Aug 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings (15) talks along the sidelines in the game with the Tennessee Titans at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Vikings win 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
It’s been a long and frustrating season for the Vikings, and possibly no one has been more frustrated than Greg Jennings. That explains why Jennings became so animated late in Thursday’s game when, with the Redskins running out of time on their potential game-tying drive, Leslie Frazier elected to burn two time outs, stopping the clock and possibly helping the Redskins.
Jennings was seen by NFL Network cameras stalking up and down the sideline, apoplectic with disbelief over Frazier’s decision to stop the clock and take the pressure off Washington. Frazier explained later that he thought he needed the time outs to help his tired defense. After multiple late game meltdowns in recent weeks, you can’t blame Frazier for throwing away the book and trying something that in normal circumstances would be considered questionable.
The Vikings did ultimately keep the Redskins from scoring, so maybe the time outs were the right move. But at the time Jennings and probably a lot of other players were totally mystified. Jennings was the one who was seen demonstrating his disgust in overt fashion, so Jennings became the focal point of whatever controversy may have erupted.
Jennings quickly realized how he came across to the TV audience, and hit his Twitter account to issue an explanation for his sideline display. “Please don’t mistake my passion for anything other than a sincere desire to win. We all work really hard everyday and we just want to win,” Jennings tweeted.
After the recent Dez Bryant kerfuffle, Jennings clearly wanted to get out ahead of this one and defuse any talk of a rift between him and the coaching staff over tactics. You can certainly understand Jennings’ frustration. After years of winning in Green Bay, Jennings goes to Minnesota on a big contract and immediately finds himself in the middle of a titanic clusterbleep. Talk about culture shock.
Making matters worse for Jennings is his own lack of production and the heat he’s getting from some quarters for not living up to his large salary. This isn’t all Jennings’ fault of course; lack of consistency at the quarterback position has played a large role in Jennings not seeing the ball as much as everyone would like. But the fact remains, Jennings’ first season in Minnesota has been underwhelming, and there are whispers that Jennings might be done as a productive receiver.
Jennings’ frustration boiled over for one unfortunate moment in front of TV cameras and now people think he’s down on Frazier. I’m certain Jennings and Frazier will sit down and talk about this one, and come to a manly understanding. At least the Vikings got the win. That will make it easier for Jennings and everyone else going into this long week of prep for the Seattle showdown.