Jordy not your regular white guy
By Rob Reischel, Journal-Sentinel
~Green Bay – Jordy Nelson knows it’s there, even if some believe the topic should be taboo.
When Nelson, a Green Bay Packer wide receiver, comes to the line of scrimmage, opposing cornerbacks see a tall, lanky player. A farm kid from Kansas who’s certainly not going to beat you with his initial quickness.
Oh, and one more thing.
“To be honest, guys try me a lot because I’m white,” Nelson said. “I’m definitely not trying to make it a racial thing, but it’s the truth. And they can be fooled all they want, as long as it keeps going.”
Here’s what Nelson has going.
In Nelson’s last 10 regular season games, he’s caught five passes of at least 50 yards and four of those have gone for touchdowns.
He also is averaging 19.7 yards per catch, which is third in the NFL among players with at least 20 receptions and the best mark by a Packer regular since Walter Stanley in 1986 (20.7).
Nelson is third on the Packers in receptions (29), second in yards (570) and tied for second in touchdown catches (five). And to the surprise of many, Nelson has become a dangerous deep threat during a breakout season.
“He’s just a guy that continues to grow, continues to improve and that’s the goal,” Packer receivers coach Edgar Bennett said. “He has very good speed . . . and I think he’s able to take advantage of that and get behind people.”
Nelson’s deep speed is perhaps the most surprising element surrounding this former all-American at Kansas State.
After Nelson’s junior year, he ran the 40-yard dash in a pedestrian 4.60 seconds for NFL scouts. What Nelson didn’t tell most people, though, was he played through that entire season with an injured posterior cruciate ligament and wasn’t healthy when scouts visited campus that year.
Nelson was 100% as a senior and he became an Internet sensation when he ran away from Kansas’ Aqib Talib – the top cornerback in America – on a 68-yard touchdown reception.
And at the NFL combine, Nelson ran a far more respectable 4.50, 40-yard dash.
“Some guys are probably faster more than they are quick,” said the 6-foot-3 Nelson. “That’s probably me.”
Still, the “possession receiver” label seemed to fit Nelson, considering he averaged 13.7 yards per catch at Kansas State and 11.8 yards per catch his first 45 games as a Packer.
But the last 10 regular season games have been a completely different story. Nelson has 35 receptions for 733 yards and an average of 20.9 yards per catch.
“Some of it is right place, right time,” Packer offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. “Right coverage, right play call. And obviously he’s doing a very good job.
“He’s got very good breakaway speed; he can finish a play off. Not sure he’s doing anything totally different than what he was doing before.
“He’s always been a high-effort player and a detail-oriented player. Certainly you hope as a player matures he gets better and improves.”
Nelson has done that. And in the past 11 months, here’s how he’s punished defenses with a series of big plays.
Week 16, 2010: Midway through the first quarter of a must-win game against the New York Giants, the nickel back bit on play-action pass and Nelson split the two safeties for an 80-yard TD. The Packers rolled to a 45-17 win.
“I was just able to go right between the safeties,” Nelson said.
Week 2, 2011: Green Bay led, 23-16, at Carolina late in the game and was pinned at its own 16-yard line.
Nelson beat cornerback Captain Munnerlyn on a deep slant, raced to the left sideline, then pulled away from Munnerlyn and safety Sherrod Martin for an 84-yard TD.
The Packers went on to a 30-23 win.
Week 4: Nelson ran a……. Full story here