That white “82” jersey with black numbers just doesn’t look right on Jordy Nelson, does it?
The 10-year Green Bay Packer veteran relocated this offseason, trading the Frozen Tundra and his “87” green and gold uniform for the Bay Area after the organization decided to part ways and save a $10 million cap hit. So far, Nelson’s theoretical replacement in Green Bay, Jimmy Graham, has had a strong showing in training camp and developed intriguing early chemistry with Aaron Rodgers. But positive remarks are flowing in for Nelson as well.
An overwhelming assertion behind Nelson’s release was that he had a lost a step at age 33, despite the quarterback inconsistencies last season for the Packers. That’s not the case according to Matt Schneidman of the Mercury News who caught up with Nelsons’s new coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr.
“He can still run,” said Gruden. “He’s proven to us he can still run. We can line him up anywhere we want and he can run any route we draw up.”
“The thing that you hear about that he can’t run anymore,” added quarterback Derek Carr. “That’s false. I can tell you, he’s one of the fastest skill guys that we have still.”
It’s too early to be certain what kind of season Nelson will have or whether he is still the same player that totaled 1,257 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns just two years ago. It’s difficult for a wide receiver to change quarterbacks and systems in the latter stages of a career.
But the signs of slowing up sure haven’t been apparent yet in Oakland for a team searching for a division title in a wide open AFC West. Meanwhile, Nelson has also drawn praise for his leadership role as a mentor, an underrated skill with younger receivers like Amari Cooper and Martavis Bryant on the roster.
Here are some other notes on Nelson from the Twitter mill during camp last week.
Maybe Jordy Nelson has lost a step, but you'd be hard pressed to reach that conclusion today. #Raiders— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) July 27, 2018
Jordy Nelson drops one right in his gut from Derek Carr. #Raiders— Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) July 27, 2018
Derek Carr wanted Jordy Nelson to get his mojo back so he went to him on a deep slant for like a 75-yard touchdown. Karl Joseph may have caught up to him. #Raiders— Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) July 27, 2018
Nelson and Bryant pic.twitter.com/O5dI4ZMkmk— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) July 28, 2018
Jordy Nelson burns Daryl Worley deep and Derek Carr throws in up for him. #Raiders— Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) July 28, 2018
But perhaps the top quote of the week regarding Nelson came from Carr.
“I can’t believe Green Bay let him go, but I’m glad he’s here.”