Cory's Corner: Geronimo Allison Must Have Big Year

Geronimo Allison could have a monster season in 2019. 

But the question is, does he have to blow up in order for the offense to take off?

Allison is a big (6-foot-3, 202 pounds) wideout that does a great job of high-pointing balls and he will see plenty of mismatches when he lines up in the slot. Many have tried to answer what player will man the slot position for the Packers next season, but that position will be done with many people. Davante Adams, Allison, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown are the likely candidates.

Obviously, Adams is going to be facing a top defensive back all year. He will likely see double coverage now that Adams’ secret is out as a top 5 receiver.

And the person that’s going to benefit from all of Adams’ attention is Allison. Last year, Allison was having a solid season before he tore his adductor muscle in practice. The weird November injury landed him on injured reserve, shutting him down for the rest of the season. 

The reason Allison is hard to trust for many people, is because in three seasons, he has only averaged 18.3 receptions, 252.6 yards and 1.3 touchdowns. But the Packers saw how he tore his adductor muscle right off the pelvis and they wanted to see more. It’s why the Packers offered him a one-year prove-it deal in March and now Allison knows that he doesn’t have an option but to produce now. 

And yes, Allison, does need to blow up this season. Remember, his career averages are very pedestrian and he needs to remain healthy, catch at least 60 balls and become a trusted target of Aaron Rodgers. If those things happen, Allison doesn’t have a choice but to blow up. 

It will all come down to how versatile Allison is. If he can produce in any position all over the field, he will make it very difficult for Matt LaFleur to take him out of the game. And with Adams seeing Xavier Rhodes, Darius Slay and Kyle Fuller twice, not to mention Chris Harris and Casey Hayward. Adams is going to have his hands full this season, so the door will be wide open for Allison to produce. 

So will the real Allison please stand up? You’re going to see a different Allison this season and he’s going to make opposing defenses pay if their only focus is to stop Adams. The 25-year-old was an undrafted free agent after starting his collegiate career at Iowa Western Community College of all places. 

Allison is your classic underdog story. Yet, his first career NFL catch went for a touchdown and 21 of his 35 receptions have gone for first downs. That shows that he can be a viable asset when the team needs him most. 

Green Bay will need Allison this year, and he will pay the Packers back with a huge breakout season. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (42)

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Coldworld's picture

July 06, 2019 at 07:22 am

Allison sort of came from nowhere. Unheralded signing who fought his way into the roster and then into playing time. He has consistently beaten most people’s expectations and then gets injured.

I don’t know that that makes him hard to trust. In fact all he does when given the chance is make catches and surprise us with his performance.

I think the question with him is what is he really capable of? Hopefully, if he stays injury free we will get to see.

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Bearmeat's picture

July 06, 2019 at 07:53 am

We'll see, but it sounded like GMo was the #3 behind DA and MVS. GMo is a good WR - he has ARod's trust. And he has proven it before, he's just not stayed healthy long enough as the #3 in the offense the last two years.

MVS has far more athletic upside. I'm excited to have GMo as the #3. IF MVS becomes a true #2, (not GMo) this offense will be that much harder to stop.

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murf7777's picture

July 06, 2019 at 08:53 am

I think you’re right on with #3 option and mostly in the slot where I believe he will shine. I’m excited to see how the WR position shakes out this year. Can’t think of another year with so much uncertainty on the position going into training camp. I hope we are pleasantly surprised and with Arod throwing the rock we probably will be!

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Johnblood27's picture

July 06, 2019 at 02:37 pm

ummm...

How about last year?

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Coldworld's picture

July 06, 2019 at 12:29 pm

I don’t disagree with that in any way. I think my question is how well will he capitalize on his opportunities.

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yetija999999's picture

July 07, 2019 at 12:46 am

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BoCallahan's picture

July 06, 2019 at 08:03 am

G Mo was in the process of having a breakout season last year. After 4 games he had 19 catches for 289 yards and 2 TDs. Those numbers projected out to 76 catches for 1,156 yards and 8 TDs. I sure hope he can stay healthy and show us what he is capable of doing. If he produces anything near those numbers, he will be in for a huge pay raise next year.

