McCarthy on Jennings: "When You Put on That Purple, Something Happens to You"

During his press conference to opening training camp, the Packers head coach discussed the current Vikings wide receiver.

Former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings. Photo by Corey Behnke of CheeseheadTV.com.

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy touched on any number of topics during his training camp opening press conference on Thursday, but among his more pointed observations were thoughts on a former member of the green and gold.

In reference to wide receiver Greg Jennings, who signed a five-year contract with the division rival Minnesota Vikings this offseason, McCarthy said in good humor, "When you put on that purple, something happens to you."

McCarthy's comments are in reference to several not-so-subtle jabs at quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers organization Jennings made to the media the past several weeks.

In a recent interview published by Minnesota's Star Tribune, Jennings described the environment as "cookie-cutter" in Green Bay and compared it to the Vikings organization saying, "Here, no one’s walking on egg shells.”

Jennings took the time to describe the differences between Minnesota and Green Bay, but was rather vague in what he meant by his "cookie-cutter" remark.

When asked about Rodgers this offseason, Jennings has at times refused to call him by name, instead calling him "12" or "the guy they have now."

Jennings' comments can be viewed through the lens as a response to Rodgers' own joking reference of Jennings as "Who?" when asked a question about the departed wide receiver at an offseason function.

The difference between Jennings and Rodgers, however, is that Rodgers' jab occurred one time, while Jennings' refused to call Rodgers by name interview after interview.

Jennings elaborated on his relationship with Rodgers in the Star Tribune article:

“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,” he said. “It should always be the team.”

Asked in a later conversation to clarify those sentiments, Jennings expanded.

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

Jennings paused and looked around.

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

McCarthy added during his press conference that he didn't put much stock into Jennings' comments.

If there's anything that can be guaranteed to come out of this most recent exchange, it's that the Packers-Vikings rivalry continues to become even more heated.

With linebacker Desmond Bishop also signing with Minnesota this offseason, the familiarity between the two teams has only grown.

The Packers play at the Vikings on Sunday Oct. 27 in a nationally televised night game on NBC  before a home date back in Green Bay on Sunday Nov. 24.

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Comments (39)

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Jamie's picture

July 25, 2013 at 10:53 am

Ol' Flem really has a warped sense of reality.

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Evan's picture

July 25, 2013 at 11:00 am

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

Except when that means taking a backseat to other WRs, apparently.

Thank GOD training camp starts tomorrow.

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Idiot Fan's picture

July 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm

The amount of irony in his statements is quite hilarious.

I need some football-related articles badly!

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Caleb's picture

July 25, 2013 at 11:08 am

Yea Jennings is totally all about the team..dude was on literally every commercial during last football season.

Glad you found your true "smelf" in Winter Park.

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Bears Love Cheddar Biscuits's picture

July 25, 2013 at 11:08 am

So we've established that professional athletes have egos...

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hayward4president's picture

July 25, 2013 at 11:17 am

Very glad tomorrow is training camp day indeed.

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DHoward's picture

July 25, 2013 at 11:19 am

That dude needs his ego stroked...a lot.

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PackerNation's picture

July 25, 2013 at 11:50 am

I agree with one point Jennings made. I cringe when I hear "Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, just as I cringed when it was "Brett Favre and the Packers". It makes one guy bigger than the team, apart from the team. I hate that.

And I would agree with Jennings that at some point the player himself needs to put the kibosh on that kind of stuff.

Aside from that, it seems like some self serving remarks on his part. He'd be better off taking the high road. But of course, once he "consulted" with Favre on the advisability of leaving Green Bay and going to Minnesota, the high road wasn't a likely option.

Birds of a feather, IMO.

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Jamie's picture

July 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I don't like it either, but it's the nature of really all sports and elite players at major positions.

It's not like Rodgers initiated how the sports world views his position on the team. And though he embraces it, but doesn't perpetuate it.

