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Offline Zero2Cool  
#1 Posted : Thursday, November 1, 2012 5:07:18 AM(UTC)
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I wonder how many of you James Jones haters will take the time to read this finely written article by Lori.

Lori Nickel said:
Green Bay - No ball was thrown his way in the first quarter of one game.

"Focus."

None passed his way by halftime in another.

"Focus!"

Four catches in the third quarter.

"Stay focused!"

Have you noticed Green Bay Packers receiver James Jones talking to himself during games this year? Just walking around, on the field, on the sideline, talking to no one but the man in the mirror?

"Even some of the DBs have asked me, man, what are you talking about?" said Jones, laughing.

He's talking about catching the ball, specifically, 36 times this season. And being the target of 57 passes in all - without a single drop. He's talking about the best season in his six-year career.

This didn't just happen, some stroke of luck, with an illuminated light bulb over his head. This took work, and lots of it, starting with a steady stream of verbal self-reminders that he had to catch the ball - every ball - this year, whether he was getting a lot of passes, or none.

"In the past I've had games where I caught balls early and I would lose focus at the end," said Jones. And the other way around. "So I'm constantly talking to myself the whole game."

Jones' efforts have paid off this season and for an example, he has different, difficult catches to show for it.

In the win against the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay held a 28-27 lead when the Packers faced third down at midfield. They needed a first down or risked punting the ball back to the Saints right after the 2-minute warning.

Just two days earlier, the Packers had done something out of the ordinary, installing a new play, a seven-step hitch route. Packers coach Mike McCarthy decided to call it in this critical moment.

Jones took off after the snap and the last thing he saw was quarterback Aaron Rodgers releasing the ball. After that, Jones might as well have been looking at a solar eclipse through Saints defensive back Jabari Greer, who blocked his line of vision while committing pass interference.

"Aaron threw it inside, it was supposed to be an outside throw," said Jones. "Greer completely covered me - but I had seen Aaron throw it, so I just visualized where I thought the ball would go. I felt it hit my hand and once I felt it hit my hand, I just kind of cradled it with my bicep and my body.

"It was one of those one out of 10 catches. You need a little bit of luck on your side."

But people get lucky once in awhile. Jones has made other great catches this year, especially in Houston. After catching a 6-yard, first-quarter touchdown that had to be wrestled in, Jones hauled in another touchdown that won't be soon forgotten.

"Probably two of my favorite catches of my career," said Jones.

Jones made a diving, sliding, 18-yard, one-handed touchdown catch in the fourth quarter by completely adjusting his usual technique. He caught it at the point.

"When you catch with two hands, you want to catch the fat part of it," said Jones. "The key to catching one-handed balls is you have to catch the tip of the ball.

"It just hit my fingertips and I was able to bring it into my chest and control it and bring it back in. Nine times out of 10, if you try to catch the ball one-handed in the fat part of the ball, with the velocity that Aaron throws it with, it's going to slip out."

The TD helped to demoralize previously unbeaten Texans.

Jones and Rodgers have always had a good rapport, working out together in past seasons in San Diego. But even Rodgers said he noticed a rededication by Jones, who has doubled his film study.

"The way that he's playing is a direct correlation to the way that he's practicing," said Rodgers. "He's making a lot of those plays in practice. He's got improved practice habits and he's been getting the ball thrown his way because he's been working hard. It's transferring over in to the game."

Even if and when starting receivers Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson return from injuries, the Packers are really going to need Jones in the second half of the season. They have only two rushing touchdowns, and of Rodgers' league-leading 21 touchdowns, Jones has seven of them. That already matches his personal best of last season.

That means good gloves. He's under contract with Under Armour, and his cold-weather gloves look like smooth, perfect batting gloves.

"Your fingertips still get cold," said Jones. "You can never unfreeze the ball. That's the worst part. The ball is rock hard. It's tough to catch. It's like somebody throwing you ice cubes."

Jones is completely serious. And he hates the cold. After practice Wednesday, he pulled on a second fleece sweat shirt, a skull cap and double socks.

"You know I'm a California kid," said Jones. "I'm always cold."

But it doesn't matter. Solid coverage, tricky catches, wicked Wisconsin weather coming up after the bye.

