GREEN BAY, Wis. -- At some point on Sunday night – whether it’s before the game, during or after – Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his former teammate, Minnesota Vikings receiver Greg Jennings, are bound to cross paths at Mall of America Field.
It could make for an awkward situation, given Jennings’ offseason comments that were critical of Rodgers’ leadership.
But Rodgers said Tuesday during his weekly radio show on ESPN 540 in Milwaukee that he has no plans to stir things up with his former teammate.
“Well, I’m not going to approach it with any bitterness or any malice towards him,” Rodgers said. “I choose to remember the great times that we had together, the great wins, the incredible moments. That’s what I like to focus on. Regardless of what he wants to remember, that’s the things, the positive things that I focus on. But I think we’re definitely past all that stuff, and he’s with them, and I’m focused on the guys we got and getting those guys ready to play.”
To review, Jennings, who signed with the Vikings in the offseason after playing his first seven seasons for the Packers, was critical of Rodgers in a story published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune in July. During the interview, Jennings referred to Rodgers by his uniform number and not his name.
“Don’t get me wrong, ‘12’ is a great person,” Jennings said at the time. “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 say that now because all they’ve heard is I’m doing it the right way; I’m perfect. In actuality, we all have flaws.”
Former Packers receiver Donald Driver furthered the situation when he attempted to explain Jennings’ comments during an interview on ESPN Radio’s "Mike & Mike."
“We’ve always said that the quarterback is the one that needs to take the pressure off everyone else,” Driver said at the time. “If a guy runs the wrong route, it’s easy for the quarterback to say, ‘Hey, I told him to run that route’ than for the guy to be like, ‘Well, I ran the wrong route.’ Sometimes you ask Aaron to take the pressure off the guys so we won’t look bad, but he didn’t want to do that. He felt like if you did something bad, you do it. But I think that’s the difference. You want that leadership, and I think sometimes you may not feel like you got it. You have to earn that respect at the end of the day, and I think that’s what Greg was probably referring to.”
It will be interesting to see what approach Jennings takes. He is scheduled to speak with reporters who cover the Packers via conference call on Wednesday.