Create Account

Or log in with Facebook


Log in

Or log in with Facebook

Greg Jennings on Packers Play Calling, McCarthy and Rodgers

By Category

Greg Jennings on Packers Play Calling, McCarthy and Rodgers

Truthfully, I've been as annoyed with Greg Jennings as the next Packers fan since he left Green Bay. But that may have just changed,

In an appearance on the Rich Eisen show on Youtube, Jennings mimicked what I've been saying about the Packers offense under McCarthy and his unwillingness to try to make things "easier" for his playmakers to excel. 

Jennings: "I have attacked his playcalling years ago. It's been problematic. It's been an issue in-house even when I was there. We would grow frustrated because he would say things like, 'we can play double-headers' (a reference to past Mccarthy's comments on the breadth of his playbook) and yet, yeah we could, but we're running the same plays. There's no innovation. There's no creativity.."

He then expanded on that a bit, "When you have playmakers, Aaron Rodgers alluded to this. You have a guy like Devante Adams - obviously, he can get off the press, but sometimes make it even easier for your guy. Bring him in motion. Create plays that are suited for him that will just ignite your offense."

This is what I've been saying for years. Mccarthy does little to make things easier for his players. He's had Rodgers as a crutch all these years and while I used to hedge a bit, it's now very hard to argue with those that say he has wasted Rodgers' prime years.

There are plenty more good tidbits in here on the Rodgers-McCarthy relationship. If you haven't heard this yet, please do - it's a worthwhile listen (yes, even though it's Greg Jennings).



"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for and He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  

NFL Categories: 
  • Like Like
  • 0 points

Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (77) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

BoCallahan's picture

That was a GREAT interview. I was entertained and educated. Thanks for sharing it.

The TKstinator's picture

BTW Bo, how come none of your teammates came to your birthday party?

Bearmeat's picture

That was a fantastic interview. I've never heard Greg sound less self-serving (although there was a bit of that when he was talking about 2011), and it made him sound more intelligent. I'm buying it. Greg is right: McCarthy desperately needs the playcalling sheet and design out of his hands. And since he will never agree to that, it is time to move on from a good coach after this year. Superbowl or not. (likely not).

The TKstinator's picture

Maybe a defensive minded coach? Been a long time since GB had one of those!

Bearmeat's picture

It's possible, but I'd think a head coach with passing game bonafides is the best way to go until ARod rides off into the sunset. Although I wouldn't mind having to watch ARod only score 20 to win on a regular basis.

I do like Pettine though. Perhaps he would be interviewed.

splitpea1's picture

I wonder if AR sits in on any potential interviews; he would have to be in harmony with any new head coach or offensive coordinator, right? I'm very impressed with Pettine too, so far. But would he want the job? And only once to my knowledge have the Packers ever hired a defensive-oriented head coach. I don't know what went on before Lombardi, but that's ancient history anyway.

Bearmeat's picture

No way. Asking employees to self-govern their future boss is a mess. You get a load a competing ideologies and politics, and then the boss owes someone once he gets the job.

I work in academia. I know of what I speak. Admin and employees need to stay separate.

barutanseijin's picture

And when you get an incompetent boss like TT, there's no check on him until everything goes to hell.

Bearmeat's picture

Man, TK.

Greg must have gone through the sports talk radio car wash yesterday: An interview with Cowherd that talks about Aaron. Again, Greg sounds less bitter and makes more sense when he talks than I've heard in a long time.

This makes sense of why he acted like he did in 2013/2014. Doesn't excuse it, but it does make sense.

stockholder's picture

He also blasted A-Rod for why he left Green Bay.

flackcatcher's picture

Sorry, not biting. It Greg Jennings Al. GREG JENNINGS, he of the biggest 'heel turn' outside of WWE/WWF. Nope nope nope. Not going there, not going there........

31 Wedge's picture

Whether he's wrong or not, I take Greg Jennings' opinions on the Green Bay Packers with a grain of salt following his exit, I'd sooner hold stock on the opinions of James Jones first.

