Category Archives: Jordy Nelson

18

February

Jordy Nelson 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

1) Introduction:  Remember during the offseason when everyone called the Packers soft and demanded more toughness? People were mostly talking about the defense. Nobody expected a wide receiver to raise the Packers’ level of toughness, but Jordy Nelson did just that.

Jordy Nelson

2) Profile:

Jordy Nelson

  • Age: 28
  • Born: 5/31/1985 in Manhattan, KS
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 215
  • College: Kansas St.
  • Rookie Year: 2008
  • NFL Experience: 6 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Bounce back. Nelson spent a good portion of the 2012 season banged up and his numbers nose-dived from his amazing 2011 campaign. He needed to stay healthy this season and return to being one of the more underrated receivers in the NFL.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Whenever Aaron Rodgers was in trouble, he’d launch an impossible-looking pass toward Nelson on the sideline. Nelson would somehow catch it and get both feet down with a defender or two draped all over him. Any time that happened, it was a highlight. His 22 catches for 20 yards or more was also nice. If you’re looking for a low-light, Nelson “only” had eight touchdowns. Given the Packers struggles in the red zone, it would’ve been nice to see Nelson come down with a few more scores.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success:  Nelson made the Packers tougher. I know you don’t think of receivers making a football team tougher, but Nelson did. He had knee surgery on Aug. 5, yet never missed a game. He took shots and held onto the ball. He made catches with defenders all over him. He pulled out the Jordy stiff arm every now and then. He was a chore for defenders to bring down on hitch routes. He didn’t quite have the success over-the-top that we got used to in 2011, but he improved in just about every other area.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: It was a strange game on offense for the Packers against the 49ers in the playoffs. Rodgers looked tentative early and the Packers never really got rolling. Nelson caught seven passes, but only for 62 yards. It was a good, not great, playoff game for No. 87.

Season Report Card:

(A) Level of expectations met during the season

(A) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(B) Contributions to team during the playoffs

18

February

James Jones 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

1) Introduction: James Jones is another example of a Packers wide receiver increasing the team’s overall toughness. Jones missed more than two games with a knee injury, then returned and played hurt for the next month. He also played through a broken rib late in the season. Jones risked further injury during a contract year, which says a lot about his character and toughness.

Packers WR James Jones

2) Profile:

James Jones

  • Age: 29
  • Born: 3/31/1984 in San Jose, CA
  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 208
  • College: San Jose St.
  • Rookie Year: 2007
  • NFL Experience: 7 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: I’m not sure anyone expected Jones to catch 14 touchdowns like he did in 2012, but they were expecting him to continue being a reliable target in the passing game.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: An 11-catch, 178-yard game in week 2 against Washington tops Jones’ list of highlights. Catching an 83-yard touchdown against Detroit is also up there. Injuries and the loss of Aaron Rodgers caused Jones’ production to dip in the middle of the season. He also dropped a couple of tough, but catchable, passes against the 49ers in the playoffs.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Jones averaged almost 2.5 more yards per catch in 2013 than he did during his breakout campaign of 2012. He seemed to be having more success getting downfield before he was slowed by the knee injury (he struggled to get separation the remainder of the season). When he was healthy, Jones was exactly what the Packers needed him to be: a tough, fundamentally strong, dependable receiver.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Jones’ performance against the 49ers is a game he’ll want to forget. He failed to come down with the ball on three separate occasions when he had a chance to make a big play. Each catch wold have been a difficult one, but it’s those types of plays that need to be made in the playoffs.

Season Report Card:

(B) Level of expectations met during the season

(B) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(D-) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  B-

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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15

February

Cory’s Corner: Ted Thompson will stick to his script

Ted Thompson is preparing for his 10th NFL Draft as general manager of the Packers.

Ted Thompson is preparing for his 10th NFL Draft as general manager of the Packers.

Now I don’t want to totally dismiss anything that NFL writer and analyst Ian Rapoport said…but I don’t believe any of it.

For those that missed it, Rapoport said that the Packers could sign as many as five free agents to take advantage of the Packers nearly $28 million in cap space.

