NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi echoed Green Bay Packers fans' frustrations when he discussed tight end Jermichael Finley on Sunday morning. Lombardi broke down the issues with Finley on "First on the Field," who has the talent to be one of the premier tight ends in the NFL. However, he hasn't put up the numbers.
"He has been so inconsistent," Lombardi said. "Two years ago I thought he was going to be a Pro Bowler for the next 10 years. I thought this was a Hall of Fame-type career. But his inconsistency with his hands, his inability to really make those tough catches that Jimmy Graham makes at the same position, that Rob Gronkowski makes at the same position. They've kind of passed him in terms of the position there and that really affects the Green Bay offense.
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"He is a matchup nightmare athletically, but if you're not going to catch the ball what good is it? At some point you have to produce and catch the football, especially in a crowd when you're a tight end."
Finley has been frustrated himself. He meets with quarterback Aaron Rodgers every Saturday night in an attempt to improve their chemistry. Coach Mike McCarthy recently showed Finley a tape of his 159-yard playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals in 2009. Still, Finley has just 29 catches for 271 yards and a touchdown.
"It's out of my hands," Finley told ESPN Milwaukee's Jason Wilde. "If I could throw myself the ball -- hike it, throw it up in the air and go get it -- I'd do it every single play. But (Rodgers) has got guys that he's got chemistry with, guys he's on with right now.
"I don't blame him, but looking from my side, I'm pissed. Inside. But I ain't got no reason to be pissed at him or anybody else. It's just not coming my way."
Offensive coordinator Tom Clements said defenses constantly surround Finley with defenders. And that's true. But he also needs to take advantage of those limited opportunities.
There's no question Finley has a unique skill set few others possess. There just hasn't been much consistency in 2012.