can control. How’s the ankle? It’s fine. It was more of an embarrassing play than a serious injury. It one of thos things you’re looking at on film and Matt Flynn and Graham Harrell and my quarterbacks coach as well enjoyed giving me a hard time as we watched that play. I used to think I was kind of athletic, but that play shows something different. I’m going to be OK this week. We’re playing a wounded Dallas team. I’m sure they’re not anywhere near they expected to be this year. I have a lot of respect for those guys on that team, got to play with that staff at the Pro Bowl, I have a lot of respect for Wade Phillips, Jason Garrett, Ron Wilson. It’s going to be an important game for us to come out, get this win and go into the bye 6-3. On Dallas: From the highlights, it looks like they had a couple bad breaks offensively. But you look at their defense and it’s familiar faces. Pretty much the same guys they had last year and for whatever reason, as a unit they’re not playing as well as they have in previous years. But we expect their best football game. It’s Sunday Night Football, those games always add extra intensity to the fold and it’s Lambeau Field. A lot of teams come into Green Bay and they’re excited to play here and we know we’re going to get Dallas’ best shot. … They’re going to try to play hard for coach to keep his job. It’s going to be a tough game for us. Which win was more important, New York or Minnesota? The win over Minnesota was a big one for us. Confidence-wise, we were coming off two overtime losses to Washington and Miami – games we felt we should have won. Minnesota was 2-3, trying to climb back into the division. The implications of a division game and who we were playing and the additions they made to their team made it an even more important game, not only to us, but our fans. We were able to come out with a big victory and there was a different feeling in the locker room. That confidence was back. There was an excitement. The urgency from the previous week carried over. Offensively we didn’t play very well, but our defense and our special teams, you’ve got to give a lot of props because our punter Tim Masthay punted the heck out of the ball and made them have to go down a long field all day and propelled us to get that big win. How badly did you want the Vikings win? Well, that was a big win, definitely for our fans and for our team. Personally, it was nice only in the sense there was a lot of talk about our inability to beat the Vikings last year and obviously my inability to beat the Vikings. It was nice to put that one to rest for a little bit. … It was nice to get that win to kind of get over some of that talk as a team and move on. On the defense: I really feel those guys felt slighted by some of the comments made during the week. Our media was definitely talking about we were banged up, we have no D-linemen that can go, Barnett’s out and Al’s out and Atari’s out, Pickett’s out. We don’t have these guys playing. There’s no way we can stop them. … Most of our media guys were picking those guys to win. To have our defense play that way was incredible. It was just a different attitude. I felt our sideline was energized and maybe their team wasn’t playing with as much energy as we expected. On Clay Matthews: As we’ve told him, a few of us leaders on the team, he can do even more with his leadership role on the team because he has a lot of respect from the older guys by the way he prepares, by the way he plays on Sundays. We like giving him a hard time because he spent the last two training camps with hamstring injuries, but he’s a guy that shows up on Sunday and gets the job done. He’s got that cult following. I sent some pictures of people dressing up as Clay Matthews for Halloween. We like to say Cloywood around the facilities. He’s becoming a pretty big-time celebrity. If he keeps playing the way he’s playing, I don’t really care what following he’s got. ?
QB Rodgers: Locker room has been different since Vikings win
Nov. 6, 2013 11:21 AM
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QB Rodgers: Locker room has been different since Vikings win
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spent a little more that 10 minutes talking football on the Jim Rome Show on Tuesday afternoon. Here are the highlights: I like where we’re at, in the league
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