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Greg Jennings: Green Bay Packers brainwashed me

Greg Jennings PackersMinnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings was asked to stop talking about his former team a little over a week ago. He lasted about four days, but the next time he brought up the Green Bay Packers it was to compliment Aaron Rodgers and (maybe?) attempt to bury the hatchet. However, the comments he made on Wednesday will probably annoy Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier once again.

In an interview with Paul Allen and Ben Leber on KFAN radio, Jennings spoke about the organizational differences between the Packers and Vikings.

“When I came over here, I was kind of brainwashed,” he said, via Pro Football Talk. “There’s no ‘kind of’ to it. Being over in Green Bay, you’re brainwashed to think anyone in the division is tiers below. And so coming over here I meet the people within the organization and I’m like, ‘Wow, these are really great people.’

‘It’s like everything that you know in Green Bay is like the best, the best, the best, the best, the best. And it’s like total brainwashing. And I think you don’t open your eyes to see what other teams have to offer unless you are in that position.”

Is that an insult? It’s kind of tough to tell. On one hand, the word “brainwash” — which Jennings used several times — typically has a negative connotation. It implies that people aren’t allowed to think for themselves. On the other hand, why shouldn’t the Packers preach greatness to their players given their franchise’s incredible history?

The brainwashing comments are probably connected to what Jennings said about Rodgers having a difficult time holding himself accountable. I don’t know if that is true about Rodgers, but we do know that Jennings is having a tough time moving past his old team. If he can’t learn to ignore questions about Green Bay, he should probably hold off on the interviews for a while.

Greg Jennings apologizes to Aaron Rodgers

Greg Jennings PackersGreg Jennings has seemed quite bitter since he left the Green Bay Packers and signed with the Minnesota Vikings. You would think a five-year, $45 million contract would be enough to make a player forget his old team, but Jennings has had some controversial things to say about former teammate Aaron Rodgers on more than one occasion. On Thursday, he apologized.

“Aaron’s a phenomenal quarterback,” Jennings told Mark Craig of the Star-Tribune. “He knows that. No one needs to tell him that. What he’s done over the course of the last five years? Phenomenal. He set the bar high for quarterbacks in this league. He set the bar high for offenses in this league. Everything I say is all out of fun. I’m just saying something just to say it. They know that’s not me.”

Jennings finally mentioned Rodgers by name, which is something he has seemingly avoided throughout the offseason. Jennings recently said that Rodgers was praised so much in Green Bay that it became difficult for him to hold himself accountable, and Vikings coach Leslie Frazier later told his new receiver to stop talking about his former team.

“I was on the field and [Frazier] ran over to me and asked me what I said,” Jennings explained. “That was really the gist of it. He said, `Keep it about our guys.’ Literally, that was it. I don’t really recall saying anything negative about Aaron or anyone over there, but, hey, I apologize.”

But did he call Rodgers personally to apologize?

“No. For what?” Jennings asked. “I’m apologizing right now. If it got to him with [the media] right now, I feel if I apologize right here, he’ll hear that, too. Will you make sure he hears that?”

In my opinion, Jennings hasn’t said anything offensive enough about Rodgers or the Packers to warrant an apology. That being said, he has made himself sound like someone who can’t get over his former team not wanting to keep him around. Burying the hatchet and moving forward is probably the best thing for all parties.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Leslie Frazier tells Greg Jennings to stop the Aaron Rodgers talk

Greg Jennings PackersMinnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier met with Greg Jennings on Saturday to tell the wide receiver to knock it off with the Aaron Rodgers junk.

Jennings has made a few negative comments about his former Green Bay teammate since signing with the NFC North rival Vikings in March. In one interview, Jennings chose Brett Favre over Rodgers and wouldn’t call Rodgers by name. Then, last week, Jennings criticized Rodgers by saying the MVP quarterback does not hold himself accountable.

When offered a chance to respond to the criticism, Rodgers said he was only concerned about his team, not former teammates. It sounds like Frazier would like Jennings to take the same approach.

“We’re the Vikings and we want to talk about us, what we’re trying to get done,” Frazier said of his meeting with Jennings, per the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “That’s where our focus has to be. There’s so much work to be done, and we don’t want to be looking at what’s happening with other teams, other teams’ players. We’ve got to focus on us. He’s good with that.”

Frazier also said he hopes this will be the last of the Jennings-Rodgers stories. I don’t blame him. Rodgers is already one of the top quarterbacks in the league and a guy the Vikings have to play at least twice a season. The last thing Frazier wants is Rodgers to have more motivation to stick it to them when the teams play, all on account of the new guy’s trash talk.

Aaron Rodgers responds to Greg Jennings

Aaron Rodgers Greg Jennings

Aaron Rodgers responded on Friday to the comments of former Green Bay Packers teammate Greg Jennings, who was critical of the MVP quarterback in an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune this week.

Jennings and Rodgers were Packers teammates from 2006-2012, and Jennings says Rodgers had become so successful that it was difficult for him to be held accountable. It was the second time since signing with the Minnesota Vikings that Jennings expressed hard feelings towards Rodgers. In June, he wouldn’t mention Rodgers by name and said he’d take Brett Favre over Rodgers.

Rodgers responded on Friday after the Packers’ first training camp practice, telling the media he’s not concerned about what people are saying outside of his locker room.

“Well, like I said last year when there was some comments kind of like this, I’ve got a great responsibility to the guys in this locker room and the fans, and at this point, I don’t have a whole lot of time or energy to spend worrying about things that are said outside the building,” Rodgers said via Paul Imig of FOX Sports Wisconsin. “I know those are stories for you guys, but personally, I’m focused on this team. Obviously, you hear about them, but I’m not going to spend a lot of time or energy on them.”

