Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly was suspended by the NFL “indefinitely” today. He will not be eligible for reinstatement until after the 2010 season. All this two weeks before he stands trial on felony drug charges. My first reaction was that the NFL knows something we don’t. And now, news is leaking out that Jolly was suspended for violating the NFL’s Substance Abuse Policy. As far as what do the Packers do now, I say no worries…
Talk about timing; the subject of Johnny Jolly was debated last night on CheeseheadRadio. The following debate subject was posed:
The Packers should just release Johnny Jolly now and eliminate the distraction.
I took the “Pro” (touchdown) stance and here was my statement.
Until last year, I always considered Johnny Jolly an underachiever. As if by magic, playing for his next contract, Jolly turns into a wild man. He’s blocking passes, making diving one-handed interceptions, he blocks a field goal – seemed like he was everywhere. Until we get towards the end of the season, when the big guy got a bit tired and he went back into coasting mode. Of course, that was when it mattered the most to the team. So which Johnny Jolly is the one you’re going to get? Personally, I want to see the Packers with more athletic defensive linemen, and hey, what a coincidence, they just drafted two! While it’s a bit of a gamble, I say let the Jolly Rancher go stand trial in Texas without an NFL contract. Maybe then he’ll appreciate it more…
Now, I can’t say that if I was in Ted Thompson’s shoes I would have had the balls to just cut a useful player like Jolly, but my sentiment was forthright. I’d rather not have that distraction looming over the team, so if he were to go, I could live with it. Of course, never did I expect him to be gone the next day.
So now I stand by my point that Jolly being gone might be a blessing in disguise. I’m really excited about Packer draft picks Mike Neal and CJ Wilson and welcome them having the opportunity to develop and get some fill-in playing time. In college, they have shown the ability to push the pocket and get in the quarterback’s face, something the Packers sorely lacked last year.
If Mike Neal and CJ Wilson are NFL-caliber players, then what has just happened is all for the best.——————
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.