Jordy Nelson Emulating Familiar Connection With Unfamiliar QB

-- If you want to even try and replicate the kind of chemistry shared between a wide receiver and his former MVP quarterback for the better part of 10 seasons, you're going to have to get a jump on it sooner rather than later.

That's what Jordy Nelson has been doing with his new quarterback, Derek Carr.

The Oakland Raiders started their veteran minicamp last week and Nelson and Carr have already been hard at work hoping to recreate the same bond Nelson and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers shared. That same bond that led to the most touchdowns between a quarterback-receiver duo in team history.

If the Raiders somehow struck gold with Nelson, who turns 33 years old in May, and reached a similar plateau of success, that'd make his two-year, $15 million dollar deal look all the more like a bargain.

"It's going great," Nelson said last week, according to SilverandBlackPride.com. "It's just communication and getting the reps on the field. It's no different than what Aaron [Rodgers] and I did for 10 years. We'll continue to grind at it.

"It's getting on the same page, understanding the playbook the same way and then getting the reps in on the field if it's on air, one-on-one, seven-on-seven, team, all of that. It all adds up; just being comfortable with one another."

Nelson's 10th season in Green Bay was nothing close to a celebration of hitting double-digits with the same organization. It was more so a dismal showing of Nelson's descendence into the latter stages of his career.

He wasn't able to break free of coverage as fluidly, nor was he the same downfield threat he was in the prime of his career. Still, he was impactful.

With Rodgers throwing to him all of 2016, Nelson led the league in touchdown receptions in his season returning from a torn ACL suffered in 2015.

He was the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year, and he was on pace to accomplish the same feat in 2017 with a league-leading six touchdowns through the first five games before Rodgers' collarbone injury sidelined him for the rest of the campaign sans one game.

Having the Packers' second-string quarterback in Brett Hundley failing to establish a connection with Nelson couldn't help, either. But now, Nelson gets a fresh start in the bay area with a quarterback in Carr whose gradual, promising rise has been well-documented since entering the league in 2014.

"It's really cool," Carr said. "It's fun because when I was in college, I would watch Aaron [Rodgers] play all the time. I'd try to have some of the same mannerisms, getting it out quick, stuff like that."

While Rodgers and Carr universally agreed to be two completely different quarterbacks in terms of both skill and playing style, Carr reached a five-year, $125 million dollar extension with the Raiders last summer, setting his annual salary at $25 million.

Rodgers, however, is due for his own extension. It was rumored to come sometime during training camp, but with two years still left on the then-record deal signed in 2013, there's no rush on the Packers' side of things to get the deal done.

Rodgers' $22 million in annual earnings currently ranks ninth amongst 101 qualifying quarterbacks.

"Now listening to the mental side of things, how they worked together and him coming up to me and saying, 'Hey, what do you think about this, or this depth' learning that stuff has been really cool."

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (14)

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Oppy's picture

May 01, 2018 at 02:44 pm

Wish Nelson the best.

I'm confident he'll have a good year in Oakland.

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holmesmd's picture

May 01, 2018 at 05:55 pm

Yup, just like Cookie did.SMH. WTH was up with that decision? So frustrating

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Oppy's picture

May 01, 2018 at 06:08 pm

I'm good with it. With Nelson, Packers needed cap space. Year early better than year late, yadda yadda yadda.

With Cook, while he had said he wanted to stay in Green Bay and play with Rodgers shortly after the season ended, his agent publicly announced they were walking away from the negotiating table. It was said the amount of money the Packers had on the table was more than Bennet signed for. Hate you see you go, but don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. It hurt but IMO it was the right thing to do.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

May 01, 2018 at 04:09 pm

Hope Jordy makes the pro bowl.

My all time favorite Packer player...that is, nest to Bart Starr.

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Oppy's picture

May 01, 2018 at 04:19 pm

I hope Jordy makes the Pro Bowl only due to the two WR's ahead of him in the voting aren't attending because they're busy helping the Green Bay Packers win the super bowl.

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Lare's picture

May 01, 2018 at 04:47 pm

Nelson did very well and was paid very well for his contributions to the team & franchise. Like all ex-Packers, I'm sure he's moved on with his life, so shall we.

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DD's picture

May 01, 2018 at 04:47 pm

Love Jordy. I'll miss him. I met him personally, and he is absolutely a wonderful man!! Raiders got a gem!!

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

May 02, 2018 at 06:59 am

I agree. Much respect for Jordy, but he's a Raider now. Hope we are not going to see Raiders updates on this site all season.

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Coldworld's picture

May 01, 2018 at 05:51 pm

Yes, love his time with the Pack. Less sure the Raiders got a steal, but not overly interested in Raiders goings on a Packers blog.

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Demon's picture

May 01, 2018 at 07:28 pm

Give em hell Jordy

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Demon's picture

May 01, 2018 at 07:28 pm

Give em hell Jordy

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Minniman's picture

May 01, 2018 at 08:09 pm

As a casual observer I'd be interested to know if Martavis Bryant was doing the same prep work as Jordy?

One thing about Jordy, he's a pro's pro in how he conducts himself and plies his craft.

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flackcatcher's picture

May 02, 2018 at 04:24 pm

I am always amused when some writer (today it's Zach) proclaims 'it's over' when a productive veteran is traded or let go. No it's never anyone else fault, it is always 'he got old'. (Sigh) As we found out in the Ravens game, Nelson was getting open on his routes even with bracket coverage in Rodgers return. Did Nelson get slow after Rodgers went down, no. He got frustrated and angry due to the the utter incompetence of Rodgers replacement. Which is why the Packers are rebuilding their offense and brought in a new QB(via trade) to back up Rodgers. I will only write this once. There is no writer or fan or commentator on CHTV who is good enough, or smart enough to judge a pro football player at this level, especially one who has been a top ten at his position for the last decade. (Remember, this is the guy many were talking Hall of Fame after he retires.) We only see the results, never the work that goes into that moment. I write this as a warning for all us on this blog. We are going into another season where there will massive change for the team that we all love. Be careful on how to judge that change. We can only see the results of decisions made out of our sight. Not the work that got them there.

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Ds300916's picture

May 02, 2018 at 10:16 pm

Well Said. If we need to be reminded how much the media don't know that scouts do, Baker Mayfield was not suggested as the number 1 pick at all leading up to the draft and yet after the fact many teams said they had him as their number 1 qb.

Anyways, I love Jordy and absolutely hope for the best for him in Oakland. I look forward to him being in the Packer Hall of Fame one day, but it's kind of silly to write about another team's player especially a few days after we just picked up 10 new draft picks and more UDFA. The new guys have to have some stories right?

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