|Jennings hoping to work on chemistry with Rodgers|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 20 August 2008 22:41|
They've worked together in the Green Bay Packers' offeseason workout program, and Jennings caught a touchdown pass from Rodgers after Brett Favre was injured and Rodgers nearly led the Packers to a comeback victory at Dallas last season.
Still, Friday's third preseason game at Denver will be a chance for the Packers' new starting quarterback and one of his most dangerous receivers to rekindle their relationship.
``Oh, definitely,'' Jennings said. ``Especially with never really having been in a game with him for an extensive period of time. Especially this week, it was imperative that I get out there, get some work done, try to see how he's seeing the game, how he's going to be viewing the defense and things like that.''
Jennings returned to practice this week after missing the Packers' first two preseason games with a sore knee - and he clearly has been missed. Rodgers and the Packers' No. 1 offense looked sharp in their first preseason game against Cincinnati but struggled in last Saturday's outing at San Francisco.
Green Bay ended up losing both games.
The Packers are still likely to play Friday's game without starting running back Ryan Grant, who is nursing a hamstring injury. But with his ability to consistently get open and run for yards after the catch, Jennings makes the offense significantly more dynamic.
``Greg's productivity last year speaks for itself,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. ``He is what that whole group needs to look like. That starts with Donald (Driver), Greg, and I think Ruvell (Martin) has done a great job adding to that. James Jones is a year better and I think Jordy (Nelson) is falling in line.
``Not only are they good players, smart players, but they play every position. They give you the ability to match up and create mismatches across the board when you get into multi-receiver sets. Greg is someone we'll try to utilize even more this year.''
Rodgers said the tandem of Driver and Jennings forces defenses to make difficult choices.
``With Greg back, it probably takes a little pressure off, because you've got to kind of pick your poison,'' Rodgers said. ``You double (cover) Donald, we'll go after Greg. You double Greg, we'll go to Donald.''
McCarthy wasn't sure how much action Jennings would see Friday.
``He'll be one of the guys that I'll evaluate as the game goes on,'' McCarthy said.
But Rodgers doesn't think it will take too much game experience to get back on the same page with Jennings.
``Well, I think that might be a little overrated,'' Rodgers said. ``Chemistry-wise, we're on the same page. I think we've worked enough the last two years and in the offseason program. But it's going to be nice in the flow of the game to be able to look his way a little bit. I'm not worried about chemistry between him and I.''
And Jennings said it won't take long for the Packers to put Saturday's sluggish outing in the past.
``Last week's game is behind us,'' Jennings said. ``I wasn't a part of it, but I am a part of it. It wasn't fun to watch, and I guarantee it wasn't fun to be a part of. You know, that's just one of those downs that teams go through, and we're just glad we went through it in preseason.''
Packers receivers have had several uncharacteristic dropped passes in the preseason, but Jennings said that didn't have anything to do with adjusting to a new quarterback.
``It's a concentration thing,'' Jennings said. ``When you're dealing with guys that like to run after the catch, sometimes that run after the catch gets before the actual catch. You get your eyes off the ball that split second before it touches your hand, and that's when drops occur. But it's not something that we're not used to doing. We drop balls, (but) really don't drop them probably to the extent of what we've been doing lately. We'll correct it, I promise you that.''
Jennings was happy to return to practice this week, as players often consider their rehabilitation activities more grueling and tedious.
``Oh, it's far more worse than practice,'' Jennings said. ``Just sitting up here? Especially when you feel like you can go. That's kind of been the case. I've been feeling like I can go, but not really sure, so we've been kind of taking it easy. Definitely, treatment is a lot more grueling than what people think.''