During PFW's early-August visit to the Packers' training camp, no player looked any better than Jordy Nelson.
Normally caught up in heavy traffic in the practice sessions we witnessed, the third-year wideout caught just about every pass thrown to him, displaying great hands and excellent concentration.
Nelson, who finished last season on a high note with a TD catch in the Packers' classic wild-card loss to the Cardinals, credits spending the entire offseason in Green Bay, running routes for QB Aaron Rodgers, as the key to his training-camp success.
"It goes a long way," Nelson told PFW three days before the Packers' season opener in Philadelphia. "I already knew the playbook, but there's so much that goes into running slants and posts the right way, using the right leverage and things like that."
Despite his great camp, the consensus seems to be that, at least initially, Nelson will likely make a bigger impact as a kickoff returner than as a receiver.
While many in league circles believe Nelson would be a certain starting WR on many other NFL teams, he is currently the No. 4 receiver on the Packers behind Greg Jennings, the ageless Donald Driver and James Jones, who many close to the team believe had just as good an overall camp as Nelson.
That said, Nelson figures to get his share of big-play opportunities in the Packers' multifaceted, "something for everybody" offense, which he believes will be even better than last year's unit.
"Yes, I think we can do a lot better," Nelson told PFW. "There were a lot of things we did early last season that we can't get back, a lot of dropped catches. And there are always different ways to run routes. If you don't change them up, the defensive backs will start jumping your routes all the time."
One new thing the Packers' offense is doing this year is branching out at the slot position, once the exclusive domain of Driver, who by all accounts has shown a real willingness to share the wealth.
"He's our leader," Nelson said of Driver, who is entering his 12th season in a Packers uniform. "He does all the right things on and off the field and is willing to do whatever it takes to win games. Moving around guys to a lot of different positions should help us."
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