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.——————