Greg Jennings on leaving Green Bay: Aaron Rodgers wasn’t about the team


Wide receiver Greg Jennings says he left the Green Bay Packers to prove his NFL success hasn’t been based on playing with future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.

“I was kind of that comfort blanket so to speak,” Jennings told Dan Wiederer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “But this is a quarterback-driven league, so people forget about the guys around the quarterback.”

Jennings signed with the Minnesota Vikings in the offseason and is now catching passes from Christian Ponder.

“Maybe,” he said, “I need to go back to my college days where the quarterback wasn’t just viewed as oh-so-great and still prove that I can be successful.”

Jennings felt like there was too much of a lovefest for Rodgers in Green Bay, and it started getting to the quarterbacks head.

“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.”

Wiederer asked him to clarify those comments.

“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.”

“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.”

Now in Minnesota, Jennings feels like a good supporting cast for Ponder is all the quarterback ever needed.

“I’m not saying that if I had wrote a script, this would hands down be the ideal position for me to be in,” Jennings said. “I don’t know. Only God knows that. But for me, it’s a challenge. It’s a change of gear to where now I don’t have that [established] quarterback. That’s what everybody is saying. But in my mind, I don’t need that quarterback for us to be successful.

“It’s not about me. It’s not about just Christian. It’s about us.”

Update: Packers coach Mike McCarthy responds to Jennings comments on Rodgers.

“You know, when you put on that purple, something happens to you,” McCarthy said Thursday, drawing laughs.

McCarthy said Rodgers is “very committed, very in tune with what’s in the best interests of the football team. I’m very proud of him, just the way that he has taken that responsibility, and feel that it will be greater than ever going into this season.”

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  • ChuckH

    Wow 85! I’m thinking 12 brought you to the Promise Land and DWTS and that’s how you repay him? You’re going to wish you’re back in GB after this season.

    • gavinwca

      I agree with your sentiments, but how could you mistake Jennings for Driver? No short stuff could have kept up with Peta. She is, like, 5’10”.

  • bob Gerand

    News flash. Aaron Rodgers has a big ego and can be an a-hole. So what. Just because the Vikings have King in their name doesn’t mean they will win the north!!

  • bob Gerand

    Not a surprise that Aaron Rodgers has a enormous Ego and won’t accept fault Sure he is a bit of an A-hole.. So what? Just because the Vikings have King in their name, doesn’t mean they will win the north this year.

    • Doc Savage

      Do you stutter?

  • Master

    Are you kidding? Jennings had a severe problem with holding onto any pass these past few seasons…. & just an FYI, Jennings wasn’t on DWTS… that was Driver. Come on people….

  • jimminn

    Wow Jennings , I thought you were a Christian man, but after those comments I really don’t know. I always respected you but not now. I hope the packers beat the vikings real bad and I hope you drop a lot of passes.

    • Tumblindice58

      What he said has no bearing on being a Christian in that sense,And Mccarthy answered the way you would expect,We will just see what happens this year and make our own assumptions,All I know is Jennings was in an awful lot of packer highlights the past few years!

  • jandbzmom

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass, jackwad! What an ingrate.

    • Tumblindice58

      The door cant swing that fast,After all #12 was probably swinging it,OOh call the fire dept cuz you just got burned!Go Vikings and Go Greg Jennings!

      • Doc Savage


  • BmoreRamsFan8

    Doesn’t surprise me… Rodgers is a cry baby plan and simple. The coach is always going to back up their player unless your the other Aaron. I hope the Lions or Vikings win the Division. Good for you Greg and good luck!

    • Doc Savage

      Horse bleep.

      • BmoreRamsFan8

        News flash Doc your QB is a Pre-Madonna cry baby. I expect for him to be the most sacked QB again even with his re-shuffled line. I’m sure he will be crying mid-season. You should get him a bib now.

  • bobbybow

    I played in a charity softball game once against Eddie Feigner – the King and his Court.
    That is what professional sport has become. ESPN’s culture has created the worship of individual achievement – the concept of team is a quaint notion to the modern athlete.

