Johnny Jolly Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card All Green Bay Packers All the Time

Johnny-Jolly-071610T1) Introduction:  People might have forgotten but before BJ Raji’s interception against Chicago during the Packers 2010 Super Bowl run, there was another defensive linemen with soft hands and a penchant for stealing passes from the offense and that was Johnny Jolly, who ironically also intercepted a pass from a Chicago Bears quarterback in 2009 and was looking like a priority resign for the Packers.  Unfortunately, Jolly was suspended indefinitely in 2010 for a codeine addiction (i.e. “purple drank”) and had to watch the Packers win the Super Bowl without him and lose out on probably the biggest contract in his career.  Now 3 years wiser and cleaner, Jolly makes his improbably comeback into the NFL with the same team he started with, would this be a Cinderella story or just another cruel tale?

2) Profile:

Johnny Ray Jolly Jr.

  • Age: 30
  • Born: 2/21/1983 in Houston, TX
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 325
  • College: Texas A&M
  • Rookie Year: 2006
  • NFL Experience: 5

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  None.  No one really knew what to expect from Jolly and most thought it was lucky of him to even be invited back to training camp.  After 3 years of rehab and a short stint in the cooler, was Jolly physically or mentally ready to get back into the NFL?  Was his remarkable redemption story going to be short lived once he was back making good money or was it really true what Aaron Rodgers has said where the Packers could be Jolly’s support group and help him remain clean?  Realistically nothing should have been expected from Jolly in 2013 and simply making the team is a major accomplishment on its own.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Jolly’s big day came against the Atlanta Falcons in week 14 and dominated against the run, recording 4 tackles and 1 assist, a pass break up and 3 run stops.  Jolly’s lowlight was certainly injuring his neck and getting sent to IR, which further complicates his future.  The question now becomes are the Packers (or any other NFL team for the matter) willing to risk money on an aging player with a history of drug abuse and is coming off a significant injury?  Only time will tell.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Moderate. As mentioned before getting anything out of Jolly after so long should be considered a success but Jolly probably did not have as much impact on the field as many fans believe.  For one Jolly was strictly a rotation player and was mostly used against the run and unsurprisingly for a 30 year old 300+ pound defensive linemen was a liability in pass rushing, only recording 1 QB hit and 3 hurries.  Furthermore, Jolly had several terrible games throughout the season, including against the 49ers on opening day and back to back weeks against the Eagles and Bears.  Jolly’s biggest contribution might be his feel good story and it’s effect on the psyche of the Packers, perhaps especially during Aaron Rodgers injury.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Jolly was placed on injured reserve after week 15 due to a neck injury and did not play in the wildcard game against the 49ers.

Season Report Card:

(A) Level of expectations met during the season

(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(N/A) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  B


Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s


16 thoughts on “Johnny Jolly Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card

  1. Heart says one thing, head says another.

    Thinking that what he showed in his first year back after his hiatus and the value this guy brings to the team’s ‘tude says he stays, contingent on the injury. And there’s the concern about the effect being cut loose from his ‘family’ would do to his efforts to keep the monkey off his back. Self-inflicted or not, the man’s endured his trials admirably.

    Head says getting old, slowing down, injured, roster spot, $$ questions.

    Fate, especially in the NFL, can be a cold-hearted bitch.

  2. “Expectation coming into the season…NONE.”

    The fact that he achieved the expectations by virtually offering nothing more than a feel good moment for many should be a C- and that is generous.

    Contribution to team success…Grade C

    The fact that he took a roster spot may justify the grade but his actual contribution is a Grade D or D+…surely you must believe with others being only a C or C+ themselves,Jolly overall failed in comparison.

    The total grade offered using this system for Jolly which induced a ‘GRADE B’ overall is to date the biggest joke attempt of what one would expect to be fair judging.

    I wasn’t in favor of bringing him back but would hope for the best if the team did so.

    The very fact that he made the team gave credence to my suspects of how low grade other players were/are/ and likely remain awaiting the new seasons camp.

    The draft in May would give a more apt response or thought to the future of Jolly which at this moment I envision to be bleak for retention especially with a few of the ‘big body’ types that would better serve the needs of this teams defense.

    I would be amiss to not be ready for the onslaught coming my way for this review,but facts or facts and truths or truths,I can see no advantage of retaining Jolly unless of coarse TT and MM evaluate and rate achieving ‘nothing’ as Grade A production.

    1. Tarynfor12 – I would agree entirely with your assessment. I like a good, beat the odds story but our Dline under performed for the most part. It is hard to distinguish between Jolly, Pickett or Raji because they just plugged a hole. As soon as teams started to spread them out or make them move laterally, they all dropped below a C

  3. I agree with Tarynfor12 in that i believe a solid B is to high of a grade for Jolly. I’m glad he made the team, and he did exceed expectations , but he didn’t make enough plays through out the whole season to warrant a B.

  4. I agree with Tarynfor12 in that i believe a solid B is to high of a grade for Jolly. I’m glad he made the team, and he did exceed expectations , but he didn’t make enough plays through out the whole season to warrant a B.

  5. Keep in mind guys that no team, not even Seattle is going to have 4 DL that grade out at A’s. It turns out, we don’t have any A’s, but I think if Jolly’s neck is ok and they sign him to a veteran minimum deal or a little more that he can be a solid backup contributor. A line that is unspectacular but has depth is still better than an unspectacular line with no depth. GoPack!

    1. I think Jolly brought a high degree of energy to the D-line early in the season. In preseason and early on he and Pickett got each other fired up, and early on they were stopping the run, then they couldnt keep it up. I think jolly provides quality veteran leadership, and could be key in a room full of young guys, especially if other veterans are on their way out.

  6. I really disagree with some of the comments here. I think the D-Line as a unit really lost their aggressiveness this year when Jolly wasn’t playing and I think they performed to a higher level when he was playing. If he is cleared to play I would however bring him back for a league minimum contract considering his injury and drug history which getting a legaue minimum contract done likely won’t be an issue.

    1. I’m with you, Jeff. At the start of the season when everyone was healthy, the Packer defense was playing well. And they had a bit of a nasty edge to them that I hadn’t seen in GB in a good long time. It was like they thought football was a physical game where putting a pounding on guys might make them more timid. It was beautiful to watch. Since Jolly always played a nasty edge, I think he was a big part of that.

      I’m not entirely sure what happened. Maybe it was the grind of the season. Maybe guys were more banged up than they could deal with. But things sure went to hell on defense right around the time Rodgers got hurt.

      I would love to see Jolly come back. I think the only obstacle is whether he is cleared medically. I doubt there will be a big market for him. But I think he brings value to the Packers.

      1. Thanks Hank, considering they actually were playing the run pretty well until like week 7. He was out of football for 3 years so I’m not sure what people expected from him. Obviously a man that size, who’s 30 years old, and was abusing his body with narcotics is going to wear down as the season wears on. Just that he was able to come back at all was a huge step.

        This defense has been bad since 2011, and really don’t put much into the 2012 overall ranking considering many of the teams they played. Throw in 579 against the 49ers to end the year says all we need to know where they were coming into 2013.

  7. Effort and passion are hard to coach. Jolly deserves a chance to comeback next year. He did help the defense. Raji in the middle and slow linebackers killed the D.

  8. Jolly needs to get in better shape. He was sloppy coming into the season and lost speed and power as the games accumulated. I think his poor conditioning lead to declining play and maybe even his injury. I like him but he needs to work hard at his conditioning.

  9. Jolly, Jolly, Jolly, hell yes if he is healthy he is back. He has enough heart for the whole D-line. He is a big step above the blob Raji and cost a fraction of the money…

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