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Packers throw their support behind Johnny Jolly

Mike McCarthy AP

While Johnny Jolly hasn’t returned to the field yet — and might not have anything left when he does — one thing so far is certain.

The Packers are fully supporting their former defensive tackle, who is attempting to come back after three years out of the game because of drug arrests and suspensions.

Jolly has completed a court-ordered drug rehab program, and was previously reinstated by the league.

He hasn’t been on the field with the team during OTAs, but to a man, they’ve supported his efforts to make it back.

I think our society is built on second chances,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, via Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com. “Think how many times you look through the history of successful individuals that probably or maybe wouldn’t have happened without a second chance.

“Every case is different. There’s no absolute right way and wrong way when you evaluate every situation. I’m glad to see Johnny Jolly going through the process that he’s going through. [I’m] very proud of where he is to this point. But he still has a lot in front of him.”

McCarthy wouldn’t say why Jolly hasn’t rejoined the team, referring only to going through “the process.” But the Packers have stood by him, sending two team officials to his rehab graduation, and staying in contact with him as much as the rules allow.

“Not so much ever thinking he’d ever come back here. That was not my intent of it,” defensive line coach Mike Trgovac said. “Johnny’s such a good guy, and sometimes good guys get in a bad way, and I just care about him as a person. That’s why I stayed in contact with him as much as I was allowed to.

“There were times when I wasn’t actually allowed to contact him based on the rules, him being [suspended]. I was in contact with his mother and stuff like that. If I broke a rule, I didn’t try to. I tried to stay within all the rules. But I just care about him as a person.”

That relationship likely means the Packers will try to give him a chance. But at 30 years old, and three years out of the game, they also need to be realistic about those chances. That said, their willingness to back a guy who might not be able to help them on the field might be the biggest statement they can make.

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20 Responses to “Packers throw their support behind Johnny Jolly”
  1. packfntk says: May 29, 2013 8:12 AM

    He had a problem, he treated it. He is very fortunate to get an opportunity in the NFL.

    If he could return to his 2009 form this would be a gigantic bonus for the Pack, if he doesn’t have it anymore, no loss.

  2. gbmickey says: May 29, 2013 8:25 AM

    The man made his bed with stupid choices but I am glad to see he is making an attempt to turn his life around. Its too bad because he was very promising as a player.

  3. hansenbrothers says: May 29, 2013 8:30 AM

    Hope he can make the practice squad, just so he has gainful employment

  4. abninf says: May 29, 2013 8:57 AM

    Second chances? He’s been in trouble more than twice. This is the type of low character person that General Managers such as Jerry Jones stay away from.

  5. crownofthehelmet says: May 29, 2013 8:59 AM

    This is just Step 3 from the contingency manual developed during the Favre haze-years.

  6. We need Bud Grant says: May 29, 2013 9:27 AM

    Not sure why you bother, he obviously prefers the purple drank over football…

  7. twonis says: May 29, 2013 9:41 AM

    I’ve seen a lot of crowing about this decision and comparisons to other troubled players (Titus Young, Kenny Britt, etc.) but this is a totally different scenario and a win-win for both parties.

    Jolly messed up, got caught, paid the price, and now is getting a shot at redemption. And it is just that– A shot. For him, the very opportunity to come back is a huge win.

    For GB, if Jolly can deliver like he did previously then they have a very viable, capable, veteran player and for well below what they would have been paying him had he never got in trouble. If not, they cut him, wish him all the best and lose nothing.

    The guy paid his debt. He deserves the chance.

  8. chi01town says: May 29, 2013 10:27 AM

    Jonnie ” purple drank” Jolly is backed up by the packers BUT BRETT FARVE wasnt?? so lets get this
    right.. Sterling Sharp, Andre Rison, Desmond Howard, Mark Chumer, the packers turned they back to all these guys BUT lets back Jolly

  9. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: May 29, 2013 10:43 AM

    I hope Jolly is able to turn his life around but it seems unlikely that he could play in the NFL after three years away. He wasn’t exactly working out and studying the playbook during that time.