This year, Jones is armed with focus.
Offline Porforis  
#2 Posted : Thursday, November 1, 2012 6:21:04 AM(UTC)
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I "hate" (used extremely loosely) players that continually underperform, especially in critical situations. Jones wasn't really a liability last year, has completely turned his act around this year and I'm extremely pleased that he's been able to improve dramatically. If Jennings and/or Finley goes once the season is over, Jones will be ready to take the #2 spot full-time, no question.
Offline Wade  
#3 Posted : Thursday, November 1, 2012 7:04:43 AM(UTC)
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I have always been a James Jones supporter, even last year when zombieslayer and others jumped off his wagon at least temporarily.

And unlike another Packer receiving type who people like to rant against, he's consistently been well-spoken, respectful, and doesn't point fingers at anyone other than himself.

Nice to see good people doing well.
thanks Post received 1 applause.
yooperfan on 11/1/2012(UTC)
Offline PackFanWithTwins  
#4 Posted : Thursday, November 1, 2012 7:05:04 AM(UTC)
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Since Jones was drafted, I have been a fan. Even the drops were not overly concerning. they seemed to be linked to looking back over his left shoulder like he had a blind spot or something. Put him on the left so he has to look back right or over the middle routes and he doesn't have issue. I've never believe that Jordy was so much better than Jones because he became the #2. That was more because of differences between how they are built and the body they needed to run certain routes at the time. Jones was always more in competition for snaps with Jennings and Driver more than with Jordy.

Jones is probably a more dimensional WR than either Jordy or Jennings. All three have the ability to stretch the field, but Jones seems to have a better build to take the hits that come with crossing the middle and slants. Not that he is better at running those routes, just that I think he could hold up to that abuse better.
thanks Post received 1 applause.
Wade on 11/1/2012(UTC)
Offline zombieslayer  
#5 Posted : Thursday, November 1, 2012 9:16:01 AM(UTC)
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Wade said: Go to Quoted Post
I have always been a James Jones supporter, even last year when zombieslayer and others jumped off his wagon at least temporarily.

And unlike another Packer receiving type who people like to rant against, he's consistently been well-spoken, respectful, and doesn't point fingers at anyone other than himself.

Nice to see good people doing well.


I'm back on the JJ bandwagon. He's JJ again. =d>
Offline nerdmann  
#6 Posted : Thursday, November 1, 2012 12:36:39 PM(UTC)
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If he can turn and face the QB, dude's money.

I still think he could be a #1. Great along the sideline too.
Offline PackerTraxx  
#7 Posted : Saturday, November 3, 2012 10:33:32 AM(UTC)
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JJ was always a player I liked but his drops, or more specifically the timing of his drops were very disconcerting. Hopefully, those days are over. Glad we have him signed for 2 more years.
Offline zombieslayer  
#8 Posted : Sunday, November 4, 2012 5:11:35 PM(UTC)
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JJ made a tough TD catch today. I said in the chat that it reminded me of a Sterling Sharpe catch.

He's looking like it will be a good fight next year for the #1 WR spot between him and Jordy. Which of course is a win for us.
thanks Post received 1 applause.
nerdmann on 11/4/2012(UTC)
Offline nerdmann  
#9 Posted : Sunday, November 4, 2012 5:30:48 PM(UTC)
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zombieslayer said: Go to Quoted Post
JJ made a tough TD catch today. I said in the chat that it reminded me of a Sterling Sharpe catch.

He's looking like it will be a good fight next year for the #1 WR spot between him and Jordy. Which of course is a win for us.


Cobb will be #1.
Offline DakotaT  
#10 Posted : Sunday, November 4, 2012 6:26:34 PM(UTC)
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zombieslayer said: Go to Quoted Post
JJ made a tough TD catch today. I said in the chat that it reminded me of a Sterling Sharpe catch.

He's looking like it will be a good fight next year for the #1 WR spot between him and Jordy. Which of course is a win for us.


Numbnuts, did you miss the season Cobb is having this year? We won't have a #1, and this offense should never have that. What we should have is a diversified receiver corps that goes 5 deep. I'd love to have Jennings stay, but he is not worth the #1 receiver he and his agent think he deserves.

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