1.)Introduction: Greg Jennings was the Green Bay Packers second round draft pick in 2006 and almost immediately began delivering results on the field.
Developing an instant rapport with quarterback Brett Favre (and then Aaron Rodgers), Jennings made his presence known early becoming the Packers deep threat. His physicality and speed turned him into one the league’s best young receivers in only his second season.
Despite not being the tallest of wide receivers, Jennings is not afraid to go up top for a ball and has turned into a touchdown magnet near the goal line. As could be heard through his microphone during Super Bowl XLV, Jennings also is a very smart football player and isn’t afraid to offer his coaches feedback on the gameplan in-game.
Gregory Jennings Jr.
Height: 5-11 Weight: 195 lbs.
3.) Expectations entering 2010 season: Coming of a 2009 season that had Jennings once again over the 1000 yard mark for the season, it was expected that he would duplicate those numbers and increase his touchdown total (he only had four the entire 2009 campaign.) With Jermichael Finley a budding superstar at the tight end position, Jennings was expected to have a bigger season with so many defenders keying in on Finley.
Another 1,000+ receiving yards and 10+ touchdown passes was about was expected of Jennings during the 2010 season.
4.) Highlights/Lowlights: As it turned out, Jennings once again had to become the offense’s primary playmaker after Finley was lost for the season to a knee injury. This no doubted suited Jennings just fine as he had begun to publicly show signs of frustration at the lack of balls coming his way with all the attention Finley was getting.
Jennings’ finest hour no doubt was Super Bowl XLV against the Steelers. His two touchdown passes came at critical time for the Packers. His first, a 21 yard bullet through the Steelers’ coverage, put the Packers up 21-3 and forced Pittsburgh to play catch-up the rest of the way. His second, an eight yard catch, helped stall the Steelers’ momentum that they had built during the third quarter.
While Jennings really had no true “lowlights” for the season, his sluggish start to the season was perhaps the low point of the year for him. Greg had never really been one those “prima donna” receivers that plague other NFL teams, so to hear him speak up was a bit of a surprise. Mike McCarthy obviously listened and Jennings ended up with his first Pro Bowl selection although he didn’t play because he was participating in that “other” bowl, the one that is super.
5.) Contributions to the team’s overall success: Once Finley went down, Jennings became the “go to” guy on offense and teams were unable to stop him. When he was double covered, Rodgers found another target and exploited it. Even if he wasn’t having a big numbers game, Jennings was still having an impact by drawing the opposition’s top defender and opening up opportunities for other receivers.
Jennings also became a more vocal leader. With Donald Driver nearing the end of his career, Jennings is the natural heir apparent as the leader of the receiving corps. Despite their relative youth, it is a very talented bunch and Jennings has been standing up to opponents when he feels like one of his teammates has been mistreated.
6). Contributions during the team’s six-game end-of-season run: Jennings came up money in the playoffs despite only contributing two touchdowns in that six game stretch (and those came in the Super Bowl). With 100+ receiving yards in the games against the Falcons and Bears, Jennings came up big when it mattered the most.
In fact, had Rodgers not had the day he had, Jennings likely would have won the MVP award for Super Bowl XLV. Not only did he have two touchdowns, but as can be seen on NFL Films he helped persuade McCarthy and the offensive staff to throw more to receivers running corner routes. Jennings saw how aggressive Troy Polamalu and the Steelers secondary were being and he saw an obvious chance to exploit it.
Thankfully for Packer Nation, McCarthy listened and the Packers are world champions.
Season Report Card:
Level of expectations met during the season (B+)
Contributions to the team’s overall success (B+)
Contributions to the team’s successful playoff run(A)
Overall grade: A-——————
Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke