Category Archives: TGIFinley



Is Packers Jermichael Finley Ready for Another YOTTO?

When Jermichael Finley found out the final bad news about his knee injury suffered in the week five game against the Redskins, he turned to twitter to let Packers fans know that, “YOTTO has been rescheduled for the 2011-2012 Green Bay Packer Season.”

Of course, whether Finley likes it or not, the Packers’ “Year Of The TakeOver” continued on just fine without him in 2010. In fact, it continued on just fine without more than a dozen Packer players lost for the season. I’m still amazed by that…

But getting back to Jermichael Finley, he’s talking about his knee again, but this time it’s all good. Back on April 22, Finley tweeted, “Today was the first time since Week 5 that I caught a ball & ran routes. An my my my I look good.” (never one afraid to kiss the mirror is Finley…)

Yesterday, just 20 days later, Finley let Packer Nation know, “I just thought to myself that its May & this knee feels brand new already. smh. This what my Pack Fans been waiting 4 huh.”

So here we are in this spring of much discontent in the world of the NFL, and the Packers’ star tight end is obviously healthy and chomping at the bit to get a piece of that championship feeling. Sadly, at a time when Finley could be running routes on Ray Nitschke field and we would all be hanging on every tweet about how good Finley looks in OTAs, we have nothing.

It  was rather ironic that Finley missed being a participatory piece of the Packers’ YOTTO. All he has now is hopes that football will be played again in 2011 and that the Packers make a run at repeating as World Champions. But he can’t call it YOTTO again – Green Bay has already taken over the NFL. Perhaps he needs to change it up a bit. Here are some suggestions for Jermichael:


YOTTOR (Year Of The TakeOver Repeat)

YOATO (Year Of Another TakeOver)

YOTSTO (Year Of The Second TakeOver)

Whatever he calls it, I’ll just be glad we will once again be able to say, TGIF -  Thank God It’s Finley.



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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for



Do the Chicago Bears have the Blueprint for Containing Aaron Rodgers? – Analyzing the Stats

First off, congratulations to the Green Bay Packers for winning the NFC Championship and going to the Super Bowl. Also hats off to the Chicago Bears, they went down swinging till the very end and almost made a comeback with a 3rd string quarterback.

Now with that out of the way, the one question I had after watching the game was “what is it with the Chicago Bears that gives Aaron Rodgers so much trouble?” Do they have the blueprint other teams should be studying to nullify Aaron Rodgers?

Rodgers has been up and down against the Bears this season; during week 3 he played remarkably well and lost, in week 17 he played quite poor and won, and in the Championship game was more a combination of the two, where Rodgers started out well and ended poorly.

Does it have something to do with the Tampa-2 defensive scheme that the Bears run or could it be Soldier Field itself, which was thoroughly criticized prior to the NFC Championship game? Could it be the loss of key offensive weapon Jermichael Finley? Or could it be that we fans are so fixated with the Packers-Bears rivalry that we tend to scrutinize and criticize Rodgers more when it comes to playing against the Bears?

Rodgers vs. Tampa-2: Tampa-2 as a defensive system is a little bit of a misnomer; just like the west coast offense, almost every team employs this philosophy to some extent. Simply put the idea of Tampa-2 defense is to have two high safeties cover the deep pass while the defensive lineman rush the quarterback with the middle linebacker often dropping deep into coverage in the middle of the field.

The system is simple yet effective and emphasizes containing the deep pass. The take home message of this is that Rodgers will probably see some Tampa-2 during every game he plays, but one can assume that Rodgers is likely to see more Tampa-2 with 4-3 teams than he will with 3-4 teams based on personnel alone:

Rodgers vs 3-4 Defenses and 4-3 Defenses

Defense Completions Attempts Completion % Passing Yards TD INT QB Rating Yard Per Attempt
Average 3-4 Defense 21.2 35.2 60.44% 264 1.4 0.4 93.54 7.63
StDev 5.5 6.38 0.13 56.53 1.14 0.55 29.6 1.87


TGIF: Green Bay Packers New Go-to Guy; Jermichael Finley

As the 2009 Packers season plays out, and yet another football lands in the hands of the Packers #88, I’ve adopted a new twist on a popular acronym:

TGIF – Thank God It’s Finley…

Packers GM Ted Thompson’s 2008 draft will never be featured at the top of his resume. Jordy Nelson, Brian Brohm and Patrick Lee were the first three picks of that draft. While I like Nelson, and think he will develop into a very useful receiver, Brian Brohm was a certified bust from day one and Patrick Lee is just one more injury away from being called the same. But Thompson did uncover a hidden gem in that draft. In the third round (pick 91) Thompson selected a young underclassman from the University of Texas.

After less than two full seasons, it’s not a stretch to say that Jermichael Finley could turn out to be the steal of the entire 2008 draft.

Finley played only two seasons at Texas, and after only 26 games, he was already the 3rd all-time receiving tight end in Texas history. A father of two children, yet essentially still a kid (Finley turned 21 just before the 2008 Draft), Finley felt the need to move on to life’s next challenge.

The Packers first took notice of Finley a week before the NFL combine. Said tight ends coach Bob McAdoo, “When you start watching guys, obviously you look for things you can’t coach, and I think he has a few of those qualities. He’s someone who was intriguing the minute you turned the tape on.”

Finley did not do particularly well at the combine, running only a 4.82 in the 40 yard dash. That and his limited experience scared off a lot of NFL teams, but not the Packers. They went into the draft prepared to take him with the second of their two second-round picks, but when Brian Brohm and Patrick Lee “fell into their laps” (collective groan from Packers fans…), the Packers plans were sidetracked. Luckily, the Packers found Finley still waiting for them in the third round, and now a lot of other NFL GMs are kicking themselves.

As a rookie for the Packers, Finley’s athleticism and potential was apparent to everyone. But at 21 years old, Finley was the youngest player on the Packers and at times, appeared overwhelmed by the whole experience. His immaturity showed as he made some some ill-advised comments to the media, complaining about passes not being where he wanted them.