24

July

Shocked Johnny Jolly Sits, Waits, Hopes for NFL Reinstatement

Johnny Jolly hopes for NFL Reinstatement

Johnny Jolly – Deserving of Another Chance?

It’s been two years since Johnny Jolly last played in the NFL. After multiple drug possession arrests and convictions as he fought a codeine addiction, Jolly sat in a jail cell last November facing another 6 years in prison. Having received some breaks from the judicial system previously, Jolly would receive what will hopefully prove to be the biggest break of his life.

In May, Jolly asked for and was granted “shock probation” by a Houston judge. Shock probation can be granted to first-time prison attendees who can convince the judge that they’s been sufficiently “shocked” or “scared straight.” Jolly was re-sentenced to ten years probation and released.

Soon after, in early June, Jolly applied to the NFL for reinstatement and has heard nothing since. Of course NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been busy dealing with some other minor distractions, namely Bountygate and the concussion lawsuits. But if Jolly wishes to have a chance to play this season, whether with the Packers (who still hold his rights) or another team, he needs to get into a training camp sooner rather than later.

For his part, Jolly talks of being eight months sober and how he has finally taken the steps to evaluate his life and find the right group of people to help him.  A cynic might say that we’ve heard this kind of talk before, but has his stay in prison coated those words with a new layer of truth?

I’ve been as skeptical as anyone, and truly believed his time in the NFL was going to be and should be over. Period. Jolly’s ONLY priority should be in repairing his life, I have said many times. Of course, I didn’t envision him getting out of jail in less than a year.

At this point in his life’s saga, he probably needs the Packers as much as anything for the support system his teammates, coaches and the organization can provide. Jolly has praised the Packers organization for their continued support, and it’s obvious they care about Jolly as a person. Andrew Brandt, former Packers executive has intimated that what happened to Jolly upsets him so much because Jolly is a good person, not some low-life scum that deserves to be in prison.

16

May

Former Packers DE Johnny Jolly Gets Early Release From Prison

Johnny Jolly released from prison

Johnny Jolly has been released from prison on "shock" probation.

Johnny Jolly, a former defensive end for the Green Bay Packers, has been released from prison and given 10 years of “shock” probation by a judge in Houston, Texas.  This comes after serving only six months of a six-year sentence for numerous charges related to the controlled substance Codeine.

While I’m no legal expert, “shock” probation is given to first-time offenders who have been “shocked” by their prison experience, which would then hopefully bring about a change. Jolly gets 10 years of shock probation along with 200 hours of community service.

Jolly was originally drafted by the Packers in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL draft.  The two years before Jolly was suspended indefinitely by the NFL in 2010, he played in all 32 games and was a key contributor to the defense.

The chances of Jolly ever returning to the NFL or Green Bay are slim to none, but it is always encouraging when a human being makes a genuine change in their life.  Hopefully, this is just the beginning to a new life for Jolly.

 

16

July

Green Bay Packer Johnny Jolly Suspended: A Blessing in Disguise?

Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly was suspended by the NFL “indefinitely” today.  He will not be eligible for reinstatement until after the 2010 season. All this two weeks before he stands trial on  felony drug charges.  My first reaction was that the NFL knows something we don’t. And now, news is leaking out that Jolly was suspended for violating the NFL’s Substance Abuse Policy.  As far as what do the Packers do now, I say no worries…

Talk about timing; the subject of Johnny Jolly was debated last night on CheeseheadRadio.  The following debate subject was posed:

The Packers should just release Johnny Jolly now and eliminate the distraction.

I took the “Pro” (touchdown)  stance and here was my statement.

Until last year, I always considered Johnny Jolly an underachiever. As if by magic, playing for his next contract, Jolly turns into a wild man. He’s blocking passes, making diving one-handed interceptions, he blocks a field goal – seemed like he was everywhere. Until we get towards the end of the season, when the big guy got a bit tired and he went back into coasting mode. Of course, that was when it mattered the most to the team. So which Johnny Jolly is the one you’re going to get? Personally, I want to see the Packers with more athletic defensive linemen, and hey, what a coincidence, they just drafted two! While it’s a bit of a gamble, I say let the Jolly Rancher go stand trial in Texas without an NFL contract. Maybe then he’ll appreciate it more…

Now, I can’t say that if I was in Ted Thompson’s shoes I would have had the balls to just cut a useful player like Jolly,  but my sentiment was forthright. I’d rather not have that distraction looming over the team, so if he were to go, I could live with it. Of course, never did I expect him to be gone the next day.

So now I stand by my point that Jolly being gone might be a blessing in disguise. I’m really excited about Packer draft picks Mike Neal and CJ Wilson and welcome them having the opportunity to develop and get some fill-in playing time. In college, they have shown the ability to push the pocket and get in the quarterback’s face, something the Packers sorely lacked last year.