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Packers Daily Links: Daniels Tired of Being Sidelined

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Packers Daily Links: Daniels Tired of Being Sidelined

Packers fourth-round draft choice Mike Daniels expressed some frustration about being held out of practice during Green Bay's offseason program. Daniels is recovering from labrum surgery on his shoulder after his season at Iowa ended. “It’s rough. If you tell a fish not to swim, it’s going to be kind of hard,” Daniels told the Packers official website. “Being a football player, it’s hard to sit around and watch everybody else out there getting better, practicing. So I have to find other ways to improve myself.” Perhaps even more discouraging is that the defensive lineman didn't seem particularly positive about being cleared for practice by training camp saying, "We’ll see what the doc says." There's still more than three weeks until camp begins, however.

Fellow fourth-round draft choice Jerron McMillian talked to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about competing for a job in the starting lineup at safety this season. “I just want to compete," McMillian is quoted as saying. "I’m going to learn the playbook as well as I can. I’m going to know my job and know what everyone else is doing around me to help my job at that position. I’ll just go out there and compete, work as hard as I can. That’s all I can do.” Until training camp begins and the pads go on, fans can only speculate about a young player like McMillian. It's possible he might surprise and fight for some playing time, but no one really knows at this point.

More on Jerron McMillian comes from AllGreenBayPackers.com.

A beam-signing ceremony was held at Lambeau Field on Monday to symbolically recognize the progress made on the renovations. Installation of new scoreboards and construction of a new north end zone gate and viewing platform appear to be done, while the 6,700 seating expansion won't be completed until next year. “I think our fans are just going to be blown away when they see the clarity and just the great view and vision that you get from these video boards,” Packers president Mark Murphy is quoted as saying by the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

More on the beam-signing ceremony comes from Fox 11 and WTAQ in Green Bay.

Former Packers wide receiver Bill Schroeder and Mark Murphy teamed up with Tiger Woods' niece, Cheyenne Woods, to post the lowest score during the Wisconsin Sports Shootout, a lighthearted five-hole event pairing LPGA golfers and Wisconsin sports personalities in the run-up to the U.S. Women's Open tournament behind held this week in Kohler. “There’s a big difference between hitting the ball far and being consistent down the middle, and that’s why I enjoyed playing with Cheyenne,” Schroeder said of playing with Tiger Woods' niece. Their threesome played one-under par.

Undrafted rookie cornerback Otis Merrill spoke frankly about why he transferred from Wisconsin to lower-level Illinois State during college in an interview appearing on JSOnline. “Just being a young guy, I didn’t take advantage of that time," said Merrill. "When I was waiting for my shoulder to heal, I don’t feel like I was in the meeting room and as focused as I needed to be. When I came back, I was a little behind. It’s a big school. It’s a Division I school, man. You can’t get behind the eight ball. So I just kept fighting and I felt like I really didn’t get a chance after a while so I transferred to Illinois State. I played on and off my first two years. It was a little bumpy here and there but I learned from those two years. I persevered through that and kept staying positive. My senior year, I started and had a great year.” Merrill will be fighting an uphill battle to win a roster spot this season, but he'll be given a fair opportunity just like any other player. If he could make the practice squad, that alone would be huge for a young player like Merrill.

Wide receiver Donald Driver spoke to ESPN.com about his annual charity golf tournament held last weekend in Las Vegas. "Everyone’s efforts helped raise money for the Donald Driver Foundation," Driver said, "to keep up the fight against homelessness and promote higher education for youths."

Five questions about the Packers heading into training camp are answered by Zach Heilprin at ESPNMilwaukee.com.

A couple columns by Bleacher Report NFC North blogger Andrew Garda touch on the battle at safety and drops by James Jones.

At the NFC North blog on ESPN.com, Kevin Seifert notes Aaron Rodgers is nominated for two ESPY awards and re-visits Anthony Hargrove's situation.

Packer Report has articles on concussion lawsuits, Ryan Grant and Nick Perry.

Former Packers safety Chuck Cecil talks about concussions with the Tennessean.

Wide receiver Randall Cobb is called a player ready to "make the leap" by Gregg Rosenthal at NFL.com.

Posts on Casey Hayward and D.J. Williams appear at Acme Packing Company.

Video: Footage of the Wisconsin Sports Shootout with Mark Tauscher, Bill Schroeder and Mark Murphy comes from Gannett...

Brian Carriveau is a writer for Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (23) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Mojo's picture

Andy G dies today.

Condolences Oppy.

Oppy's picture

lol

MarkinMadison's picture

Stats highlights over on Kevin Seifert's blog. The subject is drop rate. Finley, Jones and Driver are all on the "bad, very bad" list.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Brian, Zach... Are you on vaca? I'm about to cancel my subscription if you guys don't get some new pieces up!!! Wait... Damn.

