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What'd They Say: Packers Talk About Vikings

While teams' personnel rosters often change from season to season, the Vikings and Packers have a lot of familiarity with each other.

Key pieces of the division-rival teams have stayed in place over the past several years, including Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Sunday's game will mark the 19th time Rodgers has faced the Purple and Gold (including one playoff game) since stepping up as the starting quarterback in 2008.

Rodgers has played in U.S. Bank Stadium only once, when the Vikings defeated the Packers in Week 2 last season on Sunday Night Football, but he's well-accustomed to the atmosphere of a Minnesota crowd.

"It's a loud environment. They've always had a great home-field environment – back when they were in the Metrodome … to now, it's a pretty stadium," Rodgers told Twin Cities media during via conference call earlier this week. "I'm not sure how the sunlight and the glass is going to mesh, but it's really loud. It was really loud Week 2 last year, and they've got some great fans there who know how to cheer.

"The Metrodome was a great place to play," Rodgers added. "I loved playing there, and hopefully we can get some wins in this new stadium, as well."

Sunday will be the seventh time that Rodgers has prepared for a Vikings defense under Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer. While Zimmer has only been in Minnesota since 2014, the Packers signal caller was acquainted with his defenses during his time as a defensive coordinator.

Rodgers referred to Zimmer as an innovator.

"He's brought some concepts to the league that other people have tried to copy, but not with anywhere near the kind of success he's had at both Cincinnati and now Minnesota," Rodgers said. "He's just a really smart coach and has his guys well prepared. They do a good job of disguising things and making a lot of looks the exact same and then running different coverages and pressures out of it."

Added Rodgers: "He's done some things that have been ahead of his time and people have tried to copy it, but they haven't been able to. I call that an innovator."

Here are some other highlights from the Packers talking about the Vikings this week:

Rodgers on Vikings DE Everson Griffen:

"He's a fantastic player. I remember watching him as a gunner on the punt team. I said, 'Who's this humungous guy as the gunner?' He's huge, he's fast. I remember a touchdown I threw to Jordy [Nelson] at the Metrodome where he almost caught him. He was on the backside of the play and almost ran Jordy down. We know about his athleticism.

"I just think that every year as a veteran player, you continue to master your craft. For him, he has all the moves. He's extremely strong, he has a great spin move, he can stab, he can speed-to-power, he can power-to-rip, he can walk a guy back into your lap. He can do it all. He's a fantastic player, and obviously you like to see guys like that get rewarded. I know he got a contract [extension], and he deserves that, and he's been a fantastic player in the division and the league for a long time now."

Packers WR Davante Adams on Vikings defense

"They obviously have a lot of speed, a lot of talent, in their secondary, kind of goes through the safeties. But Rhodes is definitely a respectable guy, a guy I've been battling with since I've come in the league. It's just about doing what you do and maybe altering throughout the game, depending on leverage and the way different guys are playing, but pretty much the same week to week.

"They know how to play ball. Each guy out there plays a crucial role on that defense, and they make it run pretty well."

Packers WR Jordy Nelson on consistency of Minnesota's defense:

"Just the continuity that they have. You can tell, especially on the back end, the way they rotate. They do a good job of disguising, and that only works if everyone's on the same page. Because you can't show two different coverages, because obviously then we know something's up. But they rotate well, they communicate well, and you can tell they're on the same page."

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy on Zimmer's defensive leadership:

"I think they're playing extremely well. I have great respect for the job that Mike has done in Minnesota and particularly his defense. Schematically and fundamentally, it doesn't get any better. They've got a lot of good veteran, excellent football players on all three levels of their defense. I think the vision that they're playing with is outstanding. It's sound. They're playing at a high level. I just came in here from the third-down meeting and they're number one in the league on third downs, so they're playing really well right now."

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