What are your impressions on Aaron Rodgers? Is that one of the guys at this point you aspire to be?
“Yes, every quarterback in the league should be aspiring to play how he is playing right now. He is tearing it up. They got one of the most explosive offenses. The way the guy is throwing the ball around is great.”
Can you respond to what Rich Gannon said watching you in practice with bandage on thumb not thinking you are quite right?
“Obviously I didn’t hear him say that so I don’t really know what he said, but being out there you have to play well enough to win. The thumb has continued to get better and it’s feeling great. I would say nearly 100 percent right now, so it is not something that I am concerned about.”
Did you say it is near 100 percent?
“Yes. It feels basically normal.”
You are saying that it’s not an issue at all?
As one of the leaders on this team what have you said in the last 48 hours to players around you?
“Never proud about losing like that, but at the same time we got to play. You got to get ready for the next game. The Packers are an undefeated team [and] probably the best team in the NFL right now – as far as going out and playing [and] executing. I just had a lot of personal talks with a lot of guys about just what we need to do to get back to playing our brand of football. Just going out and playing fast [and] competing. Get back some of that intensity that we didn’t really play with last week.”
Did you speak mostly to receivers, and running backs, and linemen?
“Yes, for the most part I talked to the offense, but I [also] talked to a bunch of the leaders on defense.”
To go back to your thumb is there a fracture or a lingering injury there?
“No, it’s just one of those things that – the Bears game I kind of strained it. Then right out of the gate at the Saints game it gets hit again and then it gets hit again and again. I am feeling really good about it because this past week [with] Houston I didn’t get it hit at all. It feels good. Maybe the Saints are going for it or not, I don’t really know. But no it really is feeling good. I feel like I am throwing it [well]. I went out and threw it in the walk-through [and] it felt good.”
Is it fair to say that when it was injured in the game it had an effect on how you threw or gripped the ball?
“Maybe a little bit, but at the same time like I said, being out there you can’t really make excuses for anything. If you are going to be out there playing you got to go out and prepare to play well."
With the way the Packers are playing is there a sense in this organization that if you guys don’t step it up you can be embarrassed by this team and does that drive you at all?
“The desire to win is what really drives me and going out and competing every week and wanting to win the games. So I wouldn’t say that there is any added anything this week. We know we are playing a good team. They got a great offense [and] really good defense. They are making plays. They are winning games. That’s how it is in the NFL [and] if you don’t come ready to play in any game you are going to get beat. If you don’t continue to compete you are going to get beat bad. Especially [with] a team that’s playing at the level the Packers are.”
Raheem Morris said he thought some effort was lacking on Sunday and would you agree with that?
“Yes. You talk about everything. Everything that goes into a football game and not everything is going to go your way, but one thing you can make sure goes your way every play [and] every position is effort. That’s really inexcusable for someone to not go out and give 100 percent on every play. It’s really disgusting.”
Is that part of what you said to some of the players?
“Yes, we talked about it. We have talked about [how] you got to go out and play with 100 percent effort. This leagues is so competitive [that] if you don’t go out and give it the best you have you are not going to have a chance.”
After Sunday’s game you mentioned that you feel you are a better quarterback this season than last season. Why do you think the numbers don’t show that?
“Tips [or] whatever [or] I haven’t got my direction. Just looking back to last year at this point yes I didn’t have nearly as many interceptions, but at the same time my completion percentage was lower. There were a lot more passes that I would say were questionable. Like why did you throw that? You shouldn’t have thrown that. This year understanding defense [and] understanding protection calls I feel like, in that regard, that my game has taken leaps and bounds.”
How do you think as an offense you get confidence back?
“I think we still have confidence. Guys have to understand that it’s a long game. It really is. One drive early on is not going to make or break you. You see last game for example we had some penalties [and] they caught some maybe phantom calls whatever you want to call them. Calls that guys didn’t necessarily agree with, and I guess we let it affect us somewhat emotionally. Where we were upset about that call rather than forget about that call and move on to the next situation.
“Like I said it is a long game and you kind of have to go about it [and] play with passion and play with intensity, but you have to play with your sights set forward. You have to. Otherwise if you are harping on things that already happened or worried about what the next call against you is going to be [or] what the next penalty is going to be, then you are not going to be focused on what you need to do the next play. I think that is a big part in this past week why we couldn’t really get anything going.”
What was Raheem Morris’s message to you guys on Monday?
“Basically the way we have been playing is unacceptable. Just we have to take more of an aggressive [and] intense approach in practice. You go out and that’s one thing you never want to be regarded as, but we haven’t been playing physical. We haven’t been out there whether it is receivers [or] whether it’s really anything you got to have the level and intensity and physically to compete with these teams.
“So we are throwing on pads the next couple days where we would only throw it on for one [and] having some extra periods. Basically he is going to say that you got to do it. Bump the intensity in practice and for sure you have to bump it up in the games.”