James Jones, Respect and the Packers Plethora of Receivers
They say you can never have enough talent. When you’ve acquired all that talent, the question becomes how do you get the most productivity and value out of said talent.
The Green Bay Packers have no shortage of talent on the offensive side of the ball, especially when it comes to pass catchers. The record-breaking group is back intact after the team re-signed Jermichael Finley and restructured Donald Driver’s contract.
While the talent is unquestionable, there are only so many balls to go around during the course of each game, even in the Packers’ high octane offense. This can lead to frustration which appears to be the case for James Jones.
“I still don’t get no respect around here, though,” Jones said. “That’s why, in all my interviews, I’m just going to start saying ‘Respect.’ Get me some shirts made.”
Part of the lack of respect may have been brought on by Jones himself as he spent most of 2010 dealing with drops. Many fans have had a hard time forgiving Jones, despite his drops having been overcome by the team and his turning the corner in 2011.
Playing with the likes of Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley, Donald Driver, Randall Cobb and more, Jones doesn’t have the opportunity to separate himself like he would elsewhere. Jones had a quiet, but very good statistical season last year. His catches in 2011 were down to 38 from the 50 he caught in 2010, but his yard per reception was all the way up to 16.7 yards in 2011, an increase of 3.1 yards from his 13.6 yards per reception in 2010. He also scored more touchdowns in 2011 (seven) than he did in 2010 (five).
While Jones put together a very solid season, he hasn’t gotten the attention he might elsewhere for similar numbers.
This isn’t to say Jones is unhappy being in Green Bay. It comes with the territory.
“When you’ve got a lot of weapons, you need an unselfish group,” Jones said. “I think we’ve done that and been unselfish because we all know the ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl. At the end of the day, we win a Super Bowl, everybody will be happy. That’s what we’re here for.”
Keeping this mindset is incredibly important for the Packers’ receivers as the season progresses and certain players see stretches without being targeted. A collective mindset needs to remain the goal during the season and a potential Super Bowl run.
While it’s important the Packers’ deal with the issue of respecting and keeping the ultimate goal as the primary focus, the plethora of receiving talent does raise some questions when thinking about the roster.
Jones, Cobb, Finley and Nelson are all locked up for the next few years, but Jennings becomes a free agent following the season. Driver is likely out the door in the next year or two due to retirement. The Packers also have talent in returning practice squad players in Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel in addition to other camp bodies at the position.
With a bunch of talent at the position, it could turn out to be Jennings who is the odd man out. He will likely demand the most expensive contract and with a ton of value below him on the depth chart, it might be smarter to spend that money elsewhere.
Jones is another candidate for ending up in another city sooner rather than later. The Packers may try again to trade Jones after failing to get decent offers for the wide receiver after the 2010 season.
Whatever the case may be, the guys who remain in green and gold must realize respect will come as a team, rather than as an individual.——————
Michael is a sports writer currently attending Seattle University. You can follow Michael on Twitter .