Last year a lot of Packers fans would probably be stunned at what I’m about to say.
Jermichael Finley was a diva that called out his Pro Bowl quarterback in the media, complained about his role and was frankly an immature pro receiver.
Which surprised many when the Packers ponied up in February 2012 for a two-year contract. The misunderstood tight end is the second-highest paid player on the team this year with a $8.75 million price tag before he becomes a free agent after this season.
He finally was figuring it out before getting concussed on the Packers’ sixth play from scrimmage at Cincinnati.
Which is why, Finley — not Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb or James Jones — is the most important Packers receiver. Notice I didn’t say best, or talented or most productive. He is fourth on the team in targets but what he does should make Nelson, Cobb and Jones very happy.
Finley occupies the entire middle of the field. And since he’s 6-foot-5 and 247 pounds he’s always been too fast for a linebacker to cover and a defensive back doesn’t have a prayer at bringing him down without help.
Which means Finley must be bracketed, sees press coverage or is spied in the backfield constantly. And those things open lanes for arguably the best receiving corps in the NFL.
When Finley went down, the passing game struggled. Aaron Rodgers had seven straight incompletions before finding Jones for 13 yards on 3rd and 1 late in the second quarter.
Finley still has his moments where he falls into his lapses of lost concentration. He drops passes that are sure catches and his pass-blocking is still iffy.
Finley can drive the fan base nuts, just remember that he’s doing the wide receivers a huge favor.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn