Saturday, July 27, 2013
Greg Jennings will get a talk from Frazier
By Kevin Seifert
MANKATO, Minn. -- Mike McCarthy joked about Greg Jennings' recent barrage of comments about the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers brushed them off as well. But a more important question wasn't immediately answered. What did Jennings' new team -- and most importantly, his new head coach -- think of them?
I got a chance to ask Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier that question at the end of an interview Saturday morning, and in his own way, Frazier made clear he didn't like reading what Jennings had to say. In fact, Frazier said he plans to speak with Jennings before Saturday afternoon's practice to clarify his expectations moving forward.
"That's not something that we're high on," Frazier said, reiterating what he earlier told KFAN-100.3, "and he and I are going to talk before we practice [Saturday afternoon]. I've got to grab him. That's not how we do things. We'll talk. We're going to talk about it. He has strong feelings regarding his former team, and that's good. But there is a way to get that communicated, and we've got to sit down and he and I have got to talk a little bit."
Jennings' sentiments built throughout the offseason, starting innocently when he refused to call Rodgers by his name and continuing on ESPN's "First Take," when he said he favors Brett Favre over Rodgers because "you get respect when you give respect." Most recently, he had this to say about Rodgers while speaking to the Star Tribune: "A lot of times when you have a guy who creates that spotlight for himself and establishes that and takes a lot of that, it becomes so-and-so and the team. It should always be the team."
I still don't fully understand why Jennings suddenly soured on his Packers experience, but I know I'm not surprised that his sentiments ran afoul of Frazier's comfort zone -- at least after they were expressed publicly.
Frazier is as low-key and level-headed as any NFL head coach you'll ever meet. As an ex-player, he is typically deferential to veterans and rarely rebukes anyone in public. He doesn't want 53 Leslie Frazier clones, but he does have a few expectations, and one of them is a high standard for public decorum. Respect for opponents falls into that category.
I doubt Jennings expected to have a sitdown with the boss on his second day of training camp with the Vikings. But the good news is that it's not difficult to get on Frazier's good side and stay there. Jennings will have to keep a few things in mind, and my guess is that you won't hear him mention the Packers again anytime soon.