Rodgers: 49ers hold special place in my heart

Chico native and Cal product Aaron Rodgers joined the 49ers writers on a conference call this morning. Rodgers, the starting quarterback for the Packers, opposes the 49ers for the first time in a regular season game. Rodgers said the 49ers still hold a special place in his heart. He said he holds no grudges against the team for not selecting him with the No. 1 overall pick in 2005.

 

Here is a portion of the conference call . . .

 

 

* * *

 

Here’s what Rodgers had to say:

 

–He said there were more emotions when he played against the 49ers in the 2008 exhibition season because it was played in San Francisco. “When you grow up fan of a team that doesn’t go away,” he said. “I have a lot of fond memories from watching them on TV.”

 

–Rodgers wore a Joe Montana T-shirt under his pads at Cal. Where is the shirt now? “Not sure,” he said. Rodgers has moved three times he said. It might be back in storage in Chico. “It’s not lost. It’s misplaced at the moment,” he said.

 

–Admittedly, I asked a stupid question. Last year, there was a lot of talk that the 49ers devised a defensive scheme with a lot more blitzes than usual for an exhibition game to make sure that Rodgers did not come into Candlestick and have a big game. My question was stupid because I asked if the 49ers wanted to make sure he didn’t have any success. Isn’t that the whole idea of playing defense? Geez.

 

“I’m sure they were trying to win the game,” Rodgers said. “That’s our philosophy (too). They smacked us pretty good. Other than that, I try to block out the memories of that game.”

 

–Does he harbor any ill feelings about the 49ers for selecting Alex Smith over him with the No. 1 pick in the draft? “No, absolutely not. I firmly believe things happen for a reason.”

 

–And what is that reason?

 

He said he was supposed to be picked by Green Bay and sit behind Brett Favre for three seasons before getting his chance.

 

–He did not want to play the “what if” game. “I don’t like to get into hypothetical stuff,” Rodgers said.

 

–Rodgers said 49ers middle linebacker Patrick Willis “makes it all go.” He said the 49ers defense is playing very well as a whole, and Willis is “one of the premier defensive players in the league.” Rodgers added that the front seven is solid and the guys in the secondary are making plays.

 

* * *

 

I also did a podcast with Frank Gore today. He will have a full work load on Sunday – and I’m not just talking about running and catching the football.

 

* * *