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Jermichael Finley wants to reconnect with Rodgers

  • Joe Ray

Moments such as this touchdown against the Lions have been hard to find for Jermichael Finley this season. (Credit: AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

Times have been tough lately for Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley. His season has seen a lot of ups and downs, as Finley has seen his role in the Green Bay offense reduced, mostly due to the play of breakout receiver Randall Cobb. But according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Finley says that his problems this season have stemmed from a lack of chemistry with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“Both of us need to just go out, maybe have a drink or two and just spill everything,” Finley said of him and Rodgers. “It sounds easy, but it’s not. He’s throwing it to who he’s comfortable with.

“I think (Randall) Cobb’s taken my position from ’09. I want to line up where Cobb’s lining up because I know the ball’s coming there.

“But me and 12 just ain’t been on. He’s had some guys come through this year, and he’s gone to them instead of me. And really, it’s out of my hands at the end of the day. If I could throw myself the ball and run under it, I’d do it every play because he’s just not throwing me the ball like he used to.”

Up until last week’s game against the Lions, Finley had seen his reception totals decrease steadily throughout the season, from 7 receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 down to just 1 catch for 6 yards against Arizona in week 10. In the Lions-Packers game this weekend, Finley caught a big touchdown pass early in the second quarter and also had two other receptions late in the fourth quarter, but was absent from the box score otherwise. The game could be seen as a microcosm of Finley’s 2012 season, a few very bright moments spaced between large absences from the offense.

Finley was also asked about the possibility of leaving the Packers this offseason. Despite the fact that the team won a Super Bowl while Finley was on injured reserve in 2010, Finley is still far and away the most talented tight end on the roster. And with Greg Jennings likely bound for free agency as well, Finley seemed unsure whether he would stay with a team where he has had trouble finding consistent production.

“I love that question man,” Finley said. “I don’t know. All I know is I have talent. And if Green Bay decides to do something with me, I’m 25 years old. I got a decade under my belt, yet. Who knows at the end of the day?”

Finley is correct in that he has always had the talent to be a star at the tight end position. His stats from 2009 and 2011 (Finley was injured and only played 5 games in 2010) indicate his potential. But this year, even with top receiver Greg Jennings out, Finley is fourth on the Packers in receptions and targets behind wide receivers Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and Cobb. Perhaps a night out will create some new bonds between Rodgers and Finley, and reestablishing that chemistry would add another element back into the Packers’ elite passing attack.

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Joe Ray

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