GREEN BAY – As far as Aaron Rodgers is concerned, he doesn’t have chemistry problems with any of his pass-catchers, including tight end Jermichael Finley.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback shrugged off concerns that he and Finley don’t have good “chemistry” when asked Tuesday about his relationship with Finley on his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com.
“I feel like I have good chemistry with all of my receivers. We spend a lot of time together talking in meetings, we watch film together after practice, and I’m fortunate enough to have the main voice in the room,” Rodgers said. “(Tight ends coach) Jerry Fontenot is in there, and (quarterbacks coach) Ben McAdoo and (offensive coordinator) Tom (Clements) and (head coach) Mike (McCarthy), and those guys allow me to say the things that I need to say to get my perspective in on the routes that are in that week and how I want them run.
“I think that’s how you build that chemistry. You take the notes when I’m talking, you make sure you’re on the same page, you ask the questions where there needs to be a follow-up. The stats for him are obviously not exactly where you’d want them to be, but you have to understand that he’s been playing with an injury and a lot of times he’s been the guy that teams are trying to take away.”
Finley, who enters Sunday’s game against Jacksonville having caught 26 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown this season, revisited his offseason statements about how he and Rodgers lack chemistry when he told reporters on Oct. 10, “I need the quarterback on my side, and I need to catch the ball when he throws it to me. So it takes two things to get that going, the chemistry. I feel we need to get that going.”
Asked to assess that chemistry at this point, Finley deemed it “OK” before adding, “Not good enough at all. Something to be worked on, and try to work on it as much as I can, try to talk to him as much as I can, but like I said it takes two people.”
Finley caught just two passes for 31 yards – the only two passes thrown his way – on Sunday against St. Louis after catching two passes for 12 yards at Houston on Oct. 14. He suffered what he called a “slight” dislocation of the A/C joint in his right shoulder at Indianapolis on Oct. 7 but has been playing through the pain.
“J-Mike’s a tough guy. He’s playing through a significant injury and he wants to be out there, he cares about it a lot and you have to appreciate that,” Rodgers said Tuesday. “It’s going to be game to game and see how the teams play. We were looking at the pictures on the sidelines and (the Rams’) desire was to double the most inside guy in those red-zone areas where we’ve hit him over the years.
“There were a number of plays where he’s had two guys, one inside and one outside lined up on him, and just trying to take him away. It just lets other guys have the one-on-one opportunities and make the most of them. And I think he understands that if he’s one-on-one that’s usually where I’m going to look first but because of the respect of his talent teams usually pay a little more attention to him.”
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