Aaron Rodgers talked this afternoon about staying in shape, improving, winning another championship, the lockout, and of course, golf, during an interview with media leading up to his participation in the 22nd annual American Century Championship golf tournament to be held in Lake Tahoe, Calif., in a couple of weeks.
While looking forward to playing golf in this great tournament, Rodgers also talked a lot about football and told reporters that the Packers are well positioned to possibly earn more than one more championship in the coming four to five years. He said that because of the team’s youth and experience, the sky’s the limit for a team that already has one championship under its belt.
Doug Etten, the sports editor at the Tahoe Daily Tribune in South Lake Tahoe, led the questioning off by trying to get Rodgers to talk a little bit about his folksiness and ability to stay grounded with his fan base … Etten asked Rodgers to confirm a story he had heard when Rodgers was a rookie with the Packers and attended a taping of Pack Attack, a Packers program based out of Wausau. After the program, Rodgers, as the story goes, agreed to give some of the locals a ride home and then proceeded to spend a few hours sitting around playing video games … “the story is true,” Rodgers said, but didn’t go into any other details, clearly diverting attention away from any talk about him being just one of the guys.
Etten also asked Rodgers about the expectations and any added pressure he felt in going into the tournament with a group of quarterbacks who are also very good golfers.
“Well, there is some added pressure but there are a couple of tiers of quarterbacks in the tournament,” Rodgers said. There are those like Tony [Romo] and Billy Jo [Tolliver] who are really good, and then there are the others [where Rodgers included himself]. There are some bragging rights … friendly wagers with some of the guys, but keeping up with Tony and those guys is not likely.”
Bill Huber of the Packer Report queried Rodgers about the fact that the Packers haven’t held any workouts and why … Rodgers said, “we had a great gathering [referencing the presentation of the championship rings] up in Green Bay,” but didn’t go any further into the issue. Instead, he deferred about the issue to those already addressed by Coach Mike McCarthy. The gist of McCarthy’s message was that holding informal workouts was more of a risk than reward.
When asked about his name being mentioned with the likes of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, Rodgers said that anytime he gets the chance he will watch film of the best quarterbacks. “I think it’s important to watch film on guys to try to figure out what they do well and incorporate that into your own game.”
Referencing his own experiences, Rodgers said, “I played behind one of the greatest quarterbacks” and said that was valuable in his development.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work out with [Drew] Brees the last couple of years. He’s a guy who works at his craft. I’m buddies with Tom [Brady] and any time you have the opportunity to have conversations with those guys and share information …” it is valuable.
Rodgers also said that he is always looking for ways to improve his game and also said that because he has a traditional player/coach relationship with those on the Packers staff, he is constantly learning. “I’m blessed with a coach that feels I’m not very good,” Rodgers said somewhat tongue in cheek, but with some feeling of belief that he can always use instruction.
“I focus in the off-season in getting in great shape. I don’t share the things I’m working on, but there’s always room for improvement,” he said.
When asked about the effect of the lockout on the perception that the Packers haven’t had the opportunity to fully celebrate their championship, Rodgers said he didn’t buy into that feeling.
“We’ve gotten so much attention … I’m not too worried about that. We got our rings … we had a great run … we had a lot of fun … and now it’s time to focus on next year.
When asked if he and the team were focused on winning another championship, Rodgers replied succinctly: “That’s the goal.”
Rodgers was also asked about the injuries the team suffered last year, the youth of the squad and the belief by many that this team may be in line to run the table on several championships, Rodgers said, “It’s too early to say … teams have four or five year windows and can make a good run. I like our chances … we’ve got a young enough team with enough experience to make a run consistently for the next four or five years.”
In concluding his interview, Rodgers was asked about the progress being made between the owners and players association in negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement, he said he liked the chances that something could be resolved soon. “How soon is soon? Hopefully we’ll get something done quickly.”