by Bill Johnson (email@example.com)
Steady, attack dog Packer fans.
I get that you are wildly protective of Aaron Rodgers, and you should be. He's the man. He's the Franchise. All the hopes and dreams rest on him.
No questioning that.
My interpretation of Jermichael Finley's comments seems a little different than most of yours.
It seems that many Packers fans saw Finley's "chemistry" comments as a shot at Rodgers. I couldn't disagree more.
While Finley was not a rookie heading into 2011, he had missed a huge portion of 2010 with an injury. I'm sure that his timing with Rodgers was affected by the shortened camp. It only makes sense. That's no shot at Rodgers. That's an educated opinion.
Nowhere in Finley's comments does he suggest that Rodgers should have organized showy workouts independent of the organization during the work stoppage, like the Bayou Bounty Boys did. I think that's an assumption that many Packers fans have jumped to.
In my opinion, Finley is saying that HE has to work harder. He's saying that HE needs to know his patterns inside out, so HE can let his natural gifts take over.
Finley did not measure up to his contemporaries last season (Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis, Gronk Stoneman....), but at 25, he's entering his fifth season. Barring injury, he could still become the best tight end in football, and hold that title for a few seasons.
He is one of only a few Packers that does not toe the "buttoned down" line when commenting publicly. He says what he's thinking. While that often leaves fans, teammates, and management uncomfortable, I've never seen him as a clubhouse lawyer. Outspoken is often incorrectly interpreted as negative at 1265 Lombardi Avenue.
He's taken his lumps, on and off the field. What many players don't figure out until the end of their careers, Finley has learned with the best years of his career potentially still ahead of him.
I expect Jermichael Finley to be among Aaron Rodgers top three targets in 2012. Double digit touchdowns and one of the best yards per catch averages in the league among tight ends.
I also expect those doubting Packers fans to eat their words.
Chewing quietly, as always.
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