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Jermichael Finley was ‘different man, different player’ down the stretch

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 15, 2013 – 6:19 pm

Jermichael FinleyHead Coach Mike McCarthy spoke rather positively about TE Jermichael Finley in his season-ending press conference on Tuesday, praising the fifth-year tight end for finishing the 2012 season very strongly.

While battling a shoulder injury early in the season, Finley’s production dipped. He started the season with seven receptions in the season opener, but through the first nine games he had 60 yards receiving in a game just once. Following the bye in Week 10, Finley reached or surpassed 60 yards in a game five times over the final seven weeks of the regular season. He had four games with at least five receptions over the final five weeks.

Finley finished the regular season with 61 receptions, a Packers single-season record for a tight end. He gained 667 yards and scored two TDs. He added five catches for 45 yards in the two playoff games.

Amidst some media speculation that Finley, who has one year left on a two-year contract he signed following the 2011 season, might not be back with the Packers next season at his current price tag, McCarthy made it sound as though he has every chance to return. Though McCarthy, as he said repeatedly on Tuesday, wasn’t making any final declarations about anybody.

“I’ve really felt Jermichael Finley was a different man, different player from the bye week on,” McCarthy said. “I had an opportunity to talk to him about that at length in his exit interview.

“I feel very good about the way he finished the year. He did some good things Saturday night. There was a change in that young man. But we also have to look at that first half, too, and make sure that’s part of the evaluation. Because we’re all judged on (18) games.”


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Posted in Packers.com Blog | 47 Comments »


47 Responses to “Jermichael Finley was ‘different man, different player’ down the stretch”

  1. By Don on Jan 15, 2013 | Reply

    The question is Finley going to be a Packer next year.

  2. By Dennis on Jan 15, 2013 | Reply

    Finley will be back next season with another chance to prove, once and for all, that he is the real deal.

  3. By CarolinaPack on Jan 15, 2013 | Reply

    The guy is average; let’s face it. Yes, he has all the tools, but he can’t seem to put them to work. He has zero interest in run blocking, which is a real detraction for a TE and limits what surprise he can bring.

  4. By Pack Freak on Jan 15, 2013 | Reply

    Jermichael blocked like a beast in that Minnesota game. If he can put it all together all year he can be the best te in the league. Hope your back JMF

  5. By Tyler on Jan 15, 2013 | Reply

    He’s a bad run blocker? Did you watch the season at all?! JF was a beast 2009, his problem seems to be mental …if he can overcome that and regain confidence in himself, like he did the last half of this season, he can turn back into the 2009 player.

    Doesn’t block well…. I dunno where you’re keeping your eyes during plays ….maybe on just A-Rod?

  6. By Tyler on Jan 15, 2013 | Reply

    Also, have you noticed since we have 10 f**king receivers that our offence has no chemistry? We need to get back down to a solid 4 players that play nearly every play, so they can get in rhythm and destroy…. Like last year.

    I honestly think we have TOO many weapons, I know that sounds dumb, but think about it …They constantly sub in and out, therefore there is no rhythm/chemistry for a main package of players

  7. By Tyler on Jan 15, 2013 | Reply

    Cobb, Jones, Nelson, JF …..we should play them nearly every snap..

  8. By veteranviewer on Jan 15, 2013 | Reply

    Finley performed well down the stretch. Needs more consistency.

  9. By Ricky on Jan 15, 2013 | Reply

    When you supposedly have the “tools” to be the best tight end in the league but don’t do anything with it, you’re better off not playing at all. The problem with Finley and a lot of packer players is that they have no pride. Their actions speak for themselves. If I’m getting paid millions of dollars and starting at my position in the NFL, you better believe I’m going to play my heart out every game and work my butt off in the off season. Too many of the packers players aren’t doing that. It’s why they won’t win a super bowl or even make it there until that changes. Natural talent exists in every single player in the NFL. It’s what got them there. Consistency is something that constantly needs to be developed. It’s what separates the men from the boys. Until Finley and the rest of the Packers players that don’t play with pride get that through their heads, they’ll never be great and will continue to tamper with the teams success.

  10. By jb on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    even tho he finshed strong, do want to pay him 11 mil next year, with Mathews, Rodgers comming up its c ya JM

  11. By Sixtus on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Jermichael we needed you to be a different man last year, a Pro Bowl year. It didn’t happen and it didn’t happen this year! So it’s time to move on!

