"He is playing well for what we have asked him to do," said Packers head coach Mike Sherman. "He's not LeRoy Butler, but he is a sure-handed tackler, and in a year or two, he'll be in even better position to blow up a lot more runs."
The Packers drafted the 6-foot, 200-pound Jue in the third round of the NFL draft from Penn State, where he played cornerback. He had a nice training camp and made the team. When backup safety Antuan Edwards was lost for the year with a knee injury, Jue became the main reserve safety.
Butler, who had played 181 straight games as a Packer, broke his left shoulder blade against the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 18, and was later placed on the injured reserve list. Suddenly, Jue found himself in the starting lineup.
He had his best game so far against the Browns. He made three tackles and got his first career interception early in the first quarter. On the Browns' first possession, Cleveland quarterback Tim Couch went deep to tight end O.J. Santiago. Linebacker Bernardo Harris had Santiago covered, and deflected the pass with his right hand.
"We were playing a cover four and Bernardo was in single coverage," Jue said. "I saw him about to throw the ball so I went after it. Bernardo made a great play by tipping it, I caught it and looked for daylight." Jue nabbed the deflection and ran 35 yards to the Browns 46. The Packers scored seven plays later to take a 13-0 lead.
So far Jue has made 29 tackles, forced a fumble and knocked down three passes. "He gives you great effort and studies tirelessly," Sherman said. "When you take a rookie and put him in a position like that, and he can succeed, that's a credit to him and (secondary) coach Bob Slowik."