Jonathan Spader's picture

It'll be interesting to see if James Jones backs him up or disagrees. Even though I don't like the post packer Greg Jennings I do think the MM offense has been stale and predictable since 2014.

31 Wedge's picture

It's a frustrating thing to watch. I'd say Coach's seat is the hottest it's been in his entire tenure. How hot it is may be open to debate, I'm sure.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I personally do not love the RBBC system MM seems to have such an affinity for. The saying used to be, "If you have two quarterbacks, you don't have one." While that doesn't hold exactly to running backs, it's clear who those two are. Jones and Williams. Should be nothing else. Jones should also be touching the ball no less than 20 times a game, IMO.

Are we ever going to see those 2011 numbers for offense? I don't know, I don't think so. But we don't have to. It just needs to be less predictable for starters.

I also don't hold MM responsible for the 2014 NFC Championship loss to Seattle as some do. I'm not trying to rip open this wound with a screwdriver, but without another certain blunder by a former pass catcher, that 'taking the field goals' game plan was a winning game plan. I know stepping on their throats and crushing Seattle when we could would have stopped any comeback attempt. I get that. But without Bostick, we get that Patriots/Packers Super Bowl everyone is currently talking about wishing they could have seen. I have a feeling I may regret bringing this up.

Again, that being said - I agree with you. This isn't 2014, and a lot of time has passed from that game and yet the offense kind of feels like they are spinning their tires in the mud across the last 4 years.

Bearmeat's picture

Agreed with both of you 100%

Rak47's picture

I'm no huge fan of Jennings either but imho I don't have to be fan of someone's for them to make perfectly good sense. Jennings is not saying anything about McCarthy that hasn't already been said on this site and these threads a thousand times. He is simply confirming what many here and across Packer Nation have suspected for a long while, so the pretense of him fabricating his comments about McCarthy, for whatever reason, simply don't hold water with me.

WisconsInExile's picture

Yes, Jennings is a great heel. Seriously, he’s perfect in how he doesn’t go over the top with it, but still just needles Packers fans enough to let some small little doubt leak into the back of your mind.

But this interview isn’t that. It is like he is an actor out of character and just being himself. Honestly, he sounds like most comments on most threads here—albeit far less extreme in its tone (more like Cheesehead TV from back in the 2008-2012 era).

Skip greenBayless's picture

The one thing to me that stands out is when Jennings said Rodgers is best in the two minute offense why? because he's calling the plays himself not MM. I thought about that and flashed back to the game against Detroit when Matt Flynn made millions when he was the starting qb that day and threw for a record 6 td's. Who was calling the plays that day? Mike McCarthy? Nope, it was Aaron Rodgers. I like and respect Mike McCarthy but Jennings got me thinking on that one.

P.S. I still hate his sister. Sorry

The TKstinator's picture

Interesting and insightful comments, but I still really dislike him.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Yeah, but is his sister growing on you?

The TKstinator's picture

Ugh, no. She’s much worse.
And I must admit chagrin that my dislike of him is disliked.
Does that “double dislike” cancel out and mean I have to like him now??

MarkinMadison's picture

Maybe the timing doesn't work out, but I would swear that Greg Jennings must have been in the inspiration for Rod Tidwell. They even found a 5'6" actor to play him.

Anyway, the point about #12 being the play caller that made Matt Flynn look like an All-Pro is extremely valid.

Ferrari Driver's picture

Nevertheless, when Rodgers is calling the plays, they are from those on McCarthy's list.

I watch a lot of football and we seem to lack the imagination that I see with certain teams both at the professional and college levels.

Old School's picture

Greggshells Jennings has been dead to me since he left for Minnesota.

Back in the day, QBs called their own plays and some of them had a feel for the game and for what would work. I don’t doubt a bit that Rodgers helped Flynn that day.

So after we fire McCarthy.... is the next HC going to be in charge or will it be Arod?

You know, I already saw this movie about ten years ago.

