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Tuesday, February 8, 2011 6:59:17 AM(UTC)
DALLAS -- There's no better excuse for a short night's sleep than winning a Super Bowl.
The Herd with Colin Cowherd
Packers QB and Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers dishes on what it means to win the Lombardi trophy, the performance of his WRs, his confidence, Green Bay's youth and more. Rodgers also addresses some of Colin Cowherd's previous criticism.
A bleary-eyed Aaron Rodgers glanced at the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Monday morning and talked about collecting a few more. So did his coach, Mike McCarthy.
Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to a 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers for the storied franchise's fourth Super Bowl title and 13th NFL championship. Before accepting the game's MVP award and a car, Rodgers spoke of the next goals for him and the team.
"I guess I ran out of motivations, huh?" Rodgers said with a chuckle. "I always look for challenges. The challenge goes to repeating. We've got one, so now what? Let's go get another one."
Rodgers guided the Packers to three straight road victories in the playoffs before Sunday's win over Pittsburgh that made Green Bay the second No. 6 seed to win a Super Bowl. He threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns against the Steelers' second-ranked defense, and the Packers displayed a resilience that marked their season.
Green Bay had lost 16 players to injured reserve heading into the Super Bowl, then defensive leader Charles Woodson (collarbone) and veteran receiver Donald Driver (ankle) went down Sunday.
The ability to rally when faced with adversity will serve the Packers well as they defend their first title since the 1996 season.
With a Super Bowl victory to call his own, Aaron Rodgers also earned a measure of vindication, ESPN.com's Gene Wojciechowski writes. Story
Charles Woodson broke his collarbone but the Packers battled back, just as they had all season, ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert writes. Story
Pittsburgh planned to take advantage of its Super Bowl experience, but often played like newbies, ESPN.com's James Walker writes. Story
The Packers managed to do the unthinkable -- turn Troy Polamalu into a non-factor, ESPN.com's Matt Mosley writes. Story
The game was great but seating woes capped a bad Super Bowl week for North Texas, ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer writes. Story
"I think the core and nucleus of this team is intact to make a run like this for a few years," Rodgers said.
McCarthy, who along with general manager Ted Thompson built these Packers, agreed with the quarterback he bypassed in the 2005 draft while the offensive coordinator in San Francisco -- something Rodgers frequently reminds the coach about.
"This is an excellent football team I feel will grow and get better," said McCarthy, who carried the Lombardi Trophy in one hand into a conference room. "You give a good message that it's about the team and growth and development."
And confidence. McCarthy had so much faith in his team that he fitted the players for championship rings the night before the Super Bowl. Rodgers missed that, however, saying he was taking a shower.
Somehow, he'll probably get his ring size measured.
"We've talked to the football team about being real confident and this was an opportunity to express that," McCarthy said. "The measurement of rings would have a significant effect on the team the night before the game."
In addition to rings, the Packers will also get to meet President Barack Obama, who spoke with McCarthy and congratulated the Packers on their Super Bowl victory.
Obama, a noted Chicago supporter, said "even a Bears fan" could appreciate what the win meant for the division rival from Wisconsin.
While McCarthy was fielding presidential phone calls, Rodgers spent the better part of his day in Orlando. The Super Bowl MVP celebrated the Green Bay victory with a ticker-tape parade through Disney World's Magic Kingdom a night after taking part in the 25th anniversary edition of Disney's "I'm going to Disney World" commercial.
Rodgers and McCarthy have a solid relationship, certainly stronger than coach and quarterback shared when Brett Favre was taking snaps in McCarthy's first two years with the Packers. Rodgers jokes that he still carries a grudge for not being drafted by the 49ers -- Rodgers was a college star at Cal and grew up a Niners fan -- but he's thankful to be working with an offense-minded coach with a keen eye for talent.
And Rodgers is over having to sit for three seasons behind Favre before getting a chance to start.
"That's kind of been my career journey, waiting for opportunities and then making the most of it," Rodgers said.
"Mike is a players' coach. He thinks there's a negative connotation to that, but to me it means he allows input from his players. He allows input in the schedule and the way we do things and he sets up a routine that allows players to be successful, and allowing the coaches to coach."
The future for Rodgers, McCarthy and the Packers is murky because of a potential work stoppage as the union and league negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. If labor issues get settled and 2011 is a normal NFL year, Rodgers can't wait to get started on defending the crown.
There is, after all, much improvement to be done.
"Being a perfectionist," he said, "there are plenty of things to work on and plenty of time to work on them."
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 2:55:14 PM(UTC)
There is no reason Aaron and the team can't set high goals for themselves.
I have to chuckle every time I see repeated storylines-
Mike passing over Aaron when he was the OC with SF. He may have had some input but there were a couple of people that had more say than he did.
Aaron having to sit for 3 years behind Favre. (not in this story- how he learned so much from the HOF QB)
Obama likes the Bears. ::roll:
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