James Jones: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

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James Jones
James Jones

1) Introduction: James Jones was a free agent to begin the 2011 season, and with the lockout putting negotiations on hold, there was some serious speculation as to where he would end up. The Packers would eventually re-sign him to a 3-year deal after reports of both Aaron Rodgers and Donald Driver voicing their support to Ted Thompson. Not many people were completely thrilled with the signing, because they still sorely remembered his dropped passes from the year before. If nothing else, Jones had to prove this season that he had better hands than what he let on.

2) Profile:

James Deandre Jones

Position: WR
Height: 6-1
Weight: 208 lbs.
AGE: 27

Career Stats: http://www.packers.com/team/roster/James-Jones/f91d8b30-10b4-4a50-b303-cd62ecd50f3f

 

3) Expectations coming into the season: After hitting training camp late due to playing the field as a free agent, the expectations for James Jones were scaled back slightly from the year before. He didn’t seem to be in direct competition with Jordy Nelson as much as in prior years, plus the return of Jermichael Finley and entrance of Randall Cobb almost demanded a lower snap count. One thing that was expected, however, was a reduction in dropped passes after a rash of them plagued his performance in 2010.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: James Jones’ biggest game this year was against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 5. Not only did his 70-yard touchdown give Green Bay the lead, but his five receptions also led the receiving corps with 140 total yards and three first downs that day. As for his worst performance, Jones was held without a catch against Tampa Bay in Week 11 despite being targeted three times, and he was practically invisible against their first meeting with the New York Giants.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: James Jones really had a boom or bust season. His one target against the New Orleans Saints was the subject of media speculation to begin the year, and he made some of his biggest splashes only when Donald Driver and Greg Jennings were nursing injuries. Despite seeing a reduction in targets from 2010, Jones did end up with a higher reception percentage (69.1%) and was able to make each catch more productive. Overall, he probably ranks better than any other fourth string wide receiver in the league.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: This was one of James Jones’ down weeks. Even though he had two great games to end the regular season, the return of Jennings pushed him back down the depth chart. His lone 16-yard catch-and-run helped to set up John Kuhn’s touchdown to tie the game at 10-10, but he wasn’t targeted at all beyond that series.

 

Season Report Card:

(B) Level of expectations met during the season
(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(D) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: C+

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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  • Ron LC

    Agree with the logic and grade Chad. He is a good situation receiver and definetely improved his hands from 2010.

  • Thomas Hobbes

    I should mention that him being late to training camp probably had more to due with him being a free agent getting screwed by the new CBA agreement then just playing the free agent market. That and the asinine rules that free agents could be at camp but not practice (I forget the exact legal reasoning behind it).

  • Lucas

    McCarthy likes his receivers to play any WR position. The defense, at snap, predetermines where the ball is likely to go to some extent. This combination leads to the idea that given plays put Jones into 3rd-5th reads more often than 1st-3rd (overlap intended). He would then only get the ball when the defense shows one thing and changes post snap, thanks to Aaron’s ability to read the defense.

    This speaks volumes of MMs ability to call plays and move players to get the ball to Jennings, Nelson, and Finley, even though defenses try to shut them down.

  • packbuck

    I like James. I’m glad Ted re-signed him. He signed him at a great price too!

  • Shavager

    I wasn’t real enthused about GB resigning Jones after watching him drop critical catches against Eagles and Steelers last season that would’ve put both games out of reach for Packers opponents. But after watching him in quite a few games this season, I think James Jones and Jordy Nelson were the two MOST improved players on the team this season.

  • Tarynfor 12

    I was fine with JJ moving on and not upset with resigning him either.He didn’t hurt us as in the previous year but no way is he so much improved to put him in with Jordy.IMO,this season will be his truest challenge to make or break his higher spot in the WR corps.Driver 80-20 gone,he cannot afford to have Cobb to surpass him,if he does,then say goodbye to JJ at next seasons end.