Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari co-hosted Monday's Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin's live weekly football show.
Among the topics he touched on were dealing with finality, winning a championship and the 2015 Packers. The show can be seen live at The Clubhouse Sports Pub & Grill in downtown Appleton or at clubhouselive.com.
Here are select and edited answers from the interview:
Q: You just completed a season in which the team battled injury and adversity. How tough of a grind was it for you? And where are you at mentally right now?
Bakhtiari: Yeah, the season was tough. It was full of a lot of ups and downs, a lot of adversity. But then again, having a journey like that is also a lot of fun. Sometimes, facing all of the adversity and obstacles is, at times, pretty enjoyable - to see us go through the hardships, and then you really cherish the good times. It just sucks that it kind of was short-ended (in Saturday's NFC divisional playoff loss to Arizona). And of course, we all wish - players, coaches, the organization and the fans - we were preparing and talking (about the NFC title game) this week.
Q: How close are the Packers to being a Super Bowl champion? What's it going to take for that to happen? Just good health?
Bakhtiari: Honestly, not a lot. We are so close. From my past two years in the playoffs — last year and this year — we're a damn good playoff team, I know that. I know coming into the playoffs, we were a really good team. So we're just that close from the threshold of playing in a Super Bowl. It's just a matter of inches. That's why they say this game is a game of inches. And it's true.
Q: You know what everyone was going through mentally and physically, and yet you pushed the Cardinals to the brink of elimination only three weeks after they blew you out by 30 points. What does Saturday's performance tell you about the guys and coaches in your locker room?
Bakhtiari: One, we're fighters. And two, we didn't care what happened that last game. It's the playoffs, It's a whole different game. We came out and we were ready to play, and we were fighting. I don't think anyone who watched that game, and anyone who played in that game — there was fight all across the board for all 60 minutes. Sometimes, you've got to tip your hat. ... They're a really good football team, they battled and we battled. You want to win every game, but it's a little disappointing. ... It could have gone either way.
Brett Christopherson: 920-993-7117, or email@example.com; on Twitter @PCBrettC