Just what does Jermichael Finley mean when he refers to ‘freestyling?’


Jermichael Finley breaks a tackle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season at Lambeau Field. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

I like Jermichael Finley. Yeah he talks too much … unnecessarily … but he is a talent.

So when he came out this weekend to say that he is going to get back to his roots, stop worrying about so many things and wear a T-shirt that says “freestyling,” I wasn’t surprised.

The question many are asking, however, is just what does he mean by freestyling? There’s probably only one thing fans of the Packers will understand as the season gets under way is that Finley simply catches the ball. Though he had more than 700 yards on more than 50 catches last season, those were the most quiet yards and catches in the entire league.

When people point to Finley’s performance in 2011, they will remember just one thing: the drops. In all, he had 13 of them – many coming at the most inopportune time – do you remember last year’s playoff game?

So, when he comes out this offseason and says his chemistry with Aaron Rodgers was off and that he’s intending to freestyle this upcoming season, you’ve got to have a bit of worry.

I say whatever works. If the freestyling thing leads to more catches, more touchdowns and more chemistry with #12, then I’m OK with it. If his performance next year is akin to last year we may see the last of number 88 in Green Bay.

Another question that comes to mind is the reaction of no-nonsense coach Mike McCarthy. I’m just wondering what he thinks about Finley’s comments this season and how well it will sit … my guess is the coach is rolling his eyes and saying something like, “Oh, Jermichael. Why did you have to say something so stupid? Just catch the damn ball!?

These guys are professionals. They are paid millions to catch and run with the football. Mike McCarthy understands that. Aaron Rodgers understands that. Every Packers fan on the planet understands that.

My only hope is that Jermichael Finley understands that.

If it takes freestyling to accomplish that while still being accountable to his team and teammates, then that’s OK.

But if the freestyling means flapping his lips more than he should, then Jermichael Finley should re-evaluate.

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Tags: Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers Jermichael Finley Mike McCarthy NFL