PAPackerbacker's picture

I'm buying what Jennings says in the interview. He is correct that the Packers are more efficient in the 2 minute drill than they are the rest of the game. And confirmed that indeed Rodgers calls the plays during that time. And he also referred to MM's play calling for the rest of the game as being MM's way, or being stubborn, as I call it, which I believe to be one of the reasons the Packers have sluggish offense performances during certain times in a game. It has been apparent that MM is not using the talent he has on the team to provide the best results possible. Aaron Jones is a perfect example. I also believe that MM is not making the adjustments during a game that need to be done to get the best performance from your go to guys like Jennings stated, such as making it easier for players through motion and tailoring plays to gain the best from each players skill set. And I think Jennings is also correct when he says MM will still be there as HC next year and the reason he thinks MM will still be their coach. Although I don't agree MM should be the coach if he continues the path he has chosen for the team, I thought Jennings did a good job with his evaluation and reasoning behind the problems that exist with the Packers. As long as MM is the HC it will be the same old same old.

croatpackfan's picture

The enemy of my enemy is my friend?

My God, you are so keen to fire Mike McCarthy that you'll sign the contract with devil to make this possible...

Ah, what hatred can do to the people...

Jersey Al's picture

Haha... You do what you have to do...

Samson's picture

Some still don't understand that MM has never been the solution to the problem. -- MM is a big part of the problem.

GB will not attend another SB as the NFC Team in AR's remaining years (as a Packer) if MM remains as HC.

Jordan's picture

Greg Jennings was never really appreciated by Packers fans. Packers fans gave Rodgers (and McCarthy) way too much credit .

Rodgers and McCarthy never explained to Packers fans that the Packers were dependent on a Nick Collins TD to win the SB XLV . AR and MM took all the credit, yet the offense was incapable of scoring enough points to beat the Steelers.

Tom Brady and Patriots will step on your throat. Brady would have stepped on the Rams throat last weekend when they had a 10-0 lead. What did the Packers do? Why all the close games? Why can't the O step on teams throats since we supposedly have a HOF QB? Brady is a HOF QB. Is Rodgers? I'm not seeing it.

Oppy's picture

Rodgers not a HOF Qb? you’re not seeing it?

I’m about as harsh of an AR critic as you’ll find around these parts....but, Seriously dude...., GTFOHWTS.

Rossonero's picture

Amen, Oppy.

dobber's picture

If he's saying that ARod doesn't look like an HOF QB this year, then that's one thing, but ARod is very likely a first-ballot HOF QB if he retires now with one SB ring.

The TKstinator's picture

“Step on your throat” translation: keep passing successfully after your team has the lead.

“Stupid, unsound, foolish” translation: keep passing UNsuccessfully after your team has the lead.

See also, “why didn’t you run to use up the clock?”

Oppy's picture

The Catch-22, always in full effect.

The TKstinator's picture

Just win, baby.

Jordan's picture

I don't know. Brady's five rings says he's doing something right. He doesn't take anything for granted. He doesn't coast. He plays all 4 quarters. He doesn't count on his D. He says "I'm the leader of the team and a HOF QB, and I'm not going to play not to lose." (he probably wouldn't use a double negative like I just did...he's that good.)

The TKstinator's picture

He’s got it all, including impeccable grammar.

The TKstinator's picture

I heard a debate on the radio the other day about measuring QB’s by SB rings. One of the hosts said he disagrees with that notion, even though it’s widely accepted, because he said QB’s only affect a little less than half the game. They don’t play defense or special teams. He said no QB can be compared to Michael Jordan because basketball players play offense AND defense.
Really got me thinking.
Do QB’s really only affect 48% of the game??

dobber's picture

They play defense in the NBA?

The TKstinator's picture

Good point!
But MJ did (and he admitted that he could get away with stuff on d that would be called a foul if another player did the exact same thing. But that’s a different discussion entirely.)

dobber's picture

I had friends who said that MJ never fouled out of games.

