Greg Jennings has been asked plenty of times about the differences between the quarterbacks he played with in Green Bay and the one he’ll play with in Minnesota after signing with the Vikings as a free agent this offseason and he was asked about it again during an appearance on ESPN on Tuesday.
Stephen A. Smith started off the interview with a question about why Jennings made a choice to go from playing with Aaron Rodgers to playing with Christian Ponder. Jennings explained there was more to the decision than the fact that Ponder wasn’t on the same level as the two Packer quarterbacks. Eventually, as Smith kept hammering away at the point, Jennings said that quarterbacks need time to develop and that attention had to be paid to the team around them.
“Brett Favre, receivers around him. Aaron Rodgers, receivers around him. Christian Ponder, receivers around him,” Jennings said. “He [Ponder] has always been in a position where the stress and pressure was on him. He really didn’t have the help around him to take that load off, outside of ‘All Day’ [running back Adrian Peterson].”
Percy Harvin would likely have a different opinion, but there’s no question that the Vikings went after targets for Ponder this offseason after they dealt Harvin to Seattle. They drafted Cordarrelle Patterson in the first round to go with Jennings and brought back Jerome Simpson in hopes that he’s healthier and more productive in a second season with the Vikings.
Jennings is the leader of that group, so his nod toward the importance of the supporting cast could blow back on him if things don’t develop as hoped for the Vikings offense this year. Any struggles are more likely to reflect poorly on Ponder, though. It’s the nature of being a quarterback in the NFL and it’s especially the case for one that Jennings said there should be questions about heading into the 2013 season.