New defensive backs coach Jerry Gray is eager for the opportunity to work with the Packers’ young secondary. Whenever he finally gets the chance, he’s especially excited to work with Jaire Alexander, a player who, for Gray, brings to mind one of the best defensive backs he’s worked with in a long NFL career.
“A very young, energetic guy who made a lot of plays last year,” said Gray of Alexander, speaking via Zoom on Thurdsay. “Reminds me a lot of Samari Rolle. Really good cover skills, vision.”
Gray coached Rolle with the Tennessee Oilers and Titans from 1998 through 2000, Rolle’s first three seasons in the NFL. A second-round pick out of Florida State, Rolle intercepted eleven passes while working with Gray. He was named an All-Pro in 2000 and went to the Pro Bowl that season as well, the only time in his 11-year NFL career that he’d receive those honors.
Gray joined the Packers in January after spending the last six seasons as a member of the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff. This will be his 24th season as an NFL coach, having also spent nine seasons in the NFL. He made four Pro Bowls with the Los Angeles Rams during their original stint in that city, playing under defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur, who’d go on to win a Super Bowl with the Packers in 1996.