Jeff Janis has been given every opportunity to wow us since the Green Bay Packers opened training camp. With Jordy Nelson sidelined, Janis has lined up with the first-team offense on a daily basis. Thus far, he’s failed to do so.
That’s probably why Janis is listed as a third-team receiver on the Packers’ depth chart.
Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett, who probably gets asked about Janis every time he’s in front of the media, didn’t exactly provide a ringing endorsement this week.
“It’s still a work in progress,” Bennett said of Janis. “Truth of the matter is right now we have yet to play a preseason game. With that being said, he’s going about doing it the right way in the classroom and on the practice field, which is to improve on a daily basis, to be more fundamentally sound, and I think the overall communication and the relationship he’s building with Aaron [Rodgers], I think it will pay dividends.”
It’s interesting that Bennett mentions fundamentals and communication.
Those right there seem to be the reasons Mike McCarthy refused to play Janis last season. There were whispers that his route running wasn’t up to snuff. There were also whispers that Janis didn’t have the trust of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
We know that to mean the expectation of perfection.
Well, what about those routes and that trust? Janis knows what he needs to do, but even he seems to suggest he’s not there yet.
“Obviously I’ve been trying to take advantage of it with Jordy being out and just trying to be on the same page with Aaron,” Janis said. “With me, I think it’s just going to take reps.
“I feel like I’ve gotten better at route-running. That’s something I’ve been trying to focus on. Now it’s just reading the defense and being where I’m supposed when Aaron wants me to be there.”
We get cliches from everyone about how Jeff Janis is getting better every day. Those are swell, but at some point, he has to get these things down or the Packers have to give up on him as a receiver. We know he hasn’t gotten the reps, which is a failing of the coaching staff, but we’re three years in now.
If Janis doesn’t get it in his third season, he probably isn’t going to.
In that case, he’s just a great special teams player. Nothing more.