Now that he’s with the Minnesota Vikings, wide receiver Greg Jennings can’t bring himself to mention Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers by name.
How fast a man’s feelings can change.
Barely a year and a half ago, back when he was still with the Green Bay Packers, wide receiver Greg Jennings claimed that Aaron Rodgers was a better quarterback than Brett Favre had ever been.
While a guest on the Ian O’Connor show out of ESPN New York 1050, Jennings said:
They both bring different things to the table, but honestly right now I definitely have to go with . . . Aaron, his body of work at such a young age, his attention to detail, his discipline, I think it’s really second to none — its unparalleled.
In the same interview, he went on to describe Rodgers’ “attention to detail and his discipline” as “perfect or so close to perfect” that he thought Rodgers was “really going to separate himself.”
Just a few short months ago, he went on the Jim Rome Show, and when asked whether he would pick Rodgers or Favre, responded with “Give me Aaron.”
Now that he’s turned in his green-and-gold jersey for Minnesota Vikings purple, it seems that Jennings is singing a new tune. In an interview with Twin Cities Pioneer Press reporter Bob Sansevere yesterday, Jennings was asked yet again to compare Favre and Rodgers. His answer was most revealing:
When you talk about comparing quarterbacks, it’s hard to compare guys. I’ll take Brett. He did it for so long. . . . Then the guy they have now, he sat behind Brett and he learned so much. Christian didn’t really have that opportunity. He had to jump in. The way you compare them has to be a little different. The guy they have now was (essentially) a veteran rookie.
Did you catch that? If you didn’t, go back and read the quote again.
The old Greg Jennings thought Aaron Rodgers might well be the greatest quarterback ever. The new Greg Jennings can’t even bring himself to say Aaron Rodgers’ name. Notice how he uses the peculiar and awkward phrase “the guy they have now” twice in a just few short sentences.
So which is it, Greg? Is Rodgers really one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, or was he basically nothing more than an overgrown rookie?
For a man who has built his charisma and popular appeal around his supposedly rock-solid Christian values, Jennings seems to have a little problem with consistency and honesty. Or maybe he have a latent streak of bitterness that’s finally starting to show itself. Neither peccadillo jives well with his normally impeccable and sunny persona.
Whether he’s genuinely changed his mind — and it’s almost impossible to believe that a player as intelligent as Jennings truly thinks that Christian Ponder is remotely comparable to Rodgers or Favre as a quarterback — or he’s merely nursing a case of sour grapes, Jennings seems to be continuing a trend of deliberately alienating himself from the teaming masses of Packers fans who idolized him for so long.
As far back as September of 2012, when he subtly impugned the sexuality of fans who he complained got too “grabby” during Lambeau leaps, I have suspected that he either wanted out of Green Bay or he was trying to cushion the blow of a separation he’d come to conclude was inevitable.
In either case, it seems cracks have appeared in that perpetually grinning façade that won the hearts of so many, exposing a side of Jennings that is not nearly as appealing. It’s a pity that he would to stoop, if ever so slightly, to the diva stereotype he avoided for so long.
All those years he seemed like the perfect wide receiver — or at least so close to perfect that he was really going to separate himself.