The Green Bay Packers will look somewhat different at receiver in 2013 and James Jones is ready to take on a bigger role.
Donald Driver retired. Greg Jennings will leave via free agency. That leaves Jones, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb to compete for the Packers top receiver spot, which was previously occupied by Jennings when healthy.
Jones, who’s coming off a career season, says he’s up to the challenge.
“I’m ready. … I’m ready to take in that role if we don’t get Greg [Jennings] back,” Jones said.
A couple years ago, we all would have laughed at that statement. Jones turned in his share of big plays through the first five years of his career, but he wasn’t known for that. He was known for dropping footballs.
Then a focused James Jones showed up in 2012. That guy made a habit of talking to himself on the field, telling himself to stay focused during games. It worked. The drops became but a memory, as Jones caught 64 balls for 784 yards and a team-leading 14 touchdowns.
He also authored the most-impressive catches of the season.
So is Jones ready to be a No. 1?
Nelson isn’t exactly a possession receiver and Cobb works best from the slot, so the door is open.
This isn’t to suggest Jones is the Packers best receiver, but if he builds on last season he could be in the conversation.
Not only did he lead the team in TD’s, but the NFL as well. Past guys like Eric Decker, Dez Bryant, Brandan Marshall, and AJ Green. Zero fumbles and 12.3 YDS per catch too. He’d have surpassed a 1000 yards if he hadn’t had to share time with the rest of the WRs on the team. Easily a number one WR.
When you have Aaron Rodgers, i don’t think it even matters who is the #1 receiver. In 2010 Jennings had 12td catches, in 2011 Nelson had 15…2012 James Jones had 14…..next year, No one would be surprised if Cobb led the team in td catches. The bottom line is, it doesnt matter. What we do know…Is that with Rogers at QB. There will be enough td passes to go around.
Agree with this completely, the Packers have never had a number one receiving threat. They are all interchangable #2, #3 type receivers. Which when you load up on them makes for some great mis matches. I think the Packers expected Jermichael to elevate to that coveted #2 spot as well…so we have guys with great hands, all smart, all good route runners–but no beast on the field and this draft has no beast in it (otherwise they’d mock draft a receiver in the top 10). Good news is that we can add another high quality #2-3 talent, or not and we’re still fine either way.
JJ has earned it. He deserves to be on the field. Frankly, with all the ridiculous plays he’s made, it suggests we should have been throwing it up for him more often.
I do agree with MXZ. A great QB can make average WRs better..no doubt. I think JJ will be a top WR in the Packer Offense..and I also think Finley will step up too this season. If he can get himself focused like JJ has….it will be huge for the Packers. With JJ, Cobb, Nelson, and an effective TE…the packers will be on fire. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to to have a more dependable run game. I like Harris…he is quick, but I don’t know if it’s enough to keep balance and to keep the opponent paying attention.
You’re not going to see an effective run game, until you have cohesive and consistent offensive line play. Yes, I have a firm grasp of the obvious.