It's Rodgers fourth time through this process, and he wants to keep it as simple as possible. Aaron Rodgers and teammates met with the media on Wednesday ahead of their NFC Title Game matchup with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday evening. Based on the feeling this week, the Packer quarterback doesn't feel like this week is being treated like any other. "Feels like a normal Wednesday" Rodgers told reporters, and said that the key was to keep everything as normal as possible.
Every NFC Title game that Rodgers has been involved in has been on the road. Trips to Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta have given him some idea of what to expect, and while all had their unique challenges, the crowd noise was something that they were preparing for. "We've played in tough environments on the road.....We have to start faster than we did earlier this season and take care of the football."
Rodgers was complimentary of the players he would be lining up against this weekend. He called Dee Ford a "very disruptive player", was happy to see Richard Sherman "betting on himself" and producing, noting that he "never lost it" after his Achilles injury and that he is "one of the headiest players to ever play the position". He called Robert Salah's defense "a smart defense" and that "they do a really great job playing together". Despite the advantage San Francisco could have on the defensive side, Rodgers is confident in his offensive line. "They've had a really good season. They’ve started all the games together. I feel good about all the backups if they need to step in.”
Growing up in northern California, Rodgers had dreams of leading the 49ers to NFC title berths and Super Bowl championships. “I usually dreamed about playing for the 49ers as a kid, but obviously that thing passed a long time ago. I do remember some great games over the years between the 49ers and Packers.”
Davante Adams, another player hailing from California, says that the NFC Championship being close to home is a "dream come true". "There is going to be a lot of people there, that's for sure .... I'm a big family guy, so being able to have my family there to support, it's going to be awesome."
Adams also noted that having done so many reps with Rodgers in practice, he can "read his body language" and tell what his quarterback is planning on doing with the ball. "It doesn't always click (in practice), but once you get a certain amount of reps in practice, certain routes where I run the wrong route, he can tell by body language what will be done".
Aaron Jones, the player with the most touchdowns this season for runningbacks, said it isn't about one player getting the more touches, it's about the eleven players on the field. "When the attention is on you, it's not just you, you have help, you have your brothers out there with you." Jones emphasized that it is a "brotherhood" inside the Packer locker room this season. "It's as close as I've ever been in this league...groups of guys hanging out at once, going bowling, going to Bucks games, going to dinners... you can enjoy everyone enjoys hanging around each other."
The Packers will need that brotherhood to step up if they want to have success this weekend. Green Bay travels to San Francisco for the NFC Title Game on Sunday. The game can be seen on FOX at 6:40 PM ET.