Cory's Corner: Look out NFL, James Jones is playing mad

I liked the James Jones signing. I thought he was a perfect addition for a team that needed a proven big target — especially in the red zone.

I just didn’t think he would throw on the Superman cape in his first game back wearing the green and gold.

Jones shocked everyone in Chicago on Sunday as the Packers held off a late Bears’ charge to start the season 1-0 for the first time since 2011.

The 31-year-old really made the Raiders and Giants wonder why they cut this guy. Jones was thrown four balls and caught them all for 51 yards and a couple touchdowns. It could’ve been a third if not for a penalty that brought it back.

Even Aaron Rodgers said that Jones’ first touchdown catch reminded him of 2012 when he led the league with 14 touchdown grabs. On that play, Jones not only wrestled the ball away from the defender, but he also had the presence to stay inbounds and give the Packers their first points of the game.

Jones is great now because Rodgers doesn’t know what he has in his youngsters yet. Remember last season how he only trusted Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson? Well, Jones is one of those trusted receivers and it’s about to pay huge dividends.

Jones is not unlike Rodgers. He grew a huge chip on his shoulder for people not believing in him just because he followed a future Hall of Famer. And now, he has to live with being cut from one of the worst teams in the league and a team that has one of its top wideouts still nursing an injury.

Also, let’s not forget that it was Rodgers that fought for Jones. In the summer of 2011, Rodgers was the one that spearheaded a three-year deal for his oft-criticized receiver. And sure, Jones was on the receiving end of a few of Rodgers’ public verbal displays. But no matter how times there was a miscommunication, a wrong route that was run or even a dropped pass — Jones is grateful for what he has now.

It was Rodgers that forged Jones to fetch a three-year $11.3 million deal from the Raiders. His trust in the third rounder out of San Jose State allowed the world to see his athleticism, strength and versatility. His 6-foot-1, 208-pound body plays like a smaller tight end. There aren’t many defensive backs that can stay with him and hardly anybody in the secondary can tackle him straight up.

And now he’s got Jordy Nelson’s tight-roping ability on the sideline. Jones could very well be the Packers’ top target even when Randall Cobb comes back to full health.

There’s something to be said about bringing in guys that know the system. It helps when the nine-year pro doesn’t mind taking a hit or risking his body for a catch. He knows that this team is a ball bounce away from winning another championship. That galvanizes the rest of the locker room and gets others to buy in as well.

Jones is the perfect guy for Rodgers to lean on until Cobb comes back to being Cobb and until the youngsters gain more of the quarterback’s trust.

Until then, look for more jaw-dropping catches and toe-tapping sideline snares. Jones is playing mad right now and the rest of the league has now been put on notice. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (28)

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4thand1's picture

September 15, 2015 at 07:22 am

We need more mad.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 15, 2015 at 09:14 am

And the emotion and fire that goes with it I think as well.

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Green Machine's picture

September 15, 2015 at 10:27 am

My little brother and I used to fight.
He'd bring a lot of anger into those fights.
Didn't matter.

Emotion can only get you so far... and then size,speed,strength,and ability take over. Unfortunately, those are attributes that the Packer defenders do not possess.

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Evan's picture

September 15, 2015 at 10:56 am

Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and Mike Daniels would like to have a word with you.

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Green Machine's picture

September 15, 2015 at 11:39 am

Daniels?
Please.

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Bearmeat's picture

September 15, 2015 at 07:41 am

JJ isn't the top target. That's Cobb. And Adams is the #2. JJ would be an adequate #2 with an average QB on most teams. He's not, nor has ever been a #1. He's a FANTASTIC #3 with our all-world QB. Just like Flynn. JJ is best as a Packer. Both sides win. Glad we have him.

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Allan Murphy's picture

September 15, 2015 at 09:03 am

Yes he has been # 1 WR i just heard it on Cheese head tv the other day .

