GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers and Jermichael Finley are all good. No, really. While the Green Bay Packers quarterback’s relationship with his tight end continues to draw scrutiny, Rodgers insists that the two are getting along swimmingly, and the things Finley said in a story posted on JSOnline.com last week did nothing to change that.
In an interview with Packer Plus magazine’s Rob Reischel on Nov. 15, Finley spoke about Rodgers not having trust in him, discussed Randall Cobb taking his place in the offensive pecking order and speculated about his future with a contract that is scheduled to pay him $8.25 million in 2013. While the story was posted on Nov. 20, after Finley caught a 20-yard touchdown and had a 40-yard catch-and-run to set up the go-ahead touchdown in a Nov. 17 victory at Detroit, and initially lacked a sentence about the timing of the interview, there was no denying that Finley had once again had strong words about the ongoing topic of his “chemistry” with Rodgers.
Finley’s quotes were also in contrast to the more conciliatory tone he struck in an interview on Nov. 16 in a story on ESPNWisconsin.com.
Rodgers said Tuesday that what Finley said in the story didn’t have any impact on their relationship. The two have been meeting each Saturday night before games to go over the offensive game plan and discuss nuances of certain plays.
“Most of the time if something is said, whether it came out wrong or maybe it did come out the way they want it to, I have an open door policy at my locker. Come talk to me, and if you don’t, I’m going to come talk to you probably,” Rodgers said Tuesday during his radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com, adding that he and Finley didn’t even have a talk about what the tight end had said in the story.
“In that situation though, it was so far after the fact. Whenever the interview was done, I think it was Thursday before Detroit, we talked on (that) Saturday and had a great conversation. … In my opinion, there was nothing in that story that was going to come between our relationship. I didn’t really see the correlation between that story and anything that we had talked about on Saturday. So there was, in my opinion, no reason to talk to him about it.”
In Sunday night’s loss to the New York Giants, Finley dropped his eighth pass of the season (by Pro Football Focus’ count) and on the very next play after a timeout, Rodgers went right back to him for a 9-yard completion, on which Finley barreled over a defender. Rodgers then sprinted over to Finley to congratulate him after the play.
Rodgers took the blame for the drop – “(I) threw the ball in a tough spot, it was below the waist, it was not a great throw,” he said – and was more bothered by the fact that the offense settled for a field goal attempt after the drive stalled on a third-and-1 run that was stuffed.
“He didn’t come up with it. Fine,” Rodgers said of the drop. “(We) came over to the sidelines (for the timeout), then ran a base movement pass that we have and (Finley) caught the ball and rocked the guy, and that was a big play. I was fired up, and I know he was fired up as well.
“With Jermichael, I think it’s been about getting on the same page and spending some time together. And I think the thing I appreciate about him over the last three or four weeks is just how he really has been a good teammate. I think he really has. He cares about his guys; he’s been intentional about spending time with me and wanting to make sure we’re on the same page. And I think it’s helped. I really do think it’s helped.
“I think the best is still in front of him for this season and I think there’s going to be even more opportunities as we go. I really like what I’ve seen from him and I think he’s going to be important to us as we make this stretch run.”
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