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justjan's picture

July 06, 2019 at 08:27 am

I hope he does well also. But I am tired of constantly seeing what the "projected" numbers were for him last year. He had a fine 4 games but to assume that same production for 16 games is very optimistic.

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nostradanus's picture

July 06, 2019 at 08:43 am

The NFL is a war of attrition and teams need guys they can count on. GMO and King have a history of playing great in spurts and the getting hurt. If it happens consistently teams tend to hedge their bets and new stars emerge. Here’s hoping this is the season GMO and King prove they can stay healthy and become big factors in the Packers plans moving forward.
Go Pack!

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Since'61's picture

July 06, 2019 at 09:06 am

Whether it’s Allison, MVS, ESB, or Kumerow another Packer skill player needs to step up in 2019.

For the first season in a long time we may actually have more questions on offense than defense this season.

Rodgers, Adams, Bak, Linsley and Bulaga are known quantities and good to great NFL players. After that we have questions at Guard (but I think we’ll be fine), WR after Adams, TE, and RB.

Jones is a good back but will he hold up, behind him?????
WRs behind Adams????
TE the entire position group is a question mark??????

If Jones holds up and at least one WR and one TE emerge we should be fine. I’d like to see Allison become the #2 but we won’t have any answers about any of these players until the regular season begins. Only 2 months to go now. 4th and One can we get a countdown? Thanks, Since ‘61

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Guam's picture

July 06, 2019 at 10:58 am

Spot on comment Since '61. It doesn't have to be Allison, but one of the WRs not named Adams needs to step up and be a productive receiver. I would add Moore to the list of Allison, MVS, ESB and Kumerow as a guy who has a chance to shine. He has the physical skills and needs to prove he belongs this year.

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ShanghaiKid's picture

July 06, 2019 at 10:58 am

Those are all good points ‘61. I agree we should be fine, but the margin for error on that side of the ball is razor thin. An injury to Bakhtiari, Adams, or Linsley and the offense will bog. It’s a product of putting minimal to no resources into that side of the ball.

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Since'61's picture

July 06, 2019 at 11:14 am

I am concerned that the lack of focus on resources for the last several seasons could catch up with the offense in 2019 especially since the Packers will be transitioning to a new offense.

In 2006 when MM took over as HC he had Brett Favre at QB and the Packers went 0-4 during MMs first 4 games. They did finish 2006 at 8-8 by improving to 8-4 over the last 12 games of the season. IIRC they 6-2 over the second half of that season.

Given the lack of proven skill players besides Rodgers and Adams we could see a similar start to MLFs HC career. I hope not but to avoid a slow start we need a few other skill players to emerge quickly. Thanks, Since ‘61

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dobber's picture

July 06, 2019 at 11:18 am

"Whether it’s Allison, MVS, ESB, or Kumerow another Packer skill player needs to step up in 2019."

Cookie for you, '61!

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Since'61's picture

July 06, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Thanks Dobber! I’m honored to be awarded a cookie from you. Since ‘61

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TarynsEyes's picture

July 06, 2019 at 11:35 am

Maybe this is the year that ' if's and but's ' aren't so prominent in Packer descriptions.

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Since'61's picture

July 06, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Maybe is the key operative word Taryn. Thanks, Since ‘61

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adroge456's picture

July 06, 2019 at 09:08 am

No Allison doesn’t need to have big year. This is not Mcarthy’s offense anymore. Lafleurs offense is designed for play action and fast guys running down the middle. Think Julio Jones and Brandon Cooks. MVS is clearly the biggest benefactor of the change in system. He is a perfect fit for what this system creates. While Adams and Allison will still produce Lafleurs system won’t depend on their technical skills the way MM did. Get ready for MVS running a lot of deep crossing routes

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NickPerry's picture

July 06, 2019 at 09:25 am

The thing I noticed about Allison last season before his injury, was he consistently worked his way BACK to Rodgers whenever Rodgers started scrambling. Because Cobb was injured so much of last season the Packers sorely missed that last year once Allison was hurt. As good as MVS was early and ESB was later in the season, that takes time and reps with Rodgers to learn how to work back. I can't count the number of times when the announcers would show a view of the play where Rodgers was scrambling yet no one worked back. It's not a knock on MVS or ESB...It's just something that takes a little time and study. G-Mo had put in the time and he was making it pay.

