GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers sounds slightly more excited about the Green Bay Packers‘ game in London on Sunday against the New York Giants than his coach.
So much so that Rodgers would have preferred to spend a little more time overseas.
Rodgers was not complaining or second-guessing Matt LaFleur’s decision to do most of their prep work in Green Bay, but after hearing his coach talk about how difficult the lead-up to this game is, Rodgers sound amused about the way coaches stress over every little detail.
“Listen, coaches are creatures of habit, even more than players,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “Anytime there’s a minute adjustment to the schedule, it throws them all out of whack. So I wouldn’t read too much into that.
“We’re all excited. I think the reason I said I wanted to go over early was just to experience a little bit of that culture, to be able to get out and see some sights and interact with fans and … shoot, go to a pub and have a Guinness or whatever the local brew is. That’s what we all want to do, those of us that want to go over early.”
Earlier Wednesday, LaFleur gave a measured response when asked how difficult this week is.
“I’m not going to give you my honest answer,” LaFleur said. “I’d rather refrain. It feels like a Thursday night game for us as coaches just in terms of all the preparation you’ve got to do. But you just do it, so it is what it is.”
LaFleur has coached twice in the London game — once during his time as an assistant with the Los Angeles Rams and once with the Tennessee Titans. After studying past plans and consulting members of his staff who have coached in that game before, LaFleur decided not to leave until late afternoon or early evening Thursday.
That means the Packers will fly overnight. By the time they arrive in London, it will be Friday morning. They have a practice scheduled for 1:15 p.m. London time on Friday.
“Obviously the time we’re leaving might put a little stress on the schedule,” Rodgers said. “But that’s way down at the bottom of the concerns.”
With the Packers and Giants each at 3-1, it will mark the first time in 32 NFL games played in London that both teams have winning records. Before this season, the Packers were the only NFL team that had not played a regular-season game overseas. Neither the Packers nor the Giants have their bye next week.
“Right now, just the way that we are going about it with our schedule, [we’re] trying to keep everything as normal as possible,” receiver Randall Cobb said. “Obviously, tomorrow we’ll be traveling, which is a little different, but I just try to put it in the mind frame of us going to the West Coast and having an extra day on the West Coast. We’ll see what it entails on the other side of it, but as far as here preparing, we’re preparing the same way to find a way to win a football game.”