Here’s an interview with Packers kicker Giorgio Tavecchio I’m pretty sure you haven’t read – unless you’re a Packers fan in Italy. Journalist Giovanni Marino, a fan of American football from the Italian newspaper site La Repubblica, had a conversation with Giorgio recently, to talk about his early experiences as a Green Bay Packer.
As an added bonus, I’m going to translate it into English for you! Isn’t that nice?
You won’t have to go use Google translate, which composed a bunch of strange sounding English sentences when I gave it a try on the original article on LaRepublica.it. If you can read Italian, by all means, read it there.
The second part of Giorgio Tavecchio’s dream has just begun. “And I don’t want to wake up,” he jokes with his usual good humor and an admirable calmness. The young Italian is in Green Bay, and has just started a few days of long preseason workouts, which will prove decisive for his future. He is looking to steal the spot of Mason Crosby, Packers kicker and owner of a disappointing season last year. A chance at a spot in the NFL is so close, yet still so far away for the young hopeful from Milan. “My experience in San Francisco was important, I know what to do and I will. Then we will see what will happen,” he says with hope but with a great sense of realism. Here is the story of his early days with the most successful team in the United States.
Chatting with Aaron Rodgers, the tranquil champion who loves to kid around:
In Green Bay, Tavecchio has found a renowned college compatriot: Aaron Rodgers, just a few days after he became the new record holder of the largest contract in NFL history. Having both played at Cal, although in different years, has triggered an unlikely, but not negligible kinship (Aaron is one of the best quarterbacks ever and above all is the undisputed leader of GB). “Rodgers, in addition to being a champion, but this is known, is really a quiet person like maybe you never thought. Aaron is an absolute star, and yet his actions do not convey any of this. You can feel his leadership in the team, but at the same time, also feel that he exercises that leadership with a human and professional quality, never imposing himself on anyone with arrogance,” says Giorgio. “I spoke with him and we speak often about Cal coach Tedford and we both greatly appreciate and cherish fondly the experiences of those college times. Aaron encourages me and this makes me proud. He also loves to joke around, for example the other day he turned me around because I looked all uncoordinated during a stretching exercise. ”
The kicks by Mason Crosby:
There is little to be done, whether Crosby or Tavecchio. And in the harsh law of the NFL, the two are in competition, but of course we train together in these crucial weeks. How is my relationship with the incumbent kicker? “First of all, he is a decent person and so far has been very nice and friendly with me. I’m watching his kicking style; it is is fluid, secure, powerful. Simple. He makes everything look easy. On the other hand, you wouldn’t expect otherwise for a professional of multiple years in the NFL and, moreover, for the legendary Packers. ”
From San Francisco to Green Bay:
“Well, I love California, for me I think there is no better place. But Green Bay is not bad. Here the culture is football. They talk about it all the time and for someone who wants to play in the NFL it’s the pinnacle. Green Bay is a small town, almost a suburb, but the people welcome you with affection and the community lives the Packers 24-hours a day, including post-season. I miss the California climate – the cold here is a constant – and my family, but they call me every day to encourage me. ”
The lesson of the Forty-Niners:
“From the 49ers I learned so much. I realize that now that I’m back training with an NFL team. There, with the likes of David Akers, Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Randy Moss, Vernon Davis, just to name a few, I figured out how to act like a professional. I know they didn’t keep me, but I would not change anything about my time with the Niners. Many players from SF, when they heard of my signing with the Packers, contacted me to offer their congratulations.
The Packers Legend:
“My first few days we had a fixed schedule: wake up at 6 am, warm-ups and weights at 7.30. Then on to Lambeau Field, and there you feel the greatness of the Packers Legend. At Don Hutson Center there are fields indoors. On the field you train with the team and then, day after day, you do workouts specific to your role. The day ends around 8PM at the hotel close to the airport and I’m not sure of much after that. You go to sleep early. That is life as an athlete, which is essential to continue to dream … “.
Packers and 49ers: No difference:
“Both teams have history, titles and traditions. Hardcore fans. They are known all over the world. They have perfect organizations. You just have to think about doing your best on the field and leave the rest to them. You are given an opportunity to give your best. Whether the Niners or Packers, however, do not discount this fact: they expect great sacrifices from the players to improve their level of play. And that is only right, because they treat you with the utmost respect. ”
Coach McCarthy, Cobb and special teams:
“I’ve known coach McCarthy – the first impression I got is that of a very honest man of strong character. Open and direct. I met several players, exchanged small talk with Randall Cobb, a nice guy and sincere who always says what he thinks. The coach of my special teams is named Shawn Slocum, my companions are Crosby (k), Masthay (p), Goode (long snapper), and they are all very nice and motivated. I also made friends with one of the QB, BJ Coleman. We often talk about our experiences. In short, it is a competitive environment but intact and serene, despite the stakes. ”
“I’m getting in sync with my teammates, it’s going pretty well. We have just started with intense workouts specific to the gym. But the decisive phase, I know, will be the period between July and August. I know what I have to do better. Bring better intensity in the gym and on the field, extensive video analysis of my technique and give maximum effort together with my teammates. I will give everything, but who would not? “.
Thanks again to Giovanni Marino and La Repubblica.it for allowing us to re-publish this interview. You can follow Giovanni on twitter at @jmarino63——————
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.