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Posted at 6:22 PM ET, 01/31/2011

Super Bowl live: The Green Bay Packers arrive in Dallas

By Cindy Boren

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."

By Cindy Boren  | January 31, 2011; 6:22 PM ET
Categories:  Super Bowl XLV  
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Comments

Comment on Rodgers,how he handled following the Favre legend. Did he learn anything from Favre? He will never come close to Favre, I can't believe he gives him no credit for what he did in Green Bay. He was and still is the best quarterback to play the game. But you know what goes around comes around and Rodgers will have his day to be picked apart.
Then we'll see what he has to say. Brett has only the best to say about Rodgers. I'm a 66 Year old Grandmother of 8 and 1 great grandchild and they all are Farve fans. I still back the Pack. I just really don't care for Thompson or McCarthy I think the situation could have been handled in a better way. Come to Green Bay, Thompson hides like a rat. You never see him in public.They wrote Brett off like he was nothing, can't wait till they're gone. Look at the way they handled the team picture, players in injured reserve, even though they are team members weren't allowed in the picture, come on!!!!! Ask McCarthy about it and you don't get a real answer. Its always 'We won't address that now. Thompson and McCarthy have luck on their sides now but I can't wait until they are put on the back burner as "has beens" . No 1 neither will ever come close to being a Packer Legend like Brett Favre.

Posted by: jrhjammer | January 31, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

JRH- I am a Packers fan as well and I was a Brett loyalist three years ago. I also wanted Ted Thompson to be fired at the time- not only because of how he handled Favre but also because the of the abysmal job he had done putting together a defensive secondary and an offensive line (ok, the o-line is STILL rather weak...).

I was wrong. Very, very wrong as a matter of fact. Are you serious when you state that Rodgers will never come close to Favre??!!! In terms of statistics like QB rating and average yards per season he has already surpassed Favre!!! Not to mention he is more mobile and is FAR better at avoiding the stupid interceptions that were an unfortunate Favre trademark. No doubt that Favre is a legend- and Rodgers may not have as long of a career as Favre (few ever will) so his CAREER stats may not be as impressive in the end, but his average per- season stats are already better that Favre was in his prime. Significantly better in fact. Oh, and if we win on Sunday he will equal Favre's Super Bowl wins.... Not bad at all for a third year starter.

As for TT, if you cannot see that he has put together the deepest roster in the NFL then you simply dont know a thing about football. Do you realize that the Pack had 16 (16!!!) starters go on IR this year and still they made it to the Super Bowl? No other team in NFL history has even made the playoffs before with that many starters on injured reserve, and the Pack made the Super Bowl. It was TT who built the roster depth that made this possible, and honestly it was McCarthy's PHENOMENAL coaching that kept things together when so many pieces started falling apart. That is fact, and basically indisputable.

Sounds like you are definitely a Favre fan.... Not so sure if you are really a Packers fan. If you are, you'd appreciate the magical season we've had, you'd appreciate just how good Rodgers is, and you would let the sloppy Pack/ Favre divorce live in the past where it belongs. And... as sloppy as it was on both sides, Favre is a TOTAL DIVA and was equally guilty. Again, I say this as someone who was loyal to him at the time.

Go Pack Go!

Posted by: brian1va1 | February 1, 2011 7:38 AM | Report abuse

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