A few weeks ago, Packers tight end Jermichael Finley got pulled out of a position meeting and was told to report to coach Mike McCarthy’s office on the third floor of Lambeau Field.
Finley feared he was in trouble.
“Because when I go up there, it ain’t good,” Finley said.
Not this time.
Finley was struggling, and McCarthy wanted him to see something. So he cued up a highlight tape that was entitled “Finley … The Beast.” It contained mostly plays from the 2009 NFC wild-card playoff game at Arizona, where Finley caught six passes for a career-high 159 yards.
“It was a good video for him to see on a number of different levels — confidence and just techniques things in there that him and I talked through,” McCarthy said today. “That was clearly one of the most dominant performances I’ve ever been a part of by a tight end in that game.”
That meeting took place the week after the Sept. 30 game against New Orleans and if it were a storybook ending, Finley would have gotten back to his dominant ways. But it hasn’t happened yet, perhaps in part because of the shoulder injury he sustained the following week at Indianapolis. Since then, Finley has tried to restore his confidence catching the ball.
In that regard, he thinks the meeting with McCarthy will help because he saw how he was plucking the ball out of the air against the Cardinals rather than body catching it, which has caused some of his drops this year. Some video clips from this season also were on those highlights.
“It was mostly that playoff game, but it was games all around, the beginning of this season when I was letting the ball get to me,” Finley said. “He showed me that. And he showed me a couple of plays where I was plucking it, going out and getting the ball.”
Finley said his shoulder finally is back to 100 percent in advance of Sunday's game against those same Cardinals. Combine that with the regular meetings he plans to continue with quarterback Aaron Rodgers the night before games, and Finley believes he’s on his way back to that form.
“If I was the quarterback, I wouldn’t throw it to the guy who’s off rhythm right now, either,” Finley said. “So I’ve got to get that trust back.”