I corrected them by saying all that means is that refs never called him for the stuff he did 6 times in a game.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

48%? It depends on the QB? If a team's QB/offense is scoring points early, getting a lead or at least keeping pace, the defense can do things differently. I don't know the percentage, but it is greater than 1/22nd and less than 100%.

The TKstinator's picture

Yup, somewhere in between, and it can vary from game to game. Just thought it was a very interesting take on a classic metric.

Barnacle's picture

Brady also has a great HC, Rodgers not.

Lphill's picture

Jordan and the Giants won 2 super
Bowls on 2 lucky catches , and Rodgers is not a HOF quarterback?

Jordan's picture

Oh. You mean the same Giants that beat the Packers in playoffs at Lambeau the year of the helmet catch. The Packers offense could only score 20 points (at Lambeau) 1/15/2012 ? The truth is the Packers offense could only score 13 points until they got a touchdown in garbage time.

13 points in a playoff game at Lambeau against the Giants.

4thand1's picture

The Giants had a dominant d line, they pretty much shut down Brady too.

Jordan's picture

Right. But Rodgers was MVP. Packers were 14-2 on season. Incredible stats. He was in his prime from a mobility standpoint. Couldn't get it done at Lambeau.

He had Driver, Jennings, James Jones, Nelson, Cobb and Finley. Brady didn't have those weapons.

"Tynes’s 31-yard field goal opened the scoring midway through the first quarter, and Rodgers went to work with completions of 10 and 19 yards, but on third and eight from the New York 29, he missed an open Greg Jennings for what looked to be a sure touchdown. The Packers settled for Crosby’s tying 47-yard field goal."

JohnnyLogan's picture

Rodgers can't say what he thinks in public but why isn't he saying it in private? He's way too smart not to see the difference between the lack of creativity of the Packer offense as compared to the Rams, Chiefs, Saints. My belief is he likes McCarthy's offense because it features him having to make great throws. Jordy was a tremendous safety net for Rodgers on 3rd down. Jordy's gone and Rodgers % is way down to 61%. Maybe it's the leg, but even when not being threatened he's missing throws badly. There's something troubling Rodgers and it's not just physical. He's losing and frustrated but he hasn't designed the offense and so he can't really change it that much, except in those short 2 minute windows. Rodgers has to understand that McCarthy presents a boring offense. McCarthy is amazingly unaware of how to utilize Jones. He could have done better with Montgomery as well. And yet, Rodgers is partially to blame. 2nd and 2 twice and we don't get a 1st down? That's insane. Brady and his master don't let that happen. Brady never ignores the open man, always taking the first down checkoff. How often does Rodgers pass it up. Brady is a machine who moves chains. Half the season is over. Everyone can see the great development of Jones and MVS and what they add to the offense. The availability of Graham and Lewis (who hasn't caught a pass all year). This should be a great offense and it's been mediocre. If it doesn't improve this second half McCarthy will be gone. Gute is no fool.

Lancer's picture

When announcing bringing back Philbin M&M said they were going to re build the playbook from scratch. Can anyone find any evidence of something new or different in the game plans or play calling so far this season? Jennings' remarks fit the evidence in this case. It has to be an easy assignment for opposing defenses to prepare for the Packers, they are very predictable.

freddisch's picture

They just changed the cover,” New and Improved 2018 Packer Play Book”

PatrickGB's picture

I saw a few more different plays. Not many but a few. Some of the problems have stemmed from playing from behind.

4thand1's picture

I was naieve enough to believe this offense was going to be unstopable this year. I've thought this in the past also, but we've seen this story before. MM has held this team back for years, without AR he doesn't last more than 3 years. They have a defense that can get off the field once in a while and give the ball back to the offense, but the offense goes stale for 2 quarters.

Oppy's picture

The points Jennings makes about making things easier for guys- motion, stacked formations, pick plays(err, I mean rubs), etc, is true. Howerever, there’s two things about that statement that don’t really jive with the whole “Rodgers calls the plays in two minute drill and that’s why we’re more successful” / “MM s play calling is wasting Rodgers career”

1) during two minute offense, we don’t see any more motion, stacked formations, rubs than otherwise.

