“You can’t win like that. It’s not Green Bay Packer football, it’s not winning football.” – Aaron Rodgers on being sacked 21 times in five games.“The boy recognized me. He was really excited and said, ‘Mom, J.J. Watt is here.’ You could tell he knew I was a football player… It was one of those humbling moments that reenergized me and motivated me.” – J.J. Watt on being a pizza delivery guy.
Bob Costas interviewed Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt for tonight’s Week 6 edition of Football Night in America, which will preview Packers-Texans, and also includes highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 6 games.
Football Night In America, the most-watched pre-game studio show in sports, airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Costas hosting the program live from inside the stadium.
Dan Patrick co-hosts FNIA from Studio 8G at NBC's 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios and is joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com. Alex Fanagan will report from Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Calif. on the Giants-Niners game.
Below are excerpts from Costas’ interviews with Rodgers and Watt.
AARON RODGERS WITH BOB COSTAS
On being sacked 21 times in five games: “That’s a lot of sacks. We all take our part in that. Whether it’s a protection scheme or one-on-one battles or holding the ball too long, it’s something we need to clean up. Negative plays, sacks, penalties, those are all things we need to eliminate. You can’t win like that. It’s not Green Bay Packer football. It’s not winning football. We know that, we are trying to improve that, but it’s something that needs to happen quickly.”
On how becoming a celebrity athlete has changed his life: “I get recognized a lot more when I’m out. I got to do an awesome thing with you guys at the Super Bowl, and that gave my on-air personality some credibility. I’d rather wrap myself around the team and be a part of the team’s success. With that comes all the individual success I could want, and there is not much else I want.”
On the number of times fans on the street ask him to do the “discount double check”: “All the time. It’s been a blast and has been surreal. But that is probably the number one comment that I hear from fans, along with fantasy football.”
On what fantasy football players say to Rodgers: “There are fans of their team, and then there are fans of their fantasy football teams. The most interesting comments are from fans of other teams, who may on one side of their mouth talk trash, but then on the other side say ‘Make sure you put up points’ or, ‘Make sure you throw it to Jordy (Nelson) this week.’”
On the controversial call in Seattle: “It was tough. It was a rough situation. Unfortunately, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back and got us our real officials back. We took one for the league. Hopefully they will get us back now.”
J.J. WATT WITH BOB COSTAS
On his ability to knock down so many passes: “You come off the line, and pretty quickly you understand if you are going to get to the passer or not. You know if you have a good move. If you get stuffed with your first move, my immediate reaction is where are the quarterback’s eyes? If he’s looking in my direction, then I’m looking to see if he is cocking his arm. Once he cocks his arm, that’s when I jump. I understand there is a chance that I’m going to get hit. A lot of the time, their reaction is to punch me in the gut. And like I have said before, I’m not out here for a pillow fight. I’m not out here to be soft. They can hit me all they want. I’m ready.”
On being a pizza delivery guy: “It’s a great story. I had just left Central Michigan and I had six months before I started at Wisconsin. I was delivering pizzas. It was a good time and a good way to make money. I would work out in the morning and deliver pizzas in the afternoon.”
On a 10-year-old kid who opened the door and recognized Watt: “The boy recognized me, he was really excited and said ‘Mom, JJ Watt is here.’ You could tell he knew I was a football player. So I said, ‘I have your pizza.’ To which the kid said ‘Mom, why does JJ Watt have my pizza?’ It was one of those humbling moments that re-energized me and motivated me. I said to myself, I want to get back to greatness and be better than I have ever been before.”
On being a true athlete: “I pride myself on putting in the time and the efforts to not only make myself a big and strong guy, but also an athletic guy who can do multiple things on the field.”
On having a 55-inch standing vertical jump: “I can do 55 with no running start at all.”
On helping Costas get something off the top shelf: “I’ll stop by the Costas household anytime and help you out.”
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