Taking a page out of Keyshawn Johnson’s book, Green Bay Packers’ receiver Greg Jennings has put the team on notice: just give me the damn ball!
Actually, those weren’t Jennings’ exact words – that’s the title of Keyshawn’s book – but the sentiment was the same. Jennings, who has a measly 11 catches for 240 yards this season, told reporters he needs to get the ball more for the Packers to be successful.
“They know how I feel,” Jennings said of the coaching staff. “As a competitor, I would hope they know that I want the ball. When I’m in the meeting and I’m looking at myself running wide open and I’m not getting the opportunity, yes, I am pissed – get me the doggone ball . . . no (just kidding).
“I feel like that when I get the ball in my hands, good things happen. Period. I mean, it’s not an arrogant statement. It’s not an ‘I better get the ball’ type deal. It’s fact. And we always talk about being a real team, and what are the facts? Those are the facts. When we get the ball in our hands, we make plays.”
Jennings is right, but for a guy who is usually fairly laid back and soft spoken, this is a major statement – and perhaps a necessary one. Up to this point in the season the Packers locker room has been quiet, with the exception of Charles Woodson. Now, guys are starting to get pissed (or at least be more vocal) and not accept the brand of mediocrity the Packers are mired in.
Although there are plenty of directions to point fingers at for Jennings’ lack of production – the Packers sieve-like offensive line, Aaron Rodgers’ tendency to hold onto the ball like it’s glued to his hand, the receivers’ annoying habit of dropping passes – Jennings goes right for the coaching staff.
“If it is we can’t protect, if that is the case, then let’s take some of the stress off the offensive line. Period. Or off the protection,” Jennings said. “That’s typically how it works. Will we do that? I don’t know. If it’s raining, I’m going to pull out an umbrella if I have one. If I don’t have one, then I’m just going to get wet. If I have an option to make a correction, to make an adjustment, then why not make the adjustment?”
Although this is what should be expected from a guy who signed a contract extension that will pay him $8.8 million per season, this is a big step for Greg Jennings. Greg Jennings is developing into a leader of the Green Bay Packers.
The team needs it. Let’s just hope his fire translates over to the field.