Rodgers continued to say that he’s only concerned with the opinions of current teammates, not former teammates.

Head coach Mike McCarthy did comment on the situation, saying on Thursday, “When you put on that purple, something happens to you.”

Rodgers saying some similar comments were made last year was a reference to the agent of tight end Jermichael Finley questioning Rodgers’ leadership. For a guy who’s thrown for 84 touchdowns and just 14 interceptions the past two seasons, Rodgers seems to be taking a lot of heat. Maybe a lot of that has to do with his receivers being upset that they don’t get enough balls thrown their way because of all the receiver competition.

Greg Jennings: It was difficult for Aaron Rodgers to hold himself accountable

Greg-Jennings-PackersGreg Jennings helped Aaron Rodgers become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL when Rodgers took over for Brett Favre in 2008. The two won a Super Bowl together with the Green Bay Packers in 2011 and hooked up for more than 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns from 2008-2011. Last season, Jennings battled injuries and was basically phased out of Green Bay’s offense.

Now with the Minnesota Vikings, Jennings sounds like he is happy to have a fresh start. On Thursday, he basically told Dan Weiderer of the Star Tribune that the shadow Rodgers was casting had become too large.

“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,” Jennings explained. “For me, I’m such a team person, I’m going to defer to my teammates. 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.”

Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL, and the quarterback position is more important than ever now with how much the league relies on passing. He gets most of the attention for Green Bay’s success just as Tom Brady gets it in New England and Drew Brees in New Orleans. However, Jennings said the attention made it hard for Rodgers to acknowledge his flaws.

“Don’t get me wrong, ‘12′ is a great person,” Jennings said. “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.”

Coincidentally, Jennings once again chose to not mention Rodgers by name. Although he may have been just messing with his former teammate, he did the same thing in an interview last month.

With Christian Ponder now his quarterback, it will be interesting to see if Jennings starts to miss Rodgers if things go poorly in Minnesota. But if that happens, Jennings can always stare at Ponder’s incredibly hot wife. That should make it all better.

H/T Eye on Football

Greg Jennings takes Brett Favre over Aaron Rodgers, won’t mention Rodgers by name

Greg-Jennings-Brett-Favre-PackersGreg Jennings went from fan favorite to enemy the second he decided to jump from the Green Bay Packers to the Minnesota Vikings. The wide receiver who brought Green Bay fans more than 6,000 yards and 53 touchdowns in seven seasons and helped win a Super Bowl is now wearing purple. Not only has he joined a rival, but Jennings also refuses to mention his former quarterback by name.

Whether by coincidence or not, Jennings avoided saying the name Aaron Rodgers in a recent interview with the Pioneer Press. He also said he would take Brett Favre over Rodgers when discussing how the two compare to Christian Ponder.

“When you talk about comparing quarterbacks, it’s hard to compare guys,” Jennings said. “I’ll take Brett. He did it for so long. I got there in a period of time where Brett already was there (as an elite quarterback). Then the guy they have now, he sat behind Brett and he learned so much.

“Christian didn’t really have that opportunity. He had to jump in. The way you compare them has to be a little different. The guy they have now (Rodgers) was (essentially) a veteran rookie. It’s a little different, but Christian has tremendous upside. I think what I see now is a quarterback who’s maturing and who’s growing and wanting to learn and grow, which is huge.”

The guy they have now, huh? That “guy” is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL and has already won a Super Bowl before his 30th birthday. That “guy” leaned heavily on Jennings before injuries forced him down the depth chart, which was not the quarterback’s fault.

Donald Driver would strongly disagree with Jennings’ assessment. Again, this could be a coincidence. Maybe we shouldn’t read into the fact that Jennings said “Brett” three times but referred to Rodgers as “the guy they have now” on multiple occasions. Whatever the case, the comments will likely help Packers fans figure out how to boo a player who gave them several great seasons.

Brett Favre helped convince Greg Jennings to sign with the Vikings

Greg-Jennings-Brett-Favre-PackersThe Green Bay Packers did not want to pay Greg Jennings the same amount of money some other teams on the open market were willing to spend, so the two-time Pro Bowler decided to stick it to them by signing a five-year, $45 million with the Minnesota Vikings. As Brett Favre, Darren Sharper and Ryan Longwell could tell you, jumping from the Packers to their NFC North rivals is nothing new. In fact, Jennings says Favre helped him decide that Minnesota was the best place to continue his career.

“Literally, as I got off the plane and (offensive coordinator Bill) Musgrave walked up to me, I’m on the phone with Brett,” Jennings told KFAN’s Paul Allen on Monday, via Scout.com. “I spoke with Brett two or three times throughout this process. He shot me straight. I knew if there was one person that would shoot straight and tell me exactly what I wanted to hear and things I possibly didn’t want to hear, it would be Brett. He did that for me.”

I wonder if Favre advised Jennings to first retire, then come back, then retire again and then join the Vikings. It seemed to work out nicely for Brett, who had one of the best years of his career in 2009 with Minnesota before actually retiring following the 2010 season.

While we’re not surprised that Favre would be convincing guys to leave Green Bay and join a rival, it must be weird for Packers fans. Usually when a player spends 17 seasons with a team he becomes a spokesman for that team upon retiring — even if he ended his career elsewhere. I doubt you’d see Joe Montana trying to convince players to go to the Kansas City Chiefs instead of the San Francisco 49ers. Perhaps this will push back that expected date of reconciliation a little bit more.