GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The topic of the day during a media session inside the Green Bay Packers locker room Wednesday was the spicy comments wide receiver Greg Jennings made about his former teammates in the off-season.
The players were urged to talk about that because it was the subject many reporters kept asking about.
Upstairs in the meeting rooms, particularly in the one where the defensive backs reside, the discussion was much different. It wasn't about Jennings the jabber but rather Jennings the touchdown maker.
Jennings who will be on the opposing sideline when the Packers play the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night at the Metrodome.
"We kind of know each other," cornerback Davon House said. "Kind of know what he brings to the table. We talked about it in the meeting room; he's a great receiver, the best they have and we're going to face him a lot.
"He'll play everywhere. I'm pretty sure everybody will get a chance to go against him."
Jennings is the team's second-leading receiver and apparently will be on the receiving end of throws Sunday from Christian Ponder, the quarterback who began the season as the starter but was replaced by the backup, Matt Cassel, who was replaced by the newcomer, Josh Freeman, who has a concussion and probably won't play this week.
Jennings played with just three starting quarterbacks in his seven years with the Packers, and so going through a third change in eight weeks is not the way he envisioned things when he signed a five-year, $45 million free agent contract.
"It's been a challenge but life throws you a lot of challenges, a lot of adversity, a lot of curveballs, and it's been no different," Jennings said in a conference call. "It's something that has been a humbling experience, but it's been one that we can grow from and we have to build on."
The Packers aren't biting on the whoa-are-they-bad Vikings because they know what can happen in the Metrodome with Adrian Peterson present and Jennings wanting to show everyone he made the right choice to leave the Packers.
Maybe privately they're a little giggly over the way the Vikings played in a 23-7 loss to the New York Giants, but they can download 96 regular-season games and 10 postseason tilts to remind them of how good Jennings can be.
"You can put him anywhere on the field and he's capable of making plays," safety Morgan Burnett said.
Even if Ponder resumes completing 59 percent of his passes and getting sacked a lot, it's not that hard to get the ball into Jennings' hands. And that is where the Packers have most of their concern.
They have seen both in person and on their iPads the moves Jennings is capable of making once he has possession of the ball, and there was no better example than the 70-yard catch-and-run touchdown he had against PIttsburgh in Week 4.
"We know he's a dangerous player, dangerous after the catch," rookie cornerback Micah Hyde said. "We have to get him down. We did discuss that in the meeting room, how he's sometimes inside, sometimes outside, sometimes a single receiver. He's all over the place.
"It's going to be a task to try to figure out where he is, and obviously, they're going to try to get him the ball."
How the Packers try to cover Jennings is something worth watching on Sunday. They have a lot of options, especially with the expected return of cornerback Casey Hayward, probably their quickest defensive back in a short area.
Hayward probably won't play a lot given he has not played a down since the third preseason game due to a hamstring. Hyde might play more in the slot in dime situations because he is a good blitzer and outstanding tackler, the latter of which will be necessary against Peterson.
However, he's also not very fast and could be overmatched against Jennings. He knows the Vikings may try to take advantage of that if the Packers are not having veterans Tramon Williams or Sam Shields follow Jennings all around the field.
"You have to practice it and if the opportunity presents itself, you have to be ready for it," Hyde said of being matched up with Jennings.
There will be a delicate balance in the way defensive coordinator Dom Capers employs his different personnel groups. The Vikings may try to spread out the field with receivers and run the ball with Peterson, putting a lot of pressure on the defensive backs to tackle the former 2,000-yard rusher.
If the Packers choose to cover some of those receivers with linebackers instead of defensive backs in a zone scheme, Jennings might put on a show. Most of it depends on whether Ponder plays like an NFL quarterback.
As for Jennings' off-season jab at quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, he insisted he was joking and meant no harm. Rodgers said the comments were ignored.
"I think I can speak for the guys, they don't really factor into our day-to-day lives and we don't spend energy thinking about those comments," he said. "We try and stay focused on the guys in this locker room, on this team, and what we have to do to get this team ready to play."
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