Packers receiver Jordy Nelson had a career year in 2011, with 1,263 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, but to hear the Packers’ coaches talk, that might become the new normal for Nelson.
Green Bay wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett says Nelson isn’t just a good receiver, he’s a great receiver. And he’s a receiver who has shown in training camp that he’s getting even better.
“This guy just continues to improve. He is an elite receiver,” Bennett told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He has those three ‘S’ words: size strength and speed. This guy is a difference-maker. You know, it’s easy to say something like that. But when you watch the guy work and what he puts into it, then you can see it. Now we have to get to the games and let the games speak for themselves.”
Nelson doesn’t have the physical gifts of Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald, and he hasn’t had the production of Wes Welker or Victor Cruz, and it would be hard to place Nelson in the elite category of those receivers. Nelson seems more like a very good receiver in an offense that makes perfect use of his skills than an elite receiver who could put up big numbers in any offense.
But Green Bay’s coaching staff insists that Nelson is not just good but great.
“He’s been outstanding,” offensive coordinator Tom Clements said. “He’s a great player.”
If Nelson is as good as his coaches say he is, it would be interesting to hear them explain why he only caught two touchdown passes a year in each of his first three seasons in the Packers’ offense. But the coaching staff seems to expect a lot more 15-touchdown seasons from Nelson in the future.