In depth: Green Bay Packers’ tight end Jermichael Finley

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GREEN BAY — Whether he’s catching a pass and doing his “Fin” thing, or grabbing a touchdown toss from Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers and displaying “YOTTO” — or “Year of the Takeover,” or joining his wife, Courtney in a promotion to defeat hunger, Packers’ tight end Jermichael Finley is totally engaged.

The 25-year-old fifth-year Packers’ tight end with a world of seemingly untapped potential is also a complex character with a big, well-meaning heart. Finley’s passion for defeating hunger stems from growing up in Texas, where he was raised by a loving grandmother.

“Going hungry — it happened often. Food didn’t come often,” Finley said.

Finley says he feels being a parent has only given him a greater desire to share what he’s fortunate to have.

“There are some kids out there all over Wisconsin all year round that don’t eat often, and it’s a sad story,” Finley said.

A Jermichael Finley fan or not, nobody should question his work ethic. 

“It’s the hunger. Being hungry. I got the blessing of playing football so I need to take advantage of it and play every day like it’s my last,” Finley said.

At times, Finely has felt frustration over not being targeted enough by Rodgers. As every Packers’ fan knows, #88 hasn’t been shy about expressing his feelings — often to the detriment of his image. 

“The man I’ve known since his college days — he’s always played for the passion of football. It’s all about his love for the game,” Courtney Finley said.

Even Finley’s most loyal fans have to admit, when he opens his mouth at times, many fans wish he would’ve thought it through first.

“I try to get to the locker room, sit at my locker and collect my thoughts,” Finley said.

“I’m his biggest fan, but I’m also his harshest critic. These men are great football players but they’ve never been trained on how to interact with the media,” Courtney Finley said.

Yet, when he describes his relationship with Rodgers, Finley tells it like he sees it.

“We are friends, we are teammates, and we speak for ourselves,” Finley said.

Finley is owed $7 million by the Packers next season. He knows he is playing the rest of this season to help his earning potential, and he hopes it is in Green Bay.