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Jones still believes Packers could have three 1,000-yard receivers in 2013

Jun. 14, 2013
 
Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones catches a pass during minicamp practice in the Don Hutson Center, Wednesday, June 5, 2013. H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette Media
Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones catches a pass during minicamp practice in the Don Hutson Center, Wednesday, June 5, 2013. H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette Media

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At the very least, give James Jones an ‘A’ for ambition.

Earlier this offseason, the Green Bay Packers’ seven-year receiver made waves when he told NFL Network the team could feature three 1,000-yard receivers in 2013 despite the loss of two-time Pro Bowl teammate Greg Jennings to free-agency.

When recently asked in the Packers’ locker room if he still believed that, Jones reiterated his conviction that he, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb have what it takes to become the first trio of receivers in franchise history to accomplish the feat.

Although the Packers’ pass-heavy scheme could lend itself to such an occurrence, it’s still an ambitious goal considering it’s only been done five times in NFL history. The Arizona Cardinals were the last team to do it in 2008 with Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston.

Anything is possible with a healthy Aaron Rodgers manning the team’s offensive controls, but the fact remains the Packers have only featured a pair of receivers surpassing 1,000 receiving yards in the same season on five occasions – let alone having a trio accomplish it.

In 2012, they failed to even have one with Randall Cobb’s 954 yards being the closest, but Jones isn’t backing down.

“I do, I do,” said Jones, who set new career-highs for receptions (64), receiving yards (784) and touchdowns (14) this past season. “I've been on record as saying that I believe we have three 1,000-yard receivers in this room. I believe me, Randall and Jordy, if we all stay healthy, we can all reach over 1,000.

“It's exciting and we're all excited because we know the departure of Greg and Donald means more opportunities for us. Do you want to lose guys like that? No, but it gives us the chance to step up.”

Of the five times the Packers have had at least a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in the same season, the closest they’ve come to having a third was in 2009 with Donald Driver, Greg Jennings and tight end Jermichael Finley, who finished well shy with 676 receiving yards in his second NFL season.

Regardless if the Packers have three 1,000-yard receivers or none, the passing game is in for a serious transition with Jennings now in Minnesota and Donald Driver settling into retirement.

Outside of Jones, Nelson, Cobb, a new crop of receivers has descended upon the team’s locker room. Along with returning youngsters Jarrett Boykin and Jeremy Ross, they’re all looking to claim one of the newly vacated spots.

As for Jones, he’s having his own fun with the matter.

“I don't like Greg no more. He left us. But Driver is my dog, I talk to him every once in a while,” Jones deadpanned. “It's different but we knew this day would come where all of us wouldn't be together. We were kind of prepared for it. We've got a good group, a good team so we're excited about what's going on.

“It’s going to be different without Greg and them, but Greg and them was hurt last year and Donald didn't play that much last year. It was me, Jordy and Randall. Really, roles don't change. We've just got to go out there and continue to make plays.”
-whodkiew@pressgazettemedia and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.

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