Longwell gives kudos to both Packers, Vikings; discusses Jennings' summer-long comments
Ryan Longwell.Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers' all-time leading scorer may have chosen to retire with the first team he kicked for in a regular season game.
However, Ryan Longwell offered positives Thursday about his experience playing both with them and their divisional rivals to the west, the Minnesota Vikings, and gave perspective on the feelings new Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings has been spouting off all summer about his former team.
"I got to see a perspective from both sides that made me appreciate my nine years in Green Bay even more," Longwell told 620WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."
"For nine years, I had the fans behind me...I had all that going."
Longwell kicked in Green Bay from 1997-2005, then crossed state lines to Minnesota - similar to what Greg Jennings has done this year.
"They were great to me, giving me a chance. I'd come off of a tough season in '05, and they gave me a chance to keep kicking."
However, Longwell's move was much more amicable than Jennings, as the wide receiver has taken much of this summer to badmouth the Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Longwell tried to give context to Jennings' thoughts.
"I think it doesn't matter if it's me, Favre or any guy working in an office...when the company that you're with doesn't want you any more, there's a sting there," he told 620WTMJ.
"You feel like you can play forever...at a high level. Everybody in the NFL feels that way...there's a little sting, a little animosity because of someone not really making an effort to want you anymore."
"Because it's the Packers and Vikings in that rivalry, it's a little amped up because of the hatred."
Jennings even went so far as to say the Packers "brainwashed" him into believing the team was the best, and the rest of the NFC North was far below them.
"You have good people everywhere you go in the NFL. It's that team's job to make you feel like you're the most important people on the planet," explained Longwell.
However, he thinks that just as the Brett Favre-Packers rift seems to be healing, so eventually will Jennings' issues with the team.
"Time kind of heals everything."