2) until recently, there was not a problem with the packers offense. Always top half of the league, normally top ten, often top 5.

Defense has historically been the short coming of the packers with AR/MM/TT. Offense, not so much, until recently.

dobber's picture

Lore has it that ARod doesn't like much motion because he likes to read a static defense in determining what he wants to do. Is this ultimately true? I don't know for certain, but if so it means that the Packers aren't likely to use much more pre-snap motion.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I don't know if it is true, but it isn't lore. There is a quote from AR to that effect.

Jordan's picture

Historically? That's historically delusional. You've been drinking the MM koolaide.

I could give you numerous examples, but let me just give you one.

The 2014 Packers vs Seahawks.

The defense intercepted Wilson 4 times, recovered a fumble and sacked him 5 times. The Packers defense gave Rodgers 5 turnovers. The defense handed Rodgers and McCarthy the game....but the offense couldn't put them away. It's true the Seahawks had a great D, but we have a HOF QB? Right? So that should offset their great D somewhat?

The game never should have went to overtime. The offense couldn't put the game away.

Our gimpy QB. One minute it's his calf. The next minute it's his collarbone. And now his MCL. What's next? If I'm Gute, I'm looking for his replacement in the draft the first chance I get.

Oppy's picture

Hey, a single game vs. looking at an set of individual seasons that make up a career.
That's one interpretation of "historical", I guess..

Just an FYI.. I was not just talking sh*t when I said I'm pretty critical about Rodgers' play when it is sub par (and vocal about it, to boot). That being said..

If you re-read my comment, you'll find I'm not defending Aaron Rodgers in the least. That being said.. Why don't you take the Packers' average Total Offense ranking and compare it to the Packers Total Defense ranking over the AR/MM/TT tenure and report back what your findings are. When the D is averaging in the bottom 33% and the offense averages in the top 33%, to claim that offensive play calling is the main reason Rodgers doesn't have another ring is silly.

dobber's picture

There's also the fundamental possibility that, overall, the Packers get Seattle and play well against their O. For a good team, the Seahawks haven't fared well against the Packers offensively for, well, awhile.

Oppy's picture


Doug Niemczynski's picture

Favre wasted his career once Sherman took over? Like he has a choice of coaches. Mike Sherman was a cowardly wuss. Case in point 4th and 1 against Philadelphia for NFC playoff game he chose to punt. The Packers are not supposed to back down. Our best against their best and against the L.A Rams ..Greatest Show on Turf he played scared instead of playing a normal game Sherman had him gunslinging for 5 interceptions.

Sorry, Brett FAVRE embodied what the Green Bay Packers could have been.

Favre needed reins on him?
Holgren BLEW the 2nd SuperBowl by refusing to use the shotgun causing 2 sacks, cutting Don Beebe before the Super Bowl, failing to retain crucial key players from the 1996-1997 season and like McCarthy we have no good PR/KR.

Idiotic gunslinger mentality? Aaron Rogers has have everyone on the right place and on the right page run the correct route and have the right attitude or your benched.
Favre says just get the hell out there and will find you.

3 Time MVP ..the only player in NFL History to claim that title.

At 40 years old he put the Vikings on the 52 yard line for the winning FG by longwell to go to the SuperBowl but the dumb special teams coach put 12 men on the field pushing them back for a 57 yard FG now to far to kick. And, I believe that year with the Vikings was probably his 1st or 2nd best year with over 4000 yards and i think only 7 interceptions. Pretty good when yoy have a decent defense and a running back. I'm taking Favre everytime over A.Rogers.
Both Holgren and M. Sherman defense sucked. Without Brett Favre the Packers win nothing!

Oppy's picture

Holmgren’s defense sucked?

Fritz Shurmer’s Defenses during the Favre years were epic.
#6 in 1994. Slip to 16 in 95. #1 in the nfl in the 96 Super Bowl run. Ranked #7 in 1997 super bowl loss. # 4 in 98.

LeotisHarris's picture

..."Favre says just get the hell out there and will find you."

Can anyone else still see Favre getting picked off by the Giants in the 2007 NFC title game at Lambeau? A knuckleball in the general direction of Donald Driver? With Ryan Grant wide open over the middle?

Favre was a great player, sure. Your comments about Holmgren's defense could not be more inaccurate.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

You listed 4 years...and 2 of those we went to the SuperBowl and 1998 Fritz lost us that game only rushing 3 people with his prevent defense loss.

And, the loss against the NY Giants at Lambeau you blame Favre after AL HARRIS got RAPED by PLEXICO BURESS!! Holy moly!! Give me a break!

Oppy's picture

I listed the four years Fritz Shurmur was DC in greeen bay. I would have listed more, but he wasn’t DC In 93 and died in 99. Can’t please everyone I guess.

By the way, Holmgren was only in GB from 92-98. So I missed 92 and 93.. which the packers ranked 27th and 2nd in the league in total defense (yards allowed).

So the first year Holmgren took the reigns was a bad defense. After that, top ten with exception to one middle-of-the-road season. There you go. I stand by my assessment.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Too late now Rogers is 35...Wasted Prime Years just like Brett Favre.

dblbogey's picture

Favre wasted his own career once Mike Sherman took over from Holmgren with his idiotic gunslinger mentality. Favre needed someone to rein him in. Holmgren did that.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Yeah..Fritz Shurmur...let's rush only 3 people in prevent defense when you cant even rush 4 against one of the most prolific running QBs Steve Young and then BOOM TD...Terrel Owens!!

The TKstinator's picture

Pick your poison
Rush or cover
When one doesn’t work
You SHOULDA done the other!

Oppy's picture

I think you need to review your Packers defensive coordinators.. the rise of the "PREVENT DEFENSE AGAIN!?!?!?!" screaming came about under the Donatell/Slowik years.

The best part is, half the time fans were screaming about "prevent ".. they weren't in "prevent" lol

Fordham Ram's picture

After hearing the interview (thanks Al), I got the feeling this will be McCarthy's last year even if we go all the way and a trade to Cleveland is waiting in the wings, the draft pick depending on how far into the playoffs we go. Gutey is no fool, he sees all of this and a change of scenery is in order for the coach and the team. Our new GM can then get his coach, place his stamp on the team and call it his own.

stockholder's picture

Gutey is a fool if he fires MM. Trade him first. But who replaces MM? second. We've seen a lot of new coaches not get along with the star QB. third. Gute will have to make a HANDS OFF approach with a new coach. forth. The new system will take 2 yrs. So good bye to zone blocking. West Coast offense. fifth. Brett Favre couldn't get along with the coaches in NY. Why do you think A-Rod will be different? I guarantee the problem will switch from MM to A-Rod. Stamp with Gute's face on it? Seriously think about what you want fixed before it's broken yet.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

something wrong again with these trainers. How is it every year we have groin and hamstring issues.

G. Allison ruled out due to groin issues. My lordy, he was just on concussion protocol for 2 week ls catches one pass for 14 yarde last week and now will be out probably this Sunday and next Sunday. Thats 5 weeks of doing nothing and getting paid. And, Cobb isn't any better. Ridiculous.

stockholder's picture

The more you look at it. The more the veterans can't be counted on. The longer their out. The more they'll drop passes. Let them sit and then say Bye Bye.

Pack204's picture

This confirmed what we as fans have been saying for a while. If the Ravens fire Harbaugh I would gladly take a guy like that to coach Green Bay. He understands situational game management and his teams have alwayss had solid special teams play which the packers have never had before. Would love to see him have a chance to work with a HOF qb l. Then bring in a young creative mind to solely focus on running the offense.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Good point!

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

I stopped listening to Greg Jennings years ago.

Log in to comment, upload your game day photos and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.

Or log in with Facebook

Packers Tickets, Ticket King


"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"The Bears still suck!"