From the Mouth of Jermichael Finley: Packers Should Score Every Time

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NFL general managers, coaches and the majority of players give the most boring interviews in all of sports. Because football is run by multi-billionaires and is the most mainstream sport in America, the league and its teams spend a lot of money trying to control their message and ruffle as few feathers as possible when communicating through the media.

That’s why I love Jermichael Finley. Green Bay’s fourth-year TE apparently was absent when Packers PR staff provided media training to players and covered such topics as Cliches 101 and How to Say the Same Boring Stuff Over and Over Again.

Finley just says whatever is on his mind, and it’s great. For some reason, certain fans get upset when players are honest. I get that there’s a fine line between being honest and being dumb, but I don’t understand why some fans would prefer a player to just shut up instead of actually telling us what’s on his mind (even if whatever is on his mind might be dumb).

Actually, it probably has nothing to do with being honest or dumb. It’s more about being genuine. I think Finley is genuine, and that’s a good thing.

Here are some of Finely’s best quotes from the last couple of weeks along with my thoughts on each one:

Finley spoke to Ricardo Arguello of the Appleton Post Crescent on July 23 about returning after the lockout:

“”The longer the lockout, the better conditioning and shape I’ll come back in. My thing is to come back and show the Packers I’m ready to go….(The lockout) has actually helped me, to tell you the truth.”

I like that Finley feels he still has to show the Packers he’s ready to go. We all know Finley is talented (and Finley knows he’s talented), but he’s never played a full 16 games in his career. It’s good to know he’s not expecting to come back and be featured in the offense without proving he’s healthy and can play at a high level.

Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee spoke to Finley about numerous topics on July 15, one of which concerned Finley lining up as a receiver:

“Standing up, I think that’s the best position for me,” he said. Asked if the coaches are comfortable with that, Finley replied, “They’re going to be comfortable with it.”

Some people might read the last part of that quote as Finley dictating what the coaching staff should do with him. That’s fair, but I see it more as Finley being in prove himself mode. He wants to prove that he’s healthy and still a great talent that is capable of doing more than being a traditional TE.

In the July 30 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Finley spoke to Lori Nickel and Tom Silverstein about coming back from his injury at a lighter-than-usual 240 pounds:

“”I’m going to be the same player that I was at 250. Guarantee it. I’m a competitor. They might get me once but they won’t get me twice.”

By dropping weight and talking about it, Finley is hinting that he wants to line up more at WR. If you’re a conspiracy theorist, you could also contend that the Packers were in touch with Finley during the lockout and told him to shed a few pounds so he could line up more at WR.

Speaking to CBS Sports.com on Aug. 1, Finley declared that if he stays healthy he would

“change the tight end position…I guarantee it.”

Even I smacked my head after this quote. Finley should play a full 16-game sason before talking about changing the position.

Finley is also a good follow on Twitter. On Aug. 2, he Tweeted:

“Man I wish we had the damn Eagles on the schedule. All this “Dream Team” talk is killin me..”

I agree. The NFL should switch the Thursday opener and make it Philly vs. Green Bay. This Tweet also shows that Finley is thinking more about than just himself as he makes his comeback. It’s important to him that the Packers are regarded as the top team.

On Aug. 9, Aaron Rodgers made everyone chuckle by chanelling his inner-Allen Iverson while talking about the offense struggling in practice. But buried further in Tyler Dunne’s post at the JSonline.com blog is another gem from Finley:

“”I think we’re going to go in rolling. I think everything’s going to be smooth sailings. Everybody will get their touches. Ryan Grant will get the ball if he wants. It’s going to be a great year, a special year.”

Setting the bar high right away, I like it. Finley dosn’t want to use any convenient excuses if the offense struggles early. He thinks the Packers are good enough to hit their stride right away. Smooth sailing might be a little strong, but you get the idea.

Finley was even more blunt when speaking with Wilde on Aug. 9:

“Put it like this: We should score every time we get the ball. So you add that up….I think we’ve got the deadliest offense in the league. But at the same time we’re on paper right now. We’ve still got to go on the field and do the work.”

