Packers receiver Jeff Janis showed during a postseason loss to Arizona that he knows how to jump up and catch a Hail Mary pass. The Packers now want to see what else he can do.
“I like to look at Jeff as kind of an ascending Green Bay Packer,” coach Mike McCarthy said last week at the Scouting Combine, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “I look at his years, I think you look for a guy to take a jump in his second year, and clearly, you look at his rookie year — very raw, raw player. He made the 53 on potential, not on performance.”
The performance wasn’t there on special teams early last season, but Janis improved. He’s also improving in his ability to run routes and catch passes.
“[Janis had] particularly a difficult time catching the ball over his shoulder,” McCarthy said. “He kind of has a stiffness there, and [receivers coach] Luke [Getsy], he took that on about Week Seven there after the bye week, and you could see him improve. He just needs things like that. You only get so much time with your players compared to prior years, but I’m hoping he takes another big step.”
Janis took his first big step against the Cardinals, with seven receptions for 145 yards.
“[T]here were just a lot of things, when he does them, they’re for the first time,” McCarthy said. “Hopefully we’re out of that phase of his development. I look for Jeff to take that next step.”
If he does, and if Jordy Nelson is healthy, the Packers could once again have one of the best receiving corps in the league. And the Packers could avoid some of the struggles they had after starting last season 6-0, and then finishing it 4-6.