Frustration for Jennings and Franks


Nov 23, 2005
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Fontana, CA
Green Bay - Greg Jennings was trying to blot the bleeding gash on the bridge of his nose where the skin was torn away. Then part of his locker collapsed on his head while he was bending over to get his street shoes.


To cap it all off, the once-so-promising Green Bay wide receiver had just two catches for 14 yards Sunday in an entirely humiliating 38-10 loss to the New York Jets.

Yeah, it was that kind of day.

A lot of folks employed by the Packers have been scratching their heads quite a bit lately when asked what has gone so wrong since the team pulled off an upset victory at Minnesota three weeks ago. After three straight losses, there aren't a whole lot of answers.

But it became clear Sunday that Jennings and tight end Bubba Franks aren't producing the kinds of numbers the Packers need to score and win. Whether they are being overlooked or aren't making the most of what they have is up to the coaches to decide.

The Packers were limited to just 18 plays in the first half and there's no denying the sure-handed Donald Driver has been a playmaker. Yet the Packers' offense is badly off balance. In 12 games this season, Driver has 64 receptions. Jennings lags far behind with 38 and Franks further still with 19.

There have been spurts for Jennings - six catches last week in Seattle - but nothing close to the 19 receptions he had from Weeks 2 through 5.

Jennings has three receiving touchdowns but none since Oct. 8 against St. Louis. Franks? A giant goose egg.

"I mean, our offense is powerful," Franks said. "If you look at the guys we've got at skill positions, it's ridiculous. We should be scoring a lot more points than this. Over the last three to four weeks, we haven't been getting in the end zone as much as we need to."

Jennings was clearly uncomfortable when asked about his role and why so few passes seem to be thrown his way. Quarterback Brett Favre is looking to Driver more often than Jennings, and the rookie thinks there is a reason behind it. Jennings did say he is a first read on some of the passing plays in the game plan.

"Yeah, yeah, but it's pretty much what Brett sees," Jennings said. "He sees so many different things, and he does a great job deciphering what to call and where to go with the ball.

"All I try to do is go out there and run my routes and do my job and see if he hits me. If not, try to get a block for whoever he throws the ball to."

In each of the last two home games, Favre has thrown a long pass to Jennings, who beat his man down the right sideline but was still unable to haul in the ball. Whether he just wasn't fast enough on the play, or the ball was slightly overthrown, Jennings isn't sure. He is only sure that he ran the right route on both.

"I've always looked to see if it was something that I did first," Jennings said. "It's unfortunate and it's frustrating when you see a ball drop 4 yards in front of you. On the other end, it's frustrating for him, too."

Jennings said he would not even think about approaching the coaches, or least of all Favre, for more offensive responsibility. As a rookie he thinks that's not his place. But after an impressive training camp and a first month in which he had two 100-yard games, Jennings has lost steam and it is bothering him.

"It's just one of those things; we're not getting it done as a whole," Jennings said. "It's all of us. It's everybody. It's the quarterbacks, the receivers, the O-line. It's everybody. We're just not getting it done as a team."

Franks' frustration with the same thing has bubbled over many times this year and it did again Sunday.

On fourth down and 10 in the fourth quarter, Favre aimed for Driver in the end zone. The Jets had him double-covered and made a good defensive play. The ball bounced away and Driver kicked the goal post in anger.

Franks, in the end zone, threw up his arms and stared at Favre, and Favre returned the same maddening look.

"We're all frustrated," Franks said.

Franks has asked for more playing time and receptions this season but has decided that's not the best approach now.

"I'm just frustrated because we're not clicking as an offense," Franks said. "All the personal stuff, you worry about that at the end of the year. Right now, we need to get this offense clicking because we're so talented at so many positions, we're just not taking advantage of it, and it's frustrating to see. Yeah, we've got a young team but we've still got young, talented guys. It's frustrating."


Jul 30, 2006
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During the game, Wayne and Larry on WTMJ were discussing the disappearance of Jennings in past weeks -- as to whether it was the wall that rookies hit around this time of year or if it was that he still is not 100% after his ankle sprain. They seem to lean toward the latter. When your game is built on speed, being a step or two slower makes a big difference.

It seems on the play-by-play that Greg gets a step on the defender on the fly patterns but Brett overthrows him. Brett must be expecting him to be a little further downfield by that time. If he is still hampered by the ankle, he needs to give him another second or two.

As far as Bubba, I thought they were using him more this week -- until they got way behind. I know - that would only have been 1/2 a quarter but it was more than usual. Didn't he even rush the ball this week?

The problem this week seemed to be that the pass was supposed to set up the run (which worked) but they did not take advantage of the run. Green was getting 7 yards a carry then they would turn around and pass 3 times and punt. McCarthy has stressed all season that he is committed to balance, even when the running game was struggling. The past couple of games seem to have forgotten that. I look for them to get back to basics and make at least a respectable showing next week.

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