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Johnny Jolly trying to make things right for Packers

Johnny Jolly AP

Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly has a mission greater than football these days.

But he said that the way he left the Packers before made him want to make things right this time.

I let my team down before, I let my family down before, I let myself down before, and I’m just trying not to go back down that road,” Jolly said, via Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin. “I’m just going to keep doing what I do. Practice hard, work hard. I’m one of 90 men [on the roster]. I’m going to keep pushing to be here for the season.”

If he does, it will complete one of the more remarkable comebacks.

He hasn’t played since 2009, after an indefinite suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He also spent six months in jail after multiple arrests for codeine possession.

The Packers retained his rights, and now they’re giving him another chance. They’re not babysitting him, but surrounding him with teammates can’t hurt his efforts to stay clean and get back to the game.

“I wouldn’t say that I need it, but I love the sport, so I want to play,” Jolly said. “I’ve been through so much stuff, it’s made me a better person, a wiser person. There are things in life you just have to go through and learn from and I’m a better man from it now. I’m just going to keep rolling with it.”

There are no guarantees he makes the roster, but getting this far makes the story a good one, since he’s trying to fight something tougher than blocks.

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23 Responses to “Johnny Jolly trying to make things right for Packers”
  1. teal379 says: Jul 28, 2013 6:50 PM

    If you look at him in camp – physically he doesn’t look out of shape compared to the other guys in camp. He’s been working for sure.

    I hope he makes it, really do, not because I think the Packers need him but because he’s genuinely a nice guy and I hope he has his life in order.

    Too many damned statistics when it comes to African-Americans as it is and I don’t want to see Jolly add to them.

  2. andrewluck12 says: Jul 28, 2013 6:55 PM

    here’s to hoping he makes the most of his second chance

  3. firestarter0728 says: Jul 28, 2013 7:03 PM

    JJ was a good player once. Happily, the Packers were able to win a Super Bowl championship without him after his drug suspension (at least he didn’t murder anybody). Although his chances for making the team now are small, the Packers are showing their usual class by giving him the opportunity.

  4. packfntk says: Jul 28, 2013 7:05 PM

    I really hope he can do it. Great story, he got his 2nd chance, and it will be his last unless he makes it.

  5. jhein23 says: Jul 28, 2013 7:20 PM

    Following the Packers writers these first 3 days of practice it sounds like Jolly has looked good and causing havoc. That’s a good sign because they have really missed his physical style the past few seasons. He really was an ideal 3-4 defensive end. I’m starting to think he makes the team and Mike Neal is the odd man out as he’s on PUP again, too small to play DLine and not athletic enough to cover as an OLB.

  6. dobberdubinsky says: Jul 28, 2013 7:32 PM

    Sounds like he’s learned a lesson, most people deserve a second chance, hopefully he cleans up his act and proves the Fudge right by taking a chance on him.

  7. robinyount19 says: Jul 28, 2013 7:38 PM

    This guy is a complete moron, Scarface wannabe. A poor mans Sam Hurd. Bring him back after three years shows you just how desperate the Packers are for DL help, and this is coming from a Packer fan. It’s only a matter of time before he gets caught doing something incredibly stupid AGAIN. He can talk all he wants, until he shuts up and proves it, nobody will care or believe it.

  8. packernation90 says: Jul 28, 2013 7:39 PM

    Great to see a guy turn his life around like Jolly has. Rooting for him to make the roster

  9. abninf says: Jul 28, 2013 7:49 PM

    I wouldn’t let an ex-convict that close to a little girl. After his prison experiences he could snap. Even though his profession got him released at six months on a six year sentence.

  10. theripster30 says: Jul 28, 2013 7:57 PM

    Jolly kicks butt! At this point, I would be surprised if he didn’t make the team. Heck, I would be surprised if he doesn’t make an immediate impact come September. The Pack really have shown so much class these last couple years when Jolly was struggling. I believe it will pay off more than it has already.

