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January 15, 2015 at 3:03 PM

Video clip and full transcript of Bobby Wagner’s press conference on Thursday at the VMAC


Q.Can you comment on their offense and how Eddie Lacy makes it better?

BOBBY WAGNER: I think he helps open up the passing game a lot because you’ve got to respect running like that how hard he runs. He’s a very tough guy to take down, big body. It’s a match up we kind of look forward to. We understand that they kind of complement each other well. If you get that running game going, it opens a lot of passing lanes for Aaron Rodgers, so we’re going to do our best to stop that run game and take down the pass game.


Q: How do you prepare for Aaron Rodgers?

BOBBY WAGNER: You know, watching that last game he was still doing pretty good. He stepped up in the pocket when he needed to. He was still able to find the passes that he needed to. We won’t see him   he’s kind of like a guy that’s always looking to pass anyway. His running ability, I don’t think we were even worried about because I felt like he always got his eyes down the field. Always trying to find that open guy. But we were going to chase him down whether he was healthy or not healthy.


Q: How does the noise affect your communication on defense? Does it make it difficult?

BOBBY WAGNER: Yeah, it makes it difficult. But like I said before, when I’m looking over and seeing the offense struggle more than I am, I’m not too worried about it. We’ve got hand signals. We’ve got all of the signals, so we communicate. We play so many times in the stadium that I’m used to it. Everybody else is used to it. It’s the other teams that don’t get the opportunity to play there eight games in the season.


Q: Could you talk about the relationship on the defense, some of the guys that are big leaders and where you fit in on that?

BOBBY WAGNER: Of course Kam IChancellor) is one, Sherm (Richard Sherman), Earl (Thomas), Mike B. (Bennett), KJ, (Wright) and I’m kind of just in the middle of everything. My job is to be in the middle of everything. Also, so the signal caller, making sure everybody’s in the right spot. Making adjustments when I need to, being as vocal as I possibly can on the field.


Q: When Kam is playing like he did on Saturday and making the hits he was making, what’s that do for the rest of the defense?

BOBBY WAGNER: It definitely gets everybody pumped up when you see Tolbert run through the Lane and Kam just knock him out. So it definitely gets everybody amped up. So he sets the tone when he’s out there and comes over and make big hits. You try to follow that.


Q: The physicality that you play with, do you find that when teams come out maybe a little jacked up, that we’re going to beat you to the punch, we’re going to be more physical than you, what’s that do to you guys? Like no, no, that’s not happening. How do you respond? Do you see teams come out and say we’re going to be the bully not you?

BOBBY WAGNER: Well, I mean, we do this every single game. So if they’re going to switch something up and try to change something, that’s them not playing how they are. We’re always physical every single game. So you’re not going to out physical us. There are not going to be too many teams that are going to out physical us because that’s just our nature. So you’ll have teams come in and try to do something out of their nature, and it doesn’t necessarily work.


Q: You were mic’d up on Saturday, and you didn’t sound surprised when Kam jumped over the offensive line for the field goal block. Why? Where had you seen that before from him?

BOBBY WAGNER: At practice.


Q: How? What does he do in practice that shows off that athleticism?

BOBBY WAGNER: No, we set it up. He ran it at practice. I seen him jump over it at practice and he cleared it pretty easily. So I figured if everything went right he was going to clear it easily. And they didn’t change nothing up the next play, so he did it again. And he probably could have done it again because they still kept their head down. I would have kept jumping over them if they’re going to keep their head down.


Q: On the mic’d up thing they also showed you telling Kam about a pick six would be really good. Was that right before that play?

BOBBY WAGNER: I don’t remember when it was. But I remember looking to him and saying these are the kind of moments that a pick six would be perfect right now. And there he goes and gets one, runs it back, does a little bam bam thing, and the rest is history.


Q: The last seven games playing in the fourth quarter only allowed 7 points. Why are you so good late in games?

BOBBY WAGNER: That’s what we do, we finish. Whenever a fourth quarter comes around we understand those are when games are won. That’s when big time players make big time plays. And that’s when the good teams show up. You can’t win games in the first three quarters. You have to finish the games off, and that’s what we pride ourselves in.


Q: Michael Bennett said yesterday he thinks your defense is the best in this era. Do you agree with him?

BOBBY WAGNER: We’ve got a lot of the era left, but I’m definitely   I definitely feel like we’re working our way to be a really, really good defense. If we continue to do the things we’re doing now and continue playing the way we’re playing and having y’all talk about us, we’ll be up there.


