Minnesota Vikings

Greg Jennings Will Miss Aaron Rodgers Regardless of Preseason Comments

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 30: Greg Jennings #85 of the Green Bay Packers is congratulated by Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers after the pair scored a touchdown during a game against the Minnesota Vikings on December 30, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34. (Photo by Andy Clayton King/Getty Images)
Andy King/Getty Images
Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2013

Greg Jennings can say whatever he wants about Aaron Rodgers as the Minnesota Vikings prepare for the 2013 season, he's going to miss "12" once he gets back to playing football. 

The former Green Bay Packers wideout has been in the headlines since signing with his former team's NFC North rival in March for comments that he made about former teammate Aaron Rodgers. 

Speaking to Dan Wiederer of the Minnesota Star TribuneJennings had some critical things to say about the situation in Green Bay. Specifically, he didn't like how much credit goes to the man he refers to as "12": 

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.

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... It should always be 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.

Faced with backlash from head coach Leslie Frazier and former teammate James Jones, the two-time Pro Bowler addressed the situation, chalking his remarks up to humor, per Mark Craig of the Minnesota Star Tribune:

Seriously, those guys across that state line, I had an outstanding time with those guys. Everything I say, I'm joking. I'm messing. I'm pulling Aaron's arm. I mean if he doesn't know that or you guys don't know that, I played with the guy for seven years. I think he knows that.

While his original remarks about his former teammate didn't seem to be of the joking variety, the truth is, they will have very little to do with what happens on the field this season.

Whether or not Jennings actually likes or dislikes Rodgers won't change the fact he now has Christian Ponder throwing him the football instead of the 2011 NFL MVP

Jenning's may be looking forward to going back to the No. 1 option in the Vikings offense, but it doesn't necessarily mean that he'll be putting up better numbers. Last season, the Packers had three receivers with more yards than Vikings lead receiver Percy Harvin. 

Yes, Harvin played in just nine games, but the fact that he still led the team in receiving with 677 yards speaks to the struggles of the team's passing game last season. Of those 677 yards, 551 came after the catch.

That's more yards after the catch than Jennings ever had in any of his seasons with Green Bay. His highest single-season total was 474 in his 1,113-yard season in 2009.

In Green Bay, Jennings was part of a dynamic aerial attack that could attack the defense all over the field. Rodgers threw for 4,295 yards, 39 touchdowns and eight interceptions last season, and that was with Jennings only appearing in eight games.

In Minnesota, he'll go to an offense that depends on Adrian Peterson to do the bulk. Ponder threw for 2,935 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season.

Jennings may get a greater share of the credit if he's able to put up numbers with the Vikings, but he's going to miss the opportunities he saw with Rodgers at the helm of the Packers offense.  

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