Anyone who has been around a stale Ted Thompson press conference knows that the Packers general manager prefers to assemble his team through the lower risk, higher reward of the draft, which actually suits a small-market team just fine.

The Packers have not and are not in a position to be like the Redskins or Cowboys who routinely throw money at free agents just because they can. Washington and Dallas are more suited to sign high-priced free agents because they can absorb more mistakes than a team like the Packers.

But that doesn’t mean the draft is an exact science either. There are guys like Brian Brohm, Justin Harrell and Javon Walker in every draft. Obviously the key is finding out which one truly loves the game of football and which one just loves being the star.

The most important free agent signing Thompson has made was Charles Woodson back in 2006. That pales in comparison to Ron Wolf who brought in the hallmark free agent of a generation in Reggie White and then smartly paired him with free agents Sean Jones and Santana Dotson.

Of course Thompson could try and lure the top defensive end in Greg Hardy who has said is looking for a “crapload of money.” Hardy and agent Drew Rosenhaus have already turned down a contract for four years and $32 million. The 25-year-old wants security after netting 15 sacks, which led to his first Pro Bowl bid.

But Thompson cannot do that because dropping that much this year will severely hamper Green Bay’s chances of signing both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, whose contracts expire after the 2015 season.

Basically what Thompson has to weigh is Aaron Rodgers. The Packers’ best quarterbacking mind has a limited window of dominance. He will enter his seventh season as a starter next fall and will turn 31 next December. He has four years of being a game-changing quarterback in the NFL. In that time, the roster has to evolve. It not only has to get better around him, but also must prepare itself for Rodgers’ inevitable diminishing return.

7

February

Josh Boyd 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Packers DE Josh Boyd

1) Introduction: Could Josh Boyd be the next Mike Daniels? I don’t think Boyd will ever be the pass-rusher that Daniels is developing into, but he could be another late-round contributor on the defensive line if he builds on a promising finish to his rookie season.

2) Profile:

Josh Boyd

  • Age: 24
  • Born: 8/3/1989 in Philadelphia, MS
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 310
  • College: Mississippi St.
  • Rookie Year: 2013
  • NFL Experience: 1 year

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: There were rumblings that Boyd might not even make the team early, so expectations were low. I would’ve been shocked to see a fifth-round pick get the axe so early. Next year is the big one for Boyd. Expectations will be higher and we’ll find out if he can play or not.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Boyd stuck around and hardly played until the final quarter of the season. Once he made it on the field, he played better than B.J. Raji. The game seemed too fast for Boyd in the preseason, and that obviously led to him rarely getting any opportunities until after Johnny Jolly went down.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Boyd looked fairly nimble for a 300-plus pound guy. Now someone needs to teach him how to use his girth to his advantage and fight more with his hands. I’m not saying that Boyd replaced what Jolly brought to the team, but he at least showed that he can be disruptive like Jolly was. Oh, and Boyd got more playing time at the end of the season than prized first-rounder Datone Jones. That says good things about Boyd’s future, and not so good things about Jones’ future.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Boyd swallowed up Frank Gore behind the line on one running play. He wasn’t quick enough to play any type of role in containing Collin Kaepernick, but against the slower-footed Gore, Boyd was able to fill space and do his job.

Season Report Card:

(C-) Level of expectations met during the season

(D) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(C) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  D+

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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6

February

Jerel Worthy 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

 

Packers DE Jerel Worthy

Packers DE Jerel Worthy

1) Introduction: Jerel Worthy made it back from a late-season ACL injury suffered in 2012. He didn’t do anything upon returning, but simply making it back onto the field so soon was more than most people expected.

2) Profile:

Jerel Worthy

  • Age: 23
  • Born: 4/28/1990 in Huber Heights, OH
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 308
  • College: Michigan St.
  • Rookie Year: 2012
  • NFL Experience: 2 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: Get healthy. I don’t think anybody expected Worthy to play a snap, but he made it all the way back and saw some game action.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Walking onto the field to play against the Vikings in week 12 — less than a year removed from a major ACL injury — is a very impressive highlight. We’ll find out next season if Worthy’s highlights go beyond returning from a serious injury.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: It’s tough to contribute when you’re injured. If Worthy is to have a successful NFL career, it will probably come as a Mike Daniels type of player — someone who is explosive enough to rush the passer from the inside but might be a little undersized to anchor gaps in the run defense.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Worthy only played two snaps in the postseason.

Season Report Card:

(Incomplete) Level of expectations met during the season

(Incomplete) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(Incomplete) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  Incomplete (kudos to Worthy for working to return so soon, but there isn’t enough there to give him a proper grade)

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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5

February

C.J. Wilson 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

1) Introduction: It was another underachieving season for the big and athletic Wilson. After a good rookie season in 2010, Wilson hasn’t been able to take the next step.

Packers DE C.J. Wilson

2) Profile:

C.J. Wilson

  • Age: 24
  • Born: 3/30/1987 in Bellhaven, NC
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 305
  • College: East Carolina
  • Rookie Year: 2010
  • NFL Experience: 4 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: Get back to the promise of his rookie season. The piano-playing Wilson looked like a big run-stopper who was quick enough to get after the quarterback during the Packers Super Bowl season. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to follow it up.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Wilson has missed significant time each of the last two seasons and only played in eight games in 2013. He also went from playing 355 snaps last season to just 123 this season. Wilson made the most of his 27 snaps against the Vikings in week 12. But after hurrying Christian Ponder a few times and having some success corralling Adrian Peterson, he left with an injury.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: He was another body to throw in on the defensive line. Unfortunately, there’s not much more to say than that. I don’t think Wilson is done in Green Bay — he’s big enough and quick enough to be effective and the Packers d-line is up in the air for 2014 — but he’s going to have to start producing.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: In 19 snaps, I don’t remember Wilson doing much of anything.

Season Report Card:

(D-) Level of expectations met during the season

(D) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(D-) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  D-

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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1

February

Cory’s Corner: Helping Rodgers should be Packers’ priority

Aaron Rodgers needs to be surrounded with weapons and protection.

Aaron Rodgers needs to be surrounded with weapons and protection.

Super Bowl XLVIII is a collision course of two different team-building philosophies.

In 2012, the Broncos paid 36-year-old Peyton Manning, the owner of four neck surgeries, a five-year $96 million contract to take them back to the promised land. Many saw it as a surprise because nobody knew how Manning would respond to contact and if his arm strength would return.

The Seahawks, on the other hand, decided to spread out most of its resources. Sidney Rice ($8.5M), Russell Okung ($7.06M) and Marshawn Lynch ($7M) are the three highest-paid players on the team. But that doesn’t mean Seattle doesn’t spend money. The Seahawks were the second-highest payroll in the NFL this year with over $103M in salaries.

But the difference is at the quarterback position. Russell Wilson is the 44th-highest paid player on the Seahawks, making just $526,217 this year. Obviously that number is going to skyrocket when he’s a free agent in 2016, but until then Seattle is going to ride the wave of an efficient and cheap quarterback while they fill holes on the rest of their team.

Which is exactly how the 49ers have approached their quarterback position. Colin Kaepernick is the 26th-highest paid player on the roster with a salary of $740,844. San Francisco will have some difficult choices to make when he’s a free agent in 2015.

But it speaks to an interesting philosophy. The quarterback is and always be the most important player on a football team. However, if a team can strike oil in the draft with a rookie that doesn’t make a flurry of mistakes while adjusting quickly to the faster NFL game, it definitely behooves them to go with the unproven rookie.

The 49ers and Seahawks have been playing with house money ever since Wilson and Kaepernick became household names.

The Broncos meanwhile are going all-in for a potential Super Bowl streak with Manning. But in order to do so, they have left gaping holes in the secondary and on the offensive line but Manning has been able to overcome those.

After showing Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews the money last April, the Packers have to decide where their priorities lie. Jordy Nelson becomes a free agent in 2015, which will limit money spent on expiring contracts this spring.