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Thursday, August 8, 2013
A response to Greg Jennings

By Rob Demovsky

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Without anyone uttering the name Greg Jennings, it was clear on Thursday that Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy had a reaction to the comments made by his former receiver.

Jennings, who signed with the Minnesota Vikings in the offseason, told KFAN radio that he was “brainwashed” when he played for the Packers.

To review, Jennings on Wednesday said: “When I came over here, I was kind of brainwashed. There’s no ‘kind of’ to it. Being over in Green Bay, you’re brainwashed to think anyone in the division is tiers below.”

“It’s like everything that you know in Green Bay is like the best, the best, the best, the best, the best,” Jennings continued. “And it’s like total brainwashing. And I think you don’t open your eyes to see what other teams have to offer unless you are in that position, and I was afforded this position.”

That wasn’t Jennings’ first critical comment about his former team. Earlier this summer, he questioned Aaron Rodgers’ leadership, and said things were more “cookie-cutter” with the Packers.

Back to McCarthy. When asked on Thursday how he gets players to put the team first, McCarthy said:

“I think it’s a product of your culture. Every coach, every player, every support staff member -- and I can express to you clearly everybody in the football operation -- understands the importance and the value of being a Green Bay Packer. That’s the way we operate, whether people like it or not. We do not do anything to jeopardize that. That’s number one.

“The brand name of the Green Bay Packers is something that all of our players are educated on, and then from that the development of your individual brand, hey go for it, but as long as it doesn’t ever jeopardize the brand of the Green Bay Packers. That’s the only message I’ve ever given to our team on a consistent basis, and our guys are in tune with that.”

One of Jennings’ former teammates, Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews, believes Jennings’ comments about the Packers have more to do with how he departed, when the Packers refused to get into a bidding war with the Vikings’ for Jennings’ services.

“With his case, obviously it didn’t end on agreeable terms,” Matthews said. “We’re very competitive, both the organization as far as winning, and the players as far as winning, whether that’s on a personal level or on a team level. So it never sits right. Obviously we saw that with a former quarterback here, so it’s something you deal with.”