Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley has a reputation in the team’s locker room for being a player who speaks his mind freely.
It’s worth wondering if Finley went a little overboard this time in comments that could come back to haunt him when discussing the struggles of the 2-3 Packers as they prepare for their showdown Sunday night with the unbeaten Texans in Houston.
According to Paul Imig of Fox Sports Wisconsin, Finley says chemistry is lacking in the Packers offense this season. Specifically, he says his chemistry with quarterback Aaron Rodgers needs work.
“It's OK," Finley said, according to Imig. "Not good enough at all. Something to be worked on, and try to work on it as much as I can, try to talk to him as much as I can, but like I said, it takes two people.
“I need the quarterback on my side, and I need to catch the ball when he throws it to me. So it takes two things to get that going, the chemistry. I feel we need to get that going."
Finley, who signed a contract extension in the offseason, isn’t putting up the kind of numbers he has previously. Drops have plagued his game, as well, which must fall under a chemistry problem on his half.
"I think everybody's gotten lost in the (Rob) Gronkowski numbers and Jimmy Graham numbers, going for a K (1,000 yards) a year," Finley said of the league’s best tight ends a year ago. "I mean, that's unheard of. Five years ago, you'd get in the Pro Bowl (as a tight end) at 500 yards. It's just gotten lost.
"I think I'm doing fair. I think I'm doing well, doing what I'm supposed to do. I think I'm giving my all out on the field, for sure. I think I'm doing fair. I'm not doing the best I can do, of course, but hey, who said it was going to be a great year?"
Finley went on to give credit to Rodgers for taking ownership of the offense’s struggles earlier this week during an appearance on ESPN Wisconsin. But then Finley went on to call the quarterback “scared.” Oops.
"I would say, first of all, that's a leader taking the blame on himself," Finley said. "That's what you're supposed to do as a player, like I would say it's on me. So you've got to check yourself. I think that's leadership.
"I think he's playing good, but like I said, this is a team sport, and it's going to take all 11 of us on the field when he's on the field with us. I don't put it all on him. It's his receiving corps, we're dropping balls; it's his linemen not blocking for him. He's got a lot to think about. I would be scared, too, if I was getting hit like that."
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune