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'The Big Fella' gets bigger, continues comeback

Feb 17, 2014 -- 4:28pm
Photo/Associated Press via 
Jermichael Finley, who was listed at 247 pounds last season, Tweeted Monday he's checking in at 260 pounds.

GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers calls him “The Big Fella.”

As in, “Obviously, The Big Fella is a matchup nightmare for most teams.” (October, 2013)

As in, “The Big Fella, J-Mike, has had a great off season, a great preseason.” (September, 2013)

As in, “The Big Fella has been playing really well.” (December, 2012)

You get the idea.

But never has the Green Bay Packers quarterback’s moniker for Jermichael Finley been more apropos.

The soon-to-be unrestricted free-agent tight end Tweeted Monday that he’s weighing in at 260 pounds with 10 percent body fat. The 6-foot-5 Finley was officially listed at 247 pounds by the Packers last season.

Finley has shown that he can alter his body composition and still be effective. After missing most of the 2010 season with a knee injury, Finley showed up at an offseason workout in the Twin Cities with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and other NFL players looking noticeably sleeker in spring 2011. He admitted to reporters that he’d shed weight in hopes of improving his speed and quickness – and to get the Packers coaches to use him as more of a receiver than a tight end lining up on the line of scrimmage in a three-point stance.

“I’m thinner right now. GB (is) probably not like me right now but I’m trying to stand up this year. I’m not going to sugarcoat it,” Finley said at the time. “I think (lining up in) a two-point (stance), I can get on the linebacker quicker, I can get on the safety quicker and it’s a win-win for me and ‘12.’”

Two years later, when Finley arrived for minicamp last June, he was noticeably heavier, which caught the attention of both coach Mike McCarthy (“Jermichael looks excellent ... He’s back where I like to see him, the playing weight that he’s playing with, and he’s stronger”) and tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot.

“I think (for the 2012) season he was a little bit lighter than I would have liked to see him. We kind of went back over some tape of when he was heavier and showed it to him, and kept reiterating some of the things he used to do when he had a little more strength on him and a little more muscle,” Fontenot said at the time.

Listed weights aren’t always accurate, so it’s hard to say exactly how much Finley weighed last season. Nevertheless, he’s clearly working hard in hopes of continuing his NFL career after his season-ending bruised spinal cord, which led to single cervical spine fusion surgery and questions about whether he’d be able to keep playing. During Super Bowl week, Finley said in multiple interviews that he expects to be cleared by his doctors soon and plans to resume his NFL career.

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