With MLF offense maybe there's less of the need to work back to Rodgers than in the past. BUT if/when that does happen, it's good to know Allison knows exactly what his QB wants and expects. That alone will help set him up for a big year. Just stay healthy and do EXACTLY what you did last year for 19 games.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

July 06, 2019 at 09:59 am

Good point. I also noticed that Kumero wasn't mentioned in the article and he is a smart receiver who is trusted by Rodgers. I would think he will be a strong candidate for the "full time" slot position and playing time in others.

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Grandfathered's picture

July 06, 2019 at 09:34 am

Besides having great hands, Allison had an ability to find a hole when Rogers scrambled. His route running is said to be above average, but he does not have a quick twitch off the ball and not great speed. If Rogers does not need to scramble as much under a new offense, then Allison may fall a few notches in the WR pack.

If Allison could somehow gift his hands and route running to JMon Moore, the team would have an ideal slot receiver.

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Dzehren's picture

July 06, 2019 at 09:37 am

With the projected stout defense, QB 1 will no longer have to carry the entire team. AROD will also benefit from a running games and new route concepts.

Aaron Jones & Davonte are the only sure things from a skill player perspective.

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sam1's picture

July 06, 2019 at 10:07 am

Beyond Adams there is a lot of talent, just have to wait and see who [one or more] steps up! Sounds like more upside though than downside!

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PETER MAIZ's picture

July 06, 2019 at 01:19 pm

It's not through their own fault that players get injured. Football is a collision sport. Let's see how Geronimo works out. Who's to say?

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dobber's picture

July 09, 2019 at 05:45 am

Collision injuries--broken bones, concussions, torn ligaments--those don't necessarily bother me so much. Yes, losing player games suck, but that's just how it bounces. Those players who are constantly tied up with bad hammier/calves/obliques/etc., those tend to be more flexibility/training/warm-up injuries. Soft tissue injuries are the maddening ones.

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PAPackerbacker's picture

July 06, 2019 at 10:50 am

I think G Mo will be a good go to receiver if he can stay healthy. He's great at coming back to the ball when Rodgers is scrambling and he has really good hands. He is a smart player and a great awareness of where he is on the field. He is exceptional at running his route. He may not be the fastest receiver on the team but he has the ability to get open and move the sticks. Rodgers has confidence in G Mo. I don't think G Mo needs to have a great year but I think he will do well as long as he can stay healthy. He would be a good receiver in the slot.

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Lare's picture

July 06, 2019 at 11:11 am

Allison, like many players, just needs to stay healthy. A player can't be productive when they're watching from the sidelines.

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dobber's picture

July 06, 2019 at 11:31 am

Prototypical possession receiver: good hands, catch radius, can find the holes in the defense, but lacks over-the-top speed. The kind of player teams need, but it's hard to get too excited about. Someone in this WR/TE group needs to emerge as a consistent threat to draw some attention away from #17, but I'd rather see it be an MVS, ESB, or even Jimmy Graham: they're more likely to open up the offense than Allison.

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Since'61's picture

July 06, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Cookie right back at you Dobber! Thanks, Since ‘61

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holmesmd's picture

July 10, 2019 at 03:08 pm

Speaking of cookie, I sure wish we had Jared Cook on the roster. He’s the exact type of player we need to stretch the middle of the field! That was really a clunker of a decision. Really still pissed off about that! Let’s hope someone steps up to fill the role this season.

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Coldworld's picture

July 06, 2019 at 12:35 pm

I tend to agree and certainly that has been my take, but I have to say that Allison has consistently managed to produce pretty much however he is used and at key moments.

After a while I am forced to wonder if he has something in terms of instinct or awareness or a physical trait that is not appreciated. If he continually achieves more than he should, there is a reason and my appraisal of him was wrong. We will see. He may surprise us.

