Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley hasn't had the breakout season that he hoped for when he signed a two-year, $15-million contract during the 2012 NFL offseason. Through seven games, Finley has 26 catches for 241 yards with one touchdown. There are 17 tight ends who have more receiving yards than him.
Finley is reportedly frustrated about his lack of touches. He feels as though defenses are double-teaming him too often. He doesn't understand why. Fox Sports Wisconsin beat writer Paul Imig recently covered this subject. Here's the comment that Finley made about the defenses that he has faced.
"Me and my wife just sit down and vent every day. I'm like, 'Why are they double-teaming me? Double [Jordy Nelson]! Double-team him.' So it still gets to me."
This is definitely a "Me first" type of comment. I've never heard of a player who called for double-teams on his own teammate. Why does Finley specifically mention Jordy Nelson as a player who should get double-teamed? Nelson has occasionally faced double-teams. A defense can only double-team so many players. In the Packers' case, defenses must also defend a mobile quarterback.
Finley vents every day because he's double-teamed? He shouldn't do that. In fact, he should take it as a compliment. Those double-teams mean that defensive coordinators respect him. They could ignore him just like Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips ignored Tom Crabtree. If Finley drops enough passes, maybe he'll draw zero-teams.
There's more to player contribution than gaudy stats. Finley's value comes in that he attracts attention away from Greg Jennings, Randall Cobb, James Jones and Nelson. If Finley is getting double-teamed as often as he makes it sound, then he should understand that other teams will consider that when he's a free agent in 2014. Any halfway-intelligent franchise will understand that his stats are affected by Rodgers' ability to spread the football to so many targets.
Of course, teams will also consider his poor hands. In 2012, Finley has dropped six passes. That's more than any other tight end. If Finley is concerned about his stats, then he can rest well knowing that he has full control over the No. 1 thing that has plagued him throughout the past two seasons.
Stop focusing on all this silly stuff (e.g. chemistry). Just concentrate on catching the football.
It's obvious that Finley doesn't care how fans think of him. Otherwise, he wouldn't keep going public with such controversial comments. While Finley poses a matchup problem for most defenses, the question is how long will management tolerate his outspoken personality? How long will Finley tolerate his role as a secondary target?
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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