Rodgers has the final say

"I think (a franchise quarterback) really typifies what I am. I think I am a guy you can build around. My leadership style plus my skills combined make me the kind of guy you can stick in a situation and bring guys in to make me better and make the team better. This was my childhood team growing up and this whole process has been very surreal. I feel very confident that they have the right people in place in San Francisco to be successful." -- Aaron Rodgers

Q: How do you feel things went during your visit at 49ers headquarters?

Rodgers: It has been very exciting. This was my childhood team growing up and this whole process has been very surreal. I feel very confident that they have the right people in place in San Francisco to be successful. Just talking to coach Nolan and seeing how passionate he is about bringing this team back to the standards that they set in the late '80s and early '90s.

Q: Growing up in this region, do you know the pressure of being a No. 1 pick and quarterback of the 49ers?

Rodgers: I don't and I think that is a good thing. The only thing we talked about was making sure that I felt comfortable during the whole process and not to put too much pressure on me. Any expectation that the media and the team can put on me, doesn't meet up with the expectations I put on myself.

Q: Would you want to start early?

Rodgers: I would expect to be able to compete for the job.

Q: Would you be disappointed if San Francisco did not draft you?

Rodgers: Not at all. I just want the opportunity to compete for a job. I love the Miami staff and Cleveland organization. Obviously, being able to stay in the Bay and have a caravan coming down from Chico for every game would be great. I would be excited either way and it has been a great process.

Q: What are your impressions of the evaluation process?

Rodgers: I try and not look at it, but I have so many friends it is hard not to. My friends said Mel Kiper had me number one on the big board so I hear all about it, but I don't really get into that much because most of the guys really don't know what they are talking about.

Q: What's your strongest attribute on being the No. 1 pick?

Rodgers: The fact that I played in the West Coast offense and was very successful and accurate. It wasn't the shotgun the entire time and I will be able to step in right away. The kind of demand that was put on me as far as being involved in protection schemes and checking plays at the line of scrimmage in the West Coast offense. The fact that I understand the offense will allow me to play earlier.

Q: Will it be a major adjustment for someone that has not played in that offense?

Rodgers: It is a pretty big advantage. Dropping back and making a read is a big difference than catching the ball and being in the pocket already. No offense, (Alex Smith) is a very good quarterback and he put up great numbers, but it is going to take him a bit of time for him to get adjusted to doing that.

Q: Is the 49ers' offense similar to Jeff Tedford's offense at Cal?

Rodgers: The kind of demands are. As far protection schemes, check with me at the line of scrimmage and my role are pretty similar from play to play.

Q: Critics have said that you are a somewhat mechanical quarterback. What do you have to say about that?

Rodgers: I think that is one of my best attributes. The fact that I hold the ball so high and the ball gets out of my hand quickly. I do the same thing every time. The ball gets out of my hand quick and I have a lot of arm strength as well. Being mechanical is a good thing. I think it is better than holding the ball low and patting the ball. I do the same thing every time and the ball is high and I get it out of my hands quick and the defense can't react as quick. If the ball is low I don't have anyway to move into my throwing motion.

Q: Have you paid any attention to how other No. 1 picks have fared?

Rodgers: I watch the draft every year and I see how Carson Palmer and David Carr have done. I am excited about being able to make a name for myself.

Q: Do you think that you are a franchise quarterback?

Rodgers: I think that really typifies what I am. I think I am a guy you can build around. My leadership style plus my skills combined make me the kind of the guy you can stick in a situation and bring guys in to make me better and make the team better.

Q: Is there any quarterback that you see yourself as?

Rodgers: I am my own man and I am starting a legacy for myself, but I love the way Brett Favre plays. His physical and mental toughness are two of my strong points.

Q: Response to Braylon Edwards saying that a wide receiver could be drafted over a quarterback?

Rodgers: Braylon is a phenomenal player and a very gifted athlete, but a receiver catches the ball only a few times a game and the quarterback touches the ball every play. As far as handoffs, passing the ball and making checks at the line of scrimmage. My role on the team and importance to the offense is a little more important on each play.

Q: What point in your development did you think the first round would be a possibility?

Rodgers: I didn't think about it that much. Especially coming out of high school and not getting heavily recruited. I just wanted to move onto the next level. That was the same attitude I took in junior college. I just wanted to do everything I could to go Division I and once I got there, I really didn't think about it until coach Tedford sat me down in a meeting and told me I would be a great NFL player after I had a great career here. The more games I played and the better I felt about how I was playing and the more confidence I got, I started to think my childhood dream was achievable.

Q: Any thoughts of giving up football?

Rodgers: After my senior season, I wasn't getting recruited and I decided to play baseball. I wanted to get my school paid for to go to a good university. So I played baseball and during my season, the Butte College coach talked to me and told me to come and play football with them. I made it a point to say if I had a good season, I would like to move on after one season. He was very supportive of me in that decision.

Q: How would you describe Mike Nolan?

Rodgers: Very disciplined. He is a great leader. Very driven and he knows what he want and what kind of guys he needs to bring in. He has been on some very good teams and he wants to bring the right kind of person in here.

Q: Do you think you are the pick?

Rodgers: I hope so.

Q: Have you talked to Kyle Boller about Nolan?

Rodgers: No, but coach Nolan has talked to Kyle about me. I talked to him about transitioning to the NFL. He said enjoy it but it is going to be a long season. Your rookie season is going to be a long haul. Stick it out go through it and dive into the playbook and be ready to play right away.

Q: If you were coming off a 2-14 season do you feel the team has low expectations?

Rodgers: Not at all. Bringing a new coach in, bringing a top pick in. I think expectations are going to be high which they should. The Bay Area should expect this team to be a lot better this year.

Q: Do you think about being the first Bay Area No. 1 pick since John Elway?

Rodgers: Not really. I am just trying to be the best person I can be and make a name for myself.

Q: Have the 49ers talked to you about changing your mechanics and keeping the ball up high?

Rodgers: No, they haven't. They have been supportive. Everyone wants to know where I started that. Did I start it in junior college and I told them it is a Tedford thing. I love it and wouldn't change it. Being able to hold the ball high and get the ball out quick is a real advantage I have over other quarterbacks.

Q: Did you use the disappointment of high school to make you a better player?

Rodgers: Anything worthwhile in life is achieved through hard work. The same thing was true during my first season at Cal. It doesn't mean anything being the first pick coming in, because you are a rookie and you can't take college stats with you to the pros. You have to make a name for yourself and I am excited to move on and start a new career.

Q: Do you look at Eli Manning's contract and say that is starting point for you?

Rodgers: I really don't look into that stuff. Mike (Sullivan) is a great agent. He is the best contract agent. If the Niners pick me they are going to work something out and I am going to get to camp on time.

Q: Is there any way you will take a "hometown discount" to play with the 49ers?

Rodgers: I am confident that Mike and the 49ers will be able to work something out.


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