After a one-year swan song with the Oakland Raiders, Jordy Nelson returned to Wisconsin on Tuesday to retire as a member of the Green Bay Packers. The legendary Packers receiver — he ranks fifth in team history in receiving yards and second in touchdowns — held a press conference to talk about his career and his time in Green Bay.
Team president Mark Murphy got the press conference underway by introducing Nelson. “This is a special day for the Packers organization," Murphy said. "I remember thinking at the time how excited Ted Thompson was (when the team drafted Nelson). I realize now Ted doesn’t get excited very often. ... I remember him saying ‘our fans are going to love Jordy Nelson,’ and boy was Ted right.”
Indeed, Nelson has been a fan favorite since he was drafted, and particularly since a breakout performance in Super Bowl XLV. When Nelson spoke, he was asked about some of his favorite memories from his Packers career, and that game was predictably at the top of the list.
“I think you obviously start with the Super Bowl, to be there and be able to score a touchdown there," Nelson said, adding "I still have the football" from that touchdown. He also mentioned a toe-tap catch from Aaron Rodgers on the sideline against the 49ers in 2013 as one of his favorite individual plays.
Nelson's connection with Rodgers was a major part of his success in Green and gold, of course. When asked about how he forged that connection, Nelson attributed it to hard work and attention to detail. “Time and focus, I think, a lot of communication between practice, film room, meetings, and a lot of it was listening my first few years when I wasn’t playing as much." He also alluded to something Rodgers has mentioned in recent years as well: "One thing I always tried to do was never have to be told (something) a second time.”
All told, it was only a matter of time before Nelson came back to be honored in this way. “It’s an honor to be back and to wrap it up like this," he said. “When you’re a part of this organization and the history ... when you get that request I was very appreciative of that. And obviously the fans as well. I didn’t know it was such a big deal until I talked to some people. I’ll be remembered as a Packer. This is where I started and it’s great to end it this way.”
Thanks for everything, Jordy.