Greg Jennings has thrown some high-and-tight chin music at the Packers from Minnesota : Packers Insider

Greg Jennings has thrown some high-and-tight chin music at the Packers from Minnesota

July 26, 2013 by  
Filed under News

By Jason Wilde, ESPN Wisconsin
-July 26th, 2013

~GREEN BAY – Mike McCarthy appeared to start chuckling even before the question had fully been asked. The Green Bay Packers coach knew what was coming – a variation on What’s with all of Greg Jennings’ comments about his former team? – and McCarthy had his answer at the ready.

“Well, you know, when you put on that purple, something happens to you,” McCarthy said, referring to the suddenly outspoken ex-Packers and new Minnesota Vikings wide receiver. After the mild laughter in the Lambeau Field media auditorium died down, McCarthy added, “I don’t know. Greg was a great player for us, we had a lot of great moments, and he was fun to coach.”

Jennings has thrown some chin-music Rodgers' way. Maybe Aaron can pinch-hit his buddy Ryan Braun, who has some time on his hands now.

If you’ve been keeping track, Jennings has had a lot to say about his former team ever since signing a five-year, $47.5 million deal with the archrival Vikings in free agency. He’s been especially critical of his former quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, and what seemed to some initially to be playful jabs back and forth has now been exposed as some sort of rift between Rodgers and Jennings.

Jennings, who missed eight games last season with a torn lower abdominal muscle and posted career lows in receptions (36) and receiving yards (366), began by referring to Rodgers as “the guy they have now” in an interview with the St. Paul Pioneer Press in early June. Then Jennings went on SiriusXM NFL Radio and made similar comments. Then Jennings appeared on ESPN’s First Take and had more to say about his former quarterback (“You get respect when you give respect”) and said that one of the reasons he left Green Bay was to give other receivers a chance to spread their wings.

But Jennings’ most pointed remarks came this week to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, as Jennings compared the Packers’ environment to that of the Vikings, calling the Packers’ approach “cookie-cutter” and saying that players “walk on egg shells” in Green Bay. Then in an interview published in the newspaper on Thursday morning, Jennings again took aim at Rodgers, saying: “I was kind of that comfort blanket so to speak. But this is a quarterback-driven league, so people forget about the guys around the quarterback. Maybe I need to go back to my college days where the quarterback wasn’t just viewed as oh-so-great and still prove that I can be successful.

Packer fans were shocked when Greg's sister threw these tweets ou there during a game. There's no way she was just throwing this stuff out there on her own. Clearly, Greg had said many negative things about Rodgers in private. Now, Greg's trying to sugarcoat them, but the damage has been done.

“A lot of times when you have a guy who creates that spotlight for himself and establishes that and takes a lot of that, it becomes so-and-so and the team,” he said. “It should always be the team.”

Asked in a later conversation to clarify those sentiments, Jennings told NFL writer Dan Wiederer: “For me, I’m such a team person, I’m going to defer to my teammates,” he said. “I’m going to defer to the team, to the team, to the team. And I think when you reach a point where you’re not deferring any longer, it’s no longer really about the team. … “Don’t get me wrong, ‘12’ is a great person. But when you hear all positives, all positives, all positives all the time, it’s hard for you to sit down when one of your teammates says ‘Man, come on, you’ve got to hold yourself accountable for this.’ It’s hard for someone to see that now because all they’ve heard is I’m doing it the right way, I’m perfect. In actuality, we all have flaws.”

Jennings’ sister, Valyncia, famously criticized Rodgers on Twitter during a game in 2012, so there were breadcrumbs that may have led to Jennings’ most recent comments. Rodgers is scheduled to speak with reporters on Friday after practice, but he spoke glowingly about Jennings before last season, when he may have disappointed the wide receiver by speaking as if Jennings was sure to leave in free agency.

“I think you have to be realistic about it and think that it might be (our last year together),” Rodgers said. “I have loved my time with Greg, Greg and I are going to be buddies whether he’s here or not.

“Well, you know, when you put on that purple, something happens to you.” -Mike McCarthy

“Greg is one of those unique talents who’s both extremely gifted physically but also mentally he really understands the game and understands route leverages and coverages and where the soft spots in zones are and what my timing is for when he’s got to get his head around. Just timing with the quarterback consistently is something that takes somebody who really cares about his craft and wants to put the time in.

“It’s been great having him; we’ve had a lot of great memories, from big touchdowns like against the (Chicago) Bears in the opener (in 2009), to the catch he made in the playoffs against Arizona when we were coming back (in January 2010), on that back shoulder fade I threw way too hard, to some of the pretty deep balls we put together – just a lot of fun memories.

“Obviously the big throws and catches in the Super Bowl, a couple of my biggest throws and best throws of my life, and he was on the other end of them. It’s been great throwing to him, but there’s a lot of guys who may or may not get paid the next few years, and obviously with Jordy (Nelson) and his contract situation, I think you have to think about whether or not there’s room for all of us. If there’s not, obviously you wish Greg the best. He’s a great guy and will be a great friend.”

McCarthy was asked Thursday about Rodgers’ leadership, which was also criticized on Twitter last season by Blake Baratz, the agent for tight end Jermichael Finley. While McCarthy praised Rodgers’ leadership, he also acknowledged that the quarterback has grown into the role.

Jennings has always loved the spotlight on him. He gets more of that now as the main receiver in Minnesota.

“He obviously puts a lot of time and energy into it and it’s really reflected in the little things that no one really sees. To me that’s really the definition of a true leader, the ability to stack the individual moments with individuals throughout not only the locker room but throughout the building,” McCarthy said. “I just think it’s really an outstanding role of going about it. Now, everybody grows and hits some bumps and twists and turns along the way, but he is very committed, very in tune with what’s in the best interests of the football team. I’m very proud of him, just the way that he has taken that responsibility and feels that it will be greater than ever going into this season.”

Original story HERE

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