15

February

Jermichael Finley: 2012 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Jermichael Finley

TE Jermichael Finley

1) Introduction:  Packers fans are already well acquainted with tight end Jermichael Finley.   Finley broke onto the scene late in the 2009 season and had all the potential to become the next all-world tight end.  Three seasons have come and gone since then, and many are still waiting for Finley to realize that potential.  Finley’s 2011 season was his first back from a season-ending knee injury and he had some issues hanging onto the ball as well as things being said outside the locker room.  Fully healthy once again, many hoped 2012 would finally be the year for Finley to develop into the dangerous weapon everyone knows he can be.

2) Profile:

Jermichael Finley

  • Age: 25
  • Born: 03/26/87, in Lufkin, TX
  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 247
  • Rookie Year: 2008
  • NFL Experience: 5 years

Career Stats and more:

(3) Expectations coming into the season: The expectation this past season for Finley were pretty much the same as the previous two—finally put his size and incredible skills together and become one the best tight ends in the game.  The drop issue hopefully was behind Finley and since he was healthy, he was expected to add another dimension to an already dangerous passing game.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights:  For lowlights, Finley had some issues holding onto the ball again but they were not as severe as 2011 per se.  While some fans over exaggerated the issue (Randall Cobb led the team with 11 drops, not Finley), Finley dropped a couple touchdown passes early in the season and didn’t rack up the yardage many thought he would (he had 667 receiving yards this season vs. 767 in 2011).   He also had issues with his mouth (again) including say he and quarterback Aaron Rodgers lacked chemistry. His agent also criticized the quarterback’s leadership, which turned fans even more against Finley.  All that aside, he still had a fair season in 2012. Finley finished the season with 61 receptions (a team record for a tight end) and got better down the stretch with 60 yards or more in four of his last five games.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success:  Well, the off the field shenanigans definitely didn’t help.  For the early part of the season, Rodgers didn’t look Finley’s way too much and some of that could have had to do with Finley’s remarks to the media as well as his agent (we all know how well Rodgers holds a grudge).  He also was overshadowed by the shiny new toy in the Packers offense called Randall Cobb.  Finley contributed more later on in the season, but the Packers were already playoff bound at that point.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs:  Finley had one catch on three targets for 10 yards against the Vikings and four catches on five targets for 35 yards against the 49ers.  In other words, his contributions in the playoffs were pretty much non-existent though he did help keep some drives going against the 49ers.

 Season Report Card:

(C+) Level of expectations met during the season

(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(C-) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: C

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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

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22 Responses to “Jermichael Finley: 2012 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card”

  1. Ron LC says:

    Unlike most of the posters on this site, I’m a fan of J Mike. I think he has had his share of let downs and disappointments. However, I just can’t stop thinking there is a talent in that man that will surface soon. With Jennings and Driver gone an athletic TE who can play on the outside should be a value in 2013. I think this is his year to prove himself once and for all. I was encouraged by his play, especially after AR and him got together on Saturdays to discuss the game.

    I’m looking for an A in 2013. I know that’s a minority opinion here, but I’m a stuborn old coot. I will be donning my 88 jersey each and every game day next season. Color my glasses Rose.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  2. Dan "FireMMNow" Blakley FireMMNow says:

    A TE should be a player that gets his receptions from the usual flow of the offense. It seems like the only way J-mike can get open is if they call plays for him. Anybody starting at TE in the Packers offense should be able to catch 50-60 balls. His salary is too steep. Please TT, trade this guy and draft eifert or Ertz or the guy from SDSU. They are all just as good or better athletes than J-mike and are hopefully not head cases. I think a change of scenery will be good for J-mike as well. He may flourish with a fresh start. I do not feel that he will ever be a guy that you can trust to make the tough catch when it matters. I think he is a guy that works hard physically and could be a good player for a lot of teams, I just think he has lost the faith of his coaches, some players and the fans.

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  3. Fitz says:

    I visit this outstanding site often, but have rarely left a comment. No surprise the talented Finley has me hitting the keyboard. As a die hard fan, I too wish this star would shine. But year after year my disappointment and frustration outweighs my excitement over his potential. His poor blocking, big mouth, classless first down dance and YOTO TD celebration pisses me off, because it is not what, I believe, the Green Bay Packers stand for. He hurts the team in so many ways. I would rather have a Bubba Franks type TE who fills his role and produced in the red zone with half the talent Finley has. Is there value for 2013, certainly and he is being paid as such. Another genius TT move to sign him to just a 2 year contract in 2011. We need a stud at TE and I hope TT takes a chance on a monster, athletic, freaky good TE in the draft who can be developed, because my predection is 2013 will be the year of the exit for Jermichael. He is just not worth it in the overall picture. He gets a “D” in my book

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  4. ELo says:

    C-, I want to be a Finley fan, but I’m just not impressed with his performance. Its not just the number of drops, its the nature of them. They seem happen at the worst time on fairly easy catches. I also think Finley is a liability in protection and I have never seen him throw an effective block downfield after the catch. Too much “me”. His loss can be replaced.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • Dan "FireMMNow" Blakley FireMMNow says:

      i disagree on his downfield blocking. i saw him make numerous excellent blocks downfield this year. just not as an inline blocker, but that will never be his strength and is not what TT drafted him for.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  5. Buff says:

    Fans don’t give credit for the catches he does make. Some very difficult. Rodgers is not a quarterback well know for touch like Bree’s. He is known for his fast ball and accuracy. Finley is his over the middle target. In a two deep zone he is vulnerable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

    • Dan "FireMMNow" Blakley FireMMNow says:

      disagree. rodgers throws with much more touch than many great QBs including brett favre. and the reason teams use the two deep look against the packers is because J-mike has been unable to split the seam and run away from LBs. Playing against the cover 2 should allow a talented TE to be the focal point of the gameplan.

