Ex-Packers TE Jermichael Finley Rips Aaron Rodgers: I Don't See That NFL Hunger

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 15, 2021

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 18:  Aaron Rodgers #12 and Jermichael Finley #88 of the Green Bay Packers celebrate a Finley touchdown against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Former Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley questioned Aaron Rodgers' work ethic after an offseason that centered around whether the quarterback's tenure with the organization was coming to an end.

Finley, who played alongside Rodgers from 2008 through 2013, explained Wednesday on ESPN's Keyshawn, JWill and Max (h/t TMZ Sports) he didn't like the reigning NFL MVP's body language during Sunday's 38-3 blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints.

"Actually, you can see it right through his helmet," Finley said. "The eyes and the face tells everything as a personality. And, I just don't see that NFL hunger and just the hunger to go win another championship."

The former standout tight end, who caught 20 touchdowns in 70 career games, didn't sign with another team after leaving the Packers and formally retired in 2015.

He believes the drama between Rodgers and the Packers since the end of the 2020 campaign had a lingering impact.

"Bro, it's the National Football League," Finley said on Keyshawn, JWill and Max. "Each offseason you've got to work like it's your last season. And, I just don't see a work ethic in Aaron Rodgers that I have in previous years."

Max Kellerman, one of the show's co-hosts, asked what the 34-year-old Texas native's response would be to people who think his comments about Rodgers are related to previous issues with the quarterback or the franchise.

"I'm not a hater," Finley said. "I'm looking out, actually. I just want the guys to do their best and play Packer football."

Rodgers posted one of the worst statistical performances of his 17-year career in the loss to the Saints. He completed just 15 of his 28 throws for 133 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. His 36.8 passer rating was the lowest mark among qualified passers in Week 1.

The 37-year-old three-time MVP urged people not to overreact to one game after Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said he was "absolutely embarrassed" by the lopsided score.

"I'll let him use those words and I'll use, 'it's just one game,'" Rodgers told reporters. "We played bad. I played bad. Offensively we didn't execute very well. One game. We've got 16 to go."

It's reminiscent of his remarks early in the 2014 season when he told people to "relax" after Green Bay's 1-2 start. The team went on to post a 12-4 record and reached the NFC Championship Game.

There are always overreactions after Week 1, and the Packers were a prime target for hot takes given the loss to the Saints and the offseason speculation about Rodgers' future.

Green Bay can quiet the doubters with a strong bounce-back game in its home opener against the Detroit Lions on Monday night.