  11. gsomatt says: Jul 28, 2013 8:17 PM

    I’ll take some redemption from drugs over murder, beating spouse, shooting yourself in the leg, or murdering dogs any day.

  12. stellarperformance says: Jul 28, 2013 8:32 PM

    He needs to be more than he once was. He needs to demonstrate a commitment to his craft exclusive of everything else. He needs to excel before he’ll be considered. I think the Packers brought him in for training camp fodder.

    Having said that, he doesn’t have three years if wear and tear. Good luck.

  13. mnmarine0351 says: Jul 28, 2013 9:33 PM

    As a Vikes I never knew about him as a person but if he is truly committed to turning his life around then I wish him all the best. I will look forward to seeing him line up across from the MVP in a few months. The NFL is full of stories like this, lets just all hope for a happy ending.

  14. vikingsrulez69 says: Jul 28, 2013 11:30 PM

    Mnmarine – thumbs up to you, sir.

  15. crownofthehelmet says: Jul 29, 2013 12:57 AM

    I can’t believe Rodgers would let management bring him back. After all, he looked him in the eye and lied about his drug use. Rodgers has no room in his life for someone like that. Unless he looks good in baseball pants.

  16. jwilliamsspf says: Jul 29, 2013 1:40 AM

    Training camp fodder?

    @stellarperformance must not keep track of the NFL that closely. Packers have been working with Jolly on getting him back on the field over the last few years. They are welcoming him BACK because he has shown commitment to the organization in rehab and fighting addiction.

    Research what this guy has been able to do in turning things around.

    And kudos to a classy organization like the Packers in giving him a second chance and not giving up on him.

  17. fondyshotgun28 says: Jul 29, 2013 2:01 AM

    I’m rooting for Jolly all the way,but I hope to God that he stays clean or else he’ll end up like Cory Monteith from “Glee”did,and that would be a real tragedy!

  18. acdc84 says: Jul 29, 2013 2:02 AM

    Best of wishes to Jolly. If he doesn’t make the GB roster I hope he catches on somewhere. I’ve personally been struggling with a codeine addiction and its no joke. Football and salary aside the best thing for him is to be “busy” with something good, and being around a team of guys for a season would be the best thing possible for him. If GB cuts him and none of the other 31 teams picks him up I hope he’s still able to stay on a good path and keep his life in a good direction.

  19. chi01town says: Jul 29, 2013 8:52 AM

    Dont worry Packers fans. Green bay gone put that druged up jail bird on the field against the 49ers.
    then the excuses will start. Jolly is done hes there for the money. so he can get back to that purple drank

  20. filthymcnasty1 says: Jul 29, 2013 12:04 PM

    By missing 2010-12, Jolly didn’t get to participate in humiliating the hapless, tasteless Bears and Vikings twice per season in each of those years.

    That seems like cruel and unusual punishment.

    Hopefully he’ll get to catch up on the good times this season.

  21. beedubyatoo says: Jul 29, 2013 2:10 PM

    chi01town says: Jul 29, 2013 8:52 AM

    Dont worry Packers fans. Green bay gone put that druged up jail bird on the field against the 49ers.
    then the excuses will start. Jolly is done hes there for the money. so he can get back to that purple drank
    ————————
    We’re you absent the day they taught grammar, punctuation, spelling in Elementary school?

  22. nickynick04 says: Jul 29, 2013 2:12 PM

    I wish him well.
    I d wish any player fighting his demons good luck . Even a Bear or a Viking. Well , maybe not a Bear.
    Oh ok , even a Bear.
    NFC North rules !

    Fans that put down the NFC North are clueless.
    the NFC ” Norris ” aka Black and Blue is THE BEST division in the NFL
    Play Green Bay , da Bears Vikes and Lions each twice and see how your record fairs

  23. chi01town says: Jul 29, 2013 8:59 PM

    @beedubyafool
    Because you dont like what I said you became a English teacher. this is a football site. so lets try to talk about the game. Johnnie ” purple drank” Jolly will be on the field for green bay in San Francisco and after the packers get smoked the excuses will start

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