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Bleacher Report – Vikings

“I Need The Work.” Greg Jennings Values Preseason Opportunity To Gel With QB

 

Photo – Aj Mansour (KFAN)

By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
@AjKFAN

Minneapolis, MN – When Greg Jennings first signed on with the Minnesota Vikings in March of 2013, the sky was the limit for the potential hookups between the wide receiver and embattled quarterback Christian Ponder. Now, with three weeks of Training Camp and two Preseason games under his belt, Jennings might have more of an accurate realization of the bumpy road that could be ahead for the development of an unproven quarterback and a new offensive system.

Jennings, who caught 36 passes for 366 yards and four touchdowns in an injury riddled season with the Packers last year, mentioned during Training Camp that there were still some adjustments that needed to be made in the passing game before he felt comfortable giving it his nod of approval. Wednesday afternoon he reaffirmed those thoughts, but tagged on a bit of a bode of confidence towards the end.

“The kinks will never be completely ironed out,” Jennings told the assembled media at Winter Park Wednesday morning. “There will always be a new wrinkle that we put in that we’re going to be trying to perfect. Just our relationship, our chemistry, we’re going to try to perfect that forever. As long as we’re together we’re going to be trying to perfect it. It will never be perfected which is the good thing because we’ll always have something to improve on.”

Through the first two preseason games, Jennings has only one reception for five yards but has appeared in very limited action. Sunday night against the San Francisco 49ers, Jennings and the first-team offense are expected to play through the entirety of the first-half and begin the second-half with one final drive. The final true test before the regular season begins on September 8th in Detroit.

“I think you’re behind the eight-ball if you don’t get [enough] preseason work,” Jennings continued. “In my opinion, I need the work because I haven’t been here. This is a new system, a new quarterback, a new team chemistry, so I need the work. I’ve got to feel comfortable in the offense in a game setting. In practice, it’s cool. I’ve got it. Everything is kind of habitual now. But in the game, things kind of change up. You’ve got an opponent who’s going to throw some different looks, unscouted looks at you. You may not have prepared for it.”

Jennings admitted that he was down on the performance that the first-team walked away from Preseason game #2 with saying, “we just got out played.” Still, Minnesota’s new receiver understands the difference that having the full onslaught of weapons to start preseason game #3 (and subsequent regular season games) should make.

“It’s interesting because I was coming off the sideline saying, ‘Oh my gosh, what are we doing?’,” Jennings added. “Like we were struggling. And then I saw this guy on the sideline that had this 28 jersey on and he wasn’t dressed and I’m like ‘Oh yeah, I forgot. We don’t have a big part of our offense out here that draws a lot of attention.’ So this week will be a lot better.”

This is a whole new frontier for a guy like Jennings who has spent his entire career with the Green Bay Packers catching passes from two future Hall of Famers (Favre & Rodgers). Thankfully, his never satisfied attitude should help him adjust to, and aid in the teaching of a young quarterback who desperately needs a confidence boost to pick him up and get him going.

“I’m always reaching to reach higher heights and be improving every day,” Jennings said in closing. “That will always be a point of emphasis for me. I will never be where I need to be. So you’ll hear me say that all year: I am not where I need to be. I don’t care how great I’m playing, how poor I’m playing, I will never be where I need to be, and that’s just the way I look at things. That’s just the way I look at life. There’s always room for improvement.”

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