Super Bowl live: The Green Bay Packers arrive in Dallas
The Green Bay Packers were the second to arrive today in Dallas and Coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers addressed the media just moments ago. This is a quick-hit running transcript. (Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger transcript is here.)
McCarthy, a Pittsburgh native, spoke of playing the Steelers on Sunday. "I have a lot of memories of the Pittsburgh Steelers growing up. Personally, it's unique for my family and I. ... Growing up in Pittsburgh is a big part of who I am. But I am a Green Bay Packer and we are here to claim the Lombardi Trophy."
McCarthy said that the the last words "before we leave the locker room are going to come from our players. It's a players' game." Aaron Rodgers will lead the pre-game prayer, Charles Woodson will give the postgame speech.
McCarthy was asked, as he usually is, about a summer job working a turnpike tollbooth. "It didn't pay much. it was a summer job and it was something I felt I needed to do between graduating from Fort Hays State University -- you get your master's degree and you go collect tolls. It doesn't quite add up, but that was my plan and path. It was a good experience. It was something really just to make some money before the season started at the University of Pittsburgh, before we went to training camp. I know a lot's been made of it. I don't want to disrespect the Pennsylvania Turnpike, but I did my job. I studied when I was there when there were no cars coming through the booth. It was a good experience."
A Super Bowl first-timer, McCarthy said he isn't seeking advice from other coaches who've been to a Super Bowl. "We don't want to get too far away from our mode of preparation. We feel that's a strength, the way we prepare for our opponent and we're going to stay as true to that as possible."
A couple other quick quotes: "I think the future is bright for this football team." And, with a smile: "I'm going to enjoy this as little as I possibly can."
Rodgers quickly was asked about Photogate. Just as quickly, he dismissed it. "It's resolved. It's not an issue. I never felt like it was. There was nothing going in Green Bay that could be reported on besides that.'
Rodgers on his improvement. "We're always looking to improve. I'm looking to improve every offseason. I'm fortunate enough to be coached by one of the best coaches in the game, one of the best coaches I've ever been around in Tom Clements. We're daily looking at ways to improve. For me now, it's a lot of self-scouting and looking for ways to improve."
Rodgers was asked about the Packers' 37-36 loss to the Steelers in December 2009. "I remember we lost on the last play of the game. That was frustrating. We did some good things that game, moved the ball pretty well, had the good fourth quarter, scored three touchdowns, I believe, in the fourth quarter. Just unfortunately Ben [Roethlisberger] was incredible that day. I think he threw for over 500 yards and they beat us on the last play of the game."
Rodgers on the team's mindset: "This is the 24th game of the season. Twenty-four times we've had to get prepared to play. We're excited about this opportunity. It's what we started March 16th thinkin' and talkin' about and at the time it looked like a long way off and a lot of hard work. There's been a lot of ups and down between that day and this and we're excited about being here and about the opportunity."
The weeks leading up to the Super Bowl bring requests from everyone. "The toughest word to say, but the word most often used this last week was 'no.' A lot of requests, but i wanted to make sure that my family was here, my immediate family, my grandma and grandpa, who are very important to me, and some other close friends. ... With the number of tickets we get, it's hard to get everyone you want there and tickets are expensive, too. A lot of friends are going to be here on their own dime. I helped out as many as I can and now we can focus on football."
As for replacing a legend in Green Bay: "I reached out to a number of people during those times and was able to really get some great advice throughout the way. I think I just tried to stay true to my character during that time and was fortunate enough to be part of an organization that backed me and believed in me and gave me an opportunity."
"One guy I have gotten to know the last couple of years who has been a great guy to talk to and lean on and I've talked to this week is Steve Young. Steve obviously went through a similar situation in San Francisco when he took over [after Joe Montana] and I don't really want to share any of the conversation that we had because those are personal between Steve and I, but he's been a great guy to lean on for advice."
| January 31, 2011; 6:22 PM ET
Categories: Super Bowl XLV
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