Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on Clubhouse Live: 'Can't ask for more' playing in Green Bay
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling co-hosted Monday's Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s weekly football show. Packers wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown was Valdes-Scantling's guest.
The virtual show can be seen live on any of our USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Facebook pages or websites, including clubhouselive.com. It can also be seen on our YouTube channel.
Here are select and edited answers from the interview:
REPLAY: Watch Clubhouse Live with MVS and Equanimeous St. Brown
Q: You had to leave Sunday's game against the Lions with a back injury. What happened? How are you feeling? And will we see you back on the field in time for the divisional playoff game?
MVS: Yeah, I'm all right. I'm good. Tough guy. So, I won't be missing too much time. We'll be all right.
Q: In your opinion, what matters more when it comes to securing that first-round playoff bye: Getting guys rested up and healthy heading into that divisional matchup - even though you had a late bye during the regular season - or simply eliminating a game you would have to play to reach the Super Bowl?
MVS: All of the above. Obviously, the season is long. So it doesn't matter if it's Week 13 (of the regular season) or Week 1 (of the postseason), you need as many days off as you can because this is a very physical game. And we need to be able to have some guys rest, myself included. Because it's a long season, very physical game. And then obviously, one less game is always important. But I think the most important is having homefield advantage. Having people have to come in and play in this cold weather. There's not too many cold-weather teams that are in the (NFC) playoffs. I think Philly's probably the coldest team that has to play.
So any team that's coming up here having to play in these temperatures, they're going to feel it. And last year, we didn't really have a crazy amount of weather, to be honest. It was actually pretty nice for the NFC Championship Game. With the weather being how it is right now, if it trends in that direction, it's going to be pretty tough for anybody to come here and play in it.
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Q: There are four potential teams you could face in the divisional round: Arizona, the Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia and San Francisco. You played the Cardinals, Rams and 49ers during the regular season and beat all three. How beneficial is it to have that familiarity when you don't know who you'll end up playing? How much does that help in preparing for that game, assuming you end up taking on either the Cardinals, Rams or 49ers?
MVS: We've played three of those teams before, but none of that kind of matters because it's always about a 1-0 mentality. Because it's a new season. So, we haven't played any of those teams because things change. New guys come in. Guys get injured. New systems get in place. So, we're going to be facing a completely different team the second time around. And I think that's kind of how we've got to approach it. You never want to take a team lightly because you've already beat them in the regular season.
Q: Given what happened Monday with the Bears and Vikings firing their coaches and general managers, does it make you appreciate even more the consistency and success you have in playing for the Packers?
MVS: Yeah, obviously we had the coaching change my first year here. The coach got fired toward the end of the season ... so I had to go through that. But to go to two NFC championships, and then back to the playoffs with the first seed again, I can't ask for more. And obviously playing with the best quarterback to ever throw a football, that's always a plus, too. And then just having a lot of great guys around me to teach me and show me along the way so in Year 4, I can teach younger guys the standard keeps up - no matter what happens, and no matter what changes are made.
Q: Aaron Rodgers reached out to you at the end of training camp, after you had been released by the Packers, and had what he said was a "nice conversation" with you. He also said you are "a guy I trust a lot." You then signed with Green Bay to its practice squad and now find yourself back on the active roster. How much did it mean to you that Rodgers thought enough of you and what you can bring to the team to have that conversation with you?
St. Brown: It meant a lot. I didn't expect him to reach out to me (after my release). Definitely coming from him, the greatest quarterback, the best player on our team, it really meant a lot ... and it made me feel like he wanted me on the team. And I knew that at some point, knowing how the season goes and being here for four years, that I would have a good chance of making it back to the roster if I kept showing up and making plays.
Contact Brett Christopherson at (920) 993-7117 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @PCBrettC.