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Players Have Plenty To Motivate Them

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by IronMan, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. IronMan

    IronMan Cheesehead

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    http://packers.com/news/stories/2008/01/21/1/


    Cornerback Charles Woodson reflected on the three championship game appearances in his career, two with the Raiders in the AFC and now one with the Packers. Only one resulted in a trip to the Super Bowl, and while an NFL title still eludes his grasp, it will be his sole focus.

    "I've been in this game three times," Woodson said. "I lost the first one, won the second one and then lost the Super Bowl. (Then) lose last night. I don't have a ring, so I think about all of those games. You think about plays in that game, you think about what you could have done differently to try to help the team win.

    "This is what I do. I've spent a large part of my life playing football. I've won at one level (in college at Michigan), but I haven't won a championship at this level. It's disappointing and I'll always think about it."

    PackersFellow veteran cornerback Al Harris said he'll think a lot about his own play in Sunday's loss to the Giants. He had a rough day trying to match up with 6-foot-5 receiver Plaxico Burress, who was on the same page with quarterback Eli Manning all day and had a monster game with 11 receptions for 151 yards.

    "I would say I lost my individual battle, which I haven't done in a while, and that's enough fuel right there," said Harris, who took nothing away from Burress' superb performance. "The fact that we lost, you don't want to lose and have a bad game on your end game, so that will fuel me."

    For some of the younger players, their motivation will be the desire to improve and grow as professionals, in order to make a greater contribution to another potential postseason run.

    Rookie receiver James Jones, like a lot of young players, will look to be more consistently productive. In this season's first six games, Jones had three games with at least 75 yards receiving, and scored two touchdowns. Over the final 12 contests, including two playoff games, Jones had just one 75-yard game and no scores.

    Packers"I just have to work 10 times harder," Jones said. "The things you thought you were good at coming into the NFL that didn't work out so well for you, you have to go back and touch on those things. There's a lot of things you need to work on. No player is perfect, so you can always improve.

    "I think it's a rookie season you can remember, but at the same time, but when you do remember it's going to bring a sour taste back in your mouth because you know you fell one game short of the Super Bowl. I know what I have to do to make myself better, and I'm going to do whatever I can to make this team better."

    Looking inward can be an effective way to focus on the future and not get caught dwelling too much on the past.

    "I don't sit there and try to forget and try to deny what had happened, but I don't allow it to debilitate me and make me not want to get up and start thinking about next year," third-year linebacker Brady Poppinga said. "It's actually the opposite. You start to get excited about next year because you want to go out and improve and get ourselves in the same position again."

    But Sunday's tough loss and the emotions associated with it will inevitably play into that, even for younger players that don't have other experiences or disappointments to draw upon.

    "Hopefully it's something that stays with us the rest of our career to keep us working harder," defensive end Cullen Jenkins said. "We just have to go in and put in the work and put in that much more to make it.

    "Anytime you get tired and you may feel like not doing something, you can think back to this feeling we're having now, and it will give you that extra incentive."

    Veterans and younger players alike, though, realize that this season's success and appearance in the conference championship doesn't give them any sort of head start on the rest of the NFL in 2008.

    They won't allow each other to take anything for granted, because they can't afford to in this league.

    "I don't think we really have to talk about it," Harris said. "I think guys understand that this is rare. The Bears were in the Super Bowl last year...(and missed the playoffs this year). So we have to come back and fight and we have to work hard and prepare and do the things that got us to this point. We know it's not automatic."

    They also know they're going to get a lot more attention before next season starts because they'll be coming off a 13-3 season and an overtime period from a Super Bowl appearance, as opposed to this past year when they were building on an 8-8 mark that didn't include a playoff berth.

    That will simply come with the territory, another challenge that awaits.

    "I think we've gotten more respect and there will be a little target on our chests," Poppinga said. "That's part of the developing into a successful team, and I think we'll handle it appropriately."
     
  2. packerfan4ever

    packerfan4ever Cheesehead

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    i think they will be up to the challenge :D
     
  3. JoshTheChild

    JoshTheChild Cheesehead

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    Is it september yet?
     
  4. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    No, still January. :(

    On the plus side, we have the draft coming up. :)
     
  5. JoshTheChild

    JoshTheChild Cheesehead

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    that is true zombie, that is what I am looking forward to
     
  6. eap33

    eap33 Cheesehead

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    Come oooooooonnnnnnnn Draft Day!
     
  7. JoshTheChild

    JoshTheChild Cheesehead

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    draft is in april which aint too far away I guess
     
  8. joym13

    joym13 Cheesehead

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    That's a great article! I think maybe in the long run, this loss will be a great learning experience. More so than losing to the Patriots in the Superbowl, since they would have been huge underdogs.
     
  9. mkapp

    mkapp Cheesehead

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    Look at all the "young and inexperienced" players that are now "playoff veterans"
     

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