1. Welcome to Green Bay Packers NFL Football Forum & Community!

    Packer Forum is one of the largest online communities for the Green Bay Packers. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Rookies hoping for playing time

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

    Nov 22, 2005
    Packer Plus editor
    Posted: June 6, 2007

    Green Bay - When Brett Favre was a rookie with the Atlanta Falcons in 1991, James Jones was 7 years old. Today, Favre and Jones are teammates with the Green Bay Packers.

    Jones is just one of 11 of Favre's newest teammates - all members for Green Bay's 2007 draft class - who hope to earn a roster spot with the Packers this fall.

    And Jones is more than a former adolescent who has grown into a pro football player. He could be a consolation prize and pleasant surprise for Favre and the critics of Green Bay's off-season, who contend that general manager Ted Thompson hasn't done enough to improve the offense.

    Jones stands just a shade over 6-feet tall and is a powerfully built 207-pound wide receiver. He comes to Green Bay as a third-round draft choice out of San Jose State with a reputation for catching the football in a crowd.

    But Jones is not Randy Moss.

    Favre made it clear after draft weekend that he was disappointed that Green Bay did not swing a trade with Oakland and lost Moss to New England.

    Favre knows what Moss could have brought to the Packers, but Jones and his fellow rookies are nothing more right now than mystery men trying to make a good impression on the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

    The early returns have been, well, OK.

    "It went real good," Jones said of meeting Favre at the team's mandatory minicamp (May 18-20). "Brett Favre is a nice guy. He loves the players and he loves to play the game. So he's just a guy that's out there having fun. To catch passes from him is just a dream come true.

    "I got the little jitters out of the way catching the first ball, but it went real good. He came up and introduced himself. . . . 'Nice to meet you, glad to have you here.' Things like that."

    To many, Jones and running back Brandon Jackson are looked upon as too little too late in the draft. Jackson, drafted out of Nebraska in the second round, was 6 when Favre was a 21-year-old rookie with the Falcons. But he could become No. 1 in Green Bay's backfield or - at the very least - share the load with Vernand Morency.

    Fans booed on Day 1 of the draft when the Packers selected defensive tackle Justin Harrell from Tennessee with their No. 1 pick. Green Bay opted for Harrell with the 16th choice after Buffalo, picking at No. 12, beat them to running back Marshawn Lynch of California.

    To many fans, the selections of Jackson and Jones became, "who?" and "why?"

    But Jones is undaunted. From ages 8 to 12, Jones lived in homeless shelters in San Jose with his mother and sister, so making a lasting impact in Green Bay might not be his greatest challenge.

    "I'm excited about it, whichever way I can get on the field and help him out, I'm going to do it," Jones said.

    Jones noticed an abrupt change in the proceedings from rookie orientation camp (May 4-6) to minicamp when Favre and the other veterans showed up.

    "The speed picked up," said Jones, who seems to have loftier goals than just making the team as the No. 3 wide receiver behind Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. "The intensity picked up. It's just about working together, being a team now, so we can strive to get this championship. I think the sky's the limit for our offense. We've got a lot of weapons. We've got a great quarterback. If we execute real well, I think the sky's the limit for this team and the offense. I think we're in a real good situation."

    And as far as losing Randy Moss to New England, Jones smiled and said, "Yeah, I think we'll be all right."

    David Clowney, a rookie wide receiver from Virginia Tech, could be another bonus weapon for Favre. Clowney was once timed as fast as 4.29 seconds in the 40-yard dash. But he's slightly built at 185 pounds and as a fifth-round draft choice, his confidence might be running a few steps ahead of his chances of making the team.

    On Day 1 of minicamp, Clowney's first meeting with Favre came by long distance, inside the Don Hutson Center.

    "Well, technically, I didn't really meet him yet," Clowney said after Green Bay's first minicamp practice. "But it was interesting catching passes from him. I did catch about two or three passes from him today. It was really interesting, knowing that I'm out there on the field with a guy that's going to be a Hall of Fame quarterback and a legend in Green Bay.

    "It was just outstanding being able to catch a ball from a quarterback of his caliber."

    Clowney believes he can offer the speed Green Bay might have lost when Moss got away.

    "I actually heard (Greg) Jennings say today that we don't need Randy Moss just to have a good team," said Clowney, who was 6 in Favre's rookie season. "He was with a team that won two games last year at Oakland and they had Randy Moss. Just because he comes here doesn't mean we are going to be so much better."

    Moss isn't a Packer, but Clowney plans to be one for a long time to come.

    "I plan on making a future here," Clowney said. "You know, Brett's still here and (Aaron) Rodgers is backing him up. He's a great quarterback as well. So I think our receiving corps is going to be one of the best."

    Clowney said he and Jones will more than make up for the talent of Moss, without all the baggage the oft-trouble wide receiver has carried through his career.

    "I don't think either one of us are going to bring anything to embarrass ourselves, the team, or our families or this community," Clowney said.

    Clowney, like Jones, seems to have goals that go beyond just making the roster.

    "I'm loving it. I'm very excited," Clowney said. "Just knowing the fact that we have the opportunity to be a Super Bowl-winning team. We have the talent here. We have the potential here. And I just want to be a part of that. I know I can help that happen on offense, special teams. Whatever the team needs. Any time they call my name I'm going to be right there, willing to do whatever I have to, to get my team to the Super Bowl."

    Clowney's first goal will be winning a spot in the posh, huge football-shaped locker room where Green Bay's established players dress. Right now Clowney and other rookies and free agents, such as seventh-round draft choice DeShawn Wynn, dress in Green Bay's auxiliary locker room. This is the Packers' equivalent to the card table where the kids eat on Thanksgiving Day.

    "I don't think it's where you're drafted, it's what you do with the opportunity once you get here," said Wynn, who was the leading rusher for the Florida Gators national championship team in 2006. "Even though I got drafted in the seventh round I've got a great opportunity here to make this team and probably play some kind of role this year."

    Wynn's draft stock fell because he was considered a discipline problem at Florida.

    "It's a little faster than college," said Wynn, Green Bay's oldest draft pick, who turns 24 in October and was a whopping 8 when Favre was a rookie. "You're playing with some grown men out there. Once you get the pads on and get to hitting, that's when it's really going to kick in and let you know if you can play at this level or not."

    Wynn will get a chance with the Packers at tailback and fullback in an offense where Favre is searching for playmakers.

    "It's kind of nerve-racking just to see him," Wynn said of meeting Favre. "But he's a cool guy, though. Real humble. He likes to have fun out there. He enjoys what he does."

    And he'll enjoy it a little more if gets some help from the new kids.
  2. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

    Mar 28, 2006
    David Clowney is a talker huh

    and does anyone else think that Wynn starting at fullback might be a very good thing.
  3. Tiger

    Tiger Cheesehead

    Sep 9, 2006
    I love these kind of articles! :D
  4. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

    Nov 24, 2005
    Me too Tiger!
    It seems that these kids have the right attitude! Hopefully they will show up big on the field too!
    And if Clowney really is that fast, he may be able to make up for his lack of size by blowing past the DB's.
  5. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

    Aug 15, 2005
    How can anyone not like Clowney and Jones.

    Clowney pretty much said "F*ck Randy Moss" and thats awesome. I'm sure one of them will step up like Jennings did. Hopefully both, but I wouldn't count on it.
  6. retiredgrampa

    retiredgrampa Cheesehead

    Sep 21, 2005
    I would think that the rooks could get lots of reps since so many of the vets are nursing dings and dents from this "no contact" OTA. But it was reported that Harrell was nursing a tendon injury. Now THAT worries me no end.

Share This Page