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Extra point: Jennings taking low road in comments about Rodgers

Jul. 25, 2013
 
Packers training camp preview: July 25, 2013
Packers training camp preview: July 25, 2013: Weston Hodkiewicz and Mike Vandermause break down Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy's comments on Greg Jennings and injuries on Thursday, July 25, 2013, the day before training camp opens.
Greg Jennings, left, has raised some eyebrows with his recent comments about former Green Bay Packers teammate Aaron Rodgers, right. File/US Presswire

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy on Thursday praised Greg Jennings for being a great player and said he doesn’t put much stock in the receiver’s negative comments about quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“When you put on that purple, something happens to you,” joked McCarthy about Jennings, who during the offseason signed a free agent contract with the purple-clad Minnesota Vikings.

Since signing with Minnesota Jennings has on more than one occasion taken subtle shots at Rodgers, his former quarterback. But in a story in the Star Tribune of Minneapolis this week, he came off as especially biting and critical.

It sounded like one of Jennings’ biggest beefs is that Rodgers received too much credit, with the logical implication being that Jennings didn’t get enough credit.

"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,” Jennings said.
"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. It should always be the team.”

Earlier this offseason, Jennings suggested that one of the reasons he signed with the Vikings was because he has a better chance to shine as an individual, while in Green Bay receptions and the spotlight had to be shared among many quality pass catchers.

Yet in knocking Rodgers during the interview with the Star-Tribune this week, Jennings seems to contradict himself by saying his focus is all about the team.

"For me, I'm such a team person, I'm going to defer to my teammates,” Jennings 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."

So was Jennings trying to suggest that Rodgers isn’t all about the team? That seems to be his intention. As he has done for much of the offseason, he took veiled shots at Rodgers.

"Don't get me wrong, '12' is a great person," he said, referring to Rodgers by jersey number rather than by name. "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."

It’s possible Jennings is miffed that Rodgers didn’t publicly go to bat for him during the free agency signing period.

Jennings also said he enjoys his new environment in Minnesota, but in the process took yet another dig at the Packers.

“There’s liberty. You can breathe. It’s like, ‘OK, I can do my thing.’ You know what you need to do, you get it done,” Jennings said of the Vikings routine. “Whereas (in Green Bay), everything was more cookie-cutter. … It’s just different. In a good way. And not knocking what we did there. Because obviously it was successful. But here, no one’s walking on egg shells.”

Jennings is certainly entitled to express his opinion, but his words make him sound like a scorned, bitter Packers castoff.

The best way to handle himself during his transition to the Vikings would be to dwell on his past success with the Packers, particularly the Super Bowl victory that he shared with Rodgers.

Instead, Jennings is taking a far less classy approach, and that’s too bad.

About this blog

Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

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