Rodgers and Finley: We're talking chemistry


Take a look at the picture above … I will come back to this …

I want to preface this piece by saying right out that I’ve been a big fan of Jermichael Finley. He’s a good football player, a huge talent who came to the Packers with a large upside. He’s had some fine games as a Packer. He was clearly the best tight end the team has had on its roster and a no-brainer for a starter with the squad.

However, his inability to keep his mouth shut and be the kind of soldier the team needs has soured me. Each week, I hope he steps up and shows what he is capable of accomplishing on the field; I hope deep down that he is able to back up his words with actions.

I’ve been sorely disappointed, as have many Packers fans. We’ve heard him say that he’s all in, that he is going out of his way by meeting with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers the night before each game in hopes of finding that much-needed “chemistry” he feels is missing.

We’ve heard him say that chemistry goes both ways – this is true, but when the quarterback hits him consistently between both eights and he drops the ball, how can that trust ever be solid?

We’ve watched as Finley missed the entirety of training camp and then comes in and picks up where he left off last year – as being a highly inconsistent piece of the Packers puzzle. We all thought he would shake it off and get better. He did do that in the first couple of games of the season. In those first two games he caught 11 passes and two touchdowns, but since then has literally dropped off the Packers offensive map.

Jermichael Finley makes a catch against the Seattle Seahawks in 2010. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Since playing decently against Seattle (4 catches for 60 yards) and New Orleans (4/54), Finley has been a non-factor.

Here is what he’s produced since those first four games:

Indianapolis – 3 catches for 11 yards

Houston – 2 catches for 12 yards

St. Louis – 2 catches for 31 yards

Jacksonville – 2 catches for 24 yards

Arizona – 1 catch for 6 yards

Finley says he’s being double-teamed, that he can’t get into the flow of the game. Maybe that’s true, maybe not. Either way, players get double-teamed all the time – he isn’t the first.

Now we come back to the photograph at the top of the page. Take a closer look – As Rodgers is surrounded by his teammates and he gives them the pre-game pump-up speech, look at the player bent over tying his shoe or picking grass off his uniform or whatever he seems to be doing – one thing’s for certain, he’s not paying very close attention to what Rodgers has to say.

Maybe it’s just me reading too much into the photograph, but if chemistry starts with respecting teammates and at least paying attention to what they have to say, Finley is failing terribly in this photograph.

Clearly, there’s no chemistry emanating from this photograph.

Coming out of the bye, I hope Jermichael Finley has the opportunity to right his ship; I hope he proves all of us naysayers wrong. I hope he comes out and doesn’t drop a pass and burns up the league the rest of the way. That would give Ted Thompson reason to think that he should keep Finley around.

If Finley doesn’t do that, expect him either to be cut or traded.

One doesn’t treat the league’s MVP and face of the franchise this way and get away with it.

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