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Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: "It's a talented group that is improving"


Q: I asked you awhile back if Charles Woodson had anything left when he signed with the Raiders and you told me that you were sure that he did. When you see what he's doing now at age 39, does it amaze you at all?

Rodgers:"In the most non-disrespectful way, it is very impressive. If anybody could do it, it's Charles because he takes care of himself so well. I think it's just the age thing. You don't expect a guy that age, especially a defensive player, to play that well, but he's playing incredible. He adds so much to a team. Besides the great things he does on the field, obviously he's had a lot of takeaways this year, fumble recoveries, interceptions, forced fumbles, but his presence and his leadership in the locker room are just things you just can't replace. I guarantee those guys over there are enjoying playing with him. My only advice would be just soak up as much as possible because that's what I did when he was here."

Q: Are there any guys in the league that are as respected as much as him?

Rodgers:"No, not a chance. Charles is one of the greatest teammates, leaders, winners in the history of our sport."


Photos from the Raiders VS Packers all-time series.

Q: What's it been like to have James Jones back? **

Rodgers:"James is a great guy to be around. He has a lot of great, positive energy. He's fun in the locker room. He's a consummate pro. He's always studying and prepared, taking care of his body the right way. He's a great friend. It has been a blast having him back. It doesn't happen a whole lot when you get to have some former teammates come back around, at least here in Green Bay, but it's been fantastic having him back. He's done a nice job for us on the field and has been a great leader for us in the locker room."

Q: Did it just pick up where you left off with him?

Rodgers:"Without a doubt. It was only about a year total of time we missed together. We picked things up quickly. Just like when he was here [before], we always have a great dialogue that's weekly and talking about different things and adjustments and things that he sees, things that I see. So we just kind of picked back up and got on the same page starting Week 1."


Q: What's been your observation of the Raiders' defense on film?**

Rodgers:"They have a couple of young guys who are playing some time for them in [Mario] Edwards [Jr.], [Khalil] Mack, and [Ben] Heeney. It's a talented group that is improving and playing well throughout the year. They dealt with some injuries at times, but they've added some pieces to the mix. I think it's a talented group; they're very well-coached. They run their stuff and they run it well. They've done a good job of obviously pressuring the passer last week and constantly with Khalil having the sack number. But it seems like [Curtis] Lofton, [Malcolm] Smith have him lined up well. There's a lot of discipline out there. There isn't any lack in gap control or coverages. They're definitely on the same page all the time."

Q: Have you had a chance to watch Derek Carr play and what are your impressions?

Rodgers:"Yeah, we've had a couple of similar opponents, so I've seen a little bit on him. I think he's had a great year. He has to be very happy about the progress and the plays he's able to make. Obviously, you're a lot more comfortable Year 1 to 2 starting. They did a good job of bringing in a stud like Amari [Cooper] and bringing in [Michael] Crabtree who is playing well, a good left tackle and leader in Donald [Penn], obviously the back, [Latavius] Murray is playing well. So he has a good group around him, but he really looks like he's coming into his own and playing really well. The franchise has to be really happy about the long-term future of Derek Carr."

Q: Did you hear from the Raiders before the draft? Were they ever on your radar at all?

Rodgers:"No they weren't. I hadn't heard from them and didn't [make a] trip there. I was wondering when they jumped up to 23 if they were going end up taking me, but they ended up taking Fabian Washington. But it was interesting there for a second, I was looking down at my phone wondering if it was going to ring there at the 23rd pick, but it never did."

Q: You haven't had a chance to play in the Coliseum yet, but have you ever been there?

Rodgers:"I actually went when I was in high school. My quarterbacks coach was the nephew of Ron Turner. Sorry, Ron also yes, and Norv Turner. When Norv was with San Diego, I came down to a game, Chargers against the Raiders. One of the things that I remember from that was watching Jerry Rice, who was a Raider at the time, go through his pre-game routine and it was very impressive to see him work. I think the Raiders ended up winning that one pretty good that day, but it was fun to be around. The atmosphere was incredible. Obviously if you're a fan of the NFL, you know about the Black Hole and how important the team is to the community."

Q: So you never got a chance to meet Al Davis?

Rodgers:"No. He was on the starting line at my 40-yard dash at the combine. That's about the only time I've seen him."

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