  12. By Canadian Bill on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    Hopefully Finley is here to stay. Didnt have the best year but still a very dangerous receiver. Just need more consistency on defence and the SB will always be within reach. With 32 teams making the playoffs is a munmental task and after that its all gravey. Hopefully we will have a better outcome next year. GO PACK GO

  13. By John Denver's Gavel on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    ^This guy has to be trolling, no way anyone could be this dumb, not even a Canadian. 32 teams make the playoffs each year eh, hoser?

  14. By tim on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    It is hard to justify a $3.5 million roster bonus, but i hope they keep him.

  15. By Dan on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    ^^ There is supposed to be a comma after the word teams.

  16. By Thomas on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    Too many weapons to have chemistry? Heard it all now, how bout too many injuries for chemistry… the latter sounds way more reasonable.
    Hope we keep Finley, hope the change in him stays aswell. he’s had all the tools maybe he just needed to let his mind catch up to his body.

  17. By jshankman on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    I think Finely has the possibility to have a huge season next year. I remember before the injury in 2010 he was a huge part of our offense. With Jennings on the way out Finely can expect a bigger role in the offense.

  18. By johankrapfen on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    He has a big mouth, and is close to being in that ‘cancer’ category, could care less to see him back.. Crabtree & Williams have shown promise, enough that he (Finley) wouldn’t be missed much.

  19. By Mike on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    With Jennings most likely leaving in FA I dont think theres any doubt they will keep Finley. This is precisely the reason they gave him a 2 yr deal and not the long and expensive deal he was looking for. He is a monster. He lost some of his explosion probably from his knee injury but with the way he ended the season he earned the right to finish the 2 yr “tryout” contract that they gave him. Talent like that with that size is not very common so I think its worth the risk to keep him around. Also, This kid thrives on confidence. Once he started dropping balls and lost his confidence his production dropped. With a few good games and one less option in the offense (jennings) he can become a major matchup nightmare again.

  20. By Kereck on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    U right A-ROD try to make everbody happy but with GJ gone we should b better he can get more balls n A-ROD can just be him self and not worrie bout makein everbody happy

  21. By buzz61 on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    Hey John Denver i thought you were dead? We need Finley back.Who are you going to replace him with?He has 1 year left.I live 30 miles from Greg J. and he is all over the local news i do not think he is coming back.Also if Arod would not have been sacked 50 times all of our weapons would have been better!!!!!!!

  22. By Gianni on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    Does anyone else believe Jennings is worth resigning, even for the franchise amount? I understand WRs are a dime a dozen, and with Aaron at the helm, many above average WRs can be great.

    But Jennings’ ability to stretch and his YAC was undeniably great. He really pulled through in crunch time when he got looks. I only remember one bad drop. But everytime the ball went his direction, it was more of a sure thing than to Jordy/Jones/Finley.

  23. By northerner on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    You either have the athletic skills to be a great TE or you don’t. How many average college players would like to have the opportunity to learn as you play while making $$$$$$$$ to do so. Finley stunk up the field the first half of the season so I guess according to some that is OK if you catch a few at the end of the season. That’s good rational. Maybe you can help coach the PACK.

  24. By Dean on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    Plain and simple, the Packers are and have always been an organization that promotes players organically from within the organization and happen to be one of the best at doing so in the league. Get rid of Finley get a 4th round pick (possibly 3rd round) and find some talent from within as we always do. Let’s see what Crabtree’s got.

  25. By beastfromtheeast on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    JMF is coming back and he will be better next year. Losing GJ will hurt. Cobb can’t replace GJ. GJ is an elite wr with a unique set of skills that the other WRs on the current roster don’t have, even Cobb, who has drawn similar comparisons to GJ. But the reality is, GJ will be gone and we’ll need to find other ways to produce from the skills position. Might be the opportunity that JMF needs to take that next step that everyone is asking out of him. Without GJ, we’re going to have to find offense elsewhere, i.e. more from running game. The 2011 offensive masterpiece season won’t be happening again anytime soon and that is a fact. We will have to be more balanced, especially if we want to win in the playoffs. Defense needs to be top 5 or an early exit is highly probable again.

  26. By John Denver's Gavel on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    as dumb as monmental

  27. By beastfromtheeast on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    i’d like to hear your insights john. to me the packers went from top dog in the nfc to chasing the giants and now the 49ers. looks like rodgers will end up with at best 2 more rings…at best

  28. By Polish Prophet on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    Of course he was a different player in the down stretch. He realized his time in the NFL was coming to an end.

