Packers’ Aaron Rodgers discusses Christine Michael’s role, Mike Leach, Earl Thomas’ injury and more

Dec 8, 2016, 9:36 AM | Updated: 9:38 am

Aaron Rodgers says he's pulling for UW over Alabama and that he's a fan of WSU coach Mike Leach. (A...

Aaron Rodgers says he's pulling for UW over Alabama and that he's a fan of WSU coach Mike Leach. (AP)


LISTEN: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers on matchup with Seahawks

Following a fortuitous turn of events, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jim Moore had a one-on-one interview Wednesday with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose team is preparing to host the Seahawks on Sunday.

Moore asked him about a variety of topics, from former Seahawks running back Christine Michael’s role with the Packers to safety Earl Thomas’ injury to one of Rodgers’ State Farm ads.

Here are a few of the highlights:

On Christine Michael joining the Packers: “We’re just trying to work him into the offense and he’s an energetic guy and trying to find ways to get him more carries. Last week we did that. It was tough sledding on the field footing-wise, but we’re trying to find ways to get him involved because he brings a little something different to the backfield.”

On what the forecast for 28 degrees and snow in Green Bay means: “Both teams have to be in it. … There’s not many players born and raised in Wisconsin on this roster so we’re just a little more used to it maybe because we live in it during the winter time but, no, it’s another element that is an important part of the game.”

On which positions have advantages in the snow: “It depends on footing. A lot of times a wet field can maybe effect the pass rush a little bit but it also effects the run game as we saw last week, because it’s tough to get the back to the hole, but usually the field’s in better shape outside the numbers.”

On the loss of  Earl Thomas: “He’s a really good player. Tough to see an injury like that for anybody. It’s a league that is connected. We see people in the offseason and events, Pro Bowls and Super Bowls and different things where you run into these guys, and you hate to see it happen to anybody. But it’s a next-man-up mentality throughout the league so Steven (Terrell) is gonna get a chance to be out there and he’s played some good ball. Been in there a little bit when Kam (Chancellor) was out earlier.” (Editor’s note: Kelcie McCray filled in for Chancellor, not Terrell)

On Rodgers’ improvement over the past few weeks: “Just been executing a little bit better. I think the line’s done a real good job up front with the protection and (wide receiver) Davante (Adams has) had a good streak where he’s playing well, Jordy (Nelson) played really well last week. I’ve just been able to be a little more efficient than I was earlier this season.”

On the State Farm commercial where he throws a golf club: “That was a lot of fun. The things I tell people about that are, 1. I actually did throw a golf club through a window. They did some CGI. The window was actually taken out so I had to throw the golf club through the window and then they did another take long after I was gone where there was an actual club and a window that they did that was well done. The other part is that there was an actual person on set whose job was to monitor the fly. He was a fly trainer who had the fly on a string. And he was watching over the fly. I think his official title was fly trainer.”

On how you put a string on a fly: “You know what, that’s a great question and one of the great mysteries, I think, in this life.”

On the best golf course he’s ever played on: “I got to play Augusta this year and it is even better than you can possibly imagine.”

On watching Pac-12 football: “I was really hoping that Washington was gonna get in there because I follow the Pac-12, and then obviously the Wisconsin teams. I was hoping Wisconsin would win but obviously it seemed like that game didn’t mean anything and then Washington’s win obviously helped them get in there, but (former Cal) Coach (Jeff) Tedford was there as a consultant so I obviously followed that. I’ve always been a fan of Coach (Chris Petersen). I’ve always thought that his offenses, going back to the Boise State game was so fantastic when they played Oklahoma and the way they finished that game out, so I always followed them and I hope they pull off the upset.”

On whether UW stands a chance against Alabama: “Of course. Of course. It’s that underdog mentality, man. Coach Petersen, he’s been in that role before and he’s pulled some big upsets.”

On being a big Mike Leach fan: “I’m a big Mike Leach fan, really big. … We had Graham Harrell here for a long time and Graham was on his staff until this year when he went to North Texas. Graham obviously played for him at Texas Tech and just some of the stories over the years that I’ve heard and his interviews, going from fat little girlfriend interview to this year talking about who he sends out there for the coin toss and why. He was on my former teammate, and good friend, A.J. Hawk’s podcast as he was walking home from the stadium, which I guess he does … and I just find his interviews very entertaining.”

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