Training Camp Countdown: 24 Days

Calvin Johnson's got the kind-of-cool nickname — assuming you think being named for a cartoon character is cool — but did he have a better season than Jordy Nelson? Not so fast on answering that as we provide our thought-provoking Packers nugget of the day.

There are 24 days remaining until the Green Bay Packers kick off training camp.

Every day until the start of camp on July 26, we'll be giving you one juicy nugget to whet your appetite for the return of football. We'd give you more but the CBA forbids two-a-days. Sorry.

Lordy, Jordy

Maybe Jordy Nelson needs a nickname.

Detroit's Calvin Johnson is known as "Megatron." That's what all the cool people — you know, the pretty boys on TV and the wind bags of talk radio — call him. I guess that's from the movie "Transformers," but with a 2-year-old, the only thing on our TV is "Thomas and Friends."

Anyway, Johnson is good. He's real good. Maybe, when it's all said and done and after his rusted-out arm falls off as he tries to transform himself from mere mortal to football superhero, he'll be all-time good.

For the record, however, Nelson had a better year than Johnson.

Sure, Johnson caught 96 passes for 1,536 yards and 16 touchdowns compared to Nelson's 68 catches for 1,263 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Here's the number that matters: Nelson caught 73.1 percent of the passes thrown his way, good for third in the league. Johnson caught 63.6 percent of the passes thrown his way, good for 24th in the league.

Johnson was the third-most targeted receiver in the league with 151 passes thrown his way. Had Nelson maintained his production but gotten Johnson's opportunities, he would have finished with 110 catches, 2,053 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Also, Nelson — we'll call him the "TractorTron," which, admittedly, isn't very catchy or clever — beat Johnson in drops (2 to 7), yards after the catch per catch (6.3 to 5.6), yards per pass route (second-ranked 2.98 to sixth-ranked 2.43) and quarterback rating on targeted passes (top-ranked 150.2 to third-ranked 125.8).

Advantage, each and every time, to Nelson.

Except on the nickname.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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