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croatpackfan's picture

September 15, 2015 at 09:09 am

You have to consider that because he was consider to be #3 is why he had chance to score those 2(3) TDs... We all know James is nice receiver, but he never ever played #1 in Packers uniform. Not even in 2012 when he was leading NFL by TDs...

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Chad Toporski's picture

September 15, 2015 at 10:05 am

Targets for Week 1:

- Adams (8)
- Cobb (5)
- Jones (4)

It's hard to name any one receiver as the true #1 in this system, because they look so much for the match-up advantages. Each of these receivers also has specific strengths that make them more ideal in certain situations.

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Bearmeat's picture

September 15, 2015 at 01:36 pm

Yes Chad. BUT the only reason JJ was targeted so much is because Alan Ball - the Bears 2-3 best corner (I'm of the opinion that he's 3rd) was on JJ. The Bears concentrated much more on Cobb and Adams. JJ benefited by that matchup.

There will be days when that's switched around. JJ is 3.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 16, 2015 at 01:44 am

I agree with you, Bearmeat, pretty much. Ball is bad. However, Fuller was terrible last year (-18.4 per PFF). Maybe he is developing. I note that Rodgers threw only 5 incompletions: 4 of them targeted Adams, and the 5th was to Lacy on an out/scramble pattern but placed where only Lacy had a remote chance to catch it.

Looks to me like GB has Cobb as a #1 WR, and Adams and Jones, both #3s, with Janis and Monty as #4s.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

September 15, 2015 at 08:39 am

I will take JJ any day of the week, all he does is make mad catches. He is a monster when it comes to the red zone what a great pick up by TT now score some more, a lot more next week.

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Since'61's picture

September 15, 2015 at 08:47 am

I always liked James Jones and I'm glad he's back. He plays with the right attitude and he never gives up on a play. Can we transfuse some of his attitude to the defense? Thanks, Since '61

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Tundraboy's picture

September 15, 2015 at 09:18 am

Let's hope. We have Clay and Peppers. Would be great to have a JJ on D as well.

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Big T's picture

September 15, 2015 at 09:28 am

Yes 61 our defense is playing flag football. Someone needs to do some ballsack kicking. 5 years of flag football on defense. Maybe when Donkey Kong Suh gets kicked out of the league he can come coach our D-line...

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Since'61's picture

September 15, 2015 at 11:24 am

Big T - I've said it before and I'll say it again. Put the defense in a room and make them watch tape of Lombardi's defense until they get it. If you are a DB just watch Herb Adderly and Willie Wood. LBs watch Nitschke and Dave Robinson. DEs watch Willie Davis (Reggie White is an acceptable alternative), DTs watch Henry Jordan. The message needs to be "If you can't or won't tackle you can't play and we'll find somebody who will." End of story. I know its's a different era and the rules have changed and today's game is faster blah, blah, blah. Tackling is still tackling, hit him, wrap him up, drive with your legs and take him down. Those guys played every down, no rotations, no nickels, no dimes or quarters. No getting tired, poor overpaid pansies of today, no getting tired in the 4th quarter. Just line up, play football, win your one on ones, no excuses. I'm with you Big T.
This is one of the reasons why I am advocate for shortening the pre-season. Less meaningless games and more practices. the results will be better football and a better product on the field because fewer starters will be injured by the time the season starts. Thanks, Since '61

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John Galt III's picture

September 15, 2015 at 05:38 pm

I watched the 49ers and the Falcons tackle last night. Those defenses hit people. I have not seen the Packers do that in a long time.

