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Aaron Rodgers, Jermichael Finley look to regain mojo


Jermichael Finley was poised to lead the new generation of tight ends after the 2009 season. He set the Green Bay Packers record with 159 receiving yards in the 51-45 playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals and entered 2010 as the No. 1 target in the offense. This was before Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham broke tight end records.

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Now, Finley is trying to find his place in the offense. He's had a two-year long case of the dropsies and Packers fans frustrated with unfulfilled promise. Finley didn't drop a single ball in 2010 before his season ended with a knee injury. He had a drop rate of 17.69 percent in 2011. The number climbed to 20 percent in 2012.

Finley has said that he and Aaron Rodgers lack chemistry. He met with the quarterback last Saturday for 45 minutes and plans to do so every Saturday. It's all part of the plan to regain that dominance of late 2009 and 2010.

"It's (about) getting trust back from A-Rod," Finley told ESPN Milwaukee's Jason Wilde. "If I was the quarterback, I wouldn't throw it to the guy who's off-rhythm right now either. So I've got to get that trust back.

"The guy's touching the ball 100 percent of the time. You've got to have that trust. That 30 to 45-minute meeting, that shows a lot. And he just says, 'How do you want the ball?' I tell him, 'It ain't how I want it. You tell me what you want me to do.'"

Finley was called to coach Mike McCarthy's office a few weeks ago. Waiting for him was a cut-up from that playoff game with the opening credit that read: FINLEY ... THE BEAST.

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"I was attacking the ball, not letting the ball get to my body," Finley said. "I thought it was pretty sweet that he called me up. But it was also, '(Expletive), what happened? Where did it go?' I'm the same person. I just dont' know where it went, man.

"You go out and drop a couple when you know you can catch the ball, I mean, the next play you're going to switch your hands up a couple times. It's a confidence thing, but I've got to get it back, get that swagger going again."

The Packers would love to have that version of Finley back with Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson missing games due to injury. When he's on, Finley is as good as any tight end in the NFL.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.


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