(on no longer being overlooked)
I guess I ran out of motivation, huh? You know what, I’m always looking for challenges. I think the challenge now goes to repeating, scrutinizing this season, finding ways to get better. Obviously, being a perfectionist and having a quarterback coach who is as well, there’s going to be plenty of time to work on things and plenty of things to work on.
(on how he thinks he stacks up against other quarterbacks in the league)
Well, I was competitive last night. I need to play well for our team and Mike (McCarthy) and his staff had a great game plan. We rolled through some calls and I made enough plays to get the job done last night. As far as where I compare to other quarterbacks in the league, that’s for you guys to determine and talk about. As a kid, I always wanted to obviously win a Super Bowl. Now that I’ve got one, it’s like, ‘Now what?’ Let’s go get another one.
(on how he has typically been referred to as an underdog and how he reflects on his career after getting the opportunity to win a Super Bowl as a starting quarterback)
That’s kind of been my career there, getting my opportunity and making the most of it. In high school, junior college, Division-I, being a backup, getting overlooked on draft day, three years as a backup, finally getting an opportunity and making the most of it. This was another opportunity that doesn’t come around too often. I just wanted to make the most of it and we did. Great team, great locker room. I’m just glad to be a part of it.
(on if he got his ring finger sized with the rest of the team)
I actually missed the little table there. I didn’t get sized up. I was wondering when I was taking my pregame shower if that was a bad omen or not, to not get sized for my ring. Hopefully I can still get sized with that.
(on his relationship with McCarthy)
As far as Mike and I go, I’ve had a chip on my shoulder ever since he passed on me (in the draft) when he was in San Francisco. So maybe this will help to bring us together a little bit better.
(on if he thought the Steelers would try to knock him out of the game given his concussion history)
I don’t know if anyone ever tries to do that, but it just kind of happens sometimes. I was in the circumstance to have two concussions this season. That part of the game, it’ll show you how human you are and how important a head injury is and keeping your head safe is your livelihood. That being said, I don’t know if they’re out there trying to take me out, but they definitely brought a lot of pressure like they always do. They’re a great defense. I’m just very grateful, I know my family is as well, that Chad (Clifton) and Bryan (Bulaga) played so well and kept Lamarr (Woodley) and James (Harrison) off me.
(on whether he talked to quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Steve Young on how his life would change after being named Super Bowl MVP)
No, I didn’t. I didn’t talk to them about that stuff, but Steve and I have become good friends the last couple years. He’s been a great guy to lean on for advice. Similar situations, starting our careers out, following a legend in our respective cities. They both, during the week, said the same thing, keep the distractions to a minimum. Don’t alter from your preparation routine too much, which is easier said than done because there are a lot of things grabbing at you; family gets in on Thursday, then we go to dinner, obviously you are going to pay. There are a lot of distractions, but I think I managed them pretty well. I think you have to give Mike (McCarthy) credit for that, the way he put the schedule together this week. I stayed pretty focused and was able to get myself to Saturday night, where I really slept great. I slept eight hours. This morning, it was just like a home game. I think I slept so well because I was just confident in my game plan and in my preparation.
(on whether he talked to Young or Warner about the difficulty of making it back to the Super Bowl)
Yeah, I know it’s been awhile. I think this is the 11th or the 10th different team, in the last 10 years, from the NFC, to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. It’s a challenge, but I feel like we are kind of reloading. We are going to have the best tight end in the NFL back into the mix here. I think we are getting, I think 15 guys back from I.R. (Injured Reserve) I’m sure a number of those guys will be back. It will be a different team. Every team has a different face to it, every year, different players, guys come and go, but I think the core, the nucleus of this team is intact to make runs like this for the next four or five years.
(on whether he noticed any changes in Head Coach Mike McCarthy this year and how he thinks the players responded to that)
Mike doesn’t like to hear this, but he is a player’s coach. He thinks there’s a negative connotation there. To me it means he allows for input from his guys on a number of different levels and obviously he has final say, but he allows his staff to coach, he allows the players to have input. He has final veto power obviously and I think that’s his greatest quality is he allows input in the schedule, input in the way we do things and I think he’s really set up a schedule, a team, a program that allows his players to be successful and his coaches to coach and he’s assembled an incredible staff and a lot of high character guys. I have to give credit to (General Manager) Ted (Thompson) and Mike on putting this team together, but also to Mike for allowing his coaches to coach and his players to play.
(on how he managed his emotions with the magnitude of the Super Bowl)
I think early on I missed a couple throws. I was maybe, a little bit hyped up. I never felt the nerves. Again it just goes back to my preparation. When I get to Saturday night and Sunday gameday, if I’ve put in the time and the proper preparation, I feel like I should be successful on gameday. There aren’t any doubts, there was confidence there. It was no different last night. I felt good about the plan, felt good about the way I practiced, the way I prepared, the way I studied and just knew I was getting a lot of opportunities and expecting to make those plays that were going to be there.
(on who got him his championship belt)
That was sent to the hotel to my brother by some random person I think. But I actually had another belt that was sent to me by Dana White from the UFC with a nice note that Chuck Liddell brought over, who was on the field. I don’t know if anybody saw Chuck with the green mohawk, but he was definitely on the bandwagon last night, but I wanted to bring that one over. The belt is a situation that I don’t want to get too worn out because it’s just a fun thing I do on touchdowns, but my brother was having a good time with that.
(on whether it was his responsibility to take Steelers S Troy Polamalu out of the game)
He’s a guy that you have to be aware of him, where he’s at all times. He’s a great player, had a great season, but guys have to respect where my eyes are looking so it was important to me to use good eye control on the field and not stare anybody down because he can cover a lot of ground quickly and when he was down in the box, we made sure he was picked up in the protection schemes. A couple of times when he came on blitzes, we adjusted the protection to make sure we had him picked up because he’s a very talented blitzer and when he’s high, a deep safety, you just have to make sure you are good with your eyes.