  29. By Canadian Bill on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    LOL. Unreall. John Denver sorry for missing the comma. Jon and Dan thanks for pointing it out to our simple minded friend. Will be extra carefull next time sheeeee. Go Pack Go

  30. By Beat Ur Man on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    Finley needs to be traded. 4 decent tight ends on the roster. If Andrew Quarless returns healthy next season look for him to outplay Finley

  31. By John Denver's Gavel on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    My insight?
    Well, I believe the Packers as a whole are being marginalized by terrible coaching and poor personnel decisions by a cheap GM.

  32. By beastfromtheeast on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply

    I can’t argue with those points as I believe TT has fallen in love with relying too much on UDFA and low draft picks (i.e. erik walden, charlie peprah (2011))to fill in the voids and while that may work at one or two positions, it can’t be a long term solution for a “championship caliber” team. Go make some moves in FA TT and get a CW and a ryan pickett. We could have had Marshawn! As for the coaching, i can’t say much without knowing what goes on on a week to week basis. however, i don’t think the team is built for january football in lambeau. ##dome team.

  33. By Eric on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply

    The only problem that this team had this year was losing half of our starting DL and LBs.

  34. By airpacker12 on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply

    51 SACKS AND YOUR TALKING ABOUT A BIG YEAR FOR J-MIKE….

  35. By Larry on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    If you have a choice would you keep JF or Jennings? It sounds like the packers are going to let Jennings walk. I would keep Jennings and cut Finley if money is the issue.

  36. By bigDaddy on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Finley is overrated. Never become the player he was promised to be. Not a pro bowler. Barely a starter.

  37. By bigDaddy on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Now that Finley is a “different player, different man”, I wonder if he will can the fin move, or the year of the takeover move, or signaling first down, or complaining of being interfered with constantly?
    Why do we treat him as a star without actually him becoming one?

  38. By GSaari on Jan 19, 2013 | Reply

    JF acts like a yahoo after he catches the ball… likes it his first time… act like you have caught the ball before and get in the huddle, I say get rid of him.

  39. By Nick on Jan 19, 2013 | Reply

    If anybody with intelligence reads this! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know we have several offensive weapons.. Lets stop talking about how we have so many before and after a game and then not end up using them…..

  40. By Nick on Jan 19, 2013 | Reply

    Another thing! Re-sign Greg Jennings.. He still has plenty of TD catches left in him. Again, it doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure that out.. Look what AP did for the Vikings after being injured….

  41. By Ricky on Jan 21, 2013 | Reply

    We need tyler eifert. Plain and simple. He fights for every catch and he’s enormous. He was successful with his qb at notre dame, who happens to be pretty inaccurate at times. Rodgers is arguably the most accurate qb in the league. Eifert will be a great addition to our team.

  42. By Deans on Jan 21, 2013 | Reply

    Keeping Finley would truly be wasting cap money on a player that is inconsistent and cannot be counted on to be “in” every game. He’s immature and a head case. Use what we have, develop a draft pick and spend that money in other areas that need it and can have more of an impact. Linebacker, D-line, O-line…you get the picture. Let Finley go, please!!!!

  43. By RH on Jan 22, 2013 | Reply

    Trade Finley and keep Greg, even if they just franchise him. I think Greg has the intangible leadership quality that no other receiver on the team has. Nelson and Jones catch balls because it’s their job; Cobb catches them because it’s cool to be famous. Greg catches balls because he believes in the team and Rodgers, and he wants to win. I think Greg was instrumental in selling Rodgers to the offense after the transition from #4. Finley believes in Finley. I wold say he has definitely stepped into the ‘cancer’ territory and we are better off without him.

  44. By Lynn Scott on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    Really who was before going down the stretch???

  45. By oso negro on Jan 25, 2013 | Reply

    Rodgers is the best delivery system in the NFC. Ten receivers in one game is a lot of good hands. Goodbye JMF and GJ with best wishes as it’s time to cut salaries and move on. Thanks for the memories; some good, some gut wrenching.

  46. By dan on Jan 26, 2013 | Reply

    finley is a cancer to the team. if its between finley and jennings keep jennings. he can catch the ball and wants to play for green bay packers.

  47. By Peter on Jan 26, 2013 | Reply

    Get rid of him we need that money for other players. we won the Super Bowl without this guy we don’t need him

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