GREEN BAY – Jermichael Finley may look more like a wide receiver than he did the last time the Green Bay Packers saw him, but he’s still going to be a tight end in the team’s offense.
Finley, who was teased by coach Mike McCarthy at the Super Bowl ring ceremony for looking like he “didn’t want to block anymore” as a tight end, said he weighs 240 pounds as camp opens after having played between 250 and 255 pounds last year.
“I feel good. I still have my strength that I had when I was 250, 255. I feel great. I feel faster this year,” Finley said during the first open locker room period of camp. “In a perfect world, I’ll stay at 240.”
Asked how he slimmed down, Finley replied: “I was at it 24/8. I added an extra day to the grind. I lost a ton of weight because I was rehabbing on the knee, doing a lot of treadmill work, and if you’ve been on a treadmill, it’ll drop you. … I feel great. I feel awesome.”
Finley said the coaches haven’t said anything to him about his weight loss, “so if you ask me, I guess they’re cool with it (or) they’re going to come at me pretty soon with it. They’re cool as far as I can see right now.”
Finley also said that the staff has been very clear with him what his position is, even though he does want to stand up in a two-point stance more instead of playing at the end of the line of scrimmage in a three-point stance.
“I’m in the tight end room every day, and (tight ends coach) Ben (McAdoo) said I’m not going anywhere. I’m a tight end for good,” Finley said. “In a perfect world I would (stand up more). But we’ve got the head man, Mike McCarthy, and (he’s) the leader. I’m just going to follow what he knows. He’s a great coach, we have a great staff, and that’s what I have to go with right now.”
Finley, who won’t participate in full in Saturday night’s practice – he’ll be limited to individual work and routes on air – said he’s not worried about being too light.
“I ain’t going to let anybody toss me around, brother,” he said.
After suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 5 of last year after catching 21 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown in the first four games, Finley is motivated to contribute more to a Super Bowl winner and did his best to downplay the importance of being in the final year of his contract.
“I’m all about rings. That’s why the (Los Angeles) Lakers have a big fan base, because they have multiple rings. That’s what I’m about right now,” Finley said. “Individual, I couldn’t care less, because if you win a Super Bowl, that’s going to come. But this year, I’ve set myself up (for a payday). So it’s a huge year.”
Finley could be in for a big year if he stays healthy for all 16 games. He missed three games in the middle of his breakout season in 2009 with a knee injury and was hurt on the opening offensive series at Washington on Oct. 10 last year.
“I’m just like every fan out there, every Packer fan. I’m pissed off too that I can’t get a 16-game season in,” Finley said. “But I guarantee you if I do, I’m going to change the tight end position. Guaranteed.”
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