Much is being made about James Jones’ inconsistencies, both throughout his career and over the course of the 2010 season. And while Jones is a talent and I do expect him to make some plays in Donald Driver’s absence on Sunday night, watch for Jordy Nelson to step up when called upon.
Since the first day of training camp, I haven’t understood McCarthy and the coaching staff’s insistence that Jones was “slightly ahead” of Nelson. Rodgers and Nelson made some kind of big play every single day of camp while Jones was his usual up and down self. Throughout the preseason I waited for Nelson to get more opportunities, but they never came.
There was a play on Sunday that perfectly illustrates the kind of sync Rodgers and Nelson are in. This is one of those plays in McCarthy’s offense where the quarterback and the receiver are the only ones who know its going to be a pass play. Its usually some kind of check at the line of scrimmage. The coaches film shows us beautifully that the rest of the team is executing a run play while Rodgers and Nelson are working a fade-stop on the outside once they both recognize the single coverage and the single high safety:
What’s interesting is that earlier in the game, Rodgers tried one of these “check” plays to Greg Jennings, but Jennings missed whatever signal Rodgers must have given. Nelson, however, has been perfectly tuned in to his quarterback since training camp. I think that connection will start to pay off Sunday night.