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Otto's picture

September 15, 2015 at 10:08 pm

I'm not one to suggest replacing a coach, ordinarily. I think Capers has been blamed for a lot of things that aren't his fault. At the same time, I know players get tone deaf to coaches. Maybe it is time to consider making a change at DC. The D has been the weakness of this team for 5 yrs. That's a lot of great offense to waste. And a lot of high draft picks not developing.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 16, 2015 at 01:56 am

I am not really sure just what the organizational structure is on GB. That said, I'd assume that tackling involves individual teaching, something I wouldn't expect the DC (Capers) to do. The weakness of my argument might be that bad tackling is evident at pretty much every position grouping. I love Whitt for example, but tackling has been an issue at CB. It may be that tackling is a mindset, with some physical build issues thrown in.

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EdsLaces's picture

September 15, 2015 at 09:53 am

We need him and everyone else to be mad on Sunday. STL beat the Seahawks ...because their defense is as nasty as it gets.

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porupack's picture

September 15, 2015 at 10:16 am

Or is it talented? Or maybe its just discipline and fundamentals.
GBP defense doesn't have near the talent as STL, but they have a shot at Seattle if GBP defense plays fundamentally sound and assignment sure; then may be stay in the game.

Back to JJones. Congrats to the young man. Now Seattle has been served notice, and will account for him, so next week will be the week to back up his performance.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 16, 2015 at 01:59 am

Precisely. Loved what James Jones brought to the table against Chicago, but it is too early to anoint him.

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marpag1's picture

September 15, 2015 at 10:54 am

I always liked the signing, but come on... I think we need to cool the jets a bit.

James Jones "threw on a superman cape?" Not many DBs can stay with him? Very few in the secondary can tackle him straight up? Um......

He's James Jones. We know him. He was around in GB for quite a few years. He didn't improve tremendously by going to, or by coming back from, the Oakland Raiders.

What he was is what he is. He's James Jones.

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Dan Stodola's picture

September 15, 2015 at 11:20 am

I have to admit I was wrong about the Jones signing. I didn't know he was forced to play slot WR in Oak, which helps explain his pedestrian ypr ave.

But this article is over the top. Jones is a nice signing that came along at the right time for the Packers. Rodgers needed another trusted WR to throw to and Jones surely will provide that. But the same issues still are present. The Packers don't have a deep threat.

Jones makes contested catches really well. Adams is a good WR, but not a #1 outside guy and neither is Jones. Cobb is the only WR that can consistently create separation. Rodgers is going to be throwing into a lot of tight windows all season and the Defenses are going to start tightening the coverages in short/intermediate zones.

Jones is a good pickup for the Packers only in that Rodgers trusts him and he provides another target to throw to.

Still think it would be in the Packers best interests to get more out of Janis and Montgomery. They have to find a way to get Janis to step up and provide the deep threat we lack at least to some degree. Until then Rodgers is going to have to be precise, he doesn't have the openings he's had in the past w/ Jordy on the field.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 16, 2015 at 03:26 am

3 dislikes? This is brilliant. I should accidentally post it 6 or 8 times:

"Jones makes contested catches really well. Adams is a good WR, but not a #1 outside guy and neither is Jones. Cobb is the only WR that can consistently create separation. Rodgers is going to be throwing into a lot of tight windows all season and the Defenses are going to start tightening the coverages in short/intermediate zones. Jones is a good pickup for the Packers only in that Rodgers trusts him and he provides another target to throw to."

Edit: Per Demovsky: Aaron Rodgers only attempted 2 passes that traveled more than 20 yards in the air. We can expect those intermediate routes to start getting jumped sooner rather than later.

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 15, 2015 at 11:21 am

We better not line him up on the right side....since Sherman plays there and we all know how throwing to that side...strikes fear in our offensive game plan. :(

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Bearmeat's picture

September 15, 2015 at 04:42 pm

Y U TROLL UR OWN FAN BASE SO HARD? ;)

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DrealynWilliams's picture

September 15, 2015 at 11:25 am

Another thing (or 2) James Jones can teach the young WRs:

1) How to use the end zone to your benefit

2) How to stack the defender (I think that's the term used, where the WR gets in front of the defender and then runs in front of him to make it extremely difficult for the defender to deflect the pass)

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