  10. gbmickey says: May 29, 2013 10:48 AM

    Chitown do you even have a clue? The Packers turned their back on Sharpe, Rison, Howard…? Please enlighten us.

    This coming from of a fan of a team that turned their back on Urlacher? I see why your own fans turn their back on you when it comes to posting.

  11. twonis says: May 29, 2013 11:08 AM

    Yeah, I think chi01town might have some facts mixed up.

    Moving on from a veteran player once it’s time is different than ‘not backing them up’.

    I’m assuming the comment about Mark CHMURA is in reference to his after-prom hi jinx. Never mind the fact that he was cleared on all charges (and not to defend him at all), that all came in 2000…after he had been released due to spinal herniation that was deemed career-ending.

    Might wanna think before you type, chi01town. And why didn’t you include Woodson on your little list? With your criteria he was more than a fit. Jennings too.

  12. purpleguy says: May 29, 2013 11:37 AM

    I hope the guy gets his life together and makes the team — I also hope he gets his reformed rear beaten by my team twice a year.

  13. c1md6 says: May 29, 2013 11:44 AM

    Queen Bay is a perfect place for him, no temptation there. Only thing there are brats, tractors, and hillbillies.

  14. hatesycophants says: May 29, 2013 11:47 AM

    Calling the alleged rape committed by Chumura “hi jinx” is very telling. You watched that trial. You know what both the defense and Chumura did to that kid.No allegiance to any team or player should have fans excusing an attack on a teenage girl. OJ was also cleared of all the charges.

    Typical.

  15. chi01town says: May 29, 2013 12:15 PM

    all the cheese talk in the world dont
    change the facts that Jolly got caught drinking PURPLE DRANK at least 3 times and he got put in jail for it. the packers have turned they back on better players and everybody knows it.

  16. toolkien says: May 29, 2013 12:57 PM

    Sure the Packers turned their back on Favre.

    Miss the part where they stood by him during the Vicodin addiction that almost killed him when all he had shown was 3.5 years of up and down radical mediocrity and only .5 years of actual elite football? The Packers gave Favre his 2nd, 3rd, AND 4th chances to make anything more out of his career than being Bubby Brister 2.0. And how did HE repay the Packers? I think we all saw what a Diva he turned into starting in 2003. The Jets and Vikings signed up for a taste of the man who thought he was above the entire NFL.

  17. uwsptke says: May 29, 2013 1:30 PM

    Most impressive in chi01town’s rant was the fact that his misspelled 4 of the 6 players he named.

    - What happened with Favre needed to happen. People forget that Rodgers was entering a contract year. Rodgers could have bolted for somewhere he felt wanted. So what’s your point?

    - Sterling Sharpe suffered a career ending neck injury. He didn’t go off to play somewhere else.

    - Andre Rison was a mid-season rental and was mad that they wouldn’t pay him a ton of money and signed Antonio Freeman instead. He was a Packer for like 4 months (but he’s got more Super Bowl rings than your team has seen in your lifetime).

    - Desmond Howard? You mean the guy the Packers picked up off the scrap heap before training camp and who won the Super Bowl MVP award and then took a boatload of money from a foolishly run Oakland team that promised him a chance to star at WR instead of special teams? Hell, they even picked him up again after Oakland cut him.

    - Mark Chmura? He never suited up for the team again after what he did. What decent team would while that was still hanging over his head?

    Johnny Jolly did the crime, and he’s done the time. And the team that stood by as the legal process unfolded is giving him a shot to earn back some of what he lost.

  18. chi01town says: May 29, 2013 1:47 PM

    @uwsptke
    what are you? a english teacher. we are talking football this anit no spelling B. The packers just put a junkie on the roster because they wont have to pay him.

  19. axespray says: May 29, 2013 2:17 PM

    Did people in chicago swap IQs with detroit ?

  20. acdc84 says: May 29, 2013 2:51 PM

    If he doesn’t catch on in GB hopefully he’ll be playing football for somewhere this year. Being around teammates will provide him with the support he needs. Nothing worse than sitting around with time on your hands when you’re still recovering from an addiction.

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