Every morning, the fine folks at Sports Radio Interviews sift through the a.m. drive-time chatter to bring you the best interviews with coaches, players, and personalities across the sports landscape. Today: He's been invited, but just can't find the time.
Aaron Rodgers joined Darren Smith on XX 1090 in San Diego to discuss his painful draft-day experience in 2005 and to give his thoughts on the 2012 Green Bay draft class. He also weighed in on the Madden curse, Forbes' list identifying him as one of the most influential athletes in North America and his desire to host Saturday Night Live in the future.
His thoughts on the Packers' draft:
"I'm excited about the way it went - to pick six defensive guys with our first six picks. And we traded up a couple different times to pick guys, another second-round pick. I think we made some really good trades. We got a big D-tackle from Michigan State (Jerel Worthy) who we feel can come in and play, we got a guy that played with my little brother at Vanderbilt, Casey Hayward, who's going to be a really good player, I think, at corner. He had a big year last year with seven interceptions and a guy who's got really good ball skills. And then picking a first-round pick in Nick Perry from USC - a guy we really needed to play on the other side of Clay Matthews, to take some pressure off of Clay and put some attention back on the other side of the line of scrimmage, I think, is really going to help us. If you look at our season defensively last year, I think adding some guys who can get after the passer is really gonna help us, and then adding a guy in the back end who can catch the ball when the ball's in the air is only gonna help us."
On the team adding another former USC Trojan and no California Golden Bears:
"We've still got Desmond Bishop. It's tough - I lost a bet last year to Clay when USC played Cal, and had to wear that ugly red and gold on a national interview with Jim Rome. So that was frustrating. I need my boys at Cal to come through this year so I can repay Clay the favor there. But, you know, it's fun having Pac-10 guys and guys from California. We got a kid from San Diego State (Tommie Draheim) as a free agent who we really like, so the more California guys we can get out there the better."
On if the draft brings back memories of his infamous slide in 2005:
"Yeah, it really does. As difficult as that day was for me, I'm glad it wasn't scrutinized the way it is now. I mean, they make a spectacle out of the first round and the second and third rounds, having their own nights for those. The way they - the promo stuff they do. Now they've got all those experts breaking down each player. I think it might have been a little bit more excruciating to go through that process now, with the way those guys are in the spotlight, than seven years ago. But it turned out the way it was supposed to and I landed in a great spot, and I really enjoyed my seven years. I can't believe I'm going into my eighth season. I'm currently the second longest tenured Packer on the team. So it's fun, but it's also a good realization that it goes by quickly, and to try to enjoy it as much as you can."
On how much he paid attention to the lead-up to the 2005 draft:
"A lot. I mean, you can't help it - you're a part of it either directly through the pieces you have to do, but also you're in it, in New York. That year it was at the Javits Center, and we had a lot of events. I got out there on a Wednesday, I believe, and we were doing stuff all day Thursday and all day Friday and then the draft. On east coast time, you're waiting around for a while, and then you get in the green room and you're waiting even longer. So it was a great experience for me personally. I think, to be able to be humbled like that, you can really turn that around and make that a positive and gain a lot of motivation from an experience like that. So that's what I did, and I don't wish that on anybody else. A couple of guys have gone through some similar situations, but I think it really builds character if you use it the right way."
On dealing with a slide such as the one he endured:
"I think you have to go through it to understand kind of what that feels like and the disappointment, and the feelings of frustration and regret and second guessing that you have to deal with. I think that really just trains you to have a little thicker skin when, as a quarterback, you're scrutinized as much as any position in professional sports, and you have to learn to not get so high with the highs and, conversely, to be able to deal with the low points and use it as positive motivation. So it was great for me as a young player coming out thinking I was gonna be a No. 1 pick and step right into the situation. And to be humbled and to have to be a backup was something that really I think ultimately did a lot for me and my career."
On not making the cover of "Madden NFL '13″:
"I think, if history tells us anything, it's that a lot of the guys who've been on there maybe haven't had the kind of season they wanted that year. So I'm not gonna lose any sleep over it."
On Forbes identifying him as the sixth most influential athlete in North America:
"Discount double check, Darren. It's done a lot of me kinda getting my name out there, and it's been a great relationship with State Farm. So I'm really thankful to be able to have that, to have that commercial out there. I don't get into the whole ranking stuff, but it's funny to think about how a celebration that started working against our No. 1 defense to try and get under their skin, to try and make them play harder, has turned into something that is the most widely either move done to me or thing said to me."
On why he hasn't hosted Saturday Night Live yet (Eli Manning hosts this weekend):
"I have been invited. I have. I want to do it, I want to do it right. And the commitment that it takes, in my opinion, to do it the right way was just too much for me this offseason. So I will be doing that in the future and look forward to the opportunity. NBC has been great to me, and looking forward to getting on there. Peyton Manning set the bar pretty high, so it'll be interesting to watch Eli this week to see if he can live up to his brother's appearance on there."
On what he means by commitment:
"It's a lot of rehearsal, and I'd like to do it the right way - spend a week out there and spend time with the writers and the actors and put on a good show. I think, as we've seen if you watch the show, you can tell the people who really put the time in on it and the people who maybe couldn't make the same kind of commitment."
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