    Watch Sports Center any night – Web Gems, Jacked Him Up, etc are all the opposite message of why we play sports. We play team sports to compete and win as a team.

    Individual sports are tennis, golf, swimming.
    Successful coaches are the ones who can get the team to put their ego’s aside and play to win as a team.
    That is the diff between Jeter and ARod, between the Patriots and the Cowboys, in my dad’s day the diff between Dimaggio and Williams.
    The modern day athlete has an agent, publicist, body guard, and few voices reminding them that they are part of a team.

  • Doc Savage

    We can only hope Jennings’ body is still connected to his anus after the first Packer-Vikings game next season.

    • gavinwca

      Well, he’s talking through it now, so if you are right he will be silent.

  • Anthony13

    I’m no fan of GB, but I have noticed that it’s Rodgers first and his receivers a distant second. I don’t believe AAron Rodgers would be nearly as successful without that receiving corp in Green Bay. We’ll see, as there has been a bit of a turnover up there.

    BTW, I wonder if the guy Rodgers bet his 2012 salary with about whether Braun was clean will be looking to collect.

    • gavinwca

      Rodgers has been the lead rusher on the team for the past 2 years what was that about the receivers. How did they help his running game.

      • Anthony13

        How did they hurt it? Last I looked. the frequency that a QB ran the ball and the success he had running it had less to do with receivers than an offensive line (although good downfield blocking by receivers can open up long runs – ask Kaepernick w/San Fran). You could make the argument that the receivers weren’t open, forcing Rodgers to take off. But you’d have to admit that they kept the DBs off of him, too.

        All I heard last year from the Packers was how deep and talented their receivers were. Now, either that’s the narrative they wish to be believed, in which case losing some of them is detrimental, OR they were poor route-runners who cost Rodgers time in the pocket, along with being awful down-field blockers that Rodgers gained extra yards in spite of rather than because of. In that case, a new set of receivers should be welcome.

        Me, I think it’s a little bit of both. Rodgers missed a few open targets, got a little antsy, and started to favor certain of his receivers too often, making the offense a little predictable. I also believe that the others became more than a little disgruntled and that affected their play. Either way, we’ll see how the situation plays out this year. I happen to think that GB will regress aust a little. More NFC teams are improving. They’re fairly safe in their division – Detroit, Chicago, and Minnesota haven’t made great improvements over last yet, either. Outside that division, there are more teams that can handle them now, though.

  • gavinwca

    Though he successfully snagged passes from future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, who had no problem putting the football right in his hands, he appeared to be a halfway decent receiver in his own right. Apparently, he is also half a man. I have no idea what his inflammatory remarks are getting him other than his 15 minutes of fame in advance of the season. You know, he was hurt last year and not in the limelight for a while, so he might be crowing now in the event he is injured again or jut does not become the “elite” receiver he thinks he is. I liked that he was all about the team, and the team, and the team. If he could spell he would know that there is no I in team.

    His new teammates better be paying attention. If he is this caustically glib about a former team, who gave a 5’8″ player an opportunity to become one of the greats, then you can bet if he doesn’t live up to his own hype it’s going to be Ponder’s fault. If the Vikings don’t do well this season, and Jennings doesn’t drag Ponder into elitedom with him, who is he going to be talking down then? The defense? The coaches? If he can’t say anything good about an MVP, Ponder doesn’t stand a chance! Why can’t people just shut up and play?

    • Jim

      Totally agree. Here’s a guy who missed 3/4 of the season last year because he was always injured berating his MVP QB? Good luck Vikes! Also wasn’t it Rodgers that went to bat for WR Jones, imploring the team to keep him when they were going to trade him away? That sounds like a QB doing what’s
      good of the team to me. I personally liked Greg Jennings and think he’s got a ton of talent, when he’s healthy. But McCarthy’s right, something does happen to players who put on the purple, could it perhaps be that they have to jabber on an on because they have no Super Bowl rings?