Johnny Jolly: The Embodiment of What’s Wrong in Green Bay
Green Bay Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly made some pretty boneheaded comments to the Green Bay Press-Gazette following Sunday’s 38-26 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, regarding his personal foul penalty.
Jolly gave the Vikings a fresh set of downs in the first quarter after being flagged for head butting Vikings running back Chester Taylor. The Packers had stuffed Taylor for a loss on third-and-5 from the Packers’ nine. Minnesota used those downs to score their first touchdown, and the senseless penalty helped set the tone for the rest of the game.
Jolly didn’t seem too remorseful though.
“I’m playing on the edge, playing with one every game,” Jolly said. “They made the call. It was a call they could have called either way. It is what it is.
“I play like that every game. It ain’t going to change from here. The next game I’m going to be out there playing hard. It is what it is. That didn’t (cost us) the game. That’s it.”
Really. What a great “who gives a fuck” attitude, Johnny. Coach Mike McCarthy’s not going to like that, is he?
“Frankly, I didn’t see it,” McCarthy said. “I was told what happened. Not very smart. We had them stopped. Personal fouls in that situation and the way it happened, from my understanding, it’s unacceptable, to extend the drive like that, and it cost us four points.”
You’re right, Mike. It is unacceptable. So why do you think Jolly would just shrug it off with a “not my fault” attitude? I’ll tell you why.
Because this is the atmosphere McCarthy has created in his tenure as head coach. If he makes it acceptable for his players to commit penalties like this, they’ll continue to do so and they will continue to point the finger elsewhere. Nobody is taking responsibility for anything on this Packers team, and it’s starting to catch up with them.
Jolly wouldn’t say what Taylor did to deserve a head butt, but does it really matter? A good team doesn’t make mental mistakes like that. A good team doesn’t let their emotions take over in big games. And a good coach doesn’t allow such idiotic behavior to continue without consequences.
A few weeks ago, McCarthy said he had considered benching players for penalties, and I think that’s a fabulous idea. But let’s also hold the coaching staff accountable for creating what’s become a complacent, laissez faire locker room in which no one is responsible for anything and nothing is anyone’s fault.
Jolly should be hung out to dry for this one. And he should know it too.
Sarah is a writer and editor living in the Twin Cities, a lifelong Packers fan and an ardent supporter of all things anti-Vikings.