It just is...just like virtually every other star player for every other sports franchise in the world.

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MarkinMadison's picture

July 26, 2013 at 12:55 am

That is just the ESPN driven world we live in. Every Sunday it is "the Bucs take on Peyton Manning and the Colts."

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some guy's picture

July 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

The bucs play the colts every sunday this year? And I bet manning would be really tired having to play for the broncos and the colts every week.

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Max's picture

July 27, 2013 at 01:24 pm

J.J Watt and the Texans,
Drew Brees and the Saints,
ADRIAN PETERSON AND THE VIKINGS,
etc...

It's the reality of today's game, and it's okay. And guess what Jennings, if you play well you'll get recognition (Clay).

Really unfortunate it has come to this from a Super Bowl hero and a borderline Packer HOFer.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

July 27, 2013 at 05:30 pm

Don't say Adrian Peterson and the Vikings too loud. It might upset Jennings.

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Frank's picture

July 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Wow Craig jentings sounds just like the last washed up guy Brent favor ,, lets bash the team and quarterback who made him a Super Bowl receiver , we will see how well he does this year , he wasn't happy with 12
Just wait till the guy in minnisota who actually is so bad I can't even remember his number is throwing him the ball
Another washed up guy blaming everyone elase for his lack of talent
Ba buy Craig

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Stroh's picture

July 27, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Ponder is #7. But I had to look it up to answer the question. Sad that people don't even know his number and he's a starting NFL QB isn't it?!

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Charlie's picture

July 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Cookie cutter? Does that mean you have to run routes and everything? And get open to receive the ball even?

It's tough to be a diva.

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TommyG's picture

July 25, 2013 at 02:14 pm

...and they even expect you to catch the ball too.

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Crefan's picture

July 25, 2013 at 01:04 pm

I wonder if he'll jump all over the Vikings organization when they keep giving the ball to Peterson again and again and again and again and...... well you get the picture.

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TommyG's picture

July 25, 2013 at 02:13 pm

Oh yeah! He's about to become the best double covered WR on a run first team in the NFL!

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Turt's picture

July 25, 2013 at 03:19 pm

No, but his sister will let you know about Peterson and how bad Ponder is....

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Fan617's picture

July 25, 2013 at 01:24 pm

He's a good receiver, but if he truly believes that he would have been just as successful with a quarterback like Christian Ponder as opposed to Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers for his entire NFL career, his ego is through the roof. He's not THAT good. I really hope he gets put in his place this season. Should be fun watching him fade into the nothingness that is the Minnesota Vikings..have fun Greg. We'll be following our cookie cutter ways to another championship.

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Evan's picture

July 25, 2013 at 03:06 pm

Speaking of the Vikings and WRs...sorta...Percy Harvin has a partial labrum tear in his hip. Surgery is possible.

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FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

July 26, 2013 at 02:28 am

Though I don't root for anybody to get/be hurt,i must admit, I take joy in this. I'm in Western Washington, the Hawk fans and local ST radio are borderline unbearable right now. The Hawks have a nice little team, but Christ, you would think they were coming off back-to-back titles. The homers on 710 ESPN Seattle have even been talking about an undefeated season.

I hope they fall flat on their faces, they won't be sneaking up on anybody this year, that much I know.

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Anita's picture

July 25, 2013 at 03:18 pm

Did Greg Jennings just fall off the turnip truck? The focus on MOST teams on ALL levels is the quarterback, especially when the quaterback is actually GOOD (which is probably why it's not happening in Minnesota).

Greg, please practice the following statement. Say it over and over until you are comfortable with it:

"I do not want to discuss my former team any longer. I am a Minnesota Viking now, and my focus is with them."

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PackerBacker's picture

July 25, 2013 at 03:47 pm

Bingo. He should have said those exact words since around February.

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Lucky953's picture

July 25, 2013 at 07:55 pm

Yes indeed, but expecting multimillionaire 20+ yr old celebrity athletes to be emotionally mature is probably setting the bar too high.