Beep's picture

I'm starting to fiend with the lack of new content...

Brian Carriveau's picture

Yup, on vacation. You should be getting more Packers content by Tuesday.

MarkinMadison's picture

Let me expand a little bit on Siefert's stat highlight, since we are all bored. James Jones has the second highest drop rate among NFL receivers over the last three years. The stats are from Pro Football Focus, and are based upon what PFF deemed to be catchable balls. Mr. Jones is now entering his fifth season. Drafted in 2007, he even started his first game. We have all been high on his potential, but we got an idea of what other teams thought of him last year in free agency. In eight post-season games he has hauled in 3 touchdowns and 18 receptions averaging a bit under 15 yards per catch. Not horrible stats, but a bit less than you would hope for from a guy seen as a quality starter by many. His production in the regular season peaked in 2010 with 50 receptions. In my mind, Mr. Jones is more notable for complaining that he could not be a starter because of Donald Driver than anything else.

But it is his drops that have always been the most glaring issue. The new PFF stats, which cover everything except his rookie season, are not shocking. Instead, they just confirm what many fans have seen on the field over the last three years - a guy who is too inconsistent to be a reliable starter. There are plenty of quality receivers whose careers (and teams) were undercut by their inability to reel in the ball - just think about the trio in Seattle.

As we all know, the Packers have a young crop of receivers including two on the practice squad who will be pushing for spots. Some have suggested DD will retire or be cut, but that seems unlikely given recent contract moves. Others have suggested that JJ should be traded. But if no one was willing to make him offer him strong contract last year then (short of a rash of injuries on a single team) who will trade for him given his pedestrian production and notorious problems with drops?

Mr. Jones' contract last year was for three years and included a $1.5 million signing bonus. His base for this year is $2.3 million, with a $200,000 roster bonus due at some point. In other words, the Packers would net about $1 million in cap space if they cut Jones outright. Maybe that is not enough savings to justify cutting him as part of an effort to sign someone else to a long-term deal. But it does mean that if the Packers get into training camp and believe more in the long-term potential of one of their younger receivers than they do in Jones' ability to change a career-long pattern of drops. So I'll close with this conclusion: Mr. Jones' fate is no longer in his own hands and that is more than a bit ironic for a receiver.

Rocky70's picture

Firstly, JJ is hardly considered a starter by most accounts. He has started only 17 of his 74 games that he has been available for (9 of 17 starts were in his rookie season) (none in season 2011).

During his 5 year career he has averaged 14.5 yards per reception. This is ranked 23rd in the NFL of all receivers over the last 5 years. JJ has caught 17 TDs over the last 3 seasons. Without checking the stats, I think it's safe to say he has caught more TDs over the last 3 years than quite a few starting WRs.

GB throws the ball 72% of the time. They won't cut a better & more productive WR for any unproven PS WR.

Fans have to get used to the fact that GB is not a rebuilding team. They are built to win this season. TT/MM are not about to lessen their depth at WR because "maybe" a PS WR has some potential. If both Borel & Gurley were as good as some think, they already would have at least a year of time on someone's 53.

MarkinMadison's picture

I think what I said is that many people see him as a starter. Maybe I should have said, "envision him as a starter," to be a little more clear. See the comment below.

Cole's picture

If anyone should be cut, it's driver. He has one year left. That's it. You don't cut your third best receiver after you signed him to a cheap contract. That wouldn't make any sense. He's dropped a lot of balls but I don't remember any last year that made me want to pull my hair out. He made the big catch in the thanksgiving game, to his credit. I do think Cobb will surpass him this year, but I can confidently say he would be the best fourth WR in the league without doubt.

The rosters won't end up this way but should: 1. Jennings, 2. Nelson, 3. Cobb, 4. Jones, 5. Borel or Gurley.

Then next year maybe someone like Moss steps up to take Jones spot.

MarkinMadison's picture

I generally agree with you. If it were my call I'd cut DD before JJ. The contract moves make me think that this will not happen. As far as JJ v. the PS group, I think there are two questions. #1 Do you pay your 4th WR $2M+ per year? #2 Do JJ's negatives open the door for someone else to take the 4th WR spot away from him? I'm not talking about keeping a PS guy to keep a PS guy. I'm talking about a staff sitting down and looking at the situation and saying, "X is more than good enough to be our 4th, and he may get better, but JJ's drops issue will probably never go away."

Jamie's picture

Pointing to Jones' stats as to why he shouldn't be considered 'starter' quality, when he hasn't been given a legitimate chance to start consistently and conversely has been very productive given his reps (i'd like to see his production per snap played stats), is counterintuitive.

Jones has been a victim of limited playing time, largely because he's always had very good talent stacked just in front of him, but admittedly also partly due to his own occasional lapses in concentration/consistency. Though I have always felt that Jones is better when his playing time has been greater...the type of guy that needs to stay in the game to stay in the game per se.

