7

March

Green Bay Packers 2010 Player Evaluations — Offense — Greg Jennings

1.)Introduction: Greg Jennings was the Green Bay Packers second round draft pick in 2006 and almost immediately began delivering results on the field.

Developing an instant rapport with quarterback Brett Favre (and then Aaron Rodgers), Jennings made his presence known early becoming the Packers deep threat.  His physicality and speed turned him into one the league’s best young receivers in only his second season.

Despite not being the tallest of wide receivers, Jennings is not afraid to go up top for a ball and has turned into a touchdown magnet near the goal line.  As could be heard through his microphone during Super Bowl XLV, Jennings also is a very smart football player and isn’t afraid to offer his coaches feedback on the gameplan in-game.

2.) Profile:

Gregory Jennings Jr.

Position: WR
Height: 5-11    Weight: 195 lbs.

Born: September 21, 1983 in Kalamazoo, MI
College: Western Michigan (school history)    (Jennings college stats)
Drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 2nd round (52nd overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft.

Weighted Career AV (100-95-…): 45 (1774th overall since 1950)
1-time Pro Bowler (fine print)

3.) Expectations entering 2010 season:  Coming of a 2009 season that had Jennings once again over the 1000 yard mark for the season, it was expected that he would duplicate those numbers and increase his touchdown total (he only had four the entire 2009 campaign.)  With Jermichael Finley a budding superstar at the tight end position, Jennings was expected to have a bigger season with so many defenders keying in on Finley.

Another 1,000+ receiving yards and 10+ touchdown passes was about was expected of Jennings during the 2010 season.

4.) Highlights/Lowlights: As it turned out, Jennings once again had to become the offense’s primary playmaker after Finley was lost for the season to a knee injury.  This no doubted suited Jennings just fine as he had begun to publicly show signs of frustration at the lack of balls coming his way with all the attention Finley was getting.

Jennings’ finest hour no doubt was Super Bowl XLV against the Steelers.  His two touchdown passes came at critical time for the Packers.  His first, a 21 yard bullet through the Steelers’ coverage, put the Packers up 21-3 and forced Pittsburgh to play catch-up the rest of the way.  His second, an eight yard catch,  helped stall the Steelers’ momentum that they had built during the third quarter.

9

February

Game Balls and Lame Calls: Super Bowl XLV Edition–World Champion Green Bay Packers

World Champion Green Bay Packers. The Vince Lombardi Trophy is back home.

Here we are, nearly a few days after the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 to win Super Bowl XLV and my feet are still nowhere near to touching the ground.

What a ride. After the 31-27 defeat at Foxboro to the New England Patriots that dropped the Packers to 8-6, things looked bleak. Aaron Rodgers was coming off his second concussion of the season and the defense, depleted by injuries, got burned in a shootout by one of the NFL’s best in Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Some fans had doubt as to whether the team could win its last two regular season games to just make the postseason, let alone win 3 road playoff games to make it to Dallas for Super Bowl XLV. It seemed like the Packers, while they fought gallantly all year, would finally succumb to the ridiculous amount of injuries and start preparing for 2011.

After that game however, something magical happened.

Rodgers returned and rode a hot hand all the way to the MVP of the Super Bowl. The defense buckled down and different players rose to make plays on different occasions. Mike McCarthy fell into a zone with his playcalling and suddenly could do no wrong.

I thought this season was special with the Packers just making the playoffs. Now that they’ve won the Lombardi Trophy, the season qualifies as legendary and epic.

Before we look back on the season as a whole, let’s take one final look back at Super Bowl XLV in another edition of Game Balls and Lame Calls.

Game Balls

QB Aaron Rodgers

To borrow a line from CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman, Aaron Rodgers was “ballin’” during Super Bowl XLV en route to the game’s MVP award.

Despite his numbers being lower than they should have been due to some boneheaded drops by his receivers, Rodgers was locked in all day long throwing the ball with the pinpoint accuracy.

Rodgers gets a game ball for another reason as well. All week long, with national and international media present, he was asked multiple times about Brett Favre. Every day since the departure of Favre in 2008, Rodgers bit his lip and turned a question about Number 4 into a statement about the team.

1

February

Super Bowl XLV Preview Part One: Green Bay Packers Offense vs Pittsburgh Steelers Defense

It’s here at last. Super Bowl Week.

We are T-minus five days and counting from Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Five days away from a potential fourth Lombardi Trophy coming back to Titletown (I know the first two weren’t technically called the ‘Lombardi Trophy’ but bear with me).

Since the Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event of the year, I decided to do a preview on a much grander scale spread over five days. Starting today through the weekend, I will be breaking down the matchup for each team on each side of the ball plus special teams and coaching and ending with keys to the game and a prediction.

Today will be the Packers offense versus the Steelers defense. Tomorrow will be the Steelers offense vs. the Packers defense. Thursday will be the special teams comparison, Friday the coaching and then Saturday the keys to the game and my pick to win Super Bowl XLV.

Here we go with part one.

Green Bay Packers offense

Ever since opening day running back Ryan Grant went down with a knee injury in the first game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Packers offensive attack has started and ended with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Without the support of a solid running game for the vast majority of the season, Rodgers carried this offense on his right arm and for the most part did so brilliantly. After tight end Jermichael Finley, arguably the Packers’ biggest offensive weapon went down for the season the Packers receiving corps had to step up.

Enter wide receiver Greg Jennings. Even though he was practically ignored early on, Jennings has come up huge since Finley went down. In 2010, Jennings earned his first Pro Bowl spot (even though he couldn’t play due to the Packers being in the Super Bow) and has finally earned discussion in being part of the NFL’s elite wide receivers. With deceptive speed, great hands and an even better ability to get yards after the catch, Jennings has arrived on the NFL’s biggest stage.

This isn’t to say Jennings’ supporting cast is weak either. Ageless wonder Donald Driver continued to defy Father Time and contributed as we all have come to expect him too. Jordy Nelson and James Jones played key roles in certain games as well, though Jones has shown an unfortunate knack for dropping the ball at the worst possible time.