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Jones moves on after fumble

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    By GREG A. BEDARD
    gbedard@journalsentinel.com
    Posted: Oct. 10, 2007

    Green Bay - In almost every practice, the Green Bay Packers use the "strip" drill, where two defenders try to rip the ball away from an offensive player.

    But on Wednesday, one player had three defenders grabbing at the ball he tightly held between his arms. That same player was the only one asked to do the drill again.

    So while both his coach and quarterback said they have "moved on," and the player himself declined to answer questions about the previous game, the two fumbles wide receiver James Jones had in Sunday night's loss to the Chicago Bears obviously haven't been forgotten.

    "Bad things are going to happen in a game," Jones said. "That's the nature of the game but it's about bouncing back. There's a lot of football left to play, so you can't keep thinking about the bad things. You have to go on."

    If not for an injury to Greg Jennings, Jones probably wouldn't have gotten the chance to move on until this Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins.

    After his second fumble in back-to-back possessions in the first half against the Bears, coach Mike McCarthy angrily got in Jones' face and told his third-round pick to take a seat. And when receivers coach Jimmy Robinson approached McCarthy, he effectively told Robinson to get Jones out of the game and gave a thumbs-up ejection gesture for good measure.

    McCarthy said he had no second thoughts about benching Jones.

    "It's common mistakes that I don't have a lot of tolerance for," McCarthy said. "He'd definitely grade out very high as far as taking tough coaching and being competitive. I fully anticipate that he'll learn from this experience, and hopefully it won't happen again to him."

    Both fumbles came in Bears territory - one at the 8-yard line - and were forced by cornerback Charles Tillman quickly after Jones caught the ball. He prefers to catch passes with his arms outstretched, which can lead to problems if the ball isn't tucked into his body fast enough.

    "Both of his were on very tight plays," McCarthy said. "I think Tillman made a good play on the ball both times. Still, any time you carry the ball around your waist you're asking for trouble. You have to catch it, bring it to your body and secure it high and tight. It's something we practice all the time and it can happen as fast as it did to him in the game.

    "He has very good hands for a young guy, as good as anyone I've ever worked with (as far as) catching the ball away from his body and bringing it in to his body. He's just got to be quicker with securing the football high and tight."

    Jones, 23, did get an opportunity to re-enter the game when Jennings missed most of the second half with a shoulder injury. Jones had an 11-yard reception and was targeted on two more throws by Brett Favre. And while Jones dropped one, Favre showed he still had confidence in him. And that's something Favre said won't just be fumbled away.

    "He's made some very good plays for us this year and will continue to do that," Favre said of Jones. "I know he was down on himself and Mike gave him a slap on the wrist on the sidelines but he is still one of our premier players and he's going to be called upon.

    "I can't lose confidence in not only him but anybody else. He also can't see that as the game unfolds. He can't say, 'Well, I was wide open. Brett won't throw it to me.' That can't happen and won't happen. I'm going to make reads based on, hopefully, the best options on that particular play. And if he's the guy, I'll throw it to him."

    And even though McCarthy wanted no part of Jones after his two fumbles, McCarthy scoffed when asked if he's lost confidence in his second-leading receiver, who has 23 catches for 293 yards and a touchdown

    "No," McCarthy laughed. "We're fine. We've moved on."

    Since the end of the game, just about every one of Jones' teammates have either patted him on the back or whispered encouraging words into his ears. McCarthy and Favre have voiced their support. And, for the record, Jones didn't fumble in practice during the strip drill.

    But Jones realizes he won't fully be back in good graces until he catches another 7-yard slant, takes a hit and comes up with the ball.

    "I don't need anybody to come up to me and say, 'Shake it off,' " Jones said. "I know when I make a mistake and I know I have to bounce back."
     
  2. dhpackr

    dhpackr Cheesehead

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    JJ has some large hands, i think he will overcome this problem. its not like he has a choice.
     
  3. Tiger

    Tiger Cheesehead

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    problem is his catching technique is excellent catching with his hands out stretched and thus it takes him a split second longer to tuck the ball in, our recievers are of course gamed to go for the YAC, so teams will be gunning for the strip everytime. Tillman''s strips were most definitely planned from the film room.
     
  4. DarkaneRules

    DarkaneRules Cheesehead

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    Nice post. I think Jones is a great rookie and competitor. I like what I am hearing and the real test will come not just this sunday but when we meet the bears again to cream them on their home turf.
     
  5. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    Agreed. We need to forgive him for this. He's young and will make mistakes. Were we angry? Sure, especially at the one at the 8-yard line. Imagine if we got a TD out of that drive. It would have been a whole different ballgame.

    But I stand by saying JJ was an A in this draft. A great find, and someone that opposing GMs will be kicking themselves for because they could have had him.

    I agree with DH. I'm confident he'll overcome this.
     
  6. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    I think he will too. Either he will, or he will be gone. There is only so much a coach will allow before he benches the guy. If Jennings wouldn't have got hurt, he wouldn't have got back into the Bears game.
     
  7. yooperfan

    yooperfan Cheesehead

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    I'm not worried about this rookie, it's Greg "Glass Man" Jennings I'm worried about.
    I'm hoping we get K-Rob back so Jennings can go lay down in the M.A.S.H tent.
     
  8. scotty

    scotty Cheesehead

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    I'm frustrated over GJ's injuries, but it doesn't make much sense to ridicule him for it. You know he wants to be on the field, and when he is, he's pretty outstanding. Anyway that's why it's good to bring Jones along and, as you said, hopefully KRob can come back. THen if Jennings goes down we have solid hands behind him.

    We're better with Jennings than without him. So I guess all we can do is make the most of it when he's healthy. It's not like it's something he can do anything about.
     
  9. yooperfan

    yooperfan Cheesehead

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    I wholeheartedly agree with you scotty.
    I love the kid when he is on the field, but I fear he is one of those injury prone type of players.
     
  10. DarkaneRules

    DarkaneRules Cheesehead

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    Well it does seem that way. I would not just say injury prone because of hamstring trouble because that stuff obviously comes back when you play in a football game 6 days apart from each other but the shoulder thing is a concern. I feel like we need him for Sunday so I hope he will be able to be there and that the shoulder heals over the bye.
     
  11. warhawk

    warhawk Cheesehead

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    Jones is so strong and has great hands and will be considered a third round steal.

    He will have the game to take over for DD when he get's hurt or starts to slide and needs to move over.

    In fact he reminds of Driver. Not the fastest but great hands and strong.
     
  12. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    i feel great about our first and second year receivers. he's young. The term "rookie mistake" didn't just fall out of thin air. everyone has their growing pains. if it keeps happening all this year and next year, then i'll start worrying about the kid. until then, i'll just be pissed when it happens, yell at my TV, and move on.
     

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