Previous Page 2 of 4 Next

Continued: Jennings still stalks success, and wants to bring the Vikings with him

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 25, 2013 - 10:33 AM

In 2011, Jordy Nelson leapfrogged Jennings as Aaron Rodgers’ top receiver. Last season, with Jennings missing eight games because of a nagging core muscle injury, he watched as James Jones and Randall Cobb broke through, combining for 1,738 yards and 22 scores.

Jennings celebrated those successes but wasn’t ready to slide quietly into a greatly diminished role.

He felt compelled to prove his career success hasn’t solely been a byproduct of having played with future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Rodgers and Brett Favre.

Jennings isn’t sure enough outsiders remember that during Rodgers’ first year as a starter in 2008, he was the quarterback’s top target, catching 80 passes for 1,292 yards with nine TDs. Or that he continued to aid Rodgers’ ascension with more than 2,300 receiving yards and 16 scores over the following two seasons.

“I was kind of that comfort blanket so to speak,” Jennings said. “But this is a quarterback-driven league, so people forget about the guys around the quarterback.”

Jennings wanted his abilities appreciated. So in his final months with the Packers, he started thinking more about what was next.

“Maybe,” he said, “I need to go back to my college days where the quarterback wasn’t just viewed as oh-so-great and still prove that I can be successful.”

If Jennings hadn’t tired of Rod­gers specifically, he certainly had his fill of the environment in Green Bay, wondering if the ubiquitous Rodgers lovefest had created a narrative that de-emphasized the strength of the group.

Throughout this offseason, Jennings has subtly jabbed Rodgers, rarely calling him by name and referring to him instead as “12” or “the guy they have now.”

“A lot of times when you have a guy who creates that spotlight for himself and establishes that and takes a lot of that, it becomes so-and-so and the team,” he said. “It should always be the team.”

Asked in a later conversation to clarify those sentiments, Jennings expanded.

“For me, I’m such a team person, I’m going to defer to my teammates,” he said. “I’m going to defer to the team, to the team, to the team. And I think when you reach a point where you’re not deferring any longer, it’s no longer really about the team.”

Jennings paused and looked around.

“Don’t get me wrong, ‘12’ is a great person. But when you hear all positives, all positives, all positives all the time, it’s hard for you to sit down when one of your teammates says ‘Man, come on, you’ve got to hold yourself accountable for this.’ It’s hard for someone to see that now because all they’ve heard is I’m doing it the right way, I’m perfect. In actuality, we all have flaws.”

Helping hand

Separated now from Rodgers and the Packers, Jennings knows a major catalyst for his success is out of the equation.

Yet Jennings also holds an opportunity — the edict really — to elevate Ponder, his new quarterback.

“I’m not saying that if I had wrote a script, this would hands down be the ideal position for me to be in,” Jennings said. “I don’t know. Only God knows that. But for me, it’s a challenge. It’s a change of gear to where now I don’t have that [established] quarterback. That’s what everybody is saying. But in my mind, I don’t need that quarterback for us to be successful.

  • related content

  • Video: Wiederer: What are Vikings' top priorities?

    Thursday July 25, 2013

    The Star Tribune's Dan Wiederer and CineSport's Noah Coslov discuss the top concerns for the Vikings heading into training...

  • Vikings sign all three first-round picks

    Thursday July 25, 2013

    The team's top draft picks -- Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson -- signed on the day the team reports to Mankato.

  • Chart: Vikings training camp at a glance

    Wednesday July 24, 2013

    Where: Minnesota State University MankatoWhen: Begins Friday, ends Aug. 14.Schedule: Morning walkthroughs are from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and...

  • Vikings camp preview: The offense

    Thursday July 25, 2013

    FRESH FACEThe Vikings gambled $47.5 million over five years that Greg Jennings can do as much for them as he...

  • Vikings camp preview: The defense

    Thursday July 25, 2013

    FRESH FACELinebacker Desmond Bishop arrives in Mankato with so much to learn. New teammates, new coaches, new system. It’s not...

  • Receiver Greg Jennings pulled down a pass during Minnesota Vikings OTA...

  • Greg Jennings looks for a new beginning with the Vikings. “I see an organization that’s on the move,” the former Packer said.

  • Vikings receiver Greg Jennings took part in an offseason conditioning program at Winter Park.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 11:10 AM
NY Mets - Z. Wheeler
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 11:10 AM
Tampa Bay - D. Price
Arizona - W. Miley 11:35 AM
Cincinnati - A. Simon
Washington - T. Roark 11:40 AM
Miami - B. Hand
Oakland - J. Hammel 1:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Pittsburgh - C. Morton 2:45 PM
San Francisco - T. Lincecum
LA Angels - G. Richards 6:05 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Seattle - F. Hernandez 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:08 PM
Detroit - M. Scherzer
Toronto - M. Buehrle 6:10 PM
Boston - B. Workman
Colorado - B. Anderson 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda 7:05 PM
Texas - C. Lewis
Minnesota - P. Hughes 7:10 PM
Kansas City - D. Duffy
Atlanta - A. Wood 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
St. Louis - J. Kelly 9:10 PM
San Diego - J. Hahn
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Toronto FC 6:00 PM
D.C.
Colorado 6:30 PM
New England
Vancouver FC 7:30 PM
Chicago
Red Bull New York 8:00 PM
Real Salt Lake
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close