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Nelson and Rodgers On the Same Page

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Nelson and Rodgers On the Same Page

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.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (20) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

ShopeIV's picture

Film Room from Game rewind is heaven on Earth

andrew's picture

i like jordy.. i dont like him as a ST player all that much.. but i think he has the potential to be our possession wide out when driver retires if he keeps taking steps in the right direction.
he also has the benefit of pretty much playing with rodgers his whole nfl career
when driver retires i would like to see the wide out depth be jennings nelson some speed WR that i hope we decide to draft this year (thats the only thing i think we really need to get on offense since grant will be back next year) and then jones as a 4th if he decides he doesnt wanna be greedy followed by my boy swain! who i like as a 5th WR and possibly a 4th if he develops a little i dont think he will ever break the barrier past that tho..

but yeah point is nelson is gonna be a solid WR and pretty much have a career like driver.. puts up good numbers but doesnt get a lot of attention jordys a tough guy too

andrew's picture

also... MM seems like he is really big on the big plays.. he sees james jones big play spark.. so MM has him ahead of nelson because he thinks he can turn jones into a consistent big play guy.. nelson doesnt seem to be the guy who catches the ball and goes 50 yards for a TD.. whenever i watch him he seems more like a possession guy... thats just my opinion.. i wish i could watch game film so i could get a better analysis its hard to make judgements after watching each game only one time but even in that little clip.. that is something you want from a possession WR

Patrick Duprey's picture


This is a fantastic analysis and something I did not think of, so I commend you.

I think part of the knack on Jordy is that he's not perceived as a speedy, big play threat. Mike McCarthy has illustrated a persistent willingness to throw the ball down the field throughout the majority of the first half of the season, and Jones is a more explosive downfield threat than Nelson. That said, I agree that Nelson is a more consistent option and should be given more opportunities in the passing game.

Nononsense's picture

If you ask me Jordy should be the starter opposite Jennings while Driver is out. His blocking is far superior to James Jones so that alone makes him the better choice IMO.

Hes also a bigger target and has better body control than Jones. Their hands are probably about the same and both have had fumble issues, Jones on offense Jordy at KR. Its a no brainer really.

Watch Brett Swain outshine both of them though. Hes really a pretty fast guy and I for one would like to see what he can do with the ball in his hands.

WoodyG's picture

Until Nelson learns to stay on his feet & make the reception & turn upfield all in one fluid motion, he'll never be anything more than a 3rd or 4th WR ...... He has 22 receptions on the year with just 79 YAC .... Even the clip above shows him making the reception, turning & then stumbling to the ground ..... He either doesn't have the body control or balance to stay upright & turn upfield ..... He never gets hurt because he takes very few hits ...... I would have to agree that with more opportunities, he may be more productive ...... Funny how James Jones 'doesn't get it' by wanting more opportunities but somehow Jordy deserves more opportunities ......

packeraaron's picture

"Even the clip above shows him making the reception, turning & then stumbling to the ground" - no, it shows him leaping, adjusting in midair - to a throw that is BEHIND him - and making a fantastic catch. Good lord. I'm all for a differing opinion, but just making shit up is not your usual style Woody.

WoodyG's picture

I never talked about the catch, only what happened after the catch ..... Pull out more clips of Jordy's 22 receptions on the year ..... You'll find him on the ground on too many of them without contact ..... If MM ran a more 'pure WCO', Jordy would be invaluable ...... But he doesn't.

packeraaron's picture

"If MM ran a more ‘pure WCO’, Jordy would be invaluable" - now that I totally agree with.

WoodyG's picture

I'm going to scream if I see AR throw another 30-40 yard incompletion on 3rd & 4 while approaching midfield ..... Audible or not, I thought that low-percentage play left along with BF.

packeraaron's picture

"I’m going to scream if I see AR throw another 30-40 yard incompletion on 3rd & 4 while approaching midfield" - Now you're just preaching to the choir. Preach brother, preach.

nerdmann's picture

Looked like one of those "back shoulder" throws to me, except that they connected on it.

PackersThad's picture

I was definitely in the Jones camp at the start of this year, but it is apparent that Nelson has outperformed both Jones and Jennings.

I would love to see Nelson on the outside more and Jennings inside to distract the safety. I think that would allow Nelson to beat his cover on deep routes.

Then bring Nelson in the slot to find the holes in the middle of the field.

Also, I think McCarthy should look at bringing Swain in the backfield for a play or two and then run a screen through him...Just a thought

PackersRS's picture

Wow. No, Jennings has outperformed every single WR in this team.

Jennings: 32 rec. 471 yards. 14.7 YPR. 5 TDs
Nelson: 22 rec. 239 yards. 10.9 YPR. 0 TDs.

And it's not just opportunities. Jennings has better production to what's thrown at him.

davyjones's picture

I don't think its accurate to say Nelson has outperformed Jennings--that, to me, is quite a stretch.

I also like the idea of a closer look at Swain. I may be crazy, and there isn't a lot of eveidence to go on, but the few times I've seen him, he reminds me a little of Wes Welker...just the way he moves when he goes in motion and on routes.
That, I'm sure is quite a stretch also, but i've just noticed it more than once.

nerdmann's picture

Let's see what he can do as a returner.

PackersRS's picture

Oh yeah, THAT cacth. I was thinking about the 3rd down catch over the middle...

So... 2 great plays and a very good one...

/shows self out.

PkrNboro's picture

I think I'd much prefer to see Nelson and Swain, running short, WCO-type routes -- instead of a 40yd in-completion.

Let Mr. That-Was-On-Me-Nobody-Else warm the bench for a few games...

and, damnit, throw it to Crabtree !

thepretzelhead's picture

Yeah linebackers tend to get "exposed" 50 yards down field.
Falcon Rhino worked because that has been an unsuccesful "suprise" pass lineup all year. Finally the suprise run with a three running back set.
Evidence of what was discussed this week that MM is simply out-thinking himself at times. Breathe big guy.

thepretzelhead's picture


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