Anyway, I think James Jones has the talent to be a legit starter in the NFL, I just don't know if we'll ever get to see it while he's in GB, and it just makes no sense to argue against him using stats he compiled while in a rotation with 3,4,5 other guys.

MarkinMadison's picture

I don't buy the idea that JJ has not been given a chance. I don't buy it at all. If Jordy Nelson could pass DD on the depth chart (in reality, whatever the official lineup card says) then JJ could have done the same thing if he had proven it on the field and in practice.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Yep.

Jamie's picture

Well, then that's a different argument, with which I still disagree, largely based on...

1. The lack of logic in thinking that just because Nelson passed Driver, Jones isn't good enough because he didn't also pass Driver. Nelson is on a fast-track to top 10 in the league.
2. Jones essentially surpassed Driver a year or two ago.
3. Once Nelson finally got a chance as our primary #1/2...the results speak for themselves. Nelson is better than most thought he would be (I backed him as better than he'd shown...just like I am with Jones), and it's not out of the question that Jones could at least approach that level...though now Jones is stuck behind two fairly young PB level WRs and a rising star (Cobb) right behind him. Again, I don't think we'll see the best of Jones in GB...barring injury, Jennings leaving via FA, or a trade (knock on wood).

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

If JJ didn't force the Packers to move him up the depth chart with his play, that's on him. Whether it be lack of talent, concentration, drive or a combination of all three, the simple fact is, if JJ's play was better, this wouldn't be a conversation. Period.

MarkinMadison's picture

1. What it shows is that the staff is not so attached to DD that they will not play someone who is better ahead of him.

2. DD still had 3 for 45 and a TD against the Giants last January. JJ? 1 for 16. But I'm not trying to argue FOR DD as much as I am against JJ. IMHO both of them should be wondering if they have a roster spot. But let's assume you are right. Let's assume that JJ has now overtaken DD in the last two seasons. What are you saying, that at the peak of his career JJ has now finally overtaken an aging DD? Or that Father Time has finally brought DD down to JJ's level. The reality is that their stats are virtually identical for the last two years. That does not bode well for JJ.

3. In this offense, a #3 receiver might as well be called a starter. JJ has had his chances to be the #3. He hasn't done much with them.

MarkinMadison's picture

I could not find much on JJ's snap count for you Jamie. Here is what I found. Packers v. Broncos, October 2011. DD left with an injury. Snap count and production by each WR were: Jennings (56 snaps, 7 for 103 and 1 TD) Nelson (42 snaps, 5 for 91 and 1 TD) Jones (37 snaps, 3 for 48 and 1 TD) and Driver (26 snaps, 3 for 20 and 1 TD). Comparing JJ to an aging DD, he had significantly fewer receptions per snap than DD, slightly better yards per snap, and slightly worse TDs per snap. This was JJ's fourth year in the league, so I would not buy an argument that it was somehow harder for him "coming off the bench," or that the coaching staff would have played him differently than DD.

Jamie's picture

I appreciate the effort, but a game worth of stats has no relevance.

One thing I know is that prior to Nelson's breakout SB performance and follow-up breakout season, a LARGE vocal majority of Packer fans were calling him a wasted 2nd rd pick. I was having this same conversation (lack of concentration, drops, consistency, hasn't beaten out Jones, etc.), except it was re: Nelson. I could plainly see the man had the talent and physical attributes to be a very good NFL WR, but many pointed out his negatives and put a ceiling on him.

I'm not saying Jones is or will be as good as Nelson, but in no way does he deserve to be dismissed as just a guy with decent talent that won't ever amount to much in the league.

He's shown too much unique ability and deserves better, just like Nelson did a year or so back.

Just tired of so many fans trying to put a label on players for every little up or down. I'll never forget the idiots that labeled Jennings the next Ferguson because he missed a couple games his rookie season, then part of TC and the first two games of his 2nd season. A strange way of looking at these guys we 'cheer' for...to say the least.

packsmack25's picture

Terrell Owens battled drops for a while too. Jones could certainly have somewhat similar talent without the drama.

MarkinMadison's picture

Interesting point, but TO was also 6'3" with a 4.36 40 coming out. His height/speed/physicality made him the prototype for the next decade. JJ came out at 6'0", with a 4.59 in the 40. Not that he couldn't be a great receiver, but it's hard to compare him with TO, especially when you look at their production. The only drops stat I could find for TO was that he had 10 drops in 2010, good for 4th worst in the NFL - his last year in the league. His drops really seemed to become an issue in Buffalo, when his production was on the decline. That was his last year in the league. This is why I'm throwing this topic out there. At what point to a guy's negatives outweigh his positives? If you are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to drops, how good are you?

MarkinMadison's picture

I should have said 2010 was his last year in the league.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

George is getting impatient!!!!!

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