Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
It’s only fair that we give Green Bay defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins equal time to apologize/explain/address the critical comments he made after Sunday’s 38-26 loss to Minnesota. Speaking Wednesday in Green Bay, Jenkins said he met separately this week with coach Mike McCarthy, defensive coordinator Dom Capers and defensive line coach Mike Trgovac. Jenkins said he was wrong for addressing the issue first through the media. In retrospect, Jenkins said, he’s made more plays than he probably realized. Here’s the key passage of his quotes, via Greg A. Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
"They understood that I was frustrated. I was out there working hard and competing and when you don't win the game you get frustrated. They call the stuff that's best for the defense and sometimes as a player you want to do more to try to help your team, but you also have to understand that you have to play within the defense and they can't compromise their defense just to try to make somebody happy. I guess I was being impatient, which kind of made it so frustrating for me. I have made plays. I have made impact in this defense and I've just got to keep being patient and playing within the scheme and opportunities will come for me."
As a reporter, I never have a problem with a player speaking his mind publicly. Sometimes, postgame criticism is generated from frustration. But on other occasions, that frustration compels a level of honesty you don’t otherwise get in calmer environments.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a sore big toe on his left foot along with soreness in his right foot, according to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Rodgers broke his left foot in 2006, but both of his feet are expected to be ready for Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay.
The Packers are looking for a better performance from punter Jeremy Kapinos, writes Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee.
Like Jenkins, Chicago offensive coordinator Ron Turner is also backtracking. According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times, Turner said Wednesday he will not pare back the offense in response to last Sunday’s uneven showing against Cleveland.
Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune profiles the Bears’ receivers.
David Haugh of the Tribune previews a webisode that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler filmed for National Diabetes Month. In it, Cutler describes his fear of passing out because of low blood sugar during a game.
Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press believes that Lions owner William Clay Ford should sit down with disgruntled fans, much like Cleveland’s Randy Lerner did this week.
The Lions’ defense must learn how to close out games, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.