Q: Richard Sherman was in here yesterday saying about how young you guys are and how good you are at your age. Is there a conceivable ceiling of how good the defense can be considering how young all the talent is?

BOBBY WAGNER: I don’t think there is a ceiling, because a lot of our guys are 23, 24, 25, like we’re not even close to 30 yet. So we’re still relatively young. We’ve still got a lot of room to grow. We feel like we’re still good players but we can still get better at and still have room to grow. We feel like if we make those improvements, it could really be scary.


Q: What difference is it preparing for Aaron Rodgers compared to other quarterbacks?

BOBBY WAGNER: I think he does a great job of knowing where the ball is going to be at the right time. I think he does a good job of watching film and knowing who gets off the hash, what takes them off the hash, who doesn’t buzz or things like that. So these are the type of games where you’ve got to be on your landmark, got to be on the player you need to be on because he’s the type of guy that he’ll be looking to the right but knows the backside is open and throws it backside. So we’ve got to do a good job in coverage and have the rush do what they’ve been doing all year, and we’ll be fine.


Q: I know you’re downplaying the calf, and he did play well last week. But do you usually escape to the edges and do some stuff there? If he’s not doing that, does that make your job easier if you know he’s going to be in the pocket and not be able to move like last week?

BOBBY WAGNER: I definitely feel like it makes it a little easier knowing he’s not going to be mobile. But at the same time, he has another week to get healthy and he played a really good game last week. If he has another week to get healthy and he played a really good game last week, then you can’t underestimate that he can get better, and you can’t underestimate that he might in the week be able to make those plays. Because it’s not often, even when he was healthy, it’s not often that he runs. He runs when he has to. He’s doing a good job getting out of the block and trying to make those passes. But we’re going to do a good job of meeting him there.


Q: You mentioned teams playing out of character and trying to match your character. Against the Packers they didn’t throw it over Sherman on the right side. Do you feel the Packers changed what they wanted to do against you guys?

BOBBY WAGNER: No, I mean, if you look at last game. Somebody tried Sherman and picked it, so I wouldn’t change anything. I don’t know what they’re going to do. We can’t anticipate. We’ve just got to be ready for what they’re going to do. We’re ready for anything they want to throw at us. If they want to throw at Sherm, he’s going to pick the ball off. If they want to throw at Earl, he’s going to pick it, too. If they want to run the ball, he’s going to hit them. Whatever you want to throw at us, we’re ready.


Q: Has Kam become a more vocal leader this year?

BOBBY WAGNER: He’s definitely more vocal. That is probably his more vocal year because he got that leadership role early in the season and he embraced it. He started to speak a little bit more and communicate a little bit more and he’s done a great job.


Q: What do you think it was about him that made him a good choice for captain? It seems there are a lot of vocal guys on the defense, and lot of guys with accolades that would warrant that. But what was it about Kam that made the choice?

BOBBY WAGNER: I don’t think we pick anybody off accolades and stuff like that. We just picked somebody that everybody felt could be the leader and somebody that you could relate to and talk to and communicate with, and he’s that guy, a guy that everybody looks up to, a guy that everybody wouldn’t have a problem following.


Q: Do you sense the defense began to peak when you returned to the lineup?

BOBBY WAGNER: Maybe. I feel like it was us being healthy. But at the same time the time that I was out I wanted to come back and really impact and really show what I meant to this team: I can’t take all the credit, but I definitely wanted to make an impact when I got back.


Q: How hard was it sitting out? What was it like watching the game?

BOBBY WAGNER: It sucked. The first game, the first game I watched it on TV and that was terrible. And the second game I watched it, and I think we were at home. So they had to stop me from taking the brace off and trying to get in the game. And the third game I think we were playing the Panthers. I flew out to Carolina and had to watch the game in the locker room because I had just gotten my cast off. All that was tough, but all of that made me more hungry to get back. So I just focused on getting healthy, staying in shape, making sure my mind was up to par because my body was there but my mind wasn’t. So as long as I stayed right mentally, I knew everything else would take care of itself.


Q: How important has Kevin Williams been?

BOBBY WAGNER: For me he’s been great. He’s done a magnificent job and he’s in constant communication with me. Always asking me, hey, did that guy get up to you? Or hey, I think if I hold him a little longer, you can get over this way. So the communication has been great. He’s been doing a great job. He’s been a huge help to me.




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