Now this is Finley in top form. These are the kind of quotes that bring a smile to my face. I love it. Finley is saying essentially the same thing that McCarthy said, only in a more blunt and entertaining way.

It will be interesting to follow Finley during the season. If he comes back strong and the Packers play well, Finley might become one of the more entertaining personalities in the NFL. If he falters and the Packers struggle, Finley could become one of the more annoying personalities in the NFL.

Meantime, I will be enjoying regular Finley quotes and Tweets during training camp.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam\\\'s writing on the Packers here.

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  • FireMMNow

    I agree that sometimes it is refreshing to hear a guy be honest about how he feels. But at the same time J-mike has done very little in the league to become the spokesperson for the team. He is an incredible talent, but until you prove that you are one of the best in the game it is better to be seen and not heard.

    The line that I had the biggest issue with was the line regarding the coaches that “they will be fine with it”. There are a ton of ways to answer that question that sound much less contentious.

    I personally really like that the packers are a team of up and comers that are hungry and love to prove people wrong. Finley is saying things that will make the packers prove him right. I do not want the media talking about what Finley said before or after a game, I want to read about what the team did right or wrong.

    Also, i think saying that j-mike is being genuine is a little bit of a stretch. He is promoting himself quite a bit. We had YOTTO, he is going to change the TE position etc. Just shut up and do it. He gets a ton of love already from the media and he has not done anything yet. The history of the NFL is littered with guys that had amazing talent but for whatever reason did not make a huge impact in the league. Pretty soon he is going to start sounding like that fat wind bad Rex Ryan.

    • Adam Czech

      I think he’s genuine. Sure, he promotes himself, but he’s up front about it. There’s a lot of guys that talk about being team players in public but are anything but in private.

      Oh come on now, you can’t possibly not enjoy Rex Ryan! Do you really want all coaches to sound like Belichick and talk to fans like we’re a bunch of 4th graders?

      • FireMMNow

        Are you serious about Rex Ryan? I think he is the most annoying person in the NFL. Yes I would prefer every coach to being like Belichek as opposed to every coach being like Rex Ryan.

        Rex will lose this team just like his dad lost teams. Eventually you have to back it up, otherwise it is just useless, and once again, self promoting drivel.

        I would absolutely HATE to be a fan of a team that moron coaches.

        • Adam Czech

          I hate coaches that are condescending, arrogant and smug and Belichick is the worst. Then all of his assistants that get hired as head coaches try to act the same way. It’s maddening.

          Ryan is a great character and talks out of his ass but I respect him a lot more than Belichick. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have Belichick coaching my team, but I have a lot more respect for Ryan because he doesn’t talk down to people.

          • FireMMNow

            Most of the best surgeons, CEOs and top professionals are smug. Because they know they are the best at what they do and are generally the smartest people in the room. Belichick probably falls into that category as well. He just does not like to talk to the media. It is hard for me to fathom that you respect rex more than belichick. I do not think there is a coach in the NFL that I have less respect for than rex ryan.

            • Adam Czech

              “Most of the best surgeons, CEOs and top professionals are smug.”

              Not the ones I know.

              “He just does not like to talk to the media.”

              Most coaches don’t, but they’re still able to do it in a respectufl manner without insulting the people asking the questions and the readers/viewers that are simply looking for a little bit of insight into something they invest a lot of time and money into enjoying.

              I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one…….

        • Steve Cheez

          I’m with you, FMMN, I wouldn’t want Ryan coaching my team. But it sure is fun when he’s coaching somebody else.

    • Phil

      Finley is an idiot. First, he has never played in 16 games. Second, Packers offense is not as great as they all seem to state. Look at recent SB, yes Packers won but it their offense only scored 3 TD’s and Steelers offense scored 4 TD’s. How can everybody say Packers offense is so great? Steelers were a banged up team especially on defense. Yea Packers were banged up but mostly on offense. PAckers D is what won that game for them NOT the packers offense. And if they played again, Steelers would whip them with a healthy Polamalu and Harrison. Harrison played in SB with two herniated disc in his lower back and he could barely feel his leg.

  • JohnBlood27

    I love to watch the games on Sunday (or Thursday, Saturday or Monday).

    All the crap that happens in between means NOTHING.

