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Conference Call Transcript: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Posted Dec 19, 2012

PACKERS QB AARON RODGERS

(on the Titans defense)

I’ll tell you, they played really good on Monday night. They created a lot of turnovers. They got in the backfield, were very aggressive in rushing the passer. I like to judge a team by kind of how they’re playing lately, and I think they’re playing really well. They’re an opportunistic defense. They have some guys with some ball skills in the secondary, they’ve got some athletic players. They’re very young overall. I think it’s a team that has a bright future.

(on the play of Randall Cobb)

Randall (Cobb) is a great player. He’s got a great approach to the game, studies the right way, asks the right questions, really wants to get into my mind, what I’m thinking, understands timing of routes and spacing, where he needs to be to get open. He’s a very good second-reaction player, good when he gets the ball in his hands. We try to get the ball in his hands in space to give him some room to run and make some plays. He’s got a really bright future for us, and I really appreciate the approach he takes to his job.

(on his impressions of Randall Cobb when he first got to Green Bay)

I’ve seen two rookies here in eight years who have really had that maturity about them, that when they stepped on the field, they knew they belonged, him and Greg Jennings. It’s no surprise those are two of our top playmakers and are two of the top guys I’ve seen in my time here. They’re guys that really get it, and they understand how to run routes and how to get open, they know they belong. They have a confidence about them that is contagious, and it makes you feel good throwing them the football, knowing they’re going to come up with it or nobody (is). They’ve both made a ton of big plays for us over the years. You just kind of knew when Randall (Cobb) got here, that he was going to be a player from the start.

(on if Randall Cobb’s role in the offense changes with Greg Jennings back)

It really doesn’t at all. Randall (Cobb) is our slot guy now and moving forward. He’s going to get a lot of reps inside and be a guy that is going to have to do a lot of things that slot receivers have to do. He really studies the game hard. He studies the best slot guys in the league, the Victor Cruzes, the Wes Welkers. He wants to be mentioned among those guys consistently. I think he’s going to be a big-time player for us for years to come.

(on if he expects Jordy Nelson to play on Sunday)

We’ll see. It’d be nice, but I’m not sure what his status will be yet.

(on if he thinks the Packers are more balanced on offense and defense this year than some of the past years)

That’s fair to say. I think our defense is playing really well, not getting enough credit for what they’re doing. They’re controlling the other team consistently and keeping us in the game and creating turnovers and doing a great job. We have some guys that have some big names on offense, and at times, some of our guys on defense don’t get the credit they deserve. They’re playing excellent. They’re playing at a really high level, and at times, they’ve carried us during this stretch.

(on the way outside linebackers have covered the slant route against him)

I think what I was trying to say is that when you’re playing a lot of Cover 2 teams, that the slant/flat concept is not a big thought because it doesn’t match up real well. Everybody runs that combination, everybody calls it probably something a little different. Most of the time, you’re looking for some kind of single high safety when you’re running the slant/flat combination.

(on the play of Casey Hayward)

I’ve been a big fan of him for a while, watching him when I’m watching my little brother and his games at Vandy. I was telling our scouts about him last year. That wasn’t the reason we picked him and I can take credit for that. He’s a big-time player. He really took a step once he got some experience in the games. I was talking to him a couple times during training camp, and saying, ‘Hey man, you have to play with that same confidence that you played with at Vandy.’ He was fearless and making a ton of plays and playing with a lot of confidence and swagger. He’s got that right now. He’s been playing excellent for us. Big-time playmaker, difference maker, lockdown guy in the slot. It’s tough to cover in the slot, but he’s making a lot of plays on the ball, intercepting passes. I think he’s got to be considered among one of the guys for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

(on if any of the Titans linebackers have stood out on film)

I think Zach Brown is a super athletic guy. I was impressed with him on film and then watching the Monday night game on TV. They obviously highlighted him a few times, but he flies around and he looks like he’s got real good instincts. He has the ability to make plays all over the field because of his extreme athletic ability. I’m impressed with him. He’s a young guy, and he’s got a bright future, I think.

(on if the chilly weather is an advantage for the Packers)

I don’t know how much of an advantage it is. We do practice outside a little bit. There are not a lot of men on our team that are native Wisconsinites. It can be semi-miserable at times depending on the weather conditions for both teams. We happen to practice in it a little more. I’m not sure what the weather is down there, but I wouldn’t mind heading down to Nashville.

(on how long it took him to get used to the cold weather)

The best way I can put it, I usually tell people is, I don’t think you ever really get used to it. You just get a little bit better at dealing with it, where cold becomes a little more relative. For me, I go back to California and it’s 60 degrees outside, and I’m in short sleeves and shorts, and other people are bundled up. Cold has a little different meaning for you. I don’t think there is anybody that really enjoys playing in it, but maybe we are just a little less miserable than opposing teams sometimes coming in.

(on the blizzard heading to Green Bay)

Yeah, that’s going to put a damper on the late Christmas shopping I’m trying to do.

(on trying to build momentum after they clinched the NFC North title)

Without a doubt, we’re going to play this thing out and try to keep the momentum we’ve built rolling into the playoffs. We’ve won eight out of nine. We learned last year that you have to be playing the right way heading into the postseason. We’re fortunate to have locked up a spot, but now we want to improve our seeding and be playing the right way down the stretch.

(on if he’s going to try to make it to Nashville to see Jordan Rodgers and Vanderbilt play in the Music City Bowl)

I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m going to try my darnedest.

(on his brother’s development as a quarterback at Vanderbilt)

I’m really proud of him, just as a big brother, to be able to watch his development from high school to junior college and then to live out his dream and go to a Division I program. To see the changes that have gone on at Vanderbilt, with Coach (James) Franklin, who was actually a coach in Green Bay my rookie year here, he was coaching receivers, and see what he’s done out there and the excitement that the program has now. They’ve won six games in a row and they’re 8-4 and back-to-back bowl games. I know personally, when I was at Cal, we came off of a 1-10 season a couple years before and went to two straight bowl games. It’s just exciting when you’re able to be a part of a program that is back on the way up. I know he’s really enjoyed his time there and has made some great friends. He really enjoys the coaching staff and knows that they’re in good hands moving forward with the direction that they’ve set and the players that they have coming back next year.

(on if he thinks that Jordan Rodgers is potential NFL material)

I hope so. I know he’d love to keep playing. I’m going to do everything I can to help him out to be ready for his Pro Day and an opportunity that he might get. I know he wants to keep playing and loves to play football.

(on if he thinks he and his brother can bump the Manning brothers off of some of the TV commercials)

I don’t know. Jordan (Rodgers) has to have a little practice first if he wants to step up to the big boys with me in my commercials. You can tell him I said that.