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dobber's picture

July 07, 2019 at 09:45 am

I always am drawn back to that late-game fumble against Carolina in that 2017 ARod 'return from the collarbone' game when he should have been protecting that ball. There seemed to be a little magic brewing on that drive and I'm not going to to so far as to say he cost them a win, but that's the image of #81 that lingers in my mind. Truly a teachable moment, though.

While I personally don't think Allison is much more than an average possession receiver, I admit to having a hard time reconciling his ypc with that.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 06, 2019 at 08:10 pm

I Like Gmo but keep an eye on ESB! Write it down!

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Bure9620's picture

July 08, 2019 at 05:39 am

Yup Equinemious St. Brown is my breakout player

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dobber's picture

July 09, 2019 at 05:46 am

Ditto.

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CoachJV's picture

July 06, 2019 at 01:12 pm

I like Gmo in the slot. He has a tendency to make difficult catches in the clutch, just when the team needs him to the most. We could certainly use that in the middle of the field... gashing teams for 10 to 12 yards each series.

I like MVS on the boundary. He has serious speed and will make big plays... and when they start edging the Safety over to his side of the field, Adams will thrive even more.

But the bottom line is this... with Adams, Gmo, MVS, ESB, three pass-catching TE's, and two RB's perfectly capable as pass catchers, Aaron is going to have a multitude of open targets this year. And opportunities will be far and few between if you aren't one of these guys.

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Tundraboy's picture

July 07, 2019 at 12:15 am

I'm hoping he's healthy because he has shown what he is capable of. It also seems like we are building a very solid crew. Personally I'd rather have three or four very good to excellent wide receivers, than one superstar diva.

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Lare's picture

July 06, 2019 at 06:09 pm

We have to remember that part of the success of players like Adams and Allison was due to their familiarity with McCarthy's system and plays.

There's a new sheriff in town, may the best man win.

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Rudedawg67's picture

July 06, 2019 at 05:07 pm

It would be nice if Allison had a breakout year but it really isn’t imperative. I think having a new offense where Detroit, Minnesota, and Chicago won’t know what play is being called will be a big factor and a better offensive line.

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Pierre's picture

July 06, 2019 at 11:11 pm

It’s really simple in the NFL, the QB play determines the outcome of games more than any other position. It’s not just the receivers breaking out or stepping up, it’s Rodgers making the right decisions in a timely manner and delivering the ball accurately that’ll determine each receiver’s productivity.

That’s the key for the Packers upcoming season...does Rodgers throw the ball away on third down more than any other QB like he did last season or does he put the ball where his receiver can go up and make a play on the football?

Time will tell if Rodgers decline continues or whether he can improve on his completion percentage and accuracy downfield. There’s no great advantage, nor is it impressive, leading the league in least interceptions when your team has a losing record and is out of the playoffs

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Bryan Chisholm's picture

July 07, 2019 at 02:15 am

I think G-Mo at his very best isn't gonna be better than MVS at the level i expect him to play this season. I think this system may be more in tune with WR's with a quick first step, or WR's that can fly up the field.. which doesn't seem like Allison at this point. I like Allison at the 3 though. Adams, MVS, Graham/Tonyan/Sternberger, and Aaron Jones give the defense a handful. Throw in the solid work from G-Mo, Williams, ESB and maybe even Moore and I see this offense as more deep than people give credit for and may surprise a lot of fans even. Throw in Rodgers comeback power and things start to make your heart beat.. I don't think I've been this ready since before the 2014 NFC championship.

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EricinGB's picture

July 07, 2019 at 02:45 pm

I agree...the WR position and offense in general is much deeper than it's been in a long time. Looks to me like we have 4 receivers capable of being the #2 or #3 receiver by the end of the season...and, it's a long season...if all 4 are game planned (rotated) each week to their strengths we should be very competitive in time for the second season (playoffs). I see the regular season as auditions for who gets to start in the playoffs...then we will see who can hold down #2 and #3. Hopefully Rodgers, the offensive line, a running back, Adams and two of the other 4 receivers will be 100% for the playoffs...I like that we have 4 ascending receivers competing for time on the field with Adams...should be an interesting season.

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