Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings hasn't been shy about trashing the Green Bay Packers since making the jump from Lambeau Field to Mall of America Field this offseason, but his most recent accusation may be the most noteworthy of all.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Jennings claimed in an interview with Paul Allen and Ben Leber of KFAN radio that the Packers organization "brainwashed" him and others into thinking that they were part of the NFL's model franchise:
When I came over here, I was kind of brainwashed. There’s no "kind of" to it. Being over in Green Bay, you’re brainwashed to think anyone in the division is tiers below. And so coming over here I meet the people within the organization and I’m like, "Wow, these are really great people."
Jennings elaborated on his comments and claimed that the Packers essentially prevented players from viewing other organizations favorably:
It’s like everything that you know in Green Bay is like the best, the best, the best, the best, the best. And it’s like total brainwashing. And I think you don’t open your eyes to see what other teams have to offer unless you are in that position.
UPDATE: Thursday, Aug. 8, at 1 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
From ESPN's Jason Wilde:
Mike McCarthy never said Greg Jennings’ name. He didn’t have to.
The Green Bay Packers coach made crystal clear what he thought of his ex-wide receiver’s latest remark about how his former team 'brainwashed' its players into falling in line...
... 'I don’t nip it in the bud. I think it’s a product of your culture. Every coach, every player, every support staff member, and I can express to you clearly everybody in football operations understands the importance of the value of being a Green Bay Packer. That’s the way we operate, whether people like it or not. We do not do anything to jeopardize that. That’s No. 1. The brand name of the Green Bay Packers is something all of our players are educated on, and then from that, development of your individual brand? Hey, go for it. As long as it doesn’t jeopardize the brand of the Green Bay Packers. That’s the only message I’ve ever given to our team on a consistent basis, and our guys are in tune with that.'
---End of update---
Since joining Minnesota, he seems to be constantly hurling insults in the Packers' direction. The main target to this point has been Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, as Jennings claimed in an interview with Dan Wiederer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Rodgers was clouded by praise and not always about "the team."
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.
Jennings later claimed that his comments were made "out of fun," according to Florio, but his continued anti-Packers vitriol seems to suggest that there are some sour grapes involved.
Jennings signed a five-year, $47.5 million deal with the Vikings this offseason with the expectation that he would take over as Minnesota's No. 1 receiver. Rather than worry about anything going on in Green Bay, perhaps Jennings should focus on helping make Christian Ponder a better quarterback.
Based on his production with the Packers when healthy, Jennings should be great for Ponder's development. Jennings was a two-time Pro Bowler in Green Bay, and he eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving each year from 2008 through 2010.
A similar showing will make the Purple and Gold serious threats to Green Bay's NFC North crown.
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