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Jennings and the Cold

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Jennings and the Cold

Sorry for the dearth of posting over the weekend. (And thanks to Corey for his great conversation-starter of a post).

Packer Update has a post up regarding what it will take for the Packers to resign Greg Jennings and how negotiations won't be as easy as some might think. I don't agree with everything the Update (or their ever-present 'anonymous source') posits, but one thing I think the source nails is the following:

While Jennings proved to be both dynamic and unselfish in 2008, his play down the stretch left some in the organization scratching their heads. “He seemed to lose focus once the weather turned bad and the team was eliminated from the playoffs,” said the source. “He didn’t run his routes nearly as aggressively and he dropped a bunch of passes. Conversely, [veteran wide receiver] Donald Driver gave every bit the effort in week 16 that he gave in week 1. It’s probably not that big of a deal, but it’s definitely something to consider when you’re talking about committing so much money to one player.”

By my count, that's three years in a row that Jennings has faded in the cold. His rookie year, I chalked it up to injury/hitting the rookie wall. (Also, his first child was born the final few week of the season, reason enough for any man to lose focus...) Fine. Bur then in 2007 there was his disappearing act in the NFC Championship game. Yes, it was brutally cold, (right Corey?) which I remember thinking just made Driver's play all the more astonishing.

Then came the Monday night game against Chicago this past season. Again, a bitterly cold night at the end of the season that saw Driver making play after play. Indeed, Driver looked like he may have suffered a serious injury in the first half. Many, many veterans would have sat out the rest of the game or even the season thinking, 'Hell, the season's over. I'm not getting hurt...' - but not Driver. He is all heart and gives his all no matter what. Now, this is by no means meant to question Jennings heart/toughness, but again, on that cold December night, Jennings was M.I.A. (Yes, he caught a touchdown. A five-yarder that you could have caught...)

None of this takes away Jennings' brilliance and it is by no means a reason for the Packers not to pony up some serious cash to keep the emerging star, but it is worth noting/watching when you're the Green Bay Packers and a player that is supposed to be one of the cornerstones of your offense has trouble in the cold.

And yes, that sound you just heard was IronMan's head exploding... ;)

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (15) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

IronMan's picture

Oh no you di'nt! You better hope Greg Jennings doesn't read this.

Nick's picture

I don't think he has any sort of ego like "other" big name WRs... and he might not have shown it directly, but it was clear to me that he was pissed as hell about the season. I definitely did get the impression that he gave up when the season was over. That was pretty clear to me by his play and his attitude in interviews.

So now instead of making Jennings into some sort of God who does no wrong morally, maybe people will bring it down a notch and realize he's human. He's got a good attitude, but he's still a WR.

I don't think it had much to do with the weather.

Andrew in Atlanta's picture

Maybe he wanted to spend more time planning his appearances on the NFL network showing how to dissect the MN secondary, or maybe he had a show coming up to display his new line of apparel. Sorry, this old schooler couldn't resist

cheese5's picture

NFC Championship Game Greg Jennings 1 Catch 14 yards

Donald Driver same game 5 catches 141 yards

Alex Tallitsch's picture

Brett Favre - 1 interception.

Greg will be coming for you...

cheese5's picture

andrew- nice points. When is someone going to talk about <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>

scrumptrulesent's picture

Must have been a very slow Packer news day to decide to create a story based on a small sample size and gleaning information from here and there to relay this conspiracy.

Greg Jennings was born in Kalamazoo Michigan, grew up in Kalamazoo Michigan, spent his college career at WMU in Kalamazoo Michigan, and now has moved across Lake Michigan to play football in Green Bay. Being a Michigan resident myself, I'm pretty sure Jennings is used to cold/bitter cold weather. There's a negative wind chill here in Michigan as I type this. I have a hard time believing Greg is not a relatively hardy soul who can handle a little cold weather. Plus, Greg's used to lake effect snow which they don't even see in Green Bay, so he's seen it all. Non-story.

packeraaron's picture

scrump - It's not a story. It's a blog post and commentary, and I'm well aware of Jennings' lineage and history. I just read something on another blog and wanted to comment about it, not break any news. It's kind of what blogging's about. ;)

scrumptrulesent's picture

I understand that Aaron and I wasn't coming down on you at all, but since that information wasn't in your message, I decided to add it so everyone is aware of Greg's hometown and how I think this "blog post" is a total reach.

packeraaron's picture

"Total reach"? Can you kindly point to the cold weather game Mr. Jennings has put up big numbers or played his ass off in? 'Cause I must have missed it.

Look, as I said in the post, I think Jennings is the real deal. But I distinctly remember going into the NFC Championship game thinking he was going to make Corey Webster and company look silly. And I remember how I kept waiting for him to show up this past December against the Bears. And guess what? It's not just a 'cold' thing. It's an end-of-year thing as well. Where was he against Houston? Or Jacksonville? These weren't exactly dominate corners/defenses he was up against and he had pedestrian games against both, and this was when the playoffs were still a distinct possibility.

Again, I love me some Greg Jennings. It's just an observation, not a damnation.

jerseypackfan's picture

Just looked at Jennings stats for this past season. The man started every game this year. The first time he has done this in the 3 seasons he has played for the Packers. His receiving yards went from 920 yds to 1292 yds. A 16.2 avg per catch was down from the year before he had 17.4. He also had 9 td, down from 12 the year before. Look at each game in depth and anyone can see had a up and down season. I still say he is a key player in our offense who should be paid accordingly. Also, his numbers were going to be different this year because Rodgers is now the QB. Who we all have witnessed in every game this year that he does spread the ball to everyone. Jennings deserves a decent contract.

packeraaron's picture

jersey - I agree.

Nick's picture

jersey you mention that he had an up and down season. The question is whether he's down towards the end of the year where it matters.

jerseypackfan's picture

Ok so his numbers were not that productive enough. One thing you have to factor is how defenses were playing him. Was he getting doubled teamed? I highly doubt the guy just flat out quits when it gets cold.

vkeys23's picture

I don't know what games you all were watching, but Aaron was not even looking for him the last 6 games of the season. A Receiverr cannot have big numbers if the Qb does not throw the ball to him. And as for the NFC Title Game, Brett Was not looking for him either. He was forcing it to Driver. Just like when he threw the pick, he was throwing to Driver. While on the LEft side of the Field Greg Jennings had his man beat, just like he did against Denver in overtime. However, Farve decided not to throw to him the hole, darn Game. How about all the Over and under throws that Aaron threw to him, this year that could have been touchdowns. In the Lions Game there were two under thrown balls that were TD's. The Point being is, Every other team Goes to who can make a play. Green Bay doesn't. They started going to Driver in the second half of the season, because he was complaining. Look @ the numbers. there is no way Drive should have caught up to Jennings in Receptions. He did because Aaron started passing more to Driver in the last 6 games of the season. Of course he is not going to complain, but Aaron should of been getting it to him, if he had the pack would have won against Jacksonville, Houston, and the Bears. However, you want to throw underneath on 3rd downs, and not get the ball to GJ!!!

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