Transcript - Aaron Rodgers Conference Call With Vikings Media

After the (Favre) trade this summer did it ever feel like it got back to a normal training camp the rest of the summer?

It was definitely a training camp filled with a lot of emotions and a lot of different people involved in that. We tried to stay focused as a team on the things that we could control and the guys that were at practice and let the organization and Brett handle the other situation. Once that worked itself out we wished Brett nothing but the best in New York and we are focused on what we have to do to improve this year.

What are your nerves like this week?

I look at it as another game although, obviously, it's my first start and Monday Night Football and all that. But, my preparation hasn't changed. I'm just trying to get ready to be the best quarterback I can be and make good decisions on Monday night.

How are you able to make it just another game considering everything that has happened?

It is just another game. It's your attitude you take into the, it's your focus each day in practice and in preparation with the film study you do every week. It is just another game. Everybody outside of the locker room is gonna make it up to be a big spectacle and that's fine. The pressure I put on myself to perform and the expectations we have as a team will stay the same. To the 53 in the locker room it is just another game, but it's an important one to get off on the right foot.

Have you talked to Brett since he went to the Jets?

No I haven't.

Is that something you plan to do?

I'm sure we will talk. We had a really good relationship when he was here. We were together for three years. I'm sure once we both get settled into the season here we will be trading text messages back and forth.

How have the fans received you so far?

Fans have been really supportive. The ovation that we got when we took the field against Cincinnati was a special moment for our offense and definitely for myself, personally. The fans in the community have been really supportive and I think they're excited about the team that we're gonna be putting on the field this year.

Is there anything you give the offense that Brett didn't?

I just hope to play at a similar level to what Brett did that last season he had a great season. He passed for a very high percentage, got the ball out of his hands quickly and didn't take a lot of sacks and put us in good situations at the quarterback position. That's what our offense allows the quarterback to do, is get us in good situations on offense and get us out of bad plays potentially and make quick decisions. That's going to be my goal, to make quick decisions and not take a lot of sacks and hopefully move the ball up and down the field.

What about all the gambling and risk-taking he did, is that something you stay away from that could help the offense?

I'm just going to try and go through my progressions. This offense can really make the quarterback successful if you just take what it gives you. Coach McCarthy has been running this for a while and it's a very quarterback-friendly offense. There's a lot of options each play and if you just go through your progressions I think it's definitely a system that I feel like a guy like myself can be successful in.

If you had your druthers would you rather open up on the road against a non-conference team you might not face for another couple years?

I'm excited about playing Minnesota. It's been one of the best rivalries in football for a number of years. I think we've been playing for 47 years and the tally is very close. We play them twice a year, they're in our division, they have a very strong defense. I know there are a lot of high expectations in Minnesota this year and they've got a great team. It's going to be a really good test for us and we're going to have to play a very good game.

Nothing like easing you into the job, huh?

That's the NFL. There's not a lot of easy matchups, it doesn't matter who you play. The parity in the NFL has gotten to the point where there's not a big difference between the top team and the bottom team. Anybody can beat anybody on a given day and I'm excited about the opportunity, it's just going to be a big challenge for us because Minnesota's defense has a lot of very talented players and I'm sure they are gonna be ready to play us strong for four quarters.

During the offseason there was some talk that the Packers might change the offense to emphasize the run a little more and have more balance, do you feel that happening?

I think we want to get back to that balance. We haven't had a lot of balance in the last couple of years. Brett threw, I believe in 2006, over 600 passes and we were more like 55-45 or even higher than that pass to run. A strong running game definitely helps out a young quarterback. Bringing that eighth guy into the box can allow for better matchups outside. We've got a talented running back in Ryan Grant and a line that has been together for a few years now. I'm for whatever is giving us the best chance to win. If that's running the ball that's fine, if that's throwing the ball, that's fine with me as well. I just want to win games. The stats and the accolades and all that stuff, if you're winning games, that will come.

How much can you change the play from a run to a pass or pass to a run at the line?

I'm not really going to get into specifics like that. There's definitely a lot of freedom in this offense at quarterback.

Can you say if the first x number of plays will be scripted?

That's another schematic thing I'm not really gonna get into.

With Brett having been there so long, do you feel like you're going to constantly be under the microscope for this season?

I know that comes with the territory playing quarterback at Green Bay. I knew that even if Brett had stayed retired there would still be that comparison my entire career. I hope it is a long career here at Green Bay. Like I say we wish Brett well and we're focused on what we got to do. The comparisons and expectations and all that stuff is really coming from outside this building. The things that us as players are focused on are our own personal expectations and goals and trying to meet those.

Are you expecting the typical first-year struggles for a quarterback or is it different since you've been there for a few years?

I'm not expecting to fail, no sir, not at all. This is my fourth year in the league and my third year in Coach McCarthy's offense and I feel like my work in the offseason has really put me in a good spot mentally to understand the offense. I know there's going to be bumps along the road, there always is for first-year starters. But, I feel like the guys on our offense, there's a ton of talented playmakers we have. It's gonna be my job just to get them the ball and get the ball out of my hand quickly and let them make plays.

How do you feel in terms of comfort with those guys, like Driver and Lee?

I feel good. We spend a lot of time together in the offseason. We've had almost 100 percent participation in our offseason program. I've spent a lot time with Donald and Greg and James and Donald Lee and Ruvell and Jordy when he came in. I feel good about the continuity that we have and I think it will just get better with each game every week.

Do you have a performance clause in your contract where you get 10 bucks for every time you answer a Brett Favre question?

I don't think so.

{sportsad300}How curious are you guys to how he's doing in New York?

I've been focused on what I've got to do to be successful this preseason. We don't get a chance to watch a lot of the games, so I haven't really been following too much what's been going on. But I do know that there's a Brett on the Jets who has been having a really good preseason because he's from my junior college- Brett Ratliff. He's actually had a really good preseason from what I hear, I talked to my coach the other night. A lot of guys still have strong feelings about Brett and I'm sure they will keep up on him and I'm sure the media will keep us informed on what's going on with him.

Did you feel like you had to address any teammates that were on the fence about Brett coming back?

I didn't really want to deal with hypotheticals. If things had happened then that would have been a different story. We've got a good group of high-character guys that focus on the team. This whole situation is and was much bigger than myself. I just wasn't too worried about that stuff because once you put the pads on it's all about the green and gold and I knew the guys were going to follow whoever was going to be under center.

What are your thoughts on Jared Allen, what do you know about him?

I know he had a sweet mullet for a while and he had that cool sack celebration that I hope he doesn't get to do on Monday. He's a great player and he definitely adds something to their defense.

When you look at the Vikings defense what are your initial impressions?

Well, they got better. Which is amazing because they had a really, really solid defense last year. The front four they have, I'd put that against any front four in the NFL. The guys with Edwards and Jared and the two Williams in the middle, it's a very solid defense. I don't really see any weak spots. You've got a very solid linebacking crew, you've got maybe the best free safety in the game in Sharper, who is a ball hawk. Antoine Winfield may be one of the most underrated corners in the league as far as his toughness and coverage ability. You've got Griffin playing at a high level in his third year and the rookie in the secondary is doing a nice job. They've got it down on defense. I'd be surprised if they weren't in the top five in yardage if not number one. It's going to be a good test for us on Monday.

Is Grant up to speed after missing some of the preseason?

I think he's gonna be fine. We were one-and-done against Tennessee, we would have liked to get him some carries, but he's gonna get his work this week and be ready.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content