MANKATO, Minn. — Greg Jennings can’t escape his connection with the Green Bay Packers.
The eight-year veteran receiver traded in his Green Bay green for the Minnesota Vikings purple this offseason. Unfortunately, he’s received as much attention for his comments on his former team as he has for his new association with Minnesota.
He added another chapter on Wednesday.
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Asked if the Vikings have championship-type qualities, Jennings again reflected back on his time with Green Bay, where he won a Super Bowl title.
“We do,” Jennings said on KFAN radio in the Twin Cities after the Vikings’ morning walk-through on Wednesday. “One of the things that obviously drew me to coming over here was the makeup of the team. When I came over here, I kind of had, I was kind of brainwashed. There’s no ‘kind of’ to it. Being over in Green Bay, you’re brainwashed to think that anyone in the division is just tiers below. So coming over here I meet the people within the organization and I’m like, ‘Wow, these are really great people.’ “
Jennings has been asked repeatedly about comparisons between Green Bay and Minnesota. Often his words, and his sometimes cryptic or back-handed answers, have gained traction nationally. In particular was his back-and-forth with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who he had referred to as No. 12 instead of by name.
The continuing dialogue got to be enough that Vikings coach Leslie Frazier talked to Jennings about his comments.
“We’re the Vikings, and we want to talk about us and what we’re trying to get done here,” Frazier said earlier in training camp of his talk with Jennings. “He understands that and that’s where our focus has to be. We’ve got so much work to be done and we don’t really want to be looking at what’s happening with other teams, other team’s players. It’s us. We’ve got to focus on us. He’s good with that.”
His latest comments, just a short part of a long radio interview, were drawing more unnecessary and unwanted attention. Jennings was seen talking with Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman and later with Frazier and wide receivers coach George Stewart before Wednesday’s afternoon practice began.
Former Vikings linebacker Ben Leber, who was on the radio with Jennings, believes the latest comments are being blown out of proportion.
“Re: @GregJennings “brainwashing” comment today. get over it peeps. Every team wants players to think they are the best. Wasn’t disrespectful,” Leber wrote on his Twitter page.
Aside from his “brainwashed” comment, Jennings added: “It’s like everything you know in Green Bay is the best; the best, the best, the best and it’s like total brainwashing. I don’t think you open your eyes to what other teams have to offer unless you are in that position, and I was afforded this position. Adrian (Peterson) was a huge draw, knowing that you have a running back that is going to take a lot of pressure off the passing game. Not that I don’t enjoy getting the ball, but anytime you can have a 1-2 punch in the passing game and the running game, you’re going to be a difficult team to defend.” Follow Brian Hall on Twitter