GREEN BAY – It didn’t take a whole lot of intense reading between the lines Tuesday to realize that the prolonged hug and “conversation” with Greg Jennings didn’t have much of an effect on Aaron Rodgers or the Green Bay Packers quarterback’s feelings about his former teammate, who signed with the Minnesota Vikings during the offseason and was outspoken in his criticism of Rodgers and the Packers organization after departing.
Jennings, who caught one pass for 9 yards during the Packers’ 44-31 victory over the Vikings Sunday night at the Metrodome, waited out Rodgers after the game and grabbed him for an intimate conversation – while surrounded by dozens of still photographers, television crews and reporters – that lasted awkwardly long.
“It was slightly prolonged,” Rodgers replied when asked during his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com if the hug was awkward.
Rodgers declined to tell reporters after the game what Jennings had said to him during their lengthy embrace, and when asked if anything Jennings said changed the way he felt about his former teammate or the criticism Jennings sent his way during the offseason, Rodgers wouldn’t say.
“I don't even think I want to really touch that one too much. I think that would give insight into what was said. That was a very clever question you asked there,” Rodgers said. “Again – and I've said this before on the show – there's too much access to the field. I'm sure there is somebody with a boom (microphone) who caught something that was said there. But I think there should be some conversations that should be left between the people that have them.
“I felt that way when Brett (Favre) and I talked after the four times we played (against each other). I think there are some conversations between competitors that should be left between us competitors. Now, if he wants to say something about it, that's his choice. I don't feel like I have anything to say that could really change any opinions about the relationship.”
Jennings left the Vikings’ locker room before reporters were allowed in after the game.
During a conference call with Wisconsin reporters last week, Jennings claimed his criticism was “just messing around” with his ex-teammates and that the joke “went too far.” He also acknowledged that while he talked to other ex-teammates after the comments, he never reached out to Rodgers.
When it was pointed out to Rodgers Tuesday that Jennings could have called him instead of talking to him for the first time during the post-game handshakes, Rodgers replied simply, “Too many cameras around.”
Rodgers also appeared on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption on Tuesday and was asked by hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon about Jennings.
“It was a long hug, for sure," Rodgers told Kornheiser. “It was a prolonged one, yes. It seemed a lit bit longer, I think, with all the cameras around, but it was two competitors after the game.
“Words were said, and then we went our separate ways.”
Wilbon then said that Jennings told NBC’s Bob Costas that he was “jabbering, and it went too far.” Wilbon said that Rodgers seemed to him like the kind of guy that lets 99.9 percent of such criticism “roll right off your back,” but asked whether Jennings’ comments meant anything “at the time.”
Replied Rodgers: "This one would probably fit in the 99.9 percent you're talking about that most of those do. But every now and then one comes along that might mean a little bit something to you. Not this one, though.”
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