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Jon's picture

July 26, 2013 at 01:51 pm

Correct. Add this. Rodgers is arguably the best QB in the NFL. You get there by continuous critique and improvement. Jennings is arguably at best the third best WR in his own division, which consists of 4 teams. He's no Calvin J. or Brandon M. Think his focus should be as much as Rodgers.. that is perfect your craft.

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Breadman's picture

July 25, 2013 at 04:11 pm

It's gonna be a long wait until Oct. 27th. Bring your old spice pretty boy. Hmm, wonder which team Favre is pulling for?

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Nononsense's picture

July 25, 2013 at 04:45 pm

Its gotta be a little tough to hear how how good Rodgers is on a daily basis, I get that. Wonder if the walking on eggshells thing is about Rodgers' sensitivity and not being able to speak your mind or criticize him in any way.

Starts to makes sense why his sister went off on Rodgers on twitter and probably why Finley's agent did too.

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Drealyn Williams's picture

July 25, 2013 at 07:45 pm

I never thought about it that way. Good point.

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dawg's picture

July 25, 2013 at 07:10 pm

Last time I checked Peterson was the best RB in the league, and when you hear all positives, all positives, all positives about a great RB, AP, watch your back dude!

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dawg's picture

July 25, 2013 at 07:42 pm

Love what MM said- Something about putting that Purple on.
Lesily Friaser continues to let the tabloid BS to continue, is why they are pretenders!
Inmates running the asylum, at least they don't have a cookie cutter team--arrrgh.
Guess LF needs the tabloids to motivate the Purple/ex Green $ Gold! Carry on!

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Gamer's picture

July 26, 2013 at 01:49 am

Could it be that G Jennings is showing his "sour grapes" attitude? Not only did he miss significant playing time at GB last season (P Harvin the 2nd?), but he was accustomed to being the #1 receiver. Its a fact that A Rodgers hits whoever is open, playing no favorites. That in addition to being out of the spot light may have fueled his classless comments after not getting the contract extention that he truly wanted to remain in GB. Well G J, I suggest you focus on your own "team" performance and rise above the verbal digs intended to rally your new fanbase and their purple support around you. Prove your worth on the field G J, as old #12 no longer has your back! Shame on you!

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Fi crane's picture

July 26, 2013 at 04:06 am

That's entertainment

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gslumbers's picture

July 26, 2013 at 01:14 pm

EVERYBODY on here is getting a little tender lately. We all need to jack down a bit. One offseason and the whole packer nation turns into a bunch of emotional cupcakes.

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Frank's picture

July 26, 2013 at 02:01 pm

I was willing to to take the high road with Craig jentings , but his attitude is terrible , he couldn't be the star on the packers so he went to the Vikings to get his washed up ego stroked , he's a grown baby ,,,,, this is a packer blog ,,, so if you want us packer fans to speak highly of Craig , good luck ,, go to a queens blog then , they are good at praising washed up x packers ,, on a side note I really hope Desmond bishop can still play he will be missed , I havnt read any negative things from him , he's a class act in like number 87 or what ever his number is lol

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bogfan's picture

July 26, 2013 at 09:27 pm

Jennings is taking advantage of a new situation where they don't have any control over the players. He couldn't handle being on a team that exists as a FRANCHISE first and foremost. Rodgers deserves all the accolades because he excelled to the top of the mountain individually. He is the leader in much the same way that the guy before him was....some guys just can't accept their role.

He'll do great as an above average player on an average team...and now he'll never make any Hall of Fame anywhere.

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REEVES's picture

July 27, 2013 at 05:30 am

And you buy tickets from a guy that sells tickets for sold out events ... never a "scalper"

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carlos's picture

July 29, 2013 at 05:17 pm

Team player. NOT! Sulked all last year. One big baby. You belong in Minne
sota. So glad he's gone.

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