    On Sunday+ is when we should listen to Finley and he should speak through his actions and accountability. PERIOD.

    He needs to grow up and understand the first part of my post so he can address the second part as an adult.

    • Adam Czech

      You’re right, it means nothing. But in addition to watching the games (whenever they are on), I consume all things NFL. I enjoy insight, honesty and personality.

  • Ron LC

    Finleyisms – just remember there is a fine line between entertainment and obnoxiousness. He is a real talent and he can get away with some bluster but remember also he has not finished his job. Playing a full season.

    I think the weight comment is real interesting. I’ve often compared him to a throughbred running the Derby. A magnificent well mucsled body on thin, fragile legs. The 10 pound drop could help his endurance more than it might seems.

    If things turnout the way he expects, we the Packer fans will be completely happy when joins the ranks of Moss, Ocho, and others. To quote Mel Brooks in the “Producers”, “if ya got it, flaunt it.”

    Another good look at our heros from yet another perspective Adam, Thanks!

    • Adam Czech

      I don’t put Finley anywhere near the Ocho category yet. Besides Twitter, Finley really doesn’t go off promoting himself away from the field. Most of Finley’s quotes come from him answering questions from the media. I much prefer Finley’s answers over the standard drivel and cliches provided by most athletes.

      • Ron LC

        Don’t disagree, but he still needs to complete the cycle.

  • http://httl bill from jersey

    put it this way…there is a reason moss,to,ocho-notto and other idiots dont wear green and gold….its bacause their idiots….he better produce or he will be with the other idiots…not on this team…..shut up and play

  • aaronqb

    The only reason JMike didn’t do it last year is he was injured (on a play where he was trying to make a tackle). I hope he has a long and productive career in GB. He is refreshing and ridiculously talented.

  • Mojo

    This is the quote that concerns me:”Standing up, I think that’s the best position for me,” he said. Asked if the coaches are comfortable with that, Finley replied, “They’re going to be comfortable with it.”

    I hope he’s not indicating he doesn’t intend to give much effort in blocking. Else he’s just another receiver and we have plenty of them.

    Otherwise, I agree Adam that having a quotable, non-cliche player makes reading or listening to interviews much more enjoyable. When they employ cliches they might as well say nothing at all.

  • Curley2808

    Finley’s bravado is fine by me, hope he’s able to walk the talk. Can’t abide the whining and finger pointing that often accompanies those who show it was mostly talk in the first place. Sounds like he’s happy to be a GBP and I’m happy too, at least for now.

  • SpiderPack

    Thanks for an enlightening article Adam. Ted & the boys have been trying to tell us for some time that JMike’s attitude and personality are a plus for the team and that the way he comes across through the media is not the same person they see with them on the team. They would not want to eat crow on this one, so if they’re saying it, they know what the hell they’re talking about. Thanks for helping me relax so I can just sit back and chuckle as Finley’s “poetry” spews forth from here on out.

    The comparison of Finley with Rex Ryan is nonsense. Rex is a head coach who goes out of his way to hype his team, which to me shows a shallow understanding of how to build team confidence(for a better example check out last year’s MM coaching performance and how confidence began bursting from MM’s lips b4 the Patriots game when he knew his team was blossoming).

    Finley is a 24y/o somewhat immature yet freakishly physically gifted AND motivated TE who’s not afraid to speaks his mind, even though he’s been “labeled” immature (and even “moron” by our HOF Chumra). Its just not the same animal.

    Let the man talk, he’s just telling us how badly he wants to play. And now lets hope he can stay healthy!!

  • Art

    “I love that kid, man,” McCarthy lovingly said (about Finley). “He’s so competitive, and he loves to play football. He makes us a better football team. Not just because of his ability and his uniqueness, but also his competitive spirit. We missed him from a competitive standpoint. That guy loves to perform. Every day, in everything we do.”

    Also, according to McGinn, Finley was lined up as a WR 90 of 196 snaps last season. 54 were in the slot and the other 36 were outside. I’d expect Finley to be “standing up” roughly 50% of the time this year.

  • http://www.avis-sondages.com Perry Dunaway

    You could certainly see your skills in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.