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      • Oppy says:

        Could you be mistaking accuracy for touch?

        Rodgers is one of the most accurate QB’s I’ve ever seen, but I agree with Buff that his passes often lack touch and too often are unnecessarily thrown with maximum velocity.

        His screen passes and very short passes are the most obvious examples.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Stroh says:

          The WR group has said that Rodgers throws harder on alot of passes than Favre did. Agree, accuracy is Rodgers strength, but he throws hard almost all the time. Touch isn’t necessarily one of Rodgers strengths.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. PatMc says:

    Agree with Ron. I hope 2013 is the year.

    Cobb had more drops than Finley – I didn’t realize that. (article above)

    I saw some very good down field blocking after the catch by Finley.

    In order for the TE to get the 50 catches we need a running game that is respected. Right now the Mike LB’s are dropping back to look for Finley. A respected running game will keep the LB’s closer to LOS.

    If TT were to trade him I hope it is for a high pick (2 or 3).

    I also hope that Finley shuts his mouth, drops the YOTO TD crap and tells his agent to shut up until after the SB.

    Go Pack GO!

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  7. Dobber says:

    My hope is that Finley turned the corner later in 2012. He seemed to be playing better down the stretch. Whether that’s truly a clearing of the air with ARod and getting his head on straight, I don’t know.

    Yes, he gets a big check, but the Packer offense is geared around the passing game, and Finley will be a cheaper piece to keep than Jennings. There need to be weapons, and replacing both Finley and Jennings (given TTs reluctance to buy on the market, and given the steep learning curve for rookies) might be problematic, given that Quarless is coming back from major injury and the other TEs on the roster have no track record.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  8. mike sherman says:

    I like Finley, but he has to block. Unless your Randy Moss, if you don’t block for the running game you shouldn’t be on the field. Finley is not too talented to keep on the field or on the roster for $8 million, if he won’t throw blocks for the running game. That being said, his window for being more than just a one dimensional receiving TE is closing quickly. At his current skill level he should be paid $5 mill a year, not $8.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  9. Stroh says:

    I’ve always been a fan of Finley. Have to say I’m surprised by the reaction here. Other sites they just can’t wait to get rid of him. I’ve always tried to defend him a little. Think he’s more misunderstood than anything and doesn’t really say anything outrageous. I think he just speaks his mind w/o a filter or thinking of the repercussions.

    It not like it was a secret when he said he and Rodgers weren’t on the same page. It seemed pretty obvious… Finley was saying that last offseason too. Glad he and Rodgers started meeting every week. That more than anything seems to have helped them regain the chemistry they lost due to Finley’s injuries and then drop issues. I think he’ll put together a big ’13 season if Thompson decides to keep him.

    Other thing I wanted to mention that isn’t mentioned much is Finley had a shoulder injury that I think had a lot to do w/ the drops he had this year. That got healthy bout midseason, so that helped him to.

    Look forward to a big year from JMike in ’13!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  10. Lars1 says:

    Finley didn’t turn a corner. His TD’s and YPC are declining. More like he knew he was about to blow nearly $9 million with his constant yapping about Rodgers and mediocre play.

    I would love the packers to get a TE they didn’t have to baby and wonder which personality is going to show up from week to week. Ertz or Eifert would be terrific.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  11. wedge9702 says:

    The money paid waiting for him to “hit his stride” is way to high. Trade him for a 2nd or 3rd round pick and cut the losses before it’s to late.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • Dobber says:

      Who would give a 2nd or 3rd round pick for someone you’ve tagged as a problem child/headcase?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. Scott 1956 says:

    He’s only 25, so I guess this year had better be the one, otherwise his next contract will be for the veterans minimum. He really can’t keep his mouth shut. He drops way too many passes. He either doesn’t block well or he’s not trying. He played better at the end of the season, but he’s played well in streaks before. Right now he’s not worth $8 million. If he has as much upside as I keep hearing, he’ll be big this year, being a contract year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Shavager says:

    Face it Packers fans–Finley’s been here 5 YEARS–you’ve seen the best he’s got and it’s definitely no where near the talent or production of the better TE’s like a Gronk or Hernandez in NE or Gonzalez in Atlanta. As for “dropped a couple of touchdown passes early in the season”-I specifically remember a couple at season’s end–one against the Vikings and BOTH PASSES were uncontested by defense–he just DROPPED them even though he got both hands on them. His negatives far outweigh his “potential”–C’MON, outside a couple of games–and only one that comes to mind last year-he’s been HIT AND MISS his whole 5 years in GB. Thompson cut Woodson for more cap space–I’d add Finley and Hawk’s name to that list unless BOTH restructure contracts–neither player add enough quality at their positions to be paid as well as they are.